The first week racing was properly mentioned

Saturday’s row was out at Petone (great for me as that’s where I live!) we’re either in Wellington CBD or ‘North End’ as they call Petone depending on the wind direction/where’s more sheltered. We also had the pleasure of an 8:30am start – a lie in compared to in the week.

Due to sickness/skiing/rugby there was only 5 of us there to row plus our coach. The 2 more experienced boys went off in a double (a boat for 2 where you have 2 oars each) and the rest of us went out in a cox-less 4 – where stroke seat does the steering with their foot. Needless to say, steering was a bit of an issue – I’m amazed we didn’t get dizzy!

I found it hard (mentally) rowing today – the coach was sitting behind me (=I feel total stress that he’s watching my every move – which he is. He’s great in that he’s always correcting technique, but there’s a lot of technique to still correct and it felt like nothing was going right!) and the guy in front of me was not great at keeping time, so as I’m rolling forward on my stroke, he’s thundering back towards me – the spacing in the boat means there’s not room for someone to be rolled all the way forwards and someone all the way back – you meet in the middle and it hurts.

We, as ever, worked on technique, timing, technique and timing. Right at the end we did a couple of practice ‘racing’ starts – getting the boat moving as quickly as possible from stationary to fast – you take a 3/4 then 1/2 then 3/4 then full stroke – it all seems to happen very quickly and we really need more practice!!!

It was a beautiful morning to be out though – bit chilly but sunny, so as long as we were moving it was warm

Monday morning 7am saw us back on the ergs (rowing machines). After a good warm up we did 3x 3:30min rowing 3 min rest at 24 strokes/min – felt like hard work, but managed to stay under 2:10min/500m so I was happy, if somewhat shattered, and no amazing sunrise this morning either. This morning was the first time we’d discussed what pace we were likely to be rowing at during the race (the whole reason for the training) – we’re going to aim for 24 strokes/min – a decent pace where we should be able to hold our technique for the entirety. Any faster and we’ll tire, lose technique and then the boat will be going no where fast…..

Tuesday lunchtime – erging with the Masters. I enjoy these sessions, they’re hard rowing but always with good banter – these guys have more ability to talk and row than we do! We did our ‘normal’ pyramid

4 mins 20strokes/min

3 mins 22strokes/min

2 min 24strokes/min

1 min 26strokes/min

2 min 24strokes/min

3 min 22strokes/min

4 min 20 strokes/min

By the time I was back to 20strokes/min my back felt like it had a stitch, only made slightly more comfortable by slouching….. in no time at all I was shouted at from someone sat behind me to ‘sit up straight’ cursing them for catching my poor technique but pleased at the same time that they’re keeping an eye on me too!

Thursday morning had us at the Rowing Club for 6:15am. We had to rig the boats before we could put them on the water – rigging is putting the metal bits that the oars sit on/in onto the boat (they come off for easier transportation)

boat rig


With one of our teammates still out with blood poisoning we ‘borrowed’ a girl from another team and had an all ladies 4 . We’re still having issues with all 4 people rowing together – fine in mixed and matched pairs, but all 4 means it falls apart…..

Was a nice morning to be out, but to be honest frustrating that we still can’t row well together – we cope, but it must look awful.

What I had forgotten was that I had a PT session in the evening (thankfully I was too engrossed in work to make it to the lunchtime ergs!). I had been doing ‘Get Pumped Fitness’ Boot camp 3x a week 6-7am before the rowing started, but as I couldn’t really do that and the rowing I’ve started having 1 PT session a week instead. The boot camp wasn’t quite as intense as BMF, but PT with Sean is equally as hard as with Jel back in Finsbury Park and Brent in New Plymouth.

Last night we did what felt like a whole body workout – boxing, weights, abs, legs, more abs, more weights and a few more legs….. then some stretching! The boxing we tend to do as a warm-up but I’ve requested extra boxing for next week. The weights are all dumbbell/bar bell things, including a bit of ‘kettlebell’ work – brought back happy memories from the kettlebell course I did back in FP. Also did a fun squat up against the wall while holding a 10kg medicine ball in my arms and rolling up and down a medicine that was between me and the wall.

Was shattered by the end – no balance left for stretching which is why I think after the first attempt the rest were done lying down…….



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