important info. if you are a killer detective, then you can find all you need to know at www.worldrowing.com. that being said, i usually can’t.
it really is interesting how sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don’t. somewhat similarly and much more pertinent, rowing next to someone can both cure and complicate at different times. our first row with another crew was on Tuesday with the mens eight. the rows up to that point felt disjointed at times and peppered with decent strokes here and there. saddling up with the M8+, despite a significant and appropriate stagger, proved a really worthwhile practice. we stayed focus, but still had a bigger picture of speed to focus on so that we didn’t nitpick ourselves apart. this workout was simply a 90% 2k for us @ 30spm. we found our swagger and kept it rolling in subsequent practices.
next, we did 4x250m pieces with the lightweight men’s eight. two with a start, one at base, and one with a sprint. i think the workout catered to the lightweights a bit, who attacked each piece admirably. it was good for us to be next to an anxious crew that we didn’t want to get away from us. also, helped us to jumpstart our starts a bit.
today, we did a 1k with both the LM8+ again and the mens straight four (M4-). the workout went well and served its purpose. we whipped out a fast, but somewhat brutish 1k. the point of this workout was to have our last longer piece of all out work before the race. this piece usually ranges from 1k-2k and almost always feels brutal. there’s something about reawakening the aerobic and anaerobic systems during a taper that really burns. as a result, the pain point of this workout was physiological. we went into wanting to use the two other crews as real motivation to get our lungs burning. as a result, i think we rowed a little bit more outside ourselves than the other pieces. the water had a lot of bounce at times and that coupled with loud crews, a herd of coaches on shore, and not wanting to lose an inch to our neighbors made for some pretty donkey moments. in some ways, this would be how side-by-side can complicate things in training. at the same time, we went into this workout emphasizing that external focus for the sake of physiology and pumpup pride.
overall, training at the bosbaan is trending well. we’ve seen some of the other quads on and off the water. many lineups have been switched. many new crews present. what was already a competitive event has definitely gotten even more so.
so we left this:
but we wouldn’t have it any other way. it’s a real skill being able to recreate home wherever you go. in this sense, i’m not so much talking about a physical domicile, but rather the mentality, spirit, and physical being you have while at home. i mean the surroundings may be different in a bunch of ways. the water may have a different feel or prevailing wind, but it’s still water. regardless of any differences, we’re here to do the same things that we do back home on big hosmer. yet the travel, the different bed, different boat, etc., all make this a challenge. recreating what was routine just a matter of days ago is suddenly a challenging thing.
today’s row (our third day here) was a good reminder of that. we changed the load slightly on our oars, but everything else was the same. it took nearly 2/3s of the row to settle ourselves down into the same stroke that we rowed with the slightly different rig. it was as if our bodies and mind felt the load, recognized the difference, and then decided the stroke had to be different as well. in actuality, we needed to do the same things: place the blade, connect the load, then progressively move that load through the stroke with a constant acceleration in the puddle.
the bosbaan is an awesome body of water, but also a challenging one. there are flags every 250m that go across the lanes (instead of simply having every 500m marked. it is exactly 8 lanes wide and 2000 meters long with only a little room to spare for docking and launching at the finish. it’s everything you need and nothing you don’t. to me, it really feels like a swimming pool, and i’m cool with that. the shape of this body of water is close to my ideal.
that being said, there are some challenges. the prevailing wind parallels the course in a tailwind, which is a good thing. however, the prevailing wind also seems to be a persistent wind. in the first few days here, we’ve seen our fair share of white caps, which all like to culminate and crescendo at the finish of the course. additionally, with just being 8 lanes wide, traffic patterns get interesting once racing starts. you warmup in lane 0 to the start, come down lane 1 between races, and return up lane 0. similarly, you cooldown by traveling up lane 7 and using lane 6 in between races. right now, there’s only a handful of crews here: USA, ARG, JPN, CHN, and a few others. even so, the place feels packed with only a small fraction of competitors present. this will rapidly change starting even this afternoon.
one good thing about our boat as a crew is that once we show up to a race, we get more cohesive than we were at home. just before leaving, you can sense just how much time we spend with each other. now that we’re in a new setting with a tangible goal in sight, we realize what a decent group of dudes we are.
we’ve been mostly internal so far. just trying to adjust to the new environment. this afternoon however we’ll do a 90% piece with the USA M8+, which will help us to keep working within ourselves without grinding the internal gears too much.
We’re there, man. Arrived in Amsterdam. Plenty more to come, but for now cause I’m jetlagged and frustrated with the net, just some travel pics.