How many mistakes do you make during the race? I believe you make some, we all make mistakes no matter how experienced we are …
Let’s first find out how many strokes we take during the race.
It depends on the distance but let’s see what are the different strokes possible:
- 1000 meters needs to do: 4 minutes at rate 30 are 120 strokes. The range will go from 105 to 130
- 2000 meters will be from 210 to 260 strokes.
- 5000 meters or the HOC will be from 500 to 700 strokes.
Ok now we know that for example if we want to race 2000 meters we might be taking 230 strokes total.
Of all these strokes they will be some different at the start to get the boat on speed and some at the finish to pick up some speed and sprint. Besides those 2 parts of the race the strokes should be pretty simular and consistent.
Now let’s have everyone thinking about a race you have done recently and find out what we can remember?
Do you remember in control during the body of the race?
Do you remember taking control of each stroke individually and focus on being consistent?
Do you remember racing all the way to the finish line without making one single mistake?
Do you remember matching perfectly every stroke all the other rowers on the boat if you were on a Team boat?
Do you remember looking outside of he boat and losing control of your own boat?
Do you remember getting too tired and losing control of yourself?
Do you remember going up and down the slide without a good ratio?
Do you remember getting very nervous because of the weather conditions?
Do you remember not doing the best start you could have done? Staying too short too long?
Do you remember not being able to sprint at the end of the race?
Do you remember getting too tired too early?
Do you remember going out too slow, too fast?
Do you remember having a too low stroke rate during the race?
Do you remember rowing too short?
I’m sure you remember a lot of things from each race you do an many of those things are things you want to improve for the next race you have.
Many of us make the mistake on only getting focus on fitness and just training more and more without giving enough importance to the analysis of the racing we do, and the specific training for the one we are going to do.
If I have to race for example a 2000 meter race this is what I think about:
a) I know i need to be fast out of the start to be able to have a chance to do well. To do that I know that I need to be really connected to the water to find load and move the boat and I also know I need to be really good technically to move quick, lose and relax. The level of coordination and blade skill is really important for the start.
b) I know that eventually when i have the boat at speed and I’m at race pace I will need to work there very consistent for 150 to 200 strokes. This is the body of the race.I know that the best fitness i have, the more consistent I’m every stroke trying to keep the boat speed steady and the less mistakes I make the better speed I will achieve.
c) I know that at the end of the race I will increase the rate and power to keep the boat speed or if possible increase it.
I will for sure approach every race as a contest of consistency and quality. The better the strokes, the more efficient and consistent your rowing and the less mistakes you make the faster you will go with the same fitness. Length of stroke, posture, boat control, blade skill, ability to match to the other rowers and the weather the better for you.
My advice to you is:
I ask you to think about all that and believe that you can go few seconds faster or slower with the same fitness depending on how you execute all that. Rowing is not like running. It requires a lot of skill and coordination and how you execute can have a huge impact on your final time.