I can’t remember who said it, maybe Mike Spracklen (ex-GB and now ex-Canadian rowing coach) but one line, however clichéd and cheesy it may be, has stuck with me from the moment I heard it.
We don’t train to win with our best performances. We train to win on our worst
(or words to that effect) While the amount of winning I have had so far is disappointingly small, the idea that you shouldn’t have to rely on having one of your best sessions come race day to win, is one that makes a huge amount of sense. Going into races with the confidence of knowing you are fast and don’t need luck or good fortune is something that can bring a whole load of calm that would otherwise be missing and prevent you from having your good row anyway. The races I have won are the ones I knew we were fast enough to win beforehand. Only once have I won thinking we were outclassed.
What I do have experience of, is being in crews that thought they weren’t too bad and should be alright on a good day only to find that during the race it’d all fall apart because the other crews were close to us.
Taking this to the lowest extreme, we had our weekly erg today and as I sat down I was not hopeful. I’d done the 40min UT2 session this morning without meaning to. Careless I know but it didn’t dawn on me until I was midway through that I don’t usually train on the morning of the erg.
Coupled with that was the lack of food I’d had during the day. Lack of time and lack of food in the house meant I had a banana. I managed to get a piece of toast in the evening after work and before heading to the boathouse but not enough and at the wrong time to be helpful.
Setting off I settled onto the split I got last time on the premise that by rights I should be able to make it. By half way I was floundering but still fighting for the split. From there I was giving pretty much all I had every stroke to hold the split but slowly, it did start to drop again. I finished 0.4s better than last time. PB+1.9 and Target+4.4
This will happen by next year.