Archive | March, 2013

Train Hard : Sprint Season Training : on the RowPerfect

27 Mar

Sprint Season Training : on the RowPerfect

I’ve been resting for almost 2 full weeks now, trying to shift this cough, and so far so good.
It’s much better than it was 4 weeks ago, although still not clear, I now think it’s just a case of the asthma rather than an infection. So I need to remember to keep taking the brown inhaler.

Anyway – tonight’s session was my first for the Sprint Season training …

Sprint Training

Discipline : RowPerfect

Rate : Mixed

  • 2 mins @ Rate 18 : 5km split + 20 seconds
  • 90 seconds @ Rate 28 : 5km split
  • 90 seconds @ free rate : 5km split – 10 seconds

Time : 40 mins

And my results:

Distance : 9134m

Energy : 344kj

Strokes : 110

Average split : 2 min

Average power : 143.2w

Average Stoke Rate : 27.5

Drive/Recovery Ratio : 1.86

Maximal Power : 246w

Maximal Split : 1.47.2

Maximal Stoke Rate : 37.6

Drive/Recovery Ratio : 11.04

So despite the coughing, I didn’t feel too bad.

The last 3 minutes hurt, and Jacqui and Anna were shouting at us from behind to make us push harder and harder.

In the last 30 seconds I could feel the lactic acid rising from my stomach up to my throat and I was really worried I’d be sick – like one of the lads from the squad was! – however I managed to keep it down, and finish gracefully!

I’ll be using those figures to work from next week! 🙂


Be Happy : Colgate Advert – Women’s Health – May 2013

25 Mar

It may not be to show off the ‘guns’, but the pearly whites will do for now!

Colgate Advert - Women's Health - May 2013

Colgate Advert – Women’s Health – May 2013

And so a month later, here it is, the published advert in this month’s issue of Women’s Health magazine (May 2013)

The photoshoot was a really good experience, and as one of the chosen 3 female models, we were each given Colgate Total Interdental Electric Toothbrushes to say thanks!

And it’s all thanks to the Superman onesie photo from our Plum Puds race that I used in with my entry!


Weights session, Team GB style!

19 Mar

So, last night at training we had a weights session with former GB rower Ali Knowles.

As part of the first 10 of the women’s novice squad, we will be having weights sessions once a week now as part of our training, to develop the power in our stroke.

Ali demonstrated a quick warm up (in our cold weights room!), and then showed us a selection of weights exercises related to rowing. These being leg press, barbell lunge, chest press and bent over row.

This evenings session was just to get a feel for the weights and work out our base points.
The main aim of these weights sessions is to strengthen cores, and develop the power in the glutes and thighs.

Post-physio appointments, I have come to learn that whilst I may have a strong core, I have a weak posterior chain – mainly due to sitting at a desk all day! Therefore these sessions should help strengthen my glutes and ultimately, my posterior chain.

We will have a session with Ali again on Wednesday, where she will show us a few more core exercises and stretches, before analysing each one of us, and writing us personal plans to help us develop our weaker areas. The exercises and routines are all part of the GB squad training – it makes it all rather interesting finding out how the professionals train!

Be Happy : 3 doses of antibiotics, a flu jab and an x-ray later …

14 Mar

So, it’s been about 2 months now, and I still have this rotten cough.

Our coach Jon decided it would be best for my health that I don’t race this weekend, and so I have been taken out of the boat for the Kingston Head.

I went to the doctors Tuesday, and was given more antibiotics – these ones are clarithromycin, instead of the amoxycillin that I was given on the last two visits.
I also had the flu jab – probably a little late, given that I have asthma I should have had this as winter started!
And a referral to the hospital for an x-ray on my chest, which I have just been for. The doctor seemed to think it is most likely problems caused by asthma, but wanted to get me x-rayed just in case.

So this week I am taking it easy!
Previous weeks I would try and rest, but due to races always ended up having a mid-week night outing, and so my lungs have never really had a chance to rest and recover.

I’ll be going down to watch the girls in Kingston on Saturday, and if the weather is nice I hope to be out sculling with Chris on Sunday – I haven’t been out in the scull since Xmas, so I’m really looking forward to that 🙂

Race Hard : Women’s Head of the River – part 5

9 Mar

And so the results are out!

Women’s Head of the River (WeHoRR) 2013 Results

We missed out on winning the Women’s Novice category by just 16 seconds, behind winners Lea!

As summarised by Jon, our boat per category came …

  • Novice club – 2nd out of 39
  • Novice academic – 3rd (by 0.2 of a second) out of 58
  • Novice combined – 4th (again by 0.2 of a second) out of 97
  • IM3 – 13th out of 110
  • IM2 – 16th out of 30

And overall, 71st out of 302 boats, in an international competition with competitors travelling from all over Europe to take part – not bad going given that we’ve been training for less than !

We also managed to beat Thames’ own IM3 crew, therefore coming 4th out of 8 Thames crews!

Very exciting stuff, and very much looking forward to the summer racing!


I just need to fight off this rotten cough before then, and get myself fighting fit!

Henley 2013 …

Race Hard : Women’s Head of the River – part 4

9 Mar

We did it!

Just got back in to the club, and feeling pretty good!

The race itself went well. The marshalling seemed to go on for ages, however once we got in to position to start, it was a quick turnaround and we were off.


Chiswick Bridge to Barnes Bridge

This seemed to go ever so quickly – it felt really smooth, we seemed to be in time with each other, and it didn’t take long to get the rating up.

The water was good, and the conditions were great – it was fairly mild, which made life easier. I think we were rating 28-30.


Barnes Bridge to Hammersmith Bridge

Compared to the Hammersmith Head, the water was much less choppy, and with Marie’s motivation, this part of the race seemed to go much quicker than we’d feared!

There did feel a brief drop in momentum, however I think this is more to do with the fact we’d got into a consistent rhythm, having got the initial burst of excitement and adrenalin out at the start.


Hammersmith Bridge to Putney Bridge

The cheers from Hammersmith did just as we’d hoped! Fresh legs for the last burst of the race.

Marie kept up the inspirational talk, and as we got towards Harrods, she told us how proud she was of us, and how well we were doing. The pain was starting to set in here, however the adrenalin was enough to keep the momentum, and I believe we even sped up at this point!

As we got level with the club, we could hear the cheers from the balcony, and you could feel the pace of the boat pick up another peg or two. The last 30 strokes were hard, and Marie called for us to empty the tanks and give it everything we had, and we definitely did that!


Despite us catching 3 crabs over the course of the race, I think we did pretty well. As we pulled up by the club, the coaches came over with our wellies and helped us out, and said we looked like we were moving nicely down the home straight. Marie told us we could walk out of the boat with our heads held high, that she was proud of our performance, and that she knew we’d given it our all.

A proud moment – an emotional release

I think we all had a little cry as we came through under Putney Bridge.

It’s quite surprising the release of emotion you feel at the end of a race. Six months of training were poured into that race, and so crossing the finish line was a big relief – the tension of the day was over, all the pressure we had felt as a crew was gone as there was nothing more we could do, and our bodies could finally relax.

It was a great feeling stepping out of the boat – pride from having rowed well, and rowed hard (except for the feeling of cramp in my calf as I initially tried to stand up!) – and being able to confidently say that we’d given it everything.

Let’s see how we do in the results!

Fingers crossed, we should find out before the end of the night! … 🙂

Race Hard : Women’s Head of the River – part 3

9 Mar

Race Plan

So, we huddle round the crew table in the main hall, and Marie gets out her map of the river.

She talks us through her plan, and the key points she wants to use to help us along the route.

  • Barnes Bridge is the first point – this first stretch is fairly easy, and the water is fairly quick running
  • Chiswick Eyot, second – this is just before the bend round to Hammersmith Bridge. This is one of the hardest parts of the course – the river is at it’s widest here, and it’s a long stretch from Barnes bridge round to Hammersmith, so Marie will have to make sure we keep focussed, and keep the power on as we get to the bend
  • Hammersmith Bridge, the third point, and this is where the race restarts. Fresh legs from here, as we’re used to rowing from Hammsmith to the club, so the distance is ingrained, and having people cheering on the bridge should be enough for us to give a fresh push
  • the Milepost – this is the marker for the last mile to the finish! Another little push from here onto the next point,
  • Fulham Football Club – close to home, and more than halfway between Hammersmith Bridge and the finish
  • TRC – family and friends will be gathered out here, to give us the very last push to the finish – we need to work from the cheers, and power home to the finish
  • Putney Pier – the finish, but we won’t take the power off until we reach Putney Bridge


That’s the game plan … let’s see how it goes!



Race Hard : Women’s Head of the River – part 2

9 Mar

Race Prep

Just back in from our outing in Shackleton, and the crew decision is to stick with it for the race!

It was decided that despite the sensitivity to balance and the lack of practice in it to this point, the difference in weight and the ability to get the rate up quicker far outweighs the Noel. Plus, it looks pretty slick! 😉

Now time to relax and prep – 80% of the prep for a race is psychological.

The clubhouse is full – there’s 4 Novice crews racing today from our squad, plus 3 Intermediate crews and a Masters crew. That’s just TRCs contribution to the bodies in the building! There are also several other clubs that have been camping overnight in the gym, and are using the facilities to prep for the race. It’s manic here! Finding a space to relax and mentally prepare could be interesting!

Race Hard : Women’s Head of the River

9 Mar

Just on my way to the club for our last outing to test out the ‘black ninja’ – also known as Shackleton – before the big race …


but at the same time, incredibly, incredibly excited! 🙂

Train Hard : The once-over!

7 Mar

Ok, so I turned up to the club at half 6 for my medical/physical check with Jon.

I head to the RowPerfect before he arrives to give myself a warm up and see how I get on, and as I sit down I realise one of the coaches is sat next to me – Ralph!
He asked how I was, and commented on the dark circles around my eyes – ‘is that kohl, or just disease around your eyes?’ – charming!
He also told me not to go too hard as he had a feeling Jon had a test lined up for me. Yikes!

Anyway, I warm myself up for ten minutes, before moving over to the mats to stretch with the girls that keep arriving.

Jon eventually appears about five to seven, suggests I use the RowPerfect, to which I reply I have and he looks me up and down and says I ‘look and sound alright’!
Not sure that’s a 100% yes for Saturday just yet, but its a good start!

Will keep you posted as to the final verdict of course! But it seems the drowsy cough medicine’s done the trick for now.

Although in all honesty, I do feel one hundred times better than I did Tuesday evening, and I’ve been living with this cough for a while now, so I think I’m more than able to manage Saturday, although I am a little worried about being out in the cold and wet for 4 hours!!

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