Tag Archives: racing starts

Train Hard : One more sleep!!!

20 Jun

tomorrow is …

Women’s Henley!!

 

Very, very, very excited!

 

Watch this space for updates, instagrams and more!

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Train Hard : The week we’ve all been waiting for

17 Jun

So here we are, the last Monday evening before Henley, and we’ve just got off the water from our penultimate training session prior to leaving London for Henley on Friday.

Racing StartsΒ Insync

Having had a long and heavy outing yesterday, tonight’s training was focussing on our racing starts.

We had Jon watching us for the second half of the outing, and worked with us on this – focussing on no backs or bodyrock, all legs, and getting the blades all in together, and getting all the power down together.

It was a really good outing – despite getting the usual soaking at bow seat! – and our starts really developed as the outing went on, and the last piece we did felt a hundred times more powerful and insync than the first this evening.

Crew Debrief

Jon hasn’t seen us out on the water for a couple of sessions now, and during our debrief he told us that we looked a different crew from the last time he saw us out on the water – which is nice to hear!

There were plenty of positive comments during our crew chat, and everyone seems nicely relaxed yet obviously excited about Friday!

The balance has improved massively over the last two weeks, and we’ve finally got used to the second shell; Viv – instead of the old trusty, and somewhat creaky Noel!

Train Hard : MET Regatta Race Prep

30 May

Race Prep

So last night was the last outing pre-MET regatta.

It’s been a very busy week since Twickenham Regatta, with training on Monday (despite it being a Bank Holiday, and day of rest for everyone non-rower!), and outings both Tuesday night, and last night.

The outing on Tuesday was with the crew for Saturday’s racing, and last night’s was for Sunday’s crew – both 8’s. Both outings were to be used for ‘polishing’. The coaches have told us the crews don’t need much help, but just small adjustments now to correct little issues, to gain an extra inch or so each stroke. Every inch counts!

 

A pain in the neck!

My neck is still feeling the strain from last week, and all of the race training hasn’t helped it much – it’s gone from a central, nerve-tingling pain, to the right-hand-side – therefore more to do with the long-term issue, most likely exacerbated by rowing on bow-side, and so putting more tension on my right-hand-side. Something to look into in terms of physio help.

The outings were focussed on racing starts, working on getting catches in together, making sure not to rip the water on the first few strokes, and to keep the finishes long.Β By the end of each outing, the crews felt much more jelled together.

Last night was particularly tiring, as we rowed up to St Paul’s, and then did 3 x 3-minute pieces with racing starts, rating about 34/36.

Once we get into the rhythm of things, the stroke is lengthened out, the rate levelled and breathing becomes less erratic and more natural, the boat seems much easier to push along. It’s all down to getting into rhythm, and keeping the timing – as soon as one blade comes out a little too early, that throws things and the pacing is then off for a few strokes. It’s whether we can keep composure and get the rhythm back that matters.

 

Derigging

The outing didn’t feel that long – although we did have a long crew discussion before outing in the crew room – but my back was definitely feeling it by the end of the session!

Once we got the boat off the water, it was time to derig ready for loading for the weekend – that should save some time on Friday! πŸ™‚

 

Taking a breather

I’ll be taking the next two evenings off training – having spent all weekend at the club, it would be good to get some good space from it before the weekend, to recompose and take a breather ready for racing!

 

Camp Hard : Spring Camp 2013 : Day 5

22 Apr

Today was the last day of camp!

A slight change of plans to the day, as the coaches wanted to get one trailer of boats back to the club as early as possible, so after breakfast, and once packed we all headed to the club. Here we were split into groups for two outings.

Those not on the water first thing would be derigging boats for the trailer.
I went out in the first outing with the first 8, as bow – my usual seat in that crew!

Everyone was feeling pretty exhausted, and many had aches and pains, so the outing was only about an hour long. We started off with practicing of racing starts, which seemed to go quite smoothly, and we were able to pick up speed pretty quickly. Our cox, Caroline, then tried a routine of moving through the different stroke lengths, but square bladed. Starting with the full stroke, down to three quarters, half, a quarter, arms and bodies and then just arms – then building it back up the other way.
The balance was pretty good, given we were doing it as all 8, whereas the normal routine is done just with stern four or bow four at a time.

Once Caroline was happy with how we were doing, she then took it down to rowing in sixes so that we could power stroke back up to the club.
It was a good outing, and so a good end to a very long weekend of rowing!!

After that we got involved with the derigging, as one trailer was sent off with a few from the squad to unload and rig back at the club.

Given that the work was split in half as half the squad was busy, we finally finished tying on the last boats at 3pm, and so were able to get on the coach back to London an hour earlier than planned.

It only took 3 hours once back at the club to rig the boats back up and get them back to their rightful homes!

A few from the squad went out for dinner at the local Thai restaurant – those clever enough to have booked the Tuesday off work! – however along with those that hadn’t, I headed off home to unpack and have an early night!

Here’s to next year’s Spring Camp!

(Fingers crossed, as an intermediate, rather than a novice!)

Camp Hard : Spring Camp 2013 : Day 4

21 Apr

With little warning, today’s session was off with a boom!

The coaches decided that we would be doing seat racing, as this is something we need to get used to. (see Terminology for seat racing).

Without realising, the seat racing took up a good two hours worth of on-the-water time. We swapped out all but two members of our boat, with the sixth race being the last, in which stern pair were both swapped over.

The sun was hidden by cloud for most of this, and as it was flat out racing we were all soaked by the end of it!!

The coaches let us dry off and change, before giving us a post race chat. They explained the reason for seat racing
squad races, and the fact that race crews can change as late as the night before a race – with as many as 50% of the seats changing! The faces at that point suddenly dropped as realisation kicked in. Although it is meant to be a friendly and social club, Thames do focus on the competition – therefore for racing crews is also competitive.

After all the drama of the seat racing, and once everyone had warmed up again we got on to the mixed boat racing.

 

Squad Racing

 

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Names were written on strips of paper and put into ‘hats’ – aka small containers found lying around the club!

Races were drawn across the different boat sizes, depending on who had trained in what prior to Sunday. Therefore crews were mixed – boys and girls from any of the crews. It was also a first opportunity for some to race in the single sculls.

I was picked for one eights race, and watched the rest. Then just as we thought the racing was over, one of the girls shot up into the crewroom to call the girls back down. It turned out that the coaches and coxes on camp had decided to form a crew and wanted to race!

Noone knows if the coaches had been preparing for this in secret, or if it was a last minute idea, but my crew and I were exhausted after all the mornings racing and weren’t particularly prepares for another race, let alone against ex-rowers!
Turned out that it was to be the second women’s eight, the second men’s eight and a coach/cox eight.

We all lined up, staring out the opposition, and got our game faces on!
Our squad were marshalling and gave the orders. ‘Ready? Attention Thames … Go!’

About twenty strokes in, I felt a bang on my blade and turned to see the coaches’ boat had veered right into us! As I was about to take a stroke, the other crew were mid-stroke which forced my blade forward and I almost hit my shins.
Lots of shouting from the crews followed – the expected drama from a bunch of coaches and coxes!

Anyway, we restarted the race, although due to the water and the inability amongst the three boats to line up efficiently enough, the race was restarted with the boys boat ahead and waiting for our girls boat and the coaches boat to row by and join the race. As a result, it wasn’t a particularly long race – probably 1200m! The boys boat finished far ahead of us – but they may have had a slight head start as to when they joined the race! Our girls’ boat came second, beating the coaches by about three seats! There were loud cheers from the squad, for beating the coaches – the coaches of course blamed it on a crab or two that they’d caught, but they should know better – ‘tap down’!

Races carried on after that till about 6, with lots more small boat racing, therefore those of us not racing went up in to the club house to dry off and warm up.

After we finished off at the club, we headed to the local pub for a squad dinner.Β The coaches had arranged for us to eat at The Swan in Pangbourne – just a couple of houses away from the club. We had a three course meal here – Jon arrived a little later and came round the tables to tell everyone we were allowed a drink this time, so the girls and I on our table shared a bottle of red with our meal – we didn’t need any more than that, as our tolerance levels are pretty low given the amount of training we’ve done in the past few weeks, regardless of the amount of carbs consumed in the past 24 hours!

It was a really lovely evening, and a nice end to another long day! Once we’d got the train back to the hostel, it was gone 10pm, so pretty much straight up to our rooms and off to bed ready for the last day!

(With the compulsory dorm-room chat before bed, of course!)

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