After a 2-week Christmas hiatus from rowing on the water, I’m a bit rusty and I’m relearning some previous lessons. Today was my second day back on the water, and to my surprise the workout was a pair of timed 5k pieces. Conditions were fair with a headwind on the first piece and a tailwind on the second.
Now I assumed because I had recently added a new skill, well at least got the first taste of it (putting my blades square in the water at the front-end by rolling my hands up- a small but very significant step) on my last day of rowing before the break, that I would instantly be out in front of my teammates on these pieces. My assumption was absolutely incorrect. Yes, I had my first taste of rowing efficiently, but it was a very gentle cadence and I have not developed the skill to implement this efficiency at a high cadence. Furthermore, I had forgotten the frustrations I had experienced when I throttled my efforts and returned with disappointing results.
In rowing, when your movements are efficient, the boat runs and you maximize boat speed. Consequently, if your motion is inefficient you will fight the boat’s run and kill boat speed. I am a common victim of my own overzealous efforts leading to physical exhaustion, inefficiency and the destruction of boat speed. It is incredibly frustrating to not realize you are shooting yourself in the foot all the while wondering why you are in pain. This is not my first time doing this, but after-all the first step to correction is realizing you have a problem, right?
The first piece was spent spinning my wheels which left me exhausted. During the second piece, I had very little gas in the tank and so I settled down, gave the reduced effort that I had and was shocked at the result: boat speed improved dramatically. Additionally, I was calm and smooth. I’m posting this so I never forget this lesson again: do not allow overzealous effort to destroy efficiency and boat speed.