First of all a quick mention of the other Pete Plan coaching athlete’s results from Cardiff:
Andy Osborn – 6:48.7 (3rd 50+hwt) – 5seconds outside pb
Mike Wrenn – 7:13.7 (3rd 60+hwt) – pb by about 6seconds
Jef Hutchby – 6:56.9 (7th open lwt) – about 8 or 9 seconds off pb
Emma O’Hara – 7:12.3 (1st 30+hwt) – pb by about 3 seconds, and fastest woman of the day
Emma and Mike rowed two of the best paced 2k’s I’ve ever seen, constant pace all the way speeding up over the final stages, perfect.
I started my warm up around 25mins before the race, and did just under 4k to get me well warmed up, sweating well, and feeling good. Downstairs with about 8mins to go to the race, then onto the race machine with about 5mins to go. Then there were computer problems and about a 20min delay to the start while we waited on the race machines. I managed to keep pretty warm, but it was tough to know how much warm up to keep doing as we didn’t know how long the wait would be.
So did I put it on the line and race hard? I didn’t get a great start, and actually saw a 3:47 average split on the first stroke. It took a good few strokes to get the average down to 1:35.0. I was 3 or 4 metres behind at that stage, but always confident of pulling that back. I took the lead just after the 500m point, but with my average split on 1:34.6. The lead was slowly increasing over the next 500m and I was approaching half way still on 1:34.6 average split and feeling really good. I tried to force myself into pushing it by doing 10 higher pressure strokes at half way, but the decision process in my brain when deciding between “the lead is increasing, you feel good, so let’s push now and see how fast we can go” and “you’re going to win, this pace feels nice let’s keep with this” chose the later. The lead kept slowly increasing up to 500m to go, with the average split hitting 1:34.7 at that point. I rowed a little faster and then put in a bit more power in the final 200m to bring the average split down to 1:34.5 and finish with a time of 6:18.0 for a 5second win in the 30+ hwt.
What do I think of the race? I knew before that anything under 6:20 should win it, and that turned out to be the reality. The long delay before the race and then the bad start didn’t help. I felt good throughout though, and the effort level felt right for a 6:18, so that is a positive. But I need to make myself row faster 2k’s, and that means I need to do some faster 2k’s in the gym. I’m a lot fitter than I have been for a long time, and I need to get past the point of 1:35 pace being a “comfortable” pace to go at in a 2k, because I really shouldn’t ever be getting that slow during a 2k at my current fitness level.
Overall a great day out (except the traffic getting out of Cardiff, which was awful), and good to see everyone. A solid win with a good 2k time, and with the confidence that it was comfortable enough that I can aim to row a faster 2k in the gym very soon to keep the improvements coming in the run up to Boston in February.
Men’s 30+ Hwt, 1st Place, 6:18.0 = 1:34.6, 1:34.6, 1:35.0, 1:33.8