It’s an early spring, which means I’ve been back on the water before St. Patrick’s Day for the first time since 2006. So the big question was “what did I learn this winter and how fit am I?” It’s an interesting question since I used the Concept2 much less than usual during the winter due to injuries and travel, and focused much more on swimming and general CrossFit work.
1. I am dramatically stronger in my core and have improved the power and stability of my finish. Thank you, back squats, snatches, and deadlifts. It feels absolutely rock solid, surprisingly so.
2. My technique on day one was much better than usual, possibly even better than before I got off the water in December. My stroke is simple, I have fine motor control at the catch, I can pick up the speed of the boat and transfer body weight effectively, and I was able to row in nasty wind and waves with no problem. I honestly credit this to not training on a static erg that much over the winter. Usually in the spring it takes a couple of weeks to just relax, quit tensing in the arms, and quit trying to “muscle it.” Not this year – smooth as butter from stroke 1.
3. I am less “fit” – I do not have the cardiovascular fitness I would like right now, and I am about 8 pounds heavy on bodyweight. Not bad, but less than I’d like. But I am much faster in the single that I normally would be at this time of year. On balance, being able to row well and row fast is harder to train than is fitness, so I am OK with the tradeoff. With 24 weeks till Masters Nationals, I can work with that.