When I race on the water, I almost always follow what she calls the “fly and die” race plan. I have always been blessed with a very fast and technically clean starting sequence, so I take advantage of that strength as much as I can. The flip side is that I have to hang on for dear life in the last 500m of the race. Sometimes I can, and sometimes I can’t.
When I approach a 2K test, I switch to the “even splits” strategy, trying to keep the splits between 1:36 and 1:40 for the whole piece. The reasons for this are twofold:
1. You don’t have the momentum of the boat working in your favor, so accelerating it faster than planned race pace doesn’t really pay off. This changes a little on a dynamic ergometer such as the Rowperfect, C2 Dynamic, or classic C2 on slides. I am experimenting more with this right now and trying to do more of my training on a dynamic erg. It’s interesting that the men’s national team is using dynamic ergs more now too (timestamp 2:47 in this video from RowingRelated).
2. You can’t really use technical superiority to help you sprint, the way you can on the water. It’s all about physical conditioning, and there is only so far you can push if you are not in ideal shape. You are working without your full tool bag, in other words, so I feel even splits is a better strategy choice.
Speaking of physical conditioning, there is also a sick video of lightweight Henrik Stephansen going 5:56 for 2K. Again, less than ideal technique, but clearly a superior engine!