This past weekend I did my first “real” sprint race of the season on a buoyed course, racing both 1K and 2K. This was the first real test of my strategy this spring of de-emphasizing CrossFit in favor of on-water rowing whenever possible.
The positive result is that I came in 3rd, which may not seem that great on the surface, but I managed to beat two guys I have been racing against for 5 years and never before have beaten. Granted, there were a couple of fast younger newcomers that I’ll have to work on for next time I was able to get a fast clean start and maintain gentle, quick catches, ratio in the body swing, and solid, strong finishes throughout the race despite a stiff headwind.
The downside is that I found it harder to recover than in previous years when I was integrating more CrossFit into my spring training, and I am much more sore the day after. I raced the open single an hour later over 2K and really ran out of steam about halfway through the race when I started getting quite a bit of wake from officials’ boats returning to the start (I was on the inside lane). I led for 500m and was in 2nd at the 1000, but shortly thereafter started to get bounced around and got really tired, coming in 4th.
Overall I rowed much better technically than the past two years, had better cardiovascular conditioning, but slightly less muscular endurance. Now that the pressure of this June checkpoint is off, I will spend July integrating more strength and endurance training into my regimen, including rounding out my overall strength by getting back into the CrossFit box.