Well, today we (Rob & I in the double) went for a technical paddle of about 4km before our main session. Fartleks were the order of the day, 3 of them. The first one wasn’t too good, but we seemed to click towards the end of the second one. With the final one being pretty good. We then moved on to doing some practise starts, continuing for 20, 30 and 40 strokes and back down the pyramid. During one of those, I forget which, we held a steady rate of 42 strokes per minute. It was a little untidy in places, but pretty good considering the very windy and choppy conditions and the fact that we were rating so much higher than we’ve managed as a crew before. The reason for the title of this post is that we got soaked by a big wave crashing over the boat and filling it with ice cold water up to a level of about 2 inches, which meant that our heels were in freezing cold water for the rest of the session. You can’t beat that feeling of your feet being repeatedly stabbed when taking a hot shower when your feet at like blocks of ice!!
I’m still getting my head around the fact that reducing the “work” and increasing the speed of the hands at back stops actually makes the boat move faster. By reducing the work I mean not pulling as hard on each stroke. It seems a little odd that doing that will make the boat more quicker, but it does; And it’s because the extraction is cleaner which in turn sets the boat up better and allows it to run more smoothly. Apparently the next thing I need to work on if focusing my power on moving the boat in the direction we want it to go, ie – towards the finish line. Apparently, when we were doing the pieces and I started really going for it (once the boat was running obviously) I was making the boat go faster, but also moving the boat in all directions at once! If I can focus that power on moving the boat in a nice straight line down the river, then hopefully it’ll fly 🙂
I did strain my wrist slightly on one of the fartleks, but I wiggled and shook it about a bit to try and loosen it up. It held up for the rest of the session, until the last 20 stroke start, where I was struggling a little to feather the blade. Truth be told, it’s a little stiff as I write this a 9:14pm, hopefully it will be okay for the session tomorrow at 7am. I think it would have been a bit much to try and make 6am again, which is effectively 5am with the clocks going forward tonight. So, that would have meant getting up at 4am. Something I like to reserve only for when I have to get up to catch a flight for my annual holiday!