Sarah Gibbs: The final push for the British Rowing Indoor Championships
You’ve paid for your place on the starting list, organised your cheerleaders’ tickets so now it’s full steam ahead towards the British Rowing Indoor Championships 2018 (BRIC).
Training going ok? The last three weeks will be a rollercoaster of emotions, ending in a battle of nerves on the day! Hopefully, you’ve been programming in the discipline you need to follow the plan you will have set yourself in your 2km race. Adrenaline and nerves will try to get the better of your focus at the start of the race but if you have that plan of paces you want to hit at every 500m mark your halfway to winning the battle. It’s you against the indoor rowing machine and on some days it shows no mercy!
The two times I have raced there I noticed how dry the air is and after the race, I develop a cough oddly named by fellow indoor rowers as ‘the erg cough’ and it does sound like you are really ill. Don’t worry though as it is caused by the fast breathing from the most intense short time workout a person could possibly put themselves through and does tend to fade away after a few days.
So your training is going well and you have an idea of your plan, its not set in any stone yet but looking at your splits in specific sessions it’s looking good for you to PB. The hotel is booked and you have organised your travel down to London (or up depending on your location).
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If your racing in a Lightweight category you will be watching your weight closely, as you want to be just below that qualifying weight, you definitely don’t want to be caught out and have to row with the heavyweights on the day after all your hard work, blood, sweat and tears. Get to weigh-in and make that weight, breathe a sigh of relief and get some energy making food down you!
Next its warm-up time and the nerves set in as you are looking up and out towards the crowd. Best piece of advice is to get those earphones in and start playing your chosen music for the day. I already have mine in mind, once those earphones are in you will start to calm and get those muscles warmed up on the practice rowers.
After that well who knows – no-one can predict the future or a 2km! They can try and that’s where the plans are drawn up but it’s anyone’s on the day. The most important thing is to stick to that plan, keep that adrenaline in check and use it to your advantage. It’s not a long way distance wise but to be able to sprint a 2km with a stroke rate of more than 28+ is a huge effort and no matter where you end up position wise you should be proud of yourself mentally and physically as you’ve come out the other side unscathed but stronger on all levels!
Sarah Gibbs is an indoor rowing age-group champion and record holder. She runs her own indoor rowing and fitness business training people both in-person and remotely. https://www.sgfitnessandindoorrowing.co.uk/