Last week, I couldn’t wait for Sunday, which usually is my rest day. It wasn’t because our workouts were more intense than usual, but because I couldn’t sleep very well and felt tired all all week. I was able to survive until after Thursday’s training session, but Friday and Saturday were awfully frustrating. Additionally, the weather was a bit “temperamental,” so I had to do a few workouts indoors.
On Monday, I did a 70-minute steady-state workout on my indoor bike at home. I sweat a lot, which isn’t unusual because it gets quite hot in our office, but otherwise it was very uneventful. Thankfully, we have a big iMac so I can keep myself entertained with podcasts or films on Netflix while I’m pedalling away. Even though lighter workouts can be quite boring, I did appreciate not having to do intervals that day because I still needed one more day to recover from Saturday’s workout, which usually is the hardest of the week.
On Tuesday, we did eight times 500 meters at the highest possible consistent speed in the double with a two minute recovery in between each interval. Some were better than others, but even the ones that we’re not completely happy with are never really bad, which I think is good news. The boat is definitely more stable than it was a few weeks ago and the strokes are getting increasingly dynamic. The most upsetting part of the workout was the algae getting caught in our boat’s fin. When you’re doing intervals, you never know if it would be better to stop and try to get rid of them or continue even though it is so much harder. Even though some people might argue that it is good having a bit more resistance, I think it isn’t necessarily good for your technique and self-confidence. The boat just glides through the water much nicer without the “handbrake” on.
I would have had another rest day on Wednesday, but, due to time constraints, decided to split Tuesday’s workout in half. After a 15-minute warm-up on the erg, I did three times five rounds of two exercises each. Some of the ones I did were squats, squat jumps, dead lifts, push ups, band pull aparts and hollow rocks. My mother decided to join my “daily torture,” which I thought was really cool. She recently joined the club and is quite motivated to work out more. Even though she was a member of my previous club for many years, she hadn’t rowed in almost 10 years until this summer because we both cancelled our membership fairly soon after I ended my “career” the first time. I am glad to have her back in the world of rowing.
On Thursday, we were again able to train in the double, which was really nice. As we were getting closer to the fall races, we were a bit concerned about not getting enough practice in the double, so Tina asked Max to adjust our workout plan a little bit, which he did. Our workout was a mixture of technique drills at first and then “change of pace” intervals, 5 minutes fast, 5 minutes slow, and so on. It went really well, but, of course, there is almost always room for improvement.
On Friday, Stephen was able to “supervise” about half of our practice, so we first did a few technique drills and then different “change of pace” intervals. Sadly, I was so exhausted that I felt like I wasn’t even in control of my body. For example, I wanted to focus on a clean technique, but it felt like my muscles were not listening to my brain telling them to do certain things differently. Stephen said it still looked very energetic from the outside, but I just wasn’t happy with my performance. He actually was so excited that he jokingly asked if he could join us in the boat. He could have gladly taken my place because I just wanted to go to sleep. Haha.
Saturday‘s workout was exhausting as usual. After warming up with 100 band pull aparts (ouch!), 100 hollow rocks (ouch!!) and 100 seconds plank, we did our usual combination of erg and weights, this time 12 intervals of 250 meters on the erg (ideally in under a minute) and 15 goblet squats with a kettlebell. The first 11 intervals were really frustrating because after about 30 seconds, my legs lost all their strength and my split went up by a couple of seconds (to around 1:04). Surprisingly, I was really happy with my last one though. Max always says the primary objective of those kinds of torturous workouts is to learn how to conquer your inner weaker self and I couldn’t agree with him more. It’s all in your head.
Nutrition-wise, I’ve been trying to eat more proteins and vegetables because I have to loose a bit of weight for the Viennese championships. Frustratingly, I gained about half a kilogram right after I stopped eating sweets, but Herbert thinks it might have just been a coincidence. Perhaps my body was more hydrated or I hadn’t completely digested my previous meals. Thankfully, I’ve lost a bit of weight since. Eating lentils and beans has worked really well for me so far. I am also trying the banana diet, which I’ve read is quite popular in Japan. Even though under normal circumstances, breakfast is a really important meal for me, I am now trying to only eat a banana (or three- don’t judge, I am always really hungry) before lunch. If I understand correctly, the premise of the diet is that the banana’s starches are supposed to speed up your metabolism. After the regatta, I will definitely go back to eating as much as possible for breakfast… and all other meals for that matter. Haha.