So we finally got the chance to do the 2k’s yesterday.

Here are the results including the January results and the PBs of the rowers:

Group A

Friday 2K January 2K PB
A1 21 YO Male 6:48.1 6:48 2k 6:44
A2 42 YO Male 6:54.2 6:54 2k 6:39
A3 18 YO Female 8:10.8 8:11 2k 8:06
A4 28 YO Female 7:22.4 7:24 2k 7:24

Group B

Friday 2k January 2K PB
B1 33 YO Female 8:52.1 2k 8:54 8:54
B2 28 YO Female 7:53.2 2k 7:57 7:45
B3 19 YO Male 6:27.8 2k 6:28 6:28
B4 56 YO Male 7:27.3 2k 7:25 7:23



Like all 2k erg tests, this was a hard test for all the rowers. Some suffered more than others. Some scored P.Bs. Some felt bulletproof, some felt empty.

But the glaring question is can we find anything from timing of the work sessions we did in the past couple of days?

Generally Group B (the group who did the 1000 meters at pace on Wednesday (2 days before the 2k test) and (3 days after the hard weekend) fared better. Here’s why…

Group B

Most said they felt very strong and felt like they were in a position to push hard from a strong stable platform power. Some even said that they felt better able to cope with the lactate and that it was not till late in the race that they accumulated any real hard (grinding-to-a-halt) type suffering.

We had 2 personal records in group B. But that must be qualified by saying that, those rowers had already scored personal records in the January test.

The point is, they improved, and when I asked them how they felt in the test, both said that they felt like they sold themselves short and had to sprint really hard towards the line to empty the tank. Both (as was the group goal) stuck to the 2k race strategy but felt almost too good approaching the last 300 meters.

One of the guys in the B group did not perform as well as he did in January. He said he was feeling ’empty’. Right after settling down into his strong 2k middle of the race rhythm he felt heavy and lethargic.

We had a long discussion about it afterwards and he said that he felt his recovery from last weekend’s rowing efforts was interrupted by doing the 1000 meters (even though it was on the Wednesday). He said that the next time he would try a 750 meter or even a 500 meter work out.

For this guy the 1000 meters was a little too long for him and it killed his energy and recovery for the 2k race.

Group A

We had 1 PB in this group but again, this rower scored a new personal record in the January 2k erg test. One rower went slower than the January test and said that she felt ‘the same’ as in January. No better or no worse.

None of the rowers went slower – which is good. But again the question is – how did the group feel in general?

Most said they felt ‘fine’ or ‘a little more tired’ than normal. They said that they felt doing the 1000 meters so soon after the hard weekend was hard going. This makes sense as the 1000m meter results from Group A on Tuesday were nothing spectacular (compared to their weekend results)

The went on to say that the 2 day recovery after this was not enough to make any major difference to recovery.


I must repeat again that this was not a scientific test.

The idea behind the test was to discover if there was some sort of consistency or connection between the timing of the last ‘open-up-the-pipes’ work session.

It has been a long practiced and established position in the World and Olympic rowing teams that I have been involved in to do a 1000 meters workout at pace 2 days before the first race of a major competition.

And it must be done around 2 – 3 days after the 2k all out weekend where we do some seriously hard speed and lactate work

This experiment tried to confirm that.

But then again, this group was a not a world or Olympic class group. (sorry guys!)

But it should still work. Because it has worked with a lot of clubs and college set ups I have been involved in in the past. Groups of rowers and crews with vastly differing fitness and training histories.

Gut Feeling

I like to rely a lot on feeling and experience. I’ve sort of grown into this over the years having made a lot of mistakes in relying on  numbers and science in getting both myself and my teams in good shape for big rowing goals.

If an athlete says he or she is not right then the first question to ask is – Why? Work it out. Factor in everything. Sleep, Diet, Hydration, Warm up, Kids at home, Stress, Financial problems, Job interviews, School or College exams, A sick Family member, helping out with some gardening at home…

You name it.

It will all impact to some degree on performance.

You just have to dig and find it, factor it in and decide where the rower should be at.

The Final 4 Things To Consider

The bottom line goal in the final few days leading into the 2k erg or rowing race is:

1. Recover from the (mandatory) hard training.

2. Do not let the system close down – keep the pipes open.

3. Use this pipe opening to maintain a psychological edge (a reality check)

4. Time the pipe opening so that it does not impact on recovery or the 2k race itself.

With these 4 simpe points in mind, have a think a bout the TIMING and preparation of the last few days into your next 2k. It will make a difference to you.