World Rowing Indoor Championships: Project Alexandria

Final Update Here Now!

Catch up on Alistair and Leah's races and results at the 2018 World Rowing Indoor Championships,
plus the low down on the event, and their reflections on the Project Alexandria experience!

15/02/2018- Postcard From Alistair Bond in Alexandria

It's exciting to finally be here in Alexandria ahead of the World Indoor Rowing Champs. Coincidentally, I spent a few days in Alexandria 8 months ago so the place is somewhat familiar. Leah and I have had a fairly cruisy training schedule since we have been here, and today we made the most of our last off day and went to Georgetown, walked through the campus of the University and strolled the surrounding streets.

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Georgetown University

Yesterday I completed perhaps the last critical session of my build up. It was 1500m, 10mins off, 1000m, 10mins off and finally a 600m to finish. The two longer pieces were meant to be at race pace, and I decided I would open the taps a bit for the 600m. I was a little nervous about this session before hand, but was pretty pleased with how it went in the end, as I was able to more or less hit my targets. Beyond being a good physiological primer, a tough session like this is great for building confidence before a big event. I am now pretty confident that with a little added freshness and race day adrenaline I will be able to complete a 2k I am happy with.


Last big session: 1 x 1500, 1 x 1000, 1 x 600

Finally, I think it is awesome that World Rowing has got behind indoor rowing and formalised a World Indoor Champs. I am sure that in time it will attract many of the top athletes in the world to compete, making for some truly exciting racing. In the future I don't believe it to be inconceivable that the World Indoors could be viewed around the world in the same way that many outdoor events are now. For this reason, I am very grateful to be competing and I look forward to seeing how much the event can grow. Strangely, I am actually kinda looking forward to racing too. Excited to be doing a 2k? Now that is something I have definitely, never said before! 


Alistair and Leah race at 2pm local time on Sunday (8am Monday NZT)
Stay tuned to the Concept2 NZ Instagram and Facebook for their coverage of the event!

Facebook: @Concept2NewZealand
Instagram: @Concept2_NZ, @bond.alistair, @lasscheleah

13/02/2018- Postcard From Leah Lassche in Alexandria

It is great to be here in Alexandria! It is always exciting to get to travel to new places for racing, and I have not been to the USA before, so to get to come here, to a place with so much historical significance is pretty awesome! Fortunately, we have both travelled pretty well (not too stiff and sore after 22 hrs on the plane), the accomodation is comfortable, and we are well positioned only a short walk away from OneLife Fitness- equipped with C2 ergs for training! Big thanks to gym manager Juan who happily issued us free passes for the next few days while we wait for the event venue to open. 

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Alistair getting stuck into the first rowing session on US soil.

Training since we arrived has been fairly light, mainly aerobic workouts on the erg, with our first pre-race speedwork session today. I find it is important to really listen to my body in the first few days after travelling long distance, as the stresses of jet lag and a new environment can sometimes make it harder to recover. I am pretty happy with how I am feeling at this stage, and confident I will start to feel fresher again by race day, having had bit more time to adjust. 

It is important to get outside in the sun when adjusting to a new timezone, so Alistair and I have used this as motivation to see some of the amazing sights around Alexandria and Washington DC. It turned out we visited the Lincoln Memorial on the 12th February- Abraham Lincoln’s birthday- so were lucky to see the ceremonial wreaths laid at the foot of the statue. We also visited the Museum of African American History (highly recommended!) and the White House- no sign of Trump but judging by the security outside I am sure he was in there somewhere.

memorial and mallThe National Mall and Washington Monument (left) and the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, some of the major sites in DC

Alexandria is stepped in American History- the town plan was drawn by George Washington himself, before he went on to become the first president of the United States. Alexandria old town lines the banks of the Potomac river, its vintage brick buildings protected from modern developments, preserving the towns vast history. During the Civil War, Alexandria was annexed by the capital for its strategic defensive position, against the wider state of Virginia which had sided with the Confederacy. These are just some of the things I have learned about Alexandria since we arrived, and being a bit of a history nerd and I am looking forward to learning more while I am here.

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Taking a stroll through Old Town Alexandria

Looking ahead, the plan for the next few days is to continue to settle in and start to fine tune for racing. The hard work has been done, now all thats left to do is refresh, and have confidence that I have done the training I need to do to have a good result on race day!

More to come soon,


NEW: Week Eleven Update Here Now!
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Week Ten Update Here Now
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Project Alexandria Week Nine Update

In this week's Project Alexandria update, we talk about what goes into being a lightweight rower,
how weigh-in procedure works and how the standard of competition stacks up compared to the heavyweights!
Watts calculator used in slide: 

Week Eight Update Here Now
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Project Alexandria Week Seven Update

After a short break for the festive season, we are back to regular updates from Alistair and Leah as they prepare for the World Rowing Indoor Championships- just 5 weeks away! In this week's video they cover speed training on the erg, what it's good for, and how they are using it to prepare for the 2000m at worlds!


 Project Alexandria Week Four Update

We sit down with a rowing expert; world champion Brooke Donoghue, to hear about her breakthrough year in 2017, and get her tips and advice for our Project Alexandria athletes!

Week Three Write Up is Here Now!
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Project Alexandria Week Two Update

Progress report from Leah and Alistair two weeks into training for the 2018 World Indoor Rowing Championships.

We seem to have gotten rather carried away discussing our lactate and heart rate data so this video turned out quite long! If you prefer to cut to the chase, here are the minutes for the topics we cover in this weeks update:
00.00 - 03.44 Alistair & Leah Training Update
03.45 - 05.00 Alistair Lactate comparisons
05.03 - 06.15 Leah Lactate analysis & training zones
06.18 - 09.38 How to use Heart rate to inform your training
09.40 - 10.33 Alistair Lactate analysis & training zones
10.33 - 12.55 Summary of results and next weeks program

Week One Write Up Is Here Now!

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The 37th edition of the World Rowing Indoor Championships marks the first time in 36 years that the Championships will separate from Crash B’s event in Boston, a move that will see the event travel to a new host city every year, bringing the excitement of indoor racing to people around the world. Here at Concept2 NZ we are excited to see the event develop into a true world-wide championship, and can’t wait to be a part of the 2018 World Indoor Rowing Championships in Alexandria, Virginia.

It only seemed right to send a delegation of our own to contest the World Rowing Indoor Championships, to compete and bring coverage of the event to our Kiwi audience. Racing will be contested over the 17th-18th February, the same weekend New Zealand’s best rowers will be racing in the National Championships, but we managed to find some would-be former athletes just crazy enough to take on the 2000m events!

We will be posting progress every week, including training and tips, nutrition, travel, and more all the way through to the championships. We aim to share with you the professional training and advice we learn and receive along the way, in the hope that you too can apply our learnings to chasing your own Indoor Rowing goals!

Introducing Team Concept2 NZ for the 2018 World Indoor Rowing Championships…
Alistair Bond

DOB: 16/08/1989
Height: 185cm
Weight: 75kg
Event: Open Lightweight Men's 2000m
2000m PB: 6.07
Athlete Profile:
Alistair competed for the New Zealand Rowing Team from 2012-2016, culminating in a fifth-place finish in the Men’s Lightweight Four at the 2016 Olympic Games. He won a silver medal in the lightweight four at the 2014 World rowing championships, and with his crew was unbeaten on the world cup circuit for the entire Olympic cycle. After the Olympics, Alistair took some time out from rowing to travel and develop his career as a surveyor, but hasn't closed the door to the possibility of rowing competitively again in the future.

"I am really excited about the project. I took a break from rowing after the Olympics, but I have kept up with some training, so I am looking forward to having something to work towards again. I had been keeping in touch with the Indoor Rower, half and hour every morning before work, but this gives me even more motivation to want to get on the erg. I am really interested to see where I can get to over the next three months, on a training program with less volume than what I had been doing as a full-time athlete, but with a targeted focus on the indoor rower. I don't want to put a specific goal time in mind at this point, but I would certainly like to see if I can get close to my PB and maybe even under it." 
Leah Lassche
DOB: 28/01/1989
Height: 175cm
Weight: 62kg
Event: Open Lightweight Women’s 2000m
2000m PB: 7.05
Athlete Profile:
Leah rowed competitively from 2006-2011, and represented New Zealand at two U23 World Championships. In 2013 Leah turned her focus to triathlon, competing as a professional over various distances from sprint to 70.3. Her proudest moment as a triathlete was a second place finish at Busselton 70.3 in 2016, with a time of 4.14.26. Earlier this year Leah took up the role of business development manager at Concept2 NZ, and is enjoying the chance to be involved in rowing again.

"For me this really feels like going into the unknown! It has been such a long time since I have done an erg test, or rowed at all, but I am really curious to see how much form I can recover over the three-month training period. When I finished rowing I went pretty much straight into triathlon, which I trained for pretty much full-time until the end of 2016. I am hoping the aerobic fitness I cultivated as a triathlete, along with the time spent training on the bike, will help me on the indoor rower. I can already see my muscles are going to take some time to adjust to the rowing movement, and I will need to be careful not to expect this to happen overnight! I don’t want to put a number on my goal time just yet, but I hope to share my progress with you along the way as I start to find out what I might be capable of in February."

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