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.
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 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.
The 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.
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,
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!