CIRC Training: Bring The Pain

Not long ago we were training for a rowing marathon. Now we’re doing the exact opposite. Training for the Chicago Indoor Rowing Competition is all about the sprint. If you could call 2k meters a sprint.

This year we set our baselines to 2.5k — a strategy designed to give us the mental edge come race day. After testing with 2.5ks, losing that last 500m will feel good. Or at least make the race one-fifth less painful.

From here until February 22nd it’ll be a mix of endurance pieces (longer, steady state plus) and sprint intervals (race pace).

Last year my 2k split was 2:20. That’s about 9 minutes total. A far cry from the awesome ladies from my gym who row sub 7 minutes, but great for me. It was my first ever competition, and my lack of strategy became evident when I was introduced to my coxswain. “What’s your plan?” He asked. Caught off guard, I think I just told him my goal split and continued looking anxiously at the line up of ergs.

That lack of mental prep (had I just been daydreaming during those 8 weeks of training?) immediately dealt me a blow. I started the race fast and realized I was already in fly-and-die mode. It took me nearly 500 meters to settle, and by then the damage had been done.

This year my number one goal is TO NOT FLY-AND-DIE. Close second is to beat that time, even by a fraction of a second. There’s hope: that 2.5k test clocked in at 2:21. Not bad for an extra 500m tacked on.