Writer’s Select: Top Tips for a Winning 2018

As we come closer to the end of the year, resolutions and goals are being written for 2018. If you’re lacking some inspiration or want to realise your aims, read below.

 

Stay Healthy

This applies not only to illnesses but injuries too. You’re training to make your best better, and the last thing you need is a bug or infection to keep you in bed. Many can be avoided by the typical ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’, but so long as you keep yourself (hands in particular) clean, there’ll be no problem. If a friend or family member has caught something, keep your distance and stay cautious. It’s easy to fall ill if repeatedly exposed to something, and even easier if you slack on hygiene

 

Don’t overtrain

Some people like to add a little extra to their training, and if you don’t it’s worth considering. Putting in additional time will add up in the long run. If jogging to training or running at home are options for you, then take a moment to evaluate the pros and cons. A downside of extra training is the increased stress it puts on your body. If you already have a pushing programme, be wary of training more than you can recover from. A good way to gauge this is easing into more training and getting used to it before increasing it. The coming holiday will help you experiment with this, and give a head-start, but don’t be afraid to take a step back and re-work things.

 

Switch it up

Building on from the last point, you may reach the point where you are spending upwards of two hours on the erg in a single day. Provided you are recovering properly, you will continue to progress. Just remember that the erg is not the only way to train. Particularly during the holidays, it will become difficult to achieve and maintain high volume with your sanity intact. Cross training (running, cycling, swimming, etc.) is good for keeping you fresh, and can be incorporated into your daily life more easily. Limiting yourself to the erg and rowing may keep you from benefiting from a wide range of activities. As a result, change things up when possible.

 

Stretch

A staple of any holiday is the increased lethargy. Training will combat this, but the time spent moving around is somewhat reduced. Flexibility can and will be affected by this. In 2018, committing to stretching and mobility is practically ‘free speed’. A few leg/arm swings can feel like all you need to warm up, but your muscles need more. Any time free is a good time to stretch, so if you have tight hamstrings or stiff shoulders, search for simple stretches to get them mobile. If possible, devise a full body mobility routine to do before every training session. On top of this, give your problem areas a good stretch after a session and before you sleep. Maintaining or improving flexibility will lower your risk of injury, and give you a slight edge over your peers. 

 

Work smart

I’m hopefully preaching to the converted here, but organising your time is essential to rowing whilst at school. Take any opportunity given, to get ahead on work. Meeting deadlines is fine, but if you come back from a session tired, working will be a struggle. If you have exams this coming summer, making your notes portable (revision cards/ voice recordings) will make small periods of free time useful. If you do coursework, try working slightly ahead of any deadlines set. This will make the last few days before the big deadline less stressful, and limit any impact it may have. It’s hard to train properly with the pressure of work, so whittle it down when you can.

 

Have fun

Getting stuck in the endless grind is a possible future for all rowers. Once it hits, enjoyment of the sport can fluctuate; what used to be done on your own volition feels like something you must do. Some feeling of obligation isn’t bad, but you won’t make the most of each session by merely going through the motions. It’s a tough sport, and if you need a break to regain your focus, take it.

 

Every rower is different when it comes to their life outside of the sport. What’s most important about getting faster is finding what works for you. Experimenting involves some mistakes being made, and it can be hard to recover ground from setbacks. For the best 2018 possible, grab every opportunity with both hands.

3 Speed

3Speed