Getting back into the swing of things

Olympic champion rower Emma Twigg stands coaching teenage girls, training at the Clive River Rowing club on bike and rowing machines.

With World Champs quite late in the year in 2018, it seems like we’ve just finished watching the international season and it’s already time to start gearing up for the domestic season in New Zealand and Australia. As the temperatures rise and daylight hours start to kick in – here are our top tips for getting back into the swing of things this rowing season.

It’s easier together

If you’ve had a winter of hibernation, it’s always a hard ask getting motivated for early starts or multiple training sessions. There aren’t many of us out there who jump at the chance to punish their body at five am, so for most of us, having someone else sharing in that transition will make it a lot easier. Find yourself a training partner, or even better get your whole squad back together and make sure you hold each other accountable! A crew that trains together, wins together.

You don’t have to be winning on day one

If you’ve ever watched some of our top rowers like Mahe Drysdale progress through the season, you’ll see that they know that it’s not about winning every race – it’s about winning the one that counts. When you first hop on the erg this year, don’t expect to be doing PB numbers, and don’t punish yourself for not doing them. Ease into the season. Those first few rows don’t have to be the longest you’ve ever done, and you don’t have to jump straight into your best form either. Think about that National’s medal, and build up to that end result.

Look after yourself

Early season injuries are definitely a thing, so make sure you are looking after your body from day one. If you haven’t been in the boat a while you might have tight hamstrings or a bit of a weak core, so getting out and slamming yourself on day one could lead to injuries later in the season. Stretch, do some core work, and be sure to focus on your eating and recovery for those first few weeks. A rowing career without injury is a rowing career that let’s you get closer to the top – so look after your engine.

Have fun

Lastly, if you follow those first few tips, then hopefully this final one will come naturally. Have fun! It’s been a cold winter and you haven’t touched an oar for a while so on those first few rows be mindful and take it all in. We’ve got a sport that gets us outdoors in some beautiful places, so appreciate every minute of it. Listen to the water run under the boat, take the time to look at that sunrise, and have a laugh with your crew. You’re not just getting fitter and racing hard, you’re creating friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.