Amsterdam/Erba/LucerneIt has been a while since I wrote last – I’ve held off writing because I don’t want these posts to become mundane training updates with nothing else of any substance. The past three weeks have been a solid block of training and Dave and I have gotten some good work in. We have had a few minor illnesses and injuries to deal with but nothing that has derailed us all that much. Many of the other Canadian boats have been gradually selected and have started to come together and pick up speed. We tried to avoid last minute selection for the crews this year but in the end that is exactly what is happening. It’s not ideal, but the boats are melding together well and starting to post some impressive times. The races over the next month will serve as a speed check for all of our crews and will determine whether these line-ups stay together or whether we need to reshuffle things and try out new combinations. So, while the athletes are excited to get over to Europe and race in their respective boats, the boats are still very much works in progress. Preparing for these two races is exciting but our focus is the World Championships at the end of August. A trap that I think we have fallen into in the past is focusing too much on preseason time trials and races – they are definitely important and can help to build confidence, but it is possible to try to peak too many times and end up feeling a bit dull by the end of the summer.
We travel to Amsterdam on Monday to race in the Holland Beker regatta next weekend. Only a few international crews will be there but it will be a great chance to get used to being around a regatta site again and go through the process of getting ready to race. I’m sure it will all come flooding back, but I haven’t done this sort of thing for 3 years! It will take a few days to adjust to the 9-hour time difference and recover from the jetlag but we should be ready to go by the weekend. From Amsterdam we will be traveling to my two favorite places in the rowing world. For the past 8 years the Canadian team has held our European training camps in a little Italian town called Erba, just south of Lake Como. There isn’t much to do there, but we have the lake to ourselves and the food at the hotel is incredible. It is a great place to settle into life away from Victoria and to prepare for the upcoming races.
The World Cup race in Lucerne, Switzerland is always the main preseason race that most international crews to go to test their speed against the competition. The city itself is beautiful and the lake that we race on, called the Rotsee, is ideal. The lake is barely large enough to fit a 2km rowing course and the water is typically completely flat with no wind… leading to fair lanes and great racing conditions. I have had some of my best races on the Rotsee and I can’t wait to go back!
|The docks in Lucerne|
|Start for the final of the pair in 2008|
This is the song that I listen to right before I go out to race. Not a huge ‘pump up’ song… Just one that reminds me how great it is to be alive and to be in the position to race against the best rowers in the world.