Monday, July 30, 2012

Rowing like an Olympian


I did BodyPump yesterday and increased my weight for the squats and the back track. Then in the afternoon during Club Gecko I got on the rowing machine again. I realised just as we got to the gym that I could watch the Olympic highlights on the 4pm repeat show if I walked on the treadmill, but after a brief struggle with myself I rowed first -- where I couldn't plug into TV sound and I couldn't see the TV on the Olympic channel except on the back stretch of my row if I leaned back a bit. I did 12 minutes again and improved my distance to 1.97 km (so close to my goal of 2 km! I really sprinted at the end) before jumping on the treadmill for a slow 15 min walk and some Olympic viewing.

Australians have been doing really well in the rowing so there has been a lot of coverage, and this morning I did some research. By coincidence, all races are 2 km; about the same distance I am doing at the moment. I had no idea that was the case, and I've even been a bit frustrated that they never announce before a race how long it will be; it is easier to get excited when you know the finish line is coming up. But they are all a standard 2000 meters these days.

The single women's sculls, the most comparable to me on my machine, were being won in a bit under 8 mins. The losers go over that, of course. I am going to call it 8 mins for convenience; that is a speed of 15 kmph. It takes me 12 mins to go (very close to) the same distance at my speed of (nearly) 10 kmph. I am 2/3 the speed of an Olympian! I think that is awesome! Especially considering I have only been doing this for a week. There are not many sports I could claim to be 2/3 as good as an Olympian. If I moved to a country with no history of rowing maybe I could make the team, like that swimmer a couple of Olympics ago who could barely swim the whole distance and came in a couple of minutes after the rest of the competitors.

Oh, and I heard a commentator say that the rowers (in this case I think it was 4 men) were doing 35 strokes per minute, which is the same as I do on the machine when I am sprinting. So I have that at Olympic standard too. Sort of. For about 30 seconds.

Of course I have no idea, despite my attempts at research, how a rowing machine compares to being in a real boat. I have the resistance set to 5 out of 10, but I read that the drag on a real boat is proportional to your weight so I don't know what 5 out of 10 means in real terms.

Anyway, all this so cool.

No gym today, as Tim has the car; and also my dad is visiting.

photo by Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games

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