The good with the bad (stomach)

It happens scarily regularly. I hit some kind of change that feels like a quantum leap in my training, and then I get smoked by something. Usually just injury or illness. Nothing more sinister yet. But quite often I’ve hit a bit of increase in motivation and things have gone south. 2015 after entering crashB in August, I over trained and got rib stress Fractures by November, which made the February race painful. 2017 after a bad crashB I over trained and got the same, ruling me out of proper…

Read More

Erm, thanks – but I’m not @jamescracknell

Did I ever tell you about the time a girl at the gym thought I was James Cracknell? Probably not, as it was yesterday. Not entirely sure how she got confused. Me being a Scottish lightweight 6:38 kinda guy, and not a world class English beefcake. However, as I clambered off the machine yesterday after a 60 r20 @ 2k + 20 – I sat there sweating, when a girl came rushing over, and asked for a photo. Eh? Me? Yes! Please! But I’m nobody! Just a quick photo, please.…

Read More

Light at the end of the tunnel?

So it’s been a long summer so far trying to build power and strength back up, alongside trying to get back down to 75kg A combination of lots of rowing, following the Fitness Matters Rowing Plan, with a few extra curricular 30min efforts then a focus on changing how I eat and how I train with weights means I’m getting there. Weight is back to normal. And thanks to weights, training with @davidkingsbury, I seem to have toned up quite well so far. (No progress photos for that yet –…

Read More

My problem with low rate rowing

Really quick post. My problem with low rate (18-22) rowing is that in order to hit targets (say 2:00 for 18) while striving for a good technique, nearly all the power comes from my legs. My arms are almost an after thought. And the problem is, all the time spent doing low rate engine building means that when I go up to something like 28spm and 1:52 – I’m so used to not using my arms at the finish that either it takes a while to remember that’s why I’m…

Read More

A tale of woe not row.

I’m never sure whether anyone reads this. Actually, that’s a lie. I know some people read what I post. Be it on the johntherower.com website or on Twitter. But what I don’t know is whether anyone pays more than the usual passing interest that you’d show a funny cat photo on Facebook (don’t worry, I don’t have any pretentious thoughts of being as entertaining as a funny cat photo!) My reason for pondering this isn’t a desperate need for people to validate me – it’s that if anyone does have…

Read More

My gym got some #indoorrowing Skillrows! Are they better than @Concept2 ? Read on…

So, someone at my gym must have been good this year. As there’s a bunch of new equipment including 2 WattBikes and 2 new Technogym Skillrows – their latest entry into the Rowing Machine market. (Come to think of it, have they ever had a rowing machine?) Obviously I still aimed for the Concept2’s – but after my session, I thought I’d have a row on one of these, to see what they’re all about. It’s easy to fall into the trap of “It’s not a Concept 2” which I’m…

Read More

I wonder if Squash would have me back?

Kidding! So, this weekend has sucked a bit. I didn’t want to start this post off on a negative slant, but as I’m now winging my way back into central London after my flight has been cancelled, it’s certainly taken the shine off the weekend. In truth I like hotels. Well, nice ones anyway. Let’s just hope the Doubletree next to London City isn’t the nail in the coffin for the weekend. So. The race. How did it go? It won’t surprise you to hear I didn’t win. That was…

Read More

Wales IRC – no pressure, but still pressure?

I’m on a plane, and I forgot to bring anything to read. So you have the joy of a brain dump on the way there, and then a post race review on the flight back. How have things been since last week then? Well, one thing is for certain, this erg-cough has been hanging around! No amount of Jakemans, hot baths or chest rubs has got rid of it. I don’t think this will come to play tomorrow, but it’ll certainly be worse afterwards. Training has been ok. I dropped…

Read More

Ctrl Alt Delete. It’s time to calm – stop, reset and rebuild.

Wow, it’s been a negative year. I look back on the posts I’ve had on here since my crash and burn at the @CrashBSprints – and it’s not happy reading. A rot set in during that race. Something happened between the PB success of the English Champs the week before and the CrashB race. I don’t know what that rot was, but it hung around – and it’s still here. All year I’ve been writing about how I’ve not quite been there with my performance. I’ve posted any successful sessions…

Read More

Time to stop training, and start trying!

I’ve said this a couple of times to different people over the past week. The last ‘real’ race I did was in April – the Train Manchester event (which I really recommend looking at entering) and although I had the World Record row in June, and various CTC challenges between then and now, it’s fair to say I’ve not had any 100% efforts in the past few months. It’s all been training. Yes, some of the sessions have been very tough, but they have all been geared around training to…

Read More