Motivation is a funny thing. But I’ve remembered something – #NOTHINGBEATSME

Yup another post about struggling with motivation.

But this time, it has a happy ending – in that I’ve come full circle and remembered that I’m not a whiny little loser – that I chose this. No one else is making me do it. I am the one who chose to try to be as fast as possible. And the moment I start to feel like it’s something I don’t want to do – I need to remind myself that it’s an internal fight – and one that I’ll win. Why? Coz #NOTHINGBEATSME (that needs an ‘f’ word in the middle of it now.)

I know I have a problem with the sharper end of motivation. Not the motivation to train – that’s easy. Not just because I have a relatively structured ‘diary’ through the week where I’m able to train as much as I need, but also because I genuinely enjoy the activity of rowing.

Where my motivation starts to wane however, it when the effort gets to the performance end – the longer I have to maintain, the harder it is to get really geared up for it.

Give me a series of 20 second sprints, or even a couple of 1 minute full efforts, and I’m in a good place. But once it gets to prolonged full intensity stuff, I need to be in a good place in order to get it all out of me.


An interesting case in point is the RowSeries event that I’ve posted about. Here’s the final result. 3rd place – good huh? Well, actually – no. Not good. Looking at the results of the other two guys, I should have pushed harder from the start – and had I, I’m pretty sure I would have got second place. And had I just sucked it up, and hit the pain cave, I think I could have given 1st place a good run for his money.


And the same went for the Train Manchester event in April. Yes I came third, but I know I was making excuses when it started to get hard. I should just have STFU and kept on going.

And it has to be said – the same goes for Boston. It hurt – I didn’t keep pushing. So if I take this as ‘Moment 0’ – I need to focus on it, remember it – remember how I felt when I came back from Boston and stop backing off. And I need a way to remember this.

Part of me is beginning to wonder whether this has coincided with the decrease in the amount of cycling I’ve been doing (and by decrease, I mean pretty much down to 0). Why would that matter? Because for a start I’d always attack my commutes as though they were full efforts. I’d sprint from light to light, hit every climb, and power down every descent and along every straight. But also, there’s no giving up when cycling. If I was tired, I couldn’t stop. I’d not get home that way! And even on the days I was tired, I always pushed, as going slow meant getting home late.

On the erg, it’s not like that. If I feel tired, want to stop, or just ease off, I can. The only consequence lies in my development, my ego and my personal sense of training. Which again points to the problem with this being a ‘solo-traveller’ pursuit. Sure I’ve got the Fitness Matters team, the various Facebook hubs, and even various friends I now have who are indoor rowers that I can turn to – but there’s a problem with confiding in those who know what you’re going through. They’re too understanding.

What I need is for someone to tell me to shut up, dig in, and keep on going. But when I post something saying I’m running tired and need a break, everyone’s too understanding and supportive! “A break will do you good” “Take some time doing the slower stuff, come back to the fast stuff refreshed” – all great advice, but actually not what I need.

I need to keep my eyes focused on my goals. And these are:

  • Wales IRC 2K – Win
  • Scottish IRC 1K – Win and get the World Record
  • BRIC 2K – 2nd (assuming Tim Male is racing!)
  • English IRC – 2K – Win
  • Crash-B 2018 – Medal.

In order to make sure I manage all of these, I need to look at hitting my 2Ks at a 1:37.5 average (the best I’ve managed is 1:39.5) and my 1K needs to be 1:30/500 to be 3:00.

I’m not entirely sure about the 3:00 for a 1K – but I’m pretty sure I could do the 2K thing. I just keep preventing myself from doing it. I need to trust that I can complete. So I need to train 250’s 500’s 1000’s and 1250’s at 1:37.5 for the next few months. Maybe until the end of September. In amongst my other training (currently Sam’s Fitness Matters plan) of course. Where I have been doing 15 x 20sec sprints at lunch in prep for Coetq – I’ll now do intervals at 1:37.5 (and sprints at 1:30 to keep in with the 1K too).

This new regime kicked off tonight. I know that I’m capable of hitting 1:37.5 – and I know I’m capable of holding it up to at least 1250m (I’ve never tried further). But there’s no point just kicking off trying to go as far as I can at that pace – all I’ll do is piss myself off again!

So, in order to make sure I do this the right way, I’m splitting the 2K into chunks – building up and down through different sessions, never progressing to the next chunk until I think I’ve got the rhythm and technique sorted enough to try the next one.

The image shown is tonight’s version. 250m x 8 / 45sec rests. All 1:37.5 or under (apart from one which ws 1:37.6). Very manageable. Out of breath at the end, sure, but not death!

The slight difference to how I’d do this at race pace (remember this is now 1:37.5) is I did this at 30spm instead of my previous 32-34 spm. Hoping that this helps build a better groove and power transfer. You’ll also notice that DF is 140. I’m going to stick to 140.

It’s easy to get distracted from these goals with the various other challenges, training plans and online events that happen through the year – and it’s also very easy to get worn down by the high intensity training that’s needed for these. But that’s because I’m doing the training as a ‘rounded end-game’ idea – even though I think I’m focusing on the races, I’m not really. The stroke rates aren’t high enough, the power through the lower rates isn’t enough – the splits aren’t low enough and the excuses are too many.

I came back from Boston invigorated and angry. Understandably through the following 5 months, other comps, injury and a bit of over-training, it’s began to slip away. But it’s time to nip it in the bud.

  • Training will become more focused
  • Weights will be more directed to the proper muscles
  • Nutrition will stop being so ad-hoc

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