5 Facts about rowing races you haven’t been told yet

rowing race

Rowing if fun no doubt but if you’ve never tried it you’ll be surprised to know how tough it can be. Whether done outdoors or indoors technique, form, posture etc. are basic and you cannot get them wrong but that’s not all. With high speed winds and fluctuating currents there’s a lot more you’ll need to learn to get it right so here are some facts about rowing every newbie must know, from the experts themselves.

It always starts early

If you’re not an early morning person, I’ll make it clear, this isn’t a sport for you. Almost all of these races begin early morning. For a 10 am race you’ll need to be up and ready at about 4-5 am in order to prep up well.

Yes it’s hard to be awake while the rest are just going to sleep but if you really love the sport you’ll do it anyways.

Being the best doesn’t guarantee success

Rowing isn’t just about you. Never was and never will be. It’s a team sport so treat it like one.  Your goals, dreams, desire etc. all depend on your team. There’s no medal for an individual performance so being the best in a weak team won’t get you anything. I’d suggest getting a concept 2 rower for those days when you can’t train due to rain or snow.

Focus on training and working together as team. Communicate well with your mates. Proper coordination and communication are ingredients to success in this sport.

rowing

 

You’ll eat more often

When you’re young and fit during training you’ll easily gobble down 4-5k calories each day which would be divided into 5-6 meals. Yes it’s important to stay fueled up but this tends to get boring even though u’d hate it at times trust me it works.

The issues to this arise once you’re old and retired. Since your body’s now accustomed to that high calorie diet so u’d be hungry often but lack training and fitness is going to result excessive weight gain so watch out your retirement plans.

It’s going to be cold

Well rowing is an all year round sport and in winters it’s going to get really tough. Not only is the water freezing but since the temp is going to be low you’d want to get into your race kit only minutes before the race begins.

Do it too early and your warm ups a total bust. You’re hands; legs etc. are going to freeze by the time you hold an oar. Also avoid gloves and wear socks to stay warm during your sail too.

It all comes down to the race

All these years of training, sweat etc. always comes down to those final 5-6 minutes of your race so give it your best short which is all that matters. Use your failures as motivation to train harder and get better and faster. Failures are tough but a stepping stone to success so row, row, row your boat till you cross the finish line.

success

5 Golden rules of road bike racing

bike race

When I started racing 7 years back I had no clue how to go about it. When should I go on the attack and when should I sit back were question racing through my mind and the answers I learnt with experience as time and years passed on. Every race has various scenarios and adapting accordingly is key to winning and today I am going to tell you about the 5 Golden rules every beginner road bike racer should know.

Strategize well

To win any race you’ve got to know about your competitors especially the top 5-6 guys and strategize accordingly. Knowing your competition is an integral part of any race. You can find plenty of data about them online or in magazines etc. Remember, if these guys go at it from the start so will you have to.

These guys are experienced and catching up with them later may not always be that easy. Adapt as per the situation.

Preserve your energy

Remember, races aren’t about who starts the fastest. They usually depend on 2-3 huge speed bursts towards the end of the race. Rest of time you need to ensure you stay close, maintain a good lap time and counter strategically which is going to require loads of energy and thinking.

Avoid burning yourself out too early into the race and keep it for the latter half. Very often the outcome of the race is decided in these stages so prep well for them.

Know when to attack

They key to a good attack lies in the timing. Yes you’ve got to keep it for the final third but make sure you do it before anyone else. Wait too long and you’ll never catch up.  It’s an art you’ll learn with experience.

I would suggest you wait till the other racers tire out both physically and mentally. Keep your attacks silent. Be like a ninja by doing it at the right time. This way others won’t see you a threat and will hardly react.

Maintain a certain distance

Yes you’ve got to take it slow at the start but make sure you do not fall behind too much. Maintaining the right amount of gap is important for a good final half of the race. Keep an eye out for landmarks to judge the distance and speed up if needed.

Know the finish line

Since so much of the race depends on the latter half it’s important to know how far the finish line lies. Beginner races tend to end at the starting spot itself. Keep an eye out for descents, climbs and corners.

Memorize the route especially the tougher parts and plan accordingly.  You want to avoid a situation where your months and years of training go down the drain because you missed out on the final climb or corner.

Here are few training tips all newbies need

5 Trackers I recommend every beginner runner

The trackers aren’t some fancy watch or expensive gear you get to wear to feel like a pro and neither is it simply a hi-tech watch. These trackers have been developed with the aim of helping you get fit and workout better. They can store all sorts of data such as your running speed, distance, your calorie intake, sleep patterns etc. but which one should you get? Here are 5 I recommend all beginner runners to check out.

The Apple Tracker

Love your apple, tablet, mac book etc.? Then why not get your apple fitness tracker as well? This watch comes with a heart rate tracker, a GPS system and all other important feature you’d need in a fitness tracker plus its awesome speaker and microphone help you yet stay in touch at all times.

It’s stylish, sleek and all details can be accessed with a swipe of the screen. This watch will cost you about $350 and is worth every single penny. Learn to track your sleep with this tracker below.

Fitbit Surge

Another company that has made great inroads into the fitness industry is Fitbit and their latest model is simply awesome. The sleek and bold look adds to the style quotient. It’s also easy to understand and use.

It comes with a heart rate detector and is a tracker purely for runners as data give on rides isn’t precise and nor in the tracker waterproof. It will cost around $200-$250 and is available in black, blue and tangerine.

surge

Garmin Forerunner 920XT

For those preparing for a triathlon I usually recommend this tracker and though it is slightly heavier it’s perfect for all the 3 sports as it can track speed, strokes, power, etc. separately and all of your data is uploaded to the cloud automatically when connected to the Wi-Fi.

Though all these awesome features means you’ll need to charge it almost daily. This tracker will cost you ranging from $400-$500 depending on whether you get the heart sensor, gait analyser etc.

Garmin-Forerunner-920XT

Withings Activite

If you’re looking for a classic, old school watch like tracker then the Activite is the one for you. It comes with a waterproof and scratch less display and can track data while running, cycling or even swimming thus perfect for triathletes.

For more detailed info you can sync it with your Iphone using a free app. Its battery can last a stunning 8-10 months and it will cost you around $400-$500.

withings activate

 

Basis Peak

The best feature of this Basis tracker is its wrist heart rate detector thus your heart is monitored even while you’re asleep. This is an important part of training and helps prevent excessive training and colds.

It also tracks calories, burnt, heart rate etc. even when on the bike but not the distance as it comes without a GPS. This tracker is available at a cost of about $200.

basis peak

 

How to handle bathroom issues on race day

Sooner or later every runner has had to face some or the other toilet related problem while on the run on race day or training session. Guess what, it isn’t something to be embarrassed about.

Even professional athletes have had to answer these calls of nature at some point but in case you’re worried you’ll lose time making these stops today I am going to share with you my secret methods to deal with bathroom troubles on race day.

Fuel up right

Your race day toilet schedule is going to depend on your fueling the previous night and thus getting it right is important. Make sure you finish dinner that night by about 7-8 pm as the body gets proper time for digestion and to process the waste.

Keep a log on how your body reacts to different food items and what gets digested quickly and things you need to avoid. Avoid trying new foods 2-3 days before a race.

light dinner

 

Prep Well

To get the blood pumping into your legs and get the intestines moving I would suggest a light jog for 2-3 miles an hour before the race. Not only will it fasten the cleansing process of the body but also prep your body for the upcoming job.

Pre-race jitters can also have an impact on our bathroom habits and is often the reason most newbies face Diarrhea etc. minutes before the race. Keep calm, focus on the task in hand to keep the jitters away.

Grab an Imodium

Whether you run, travel etc. I am sure an Imodium is always part of your medicine kit and rightly so and though I would recommend you get the system flushed before the beginning, in case of lengthy races like a marathon etc. an Imodium is ideal as it lowers the functioning speed of the gut and thus the stool turns less liquid. Have a trial run with the med 1-2 times before the race to see your body’s reaction to the drug.

Rise early

On race day I would suggest you get up at about 4-5 am. This will give you enough time to prep for the race. Combining it with some light breakfast and water or morning coffee can further help regulate the body functions.

Avoid coffee if you are not a regular drinker. Stick to water and sports drinks. You definitely don’t want to run high on caffeine.  Also avoid any sports drink you haven’t already tried before.

coffee

Stay a step ahead

Irrespective of what you do pre-race there’s always a chance of a toilet issue arising mid race and this where you need to stay ahead of the game. Get a map of the race or check out the race website and chalk out the toilet booths.

Knowing how far or near your next pit stop is can help you stay strong for longer. Plan well and avoid awkward situations.

5 Hydration mistakes every newbie makes on race day

water pouch

Now we all know the importance of proper hydration on a warm summer day especially if you are a runner and it’s race day but very often we get the basics wrong which in turn undermines our performance and leaves us high and dry midway through. So before your next big event take a moment to see you’re not making any of these hydration mistakes. Don’t let these silly errors stop you from crossing the line and follow each hydration tip.

Excessive pre-race drinking

Since it’s only water, more is less seems to be the norm amongst most racers but guess what, excessive pre-race drinks whether water or protein juices isn’t going to lower or water intake later on since the body is not capable of storing any extra liquids.

You’re more likely to end up racing for the restrooms and these mini pit stops will only further slow you down. You’re not a camel so don’t drink like one either. Have your last glass 40-45 minutes before the start.

Carrying drinks with you

Most of us love carrying energy drinks or water bottles while on the run and why not, seems like the most easiest way to stay hydrated without losing speed or time, isn’t it? But carrying those belts and packs are only going to weigh you down.

Most events have water posts setup every few kilometers and while it may only be water or a sports drink you hate, it’s enough to keep you up and running so stop skipping them and leave the bottles at home.

water pack

 

Excessive water intake midway

To prevent dehydration have you been told to gulp down tons of water? While high degree of dehydration does have its own risks, drinking too much in between your runs will leave you tired; feeling bloated and in pain since the body cannot store excess water.

Drink only when you have the urge to. It won’t affect your performance and nor will it leave you at risk of heat stroke etc. and will cover up at least 70-80% of the water content lost through sweat.

Using a new sports drink

If are able to gobble down almost any drink or food well then great, you’ve got nothing to worry about but yes if you’ve got a sensitive tummy that can’t handle every energy drink then your race day is a bad day to try a new one.

Give any new drink 4-5 days trial period and see if your system adjusts to it only then consider it fit for the race day or for now stick to water.

Drinking even during short races

Gulping buckets of water isn’t the secret to a good race especially if you’re race is short. This will only bog you down. Usually up to an hour or 2 of any run can be done without any drinks if your pre-race habits are right but for any run longer than that make sure you stop at water posts and grab a packet.

Here are few expert trips that’ll help you train better