My Olympics: day two, rowing single sculls

In this blog series, I take inspiration from one of the day’s Olympic events. Today: rowing, specifically the women’s single sculls. Not because I have a particular talent in this event, just because I am a) a woman and b) there’s only one of me.

In today’s heats, women raced over the 2000m course (do they call it a course?) at my “local” venue, Dorney rowing lake. I’ve coached there (open-water swimming), I’ve raced there (triathlon, 10km runs) but I’ve never rowed there.

And I still haven’t. I conducted today Olympic challenge on the rowing machine at the gym.

Earlier today, Korea’s Yeji Kim posted the fasted time for the heats (07:50:64). Girlfriend’s only 17 years old! The slowest time of the day in this event was 08:12:83. In the men’s race, the fastest time was 7:00:19 whilst plucky old Hammadou Djibo Issaka had the crowds on their feet as they cheered him across the line, last by quite a stretch, in 8:39:66. (Watch a vid here.)

Would I manage to beat Djibo Issaka’s time? Would I even beat 10 minutes? I had absolutely no idea. I do use the rowing machine quite a lot but tend to do intervals, tabatas or just a set amount of time. I really don’t ever take any notice of how far I go. I also have no idea what’s good, what’s rubbish and what’s “OMG get this girl out of the gym and into the 2016 single scull squad!”

I donned my cap (just about the only bit of kit I’ve got in common with actual rowers) and got to it.

Hm. This isn’t so bad! A bit huffy-and-puffy but it’s only 2000m! Surely I can do this.

Gosh. This is going on a bit.

Dum dee dum. Wish I’d worn my earphones.

36spm. Is that good? Is it like swimming where the slower your stroke rate, the faster you go? Or should I be pulling as fast as I can?

Hooray! 500m gone! Oh… also quite a few minutes gone. God this could be embarrassing.

I really am quite warm now. My face is really red.

Oh look, 7 minutes have passed. I’ve done 1510m. If I was in the men’s race, the winner would have crossed the line and I’d still be 3/4 of the way down Dorney.

Right, come on Nicola, pick up the pace. This really isn’t that far.

I can’t wait for this to be over.

10 minutes is approaching, oh no, come on….

Hooray! 2000m!

2000m in 9:07. Haha!

Verdict: hot, sweaty, deceptively hard, legs very wobbly after. British Rowing unlikely to be ringing me up any time soon.

How have the London 2012 Olympic Games inspired you today?

My Olympics: day two, rowing single sculls is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


3 Responses to My Olympics: day two, rowing single sculls

  1. Fiona says:

    Exactly my thought process, mmm, not so bad, meh, this is tough actually!


  2. roger says:

    And you are always slower in a single scull than on the ergo, the ergo time is really more how long you would take in a 4-….the Women Olympic single scullers will all have 6min20-6min50 2000m ergo times….crazy!


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