The new year has kicked off pretty well. Short time back in Melb before we headed off to National camp in Canberra. It was only 6 days but quiet productive. Nothing really different to what we have been doing down home for much of this year, with planning, doing, reviewing and then adjusting where needed.
Our part of the National camp was focused on the four with 8 athletes working together in a very health way considering it was competitive and in someone part of our selection process.
It was 6 days with pretty much the same daily routine of sessions and workloads with video, gps and biomech analysis. Long story short we were informed post Dec trials the four would be built around Josh and I since we had already performed pretty well so far this season since the Worlds.
The focus for the camp then was to move the four forward interms of performance including refining the look and configuration of the crew. For now we have come out of it all that it’s looking like josh, myself and now Duncan have now become quiet cohesive as a combination with a few athletes doing a great job in the bow seat with us. Going forward Fergus Pragnell will be with us until the next racing opportunity. I have to say though many have performed really well in the fours and the funny thing is with the sweep squad being split and targeted many top quality athletes are in both groups. What was told to us at the start of our camp was the guys they have targeted for the four were about finding a match up in the four with Josh and I. It’s nice in one sense but I have been a believer in the best four needs to be found regardless of who. To this point though we have managed to position ourselves well but still have heaps of work to do. Finding a great combination is a start then from there we will need to develop our own unique brand of rowing. Actually let me rephrase. We will need to find what will work best for us as a crew.
So while I am up for air and sharing a few things about what’s happened in the last 2 weeks I should mention I have recently been asked about training programs, diet and activities for bad backs. In the coming weeks I will address these. For now though it’s interesting to mention that our current training has evolved greatly from the Oarsome Foursome days to the pairs period and now with our new focus of the four. I say evolved as each stage has been the best we knew and the best we could do. We have had a process of testing, adding then streamlining the approach. Benchmarks have progressed and training focuses have adapted given the challenges faced by each group. Recent I was asked about our supposed revolutionary new training program. I laughed and then tried to explain. What we are doing is not new but we have become better at doing what we do. Sure until we go further then our Beijing result and the standard we row we are yet to reach the level we think is possible. What we have though are years of insights and adaptations in our training approach. What we have been doing since returning from the Worlds is very positive and in part progressive. Nothing really new just what we are doing has greater integration and yet more simplicity.
We are now about to start a new process of training a few combinations with the aim to see how they race. This is getting exciting. The road ahead is still very long but I feel personally I am handling to training and delivering on what’s needed. I was also reminded of the long term focus of the Games when I went to a team processing session and was fitted out for the team uniform. It’s a different feeling when many of the elements of the games prep start to happen. It’s starts to turn all the training and work into a reality. I felt like I was getting closer to what we have all been focusing on.