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The dreaded 2km tt

The 2km sprint is the distance most rowers and indoor rowers use to measure their fitness and stamina. The 2km time trial fills most of us rowers with dread and a feeling of intrepidation. The thing is you know it will definitely be uncomfortable and it will hurt and then you have the added pressure of improving on your last time trial and if you don't then why haven't you? So there is a huge amount of pressure on this distance. Especially to someone like me who trains hard 6 days a week so expects results everytime.

There was a time about a year ago where the 2km was a distance I only rowed if I really really had to. Most of my sessions are worked out using my 2km ave/500 split so with progression comes the need for new paces therefore the only option is the 2km time trial. To people that don't row 2000m doesn't sound such a long way BUT a 2000m is a sprint! Meaning that for ALL of that 2000m you are going very fast, yes maybe you give yourself 1-2 secs by dropping the pace in the middle 1000m but let me tell you it doesn't feel like that! By the first 800-1250 metres your brain is yelling at you to stop, that you can't go on, its telling you there's nothing left in your legs and to just put that handle down, your lungs are on fire too! There have been many moments when I have put the handle down at that exact time and then there are feelings of anger at yourself, disappointment as you were going well, and also questions as to why you weren't mentally strong enough.

Just recently though there has been a change in my perception of the 2km time trial. I seem to have gotten stronger mentally and I only had to attempt my most recent time trial once. This was a huge leap for me and brought me some much needed confidence in my rowing ability and also mental strength. I had a plan and I stuck to the plan, there were no negative thoughts during the row, I just kept going knowing that I would beat my pb and get through the row and come out the other side jubiliant! Which of course I did, its the best feeling in the world to get a new 2km personal best especially after all the training sessions that you put yourself through - some of them are even more disgusting than the 2000m!! I put this down to a shift in my attitude to 'can do' instead of doubting my capabilities on the rower. I think it also has a lot to do with my indoor rowing team Esprit, we have some really inspirational members both female and male and if you're around people like that some of its bound to rub off on you!

To conclude, I hope I haven't put you off attempting your first 2000m, try it. My advice would be to have a plan for every 500m of the distance and keep to that plan. Block out the inner voice who makes you doubt what you can achieve and just go for it. After completing it you will realise I was right and it is one of the best feelings in the world to come out of the other side of a 2000m still intact and with a PB!

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