Too fast to start 2k

On Saturday I had my first 2km rowing test as part of the twelve week training program I am following. The goal of the training program is to improve my time in a 2km row.

This training program is divided up into three 4 week segments. I just finished the first 4 week segment which ended with a 2km test. In 4 more weeks there is another test and 4 weeks after that will be the final test.

Why 2km?

That’s a great question. Being a noob to rowing I’m still getting up to speed on why things are done a certain way. Apparently the 2km distance is akin to the 1 mile distance for running. It’s long enough to not be a sprint but short enough that you are going anaerobic the whole time.

Testing 1, 2, ugh

My goal was to finish in 8 minutes flat. I felt that pushing myself to hit 2 minutes for every 500 meters as a pace was reasonable based on my training. In training I was doing back to back sub 2 minute 500 meter sprints. If I slowed down a bit I could do four 500 meter sprints in 8 minutes.

For most tests my plan was to start easy and finish strong. The guideline from my training program was to aim for a stroke rate of 36 strokes per minute. Which is a really fast stroke rate for me.

Naturally I went out too hard trying to meet the 36 strokes per minute rate. I covered the first 500 meters in my fastest split ever: 1:48.8. I then tried to slow down a little to save something for the end.

The problem with slowing down is that your brain starts playing tricks on you. It tells you things like: “Hey this going slower thing is really nice. Imagine if we stopped and went and had ice cream sandwiches?” I had to regain my strength physically and mentally to finish strong.


In the end it hurt badly and I wanted to stop multiple times and I may have cried a little bit. That just means I was doing the test right, right? I am very happy it will be 4 weeks until the next test. Just like in school, tests suck.

Started too fast but finished strong.

At the 800 meter mark I was sucking air in as quickly as I could. I would then realize I needed to get control of my breathing and do my best to get a rhythm going.

At 1200 meters I was crying a little bit. This was where my head was talking to me about ice cream sandwiches. I contemplated stopping to f only for a moment. This was the low point.

From 1500 meters and to the finish I was feeling good. I knew I had saved something after the way too fast start. I was visualizing finishing the test and focused only on that. My breathing was mostly under control but I was on the edge of losing it.

When I finished with my time of 7:43.6 I was very happy with myself. Even though I had made a mistake and went out too fast I was still able to beat my goal. Not gonna lie that felt nice and is encouraging me to continue the training program.

Oh and we had ice cream with Girl Scout cookies to celebrate.

Maybe going out too fast is how its done?


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