Sharpening Week

After a week of fairly challenging training we’re now on the slope down to race weekend in Sacramento.  Suddenly the hard work is mostly done and we shift instead to sharpening– a term I like better then taper.  Taper suggests a fall off, a lessening of work, while sharpening implies honing our speed to a fine point.

What I try to do this week is set up scenarios for success and make sure we’re getting the most out of every practice.  The workout is secondary at this point; the goal is to create good speed at every opportunity and make sure the elements of our race are well supported.

Today we did our full race warm-up with the novice eight with the goal of doing ONE piece- 1500 meters with start and sprint.  I gave them a challenging but realistic time goal (measured on the speedcoach), and the plan was to do only one piece- one chance to get it right, just like race day.  The crew executed very well and nailed down a very solid 1500.  Video of the first thousand or so is above- we had a slight headwind and some side chop, but overall conditions were good.  I liked this scenario because so often we build into workouts, while on race day it’s one-and-done; if you build into the race it often passes you by before the finish.

Now to plan tomorrow afternoon’s practice for the Varsity 8, with the goal of continuing our development of speed throughout the rate spectrum.  We’ve been adding inches to every stroke and it’s showed up both visually and on the splits.  Very excited to put our speed to the test on the best racecourse in the nation.

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