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03/22 2010

Testing Phase

There is something to be said about familiarity.  This morning in the first row we practiced our race warm-up in singles and then tested it.  Then in the second session we did the same on the erg.

I’m looking down the barrel of a gun here – I have three weeks of committed training under my best and I am going into a testing/ranking phase…but the amazing thing is that the routine of the preparation for testing has made me calm.

I know what I can do.  I know what I have to do to get the best out of my body.  And, I know that I’m doing all of it now – why?  Because of the routine.

Dave

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03/21 2010

Full Volume

One of the hardest parts of a comeback for me is getting up to the same volume as the entire team.  The major goal is to avoid injury while gaining back my fitness.  I spent the first week of my comeback at about half of the volume the boys were at, the second week I was at a little over 3/4’s the volume, but this past week I rowed the entire schedule.  I have a standing appointment with Dr. Mike Murray to keep me running well, and I am sure I’ll need much more as the weeks pile on top of each other – but I did it!  At times it was less than pretty, but there is something to be said about  completing a Mike Spracklen training week.  There were times I thought I couldn’t – but I pushed through knowing that this training is what will get me my gold medal in London only 27 and a half months from now.

I love this sport.

Dave

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03/15 2010

In the end – the day was great!

I just had to say that I had a great day training.  It was hard, and my legs are done, but I felt great in the first row – not too fast, but it is coming!  The second row was a bit windy, and I had a little wash to get through – nothing I can’t handle.  And then we had weights and an erg.  The erg was great – we did a 10 Km erg.  I was counting strokes from 6Km out!  480.  I loved getting into that endless rhythm.

Day well done.

Dave

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03/15 2010

Raining this morning

Blah.  It has been raining all night.  This morning marks the start of week three.  The end of last week was hard on my body, but I got the volume of training in.  This week the volume still goes up, but only a little bit, so it will be curious to see how my body responds.

Dave

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03/12 2010

Training at Shawnigan

Yesterday was my first day back at Shawnigan.  Every Thursday the team heads up to Shawnigan Lake School’s boathouse for two long sessions.  We store our 8+’s and 4x/-‘s up there.

The first row was 28 KM – no big deal!

This morning when I rowed the 1X back at Elk Lake I was cooked from the get-go.  I was so tired because I worked as hard as I possibly could yesterday.  So my focus shifted very quickly this morning from results to fitness.  With every minute that ticked over on my stroke coach I knew I was getting more fit.  That’s what I needed this morning.

Dave

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03/10 2010

Race Around the Lake…and then some.

I got around the lake faster this week than last – in slower conditions.  Actually, the wind made the first half faster and the second half way slower.  I thought things were going very well when I got up to point 1 in 16 minutes – but then I turned around the buoy and the headwind hit me!  Wow did the wind make the final 3.5 Km heavy.

I lifted weights at 11 AM  and hopped on the erg at noon.  4 x 1000 metres.  All I could do was focus on my length and posture.  In the end I’m thrilled to get the work done – one step closer.

Dave

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03/9 2010

VO2 Max Test

James Brotherhood and Liz Johnson

Ouch!

The thing is I can’t tell you what my results were- trade secret!  I can say that I am ahead of the curve from the last set of these I did in my comeback for Beijing.  James Brotherhood (seen in the picture with Liz Johnson) brought out all the results from 2007 for us to look at.  That’s a good sign that I am ahead of the curve, right?  I have only taken 18 months off since Beijing. 

I have been very lucky to have the support of the good folks at the Canadian Sports Centre Pacific out at the new Pacific Institute of Sport Excellence.  James (my cousin) played a significant role in getting me ready to join the team in 2007.  Having this type of information only helps me with my confidence as I get back into training because progress can be hard to gauge when I am pulling my guts out on the lake.  

Here are a few shots to let you know how it feels!  Basically we are in a full mask that is monitoring all O2 in and all CO2 out.  They have me work in 3 minute segments, increasing power each step.  James took my lactate levels in between.  But when I reached my maximum they switch me to 1 minute pieces with no breaks to push me to my absolute limit.  It’s really fun! 

Mike, James and Liz help me through the test.

Ouch

Enjoy the horror show!

Dave

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03/9 2010

Tuesdays seem hard

Okay, so I had my first serious double day of hard workouts.  This morning I was in the pair with Doug, and we did 5 work runs, and tonight I was back in the single attempting 16 x 90 second ‘sprint-like’ pieces.  I say sprint-like, as opposed to ‘sprint’ because my 26 – 30 spm were not yelling sprint! 

It was great to be rowing the pair again.  We had a couple good pushes but in the end my fitness was the boss.  I had to laugh after the second run on a 22 free, Kevin and Steve drove Doug and I up to 28, 29 and 30+!  Well, actually, they drove Doug up and I just followed.  We got to the end of the run and I was cooked!  But in the end it is better to drive hard like that then to leave something out there!  Doug was a good sport about my fitness.  It was easy to row with him.  

Tonight’s workout was crazy!  The wind was up, and we all faithfully rowed up to point one – the roughest spot on the lake.  Mike altered the runs so that we went along the highway.  To fit them in we had to stop rowing for our 30 seconds off.  It was crazy!  We got all 16 in though.  By the end I knew that I was doing it for the fitness and not to worry about the results…regardless, I loved it!

At the end of practice Terry came up and coached me.  It was nice to have him give me a few pointers.  It all comes back to the same old points though – for some reason they don’t sink in for me.  I will get the long hang and I will hold my angle better!  Terry had me move my feet to the stern and lower my oarlocks too.  He liked the effect that change had on my finish.  Tomorrow morning I have the timed race around the lake to see how the changes feel.

Should be fun! 

Dave

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03/5 2010

Friday Sprint Work

Today was a big day. Okay, it was a bigger than usual day…for me…not so much for the other boys on the national team.  In my Hudson single I did 12 x 90 seconds – yes, sprint work!  I had a good 45 seconds in me at 32 before the world started to close in on me.  Then I just started counting to 45 – I figured sticking to a 30 spm was respectable, although not always possible.  45 strokes: 15/15/15, 20/15/10, even 23/23 – they all got me to the end of the minute and a half.  Although I really started to suffer for my lack of training, I loved it.  The entire row took over 2 hours. I am closer to my gold medal because of this workout…

Now I am off to do my VO2 MAX test on the erg…

Dave

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03/4 2010

Around the Lake Results

Dave's Hands after 3 days

Dave's Hands after 3 days

It may not have been very fast, but it was great.  I got around the lake in 32 and a half minutes.  I left my fitness at the halfway point – it just sort of jumped out of the boat!  You couldn’t get the smile off my face though.  Now starts the battle with my hands!  You can’t tell very well from this picture, but I think that I started pulling hard again.  If my count is right, I have 7 blisters.  Next comes the popping and then comes the raw open soars!  By the end of the month I should have a fully conditioned set of callouses. 

Oddly I did want to nap all afternoon and I fell asleep with Mira at 7:30 tonight. 

Dave

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