For much of the UK, the winter months are focused on indoor training especially for the adaptive rowers. The colder water temperatures and the faster flowing rivers spike the risk assessment dangers. This temperature risk will often tip the balance of whether to go out or not f more vulnerable groups of rowers – juniors, novices, adaptives. Furthermore, another risk consideration is boat type and most typically adaptives are rowing in singles which is the highest danger of capsize (though many adaptives use safety pontoons, I do know from experience that these are in no way a guarantee against capsizing).
Another consideration is motivation. In general, I find that the most common drivers for non-adaptive rowers are competing first, recreation second, and health/fitness third. But in the adaptive population I find that this prioritization is flipped. Since competing is less of an imperative, going through the misery of freezing wet for a training session is just not worth it for many. Furthermore, with the higher priority for fitness and health benefits, the winter indoor season provides an opportunity for sustained strength and conditioning training.
Nonetheless, hours in the gym on the erg is one of the most tedious parts of rowing. So, it’s great to have a few competitions as focal points to break up the monotony and test the results of all the work. Curiously, the “championship” (BRIC) of indoor rowing takes place at the beginning of the indoor “season” followed by a number of regional events in the winter months. This past weekend saw the Southern England Indoor Rowing Championships in Abingdon. The event has hosted adaptive events for over a decade (Jessica Parker’s WJ11+ 2 min record of 2006 still stands in their record books). So despite the lack of any other adaptive clubs, Marlow Rowing Club came in force for both individual and a relay competition. As the old saying goes, “you have to be in it to win it” and kudos to the team for showing up and showing their stuff. The event was a great chance for the squad to lay down some benchmarks for future adaptive competitors to aim for. Congratulations to the entire team:
- Adaptive Mens Junior J14+ (4 min) – P.J. O’Donovan, Marlow Rowing Club
- Adaptive Womens Junior J14+ (4 min) – Georgia Walker, Marlow Rowing Club
- Adaptive Male Junior J147+ (2000m) – Sebastian Johnson, Marlow Rowing Club
- Adaptive Junior Relay (2000m) – P.J. O’Donovan, Mateusz Stan, Georgia Walker, Sebastian Johnson, Marlow Rowing Club