Question of the Day

During 2k tests, I have the most difficulty sprinting. I’m generally better at long distance pieces (both running and erging) and can usually work with that to my advantage but I think that if I worked on my sprint I could chop off a second or two. Basically what’s your advice about sprinting in general? Where should I start the sprint? How many splits lower should it be than the rest of the 2k? Sorry there’s a lot of questions within this, sprinting is just one big clusterfuck for me

Sprinting is the definition of controlled chaos. By the time you reach that point, your body has entered a whole new circle of hell and you have no choice but to keep it together and continue rowing. It’s definitely something that takes practice and a lot of mental stamina to be able to execute effectively.

When I’m coxing I typically call 5 to build at 350m and then at 300m(ish), we go. When I see most people doing a 2k, that’s about where they start their sprint too. Any more than that tends to be too long and unsustainable and any less is usually not enough to produce any measurable gains. As your stamina and strength increases you’ll be able to start your sprint sooner but 250m is usually a good starting spot. The difference between your “sprint splits” and your average split time will depend on you, really. The goal of sprinting is to empty the tanks and go all out, as fast as you can, and even harder than you thought you could. As your body gets stronger and more used to rowing at those higher rates, your splits will fall. I’d say 2ish seconds below your average 2k split would probably be a good.

Related: On a lot of rowing blogs I hear people mention “negative splits”, especially when discussing 2k’s. What exactly are they and can it be beneficial to know how to properly use them?

Before you try and jump straight into an all-out sprint though, practice. Don’t practice when you’re alert and have a full tank of gas in your system either, practice it when you’re tired.  Practice keeping your head in the game – close your eyes, take a few deep breaths – and controlling your body. Sit up tall, relax your shoulders, tighten your core … these are all things you might think you’re already doing until you actually do them and realize you weren’t. Also, have someone watch and/or record you for a few strokes so you can watch the footage later and see how you looked.