Short Course European Championships

European Championships Selection

European Championships SelectionI had a quick look through my last few blogs to see where we are and noticed that the last few entries have not been directly about rowing, training, progress, the season, selection or anything of the sorts.

There’s a reason for that; it has been a bleak season. A real, ball-buster of a winter and not in a good way. I couldn’t share it with you all because I didn’t understand it, but now that things are unfolding and we have had a timely media day, I’ll do my best to bring you up to speed.

I have been in a dark place for a while now. It’s normally dark to be fair, but in all of my seasons before this one, I have been well equipped, thumping out performances left, right and centre whatever time of day or night. Boston trials? Bang! 5000m ergo yes? No problem! Half hour test? Boom! 2k? PB! Final trials? Let’s do this!

Since November-ish 2013, maybe a bit earlier, I’ve been feeling very different. I haven’t felt ill at all, or even injured, just not myself.IMG_5162 Low-intensity/high-mileage training has been no problem, but when I have asked my body to cash some big cheques at the top end, I was struggling. Badly.

This wasn’t normal fatigue which can be sorted with 6000 calories and a Sunday off either. As weeks rolled by, late last year, assessment opportunities were getting the better of me and not for lack of trying. The determination that I have always relied so heavily on wasn’t the problem. Winter months get a lot darker when, despite you very best efforts, the reality of declining performances gets more cemented.

After a few weeks the strong support team of experts at Caversham started to look closely at the situation. Jürgen has been there and seen everything. I have a doctor, physiotherapist, physiologist, psychologist, nutritionist and access to specialists in every field. Athletes have very suppressed immune systems, so we started to look at the possible causes.

IMG_5163 photo photo PR184

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