Who Cares About Rowing?

This article was originally published in 2013.

1) Is everyone signing up for the Open? I should hope so!

2) Remember the assignment to row 1k for time this week? That wasn’t prescribed simply to torture you. Since we are in the on-season, there are competitions every weekend. I monitor the larger, well-respected ones; the ones where Games athletes and other beasties throw down and win thousands of dollars. These high-profile comps are where we see where our sport is headed, and get glimpses of how the best in the world are performing right now. The London Throwdown was just last week, and the opening workout was a 1k row. Fastest male times were 2:58; fastest females (yes, that’s plural) were 3:27. Now, I know what you’re thinking…just because some freak won a specialty workout doesn’t mean they performed well overall. Here are the top 3 males and top 3 females, along with their ranking for the 1k row:


  1. Andy Edwards – tied for 33rd on the row with 3:07
  2. Nick Rouse – tied for 33rd on the row with 3:07
  3. Steven Fawcett – 90th place on the row with 3:15


  1. Samantha Briggs – tied for 1st place on the row with 3:27
  2. Katrin Davidsdottir – 6th place on the row with 3:30
  3. Drofn Hilmarsdottir – tied for 1st place on the row with 3:27.

We see that for the females, row skills are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. You don’t have to win, but you absolutely need to be in the top tier. This can be the difference between qualifying or not.

For the males, it was not as important to win; there were something like 151 guys competing to the women’s 98, so there was more bottlenecking with the times. HOWEVER, you will notice that both the first and second place males overall ALSO TIED FOR THE ROW. They were competitive across the board, not just freakish rowers.

My point is that, for those who want to be competitive in this sport, you do not get any mulligans. You cannot have any weaknesses. The field is evolving every year, and your margin for error is shrinking. You must be willing to put everything out there on your workouts, or you will quickly fall down in the rankings. For those of you who may not aspire to compete on that level, that’s fine too! Just know that we are working on making you a better, more well-rounded athlete anyway 😉

3) Please read this article – “Think You’re Tired? Might All Be in Your Head”. I know, I know…all that ‘power of positive thinking’ stuff is a bunch of hooey. Sometimes it can be difficult to believe that something as simple as our attitude can make such a drastic difference in our perception of fatigue and overall performance, but…studies are proving that this is indeed the case. DO NOT DISMISS the importance of sports psychology in what we do; the mind is much more powerful than what we want to credit.