Winter is a tough time for rowers. As if 6am starts weren't bad enough already they have the added bonus of being in completely dark, sub-zero conditions that, if we're really lucky, will include strong winds and flooded rivers in the mix.
But winter is also where champions are made. Because let's face it, we all love to train in the summer when it's glorious conditions and we can top up our tans as we train, winter is where you set yourself apart from the competition. Treating yourself to a lie in instead of that extra session, cutting your session short because it's snowing and missing that last set of deadlifts because your back hurts from the 2 hour row you did earlier are all examples of things people think don't make a difference in the short term, maybe they don't, but over the course of a 6 month winter training period they really add up.
That makes me grateful for all the support I have around me. Rowing is a team sport, and as a team we spur each other on towards the common goal. The support I've received from Nurishment helps keep me going too. When you're training 3 times a day, with sessions lasting as long as two hours, you need the right fuel to keep yourself going. You need loads of carbohydrates, plenty of protein and the right minerals in between every session and having a Nurishment in my bag at the ready gets me through these long days one at a time.
It's so far so good for me this winter, with all the major races being in the summer it's important to do some races to stay motivated while training hard throughout so you are continually improving. Having won three of my four races for my club, won two national medals for my university and reached the penultimate round of GB trials in March I'd say things are shaping up nicely so far. But for me it's still about going as fast as possible this summer, and putting myself in a position to do so over the winter. For now, I'm just taking it one long hard session at a time.