A guest post by Brandy Mulligan.
After you have weighed in for your 2k erg competition or 2k rowing race you need to do a few crucial things. Otherwise you could bomb when it comes to your actual race. If you have followed a good pre race lightweight rower sweat down strategy, this is a good play for immediately after weigh in.
1. Immediately Begin the Slow Process of Rehydration
When you go into the weigh in room you need to bring a drinks bottle with you. Have it beside you so that the instant you step off the scales and get the all clear that you can row or erg in the lightweight class – start to drink.
2. Drink a Sports Drink slowly and a little at a time
The worst mistake you can make is to drink too much too soon. Even if you have a good quality sports drink with lots of stuff in it to help you retain the fluids, it will still run through you if you. Remember your stomach can only process a certain amount of fluid per hour. Sip a little – slowly and frequently.
3. Aim to drink it all right up to 5 – 10 minutes before start time.
Spread out your drink from the time you weigh in till the time of your race. There’s no point in drinking everything in the first hour post weigh – in. Use as much of the 2 hour window to rehydrate as you can. This will help you to drink and slowly and get maximum rehydration.
4. How MUCH you drink depends on lots of factors like:
- Dehydration (how dehydrated you are)
- Temperature. You will need more in warmer conditions.
- The speed you drink at
- How much you eat. Eating will slow down absorption.
- The drink you use. Sports drinks are best because they are designed to help you retain the fluids you intake. Water tends to just run through without contributing much by way of hydration.
- The temperature of your drink. Cold drinks get absorbed but run through quicker. This is not necessairly a good thing. Aim for a drink that is not ice cold.
5. You should eat something if you haven’t eaten in a while
Say you haven’t eaten since the evening before the weigh- in. And you don’t really feel hungry because you’ve been psyched all morning making sure you make the weight. You should still aim to eat something after weigh in.
Actually, if you are in good time and are on weight (or slightly below) 10 minutes or so before the weigh in you could have something light (like a rice cake or something).
6. What should I eat – and how much?
You can eat anything from breakfast cereal, to bread rolls and nutella, to rice cakes, to bananas, to a honey sandwich to a powerbar. The stuff lightweight rowers eat after weigh-ins is as varied as there are lightweight rowing techniques. (Literally hundreds of different options and opinions) . It really is up to you what you eat (if you eat at all).
- Maybe you’re not comfortable with eating so close to race time – that’s fine.
- Or you have eaten already because making weight for the 2k race is not a problem for you.
For a newbe – I would suggest you try something out in training before your 2k erg or 2k rowing race. Aim to weigh in just like a lightweight rowing race (except at a different target weight) Pick a hard training dayand arrive for training early. Do the ‘weigh – in’ and eat afterwards. Test different foods to find out what you like. And more importantly – to find something that agrees with your digestive system.
The last thing you need is to have some rice cake repeating on you, mid-race.
The aim is to hold on to almost everything you have ingested pre race. If you need to go pee too often before the race, chances are that you have drank too much or too fast. It you have ever tried to do a 2k erg or rowing race in a dehydrated you will know that it is a brutal experience. And it can also be dangerous.
Brandy Mulligan writes at Erg Rowing