How to use prognostic times coaching rowing
How fast do my crews have to be to win a gold medal?
Most coaches would like to know whether their crews are going fast enough to win a medal or a place in the final at their most important races such as the National Championships, Henley Royal Regatta or the Olympics in Rio 2016.
Put another way, what is the time that will secure my crews a medal?
Are they fast enough during UT1 (or UT2, or 500m pieces) workouts to hit those medal times flat out in 2km races?
These are the type of questions many coaches would like to answer, but do we have the knowledge and tools to do so?
Today, Rowperfect starts a series of blog posts on “prognostic” or “gold standard” times. Written by sports science expert, Ainhoa Iñiguez. She will be covering
- What are prognostic times and examples of them.
- How to use prognostics – compare relative speed between different crews, predict regatta performance and set training speeds.
- How to use prognostics when you don’t have flat water and a measured course – in boat speed measurement (GPS and through the water).
- How to calculate your own prognosticsfrom results at the regattas that matter to you.
Why use prognostic times?
Before further explanation of these fancy words, let’s do some reflection on why we want to predict race times. If we were able to predict the medal winning times for Rio 2016, for example, and if my crews were able to push close to those numbers during training, I would be very confident that they would be able to replicate those at the important races.
Not only this, but my crew would be able to know the likelihood of them winning a medal at the Olympics. This would allow me to make changes in the training programme if it was not working or to continue confidently if we were on target in the preparation towards the Olympics. Consequently, this information will be helpful both practically and also in the athletes’ psychological preparation as they get closer to the competition.
Prognostic times or Gold Standard Times
A prognostic time or Gold Medal Standard time (GMS) is the theoretically predicted fastest possible time that a crew of a particular class can race the Olympic distance of 2km.
The most common approach is to work out the GMS for the next Olympics and to use the estimated times in the preparation of crews for that event. Hence, coaches are already training athletes with GMS for Rio 2016. We can also estimate the prognostic times for other competitions.
Next time we’ll look at the history of prognostic times and how they are calculated