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To help you prepare for the event, Olympian Eric Murray, has created a series of videos to
improve your training and mindset for competition. So whether you’re an elite athlete,
chasing a new PB or just setting yourself a benchmark to improve upon –
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Olympic legend, Eric Murray, talks through how and why you should set benchmarks to maximise your progress in rowing in the third episode of our (RE)COMMIT series.
Setting benchmarks are a great way to guide your workout to success. To get where you want to go, you need to know where you began. It's great to track your progress, know how much you've grown and improved.
Train smart, not hard
It's important to train smart, not just hard. Benchmarks help you avoid exercising mindlessly, without purpose and focus. Having specific goals and to-do lists in your workout will help you grow and improve and track exactly what you need to hone in on each session. It keeps you accountable for each workout, helps you strive to continuously improve and better yourself by reminding you of your starting point.
While you can complete your benchmark workout at any time, they’re most effective at establishing a starting point before you begin a new training programme. If you want to test your cardio capacity or skill, your first benchmark workout should mimic the activity you’re training for, aka if you want to row a sub-8-minute 2k, your benchmark should be seeing how fast you can row a 2k today.
Benchmark and improve
Your overall training routine shouldn't consist of only performing your benchmark, a holistic and varied programme should address not just the goal, but also the areas and muscle groups that support those your rowing, like building your glutes & quads, working on mobility in your hips by practicing different hinging movements. By doing this, when you perform the benchmark workout again, you’re more likely to see progress every time.
Every time you repeat the test, you can compare your progress. How much you improve over the course of your training program depends on your baseline, if you’re a complete beginner, you will see significant improvements after a short period of time. However, more experienced athletes will find the difference between tests closes as they grow stronger and fitter. You may improve by minutes between your first and second 2k test, whereas you might only shave off a couple of seconds between your tenth and eleventh tests.
PREVIOUS ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES:
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