Ahead of the Cancer Research UK Boat Races on Sunday, 27 March, one of the men’s race’s most successful participants and four-time winner Constantine Louloudis, now part of the GB Rowing Team, has revealed what a contrast the preparation is compared to chasing Olympic gold in Rio.
Speaking at an event hosted by SAS, the Official Analytics Partner of British Rowing and the GB Rowing Team, the former Oxford Blue and London 2012 bronze medallist commented on the vastly different physiological requirements.
Having rowed in both events, Louloudis is under no illusions as to how the two vary. ‘‘The Boat Race is about three times longer than the 2000m Olympic course and that means the emphasis is much more on aerobic development, being able to go the distance and last for a race that takes between 17 and 20 minutes, whereas at the Olympics or World Championships it will all be over after about six minutes if you are in an eight-man boat.”
“In the national team we spend a lot of time weight training and building the explosive power you need for a shorter 2000m race, where you need to be explosive out of the start compared to the Boat Race which is all about sustaining a pace for as much as 20 minutes. When training for the Boat Race with Oxford it was all about extended aerobic work on rowing machines or on the water for as much as 90 minutes, twice a day.”
He continued, “I think the one-on-one nature of the rivalry is pretty important but, when you are first in the Boat Race and if you aren’t quite used to that rivalry, it’s the profile that is the biggest thing. The reality is that in a sport like rowing, getting an event that so many people are in to, and gets such exposure, makes a big difference and is really exhilarating.”
First held in 1829, the race is one of the oldest annual sporting events in the world. Over 250,000 spectators are set to line the banks of the Thames on Sunday and millions more will tune in from around the world.
Image – Constantine Louloudis at London Rowing Club at an event organised by SAS, the official analytics partner of British Rowing and the GB Rowing Team
PHOTO CREDIT: SAS / Victoria Middleton