A Tale of Two Tests

How long would it take you to row 2000 meters?

The 2k test is a classic method for comparing the fitness of rowers, either in a boat or on an erg machine.

I was fortunate to do two tests in two months. I achieved similar scores in both, yet the ~7 minutes felt very different. The first felt good. I finished feeling like I had more to give. Great fun!

The second was the polar opposite. It hurt. I don’t think I could have done much more. The large contrast fascinates me as I can’t explain it.

The first test had all the hall marks of going poorly:

Much to my surprise, the test went well.

The second test was the opposite in most aspects:

I’d prefer future tests to feel like the first. The most obvious way is to get fitter. It doesn’t explain the difference between the two. I considered if my fitness had deteriorated over the month, but I don’t think that’s the case. If anything, I did more training, as I had free time over the holidays. If it’s not a question of physical fitness, could it be something else? Perhaps elements I can control? I’m interested in the psychological component of endurance sports, as it has studies show it to have a large impact on performance.

Factors I’d like to explore