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2010 Australian Rowing Team

Athlete diary

Australian men’s four rower James Marburg will provide a closer look into the Australian team camp during the 2010 World Cup Tour.

Thursday 24 June

We've been in Varese four days now and the sunshine, food and warm weather training all feels great. We were reflecting yesterday that three of the four of us have been coming here since 2002 – eight years ago. There are a lot of memories and experiences that come with this place, some fantastic and some not so fantastic over the years, but you would not trade any of them. They have all made for a full experience of our sport – an experience of highs and lows, flat spots and effort, but all of them worthwhile.

Over this time you also realise that coming here is more than just the weather, Italians have a different perspective on life, and enjoying life – being immersed into this environment can change your perspective on training – you appreciate how fortunate we are to wake up every morning and throw ourselves into something that we enjoy doing.

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Monday 21 June

Well this World Cup has been very much a learning experience for me personally and for our crew – we probably learnt more than we were hoping to have to! The result in the men's fours was fantastic for Australian men's sweep rowing, not many other countries can boast the depth and quality that we have at the moment in this category, however on a personal level for us the result was not what we had hoped for – yet we've agreed it was an accurate reflection of where we are speed-wise at this moment.

For us Munich has been a good stepping stone on the way to New Zealand in November and we're already looking forward to getting on the road to Varese and beginning our training camp before heading to Lucerne for the third and final World Cup. Hopefully we might see some sunshine something that has been completely lacking this week in Munich! Lucerne is going to be a great opportunity to see what sort of speed we can achieve on one of the worlds most beautiful courses.

The hotel is busy with everyone packing bags and preparing for tomorrows roadtrip, there is definitely a positive mood amongst the team. Varese is going to be plenty of hard work, but for those of us who have been there know, the landscape, food, weather and people are amazing and it makes for a very enjoyable place to train.

Adios Munchen!

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Thursday 17 June

Tomorrow is race day. The first heat of the first international race of the season is always the most nerve racking! We have been completing team work outs over the past couple of days, a few step rates, some shorter race pace pieces, but nothing can give a true, accurate, undeniable indication of just how you are going to go in a race – it’s the fear of the unknown that is most difficult.

As in a race, once the first stroke is underway and all of of your nerves turns to energy, similarly, once the first race of the regatta is done there is much more relaxation, everyone has put their cards on the table. It’s the few days before racing and then even more so, the few hours before the first race that I find the most diffficult.

We've had a much needed sleep-in this morning and are about to leave the hotel to watch some past races on a laptop in a local cafe. It will add a little bit of nerves and anticipation to our usually relaxed meetings. I'm just glad that by the end of tomorrow the waiting will be over.

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Tuesday 15 June

We’ve just landed in Munich and settling into the hotel and we’ll take some time over the next couple of days to ease our bodies into training. Travelling for such a long time [about 21 hours] at such a high altitude effects your blood in a way that makes exercise more difficult.

Usually, in the first couple of days post-travel, my heart rate is elevated, breathing is more difficult, concentration is a struggle and then after about two to three days the symptoms vanish and in fact you start to feel good. After the flight we're all happy and a little surprised at how well we have travelled.

Our racing begins on Friday – just four days from now. The immediacy of what we have to do now is with us. In the last week in Melbourne we were all so busy that it was easy to forget that we were going to be in Munich on Monday.

We've just finished breakfast and are about to walk down to the course, rig the boat and go for a short row – our main task now for today is to stay awake all day, much harder than it sounds!

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Friday 11 June

We’ve been training well in Melbourne over the past four weeks. The most pleasing aspect of this time has been the opportunity to train consistently and injury free!

At the mid-point of our training block we spent a long weekend on the Tambo river at Johnsonville, about four hours east of Melbourne. The Tambo has lots of long, uninterrupted straights, very still water and not much else. It was an ideal place to train for a couple of days and we enjoyed getting away from Melbourne and spending some time with each other – if we hadn’t done enough of that over the past five years!

After four days the coffee back in Melbourne was calling. We returned to the Yarra feeling tired but satisfied with our work.

We are definitely looking forward to catching up with everyone and getting some good racing under our belt at the Munich World Cup. A cold snap in Melbourne accompanied by a lot of rain this week has made us look forward to Europe’s summer just that little bit more.

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