Hello all, just a brief intro on my sporting history, my current status, aims and what I’ll be chatting about in my blogs.
My name is Sarah Perkins (nickname is Perky) and my sport of choice is elite rowing.
I began rowing at fourteen, as a part of compulsory school sport at Geelong College in year nine. Nearly ten years later I am endeavouring to make the Australian team for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
A brief recount of my rowing experience starts with the four years I rowed at school, three years in the school’s first eight crew and club rowing with Corio Bay Rowing Club in Geelong. In those junior years as we call it (U19), I had success in both rowing disciplines: Single sculling (two oars) and sweep rowing in school eights (one oar). My win in the U19 single scull (1x) prompted the offer of a scholarship to Boston University. I spent just over two years training in America, travelling back and forth from Australia to trial and successfully make the U23 Australian team.
In the season of 2011 I changed weight divisions and came back to Australia with the hope of making the 2012 London Summer Olympic squad. While I did excel in the Lightweight division, my first attempt at securing a seat in the team was not to be. I had to withdraw with illness and various eating disorders and subsequently had to take the season of 2012 off to recuperate.
I have moved back into the Heavyweight division (though I do not rule out Lightweight as a future prospect) and initially had much success in 2013, with a win at the Sydney World Cup 1 in the Aus Women’s quad. Over the last year I have encountered difficulties with injuries and have had to take a few steps back so I can move forward for next season.
The Australian rowing season take places during summer from Late December through to April, the ‘off season’ varies, generally running through winter. My offseason, barring injury, will officially begin at the end of this month.
My typical week of training at the moment consists of a couple of weight sessions, several different ergs (rowing machine workouts), jogging when my injury permits and some CrossFit workouts just to stay in touch with how my body is feeling. When I transition into the ‘Off Season’ my training week kicks up to long Kilometres at low intensity (‘building the base’ as my current coach calls it). To do this I’ll start off by rowing 3-5 mornings a week (in a single scull), usually we row between 10k and 15k. Any morning I am not rowing I will be on my bike for a couple of hours. Afternoons will either be weights, an erg or a jog. Due to my injury of last season, I have had to restrict my running and increase my cycling to compensate. My squad’s ‘off season’ kicks off with a 30’ open rate erg test on July 1st…
In terms of food, I tend to eat very clean meals, it’s often a laugh among my fellow rowers that my indulgence or ‘binge’ consists of sultanas or dates. My preferred food choices at the moment are bananas, kumara, dates and various winter veggies. I do take some supplements throughout the year, these tend to increase/decrease depending on what I’m putting my body through.
This winter my aims are to construct a solid base and come into the season lighter and more efficient. I have a strong belief in the importance of power to weight ratio and for that to work for me, I need to drop some weight before next year.
Through my following blogs I will introduce you to the world of rowing and what an elite athlete must endure to be at elite level and then step up to reach Olympic level. I will cover the more general aspects of my sport; Fitness, diet/supplements and rowing for the everyday person who just wants good looking abs. I will also attempt to cover the struggles as well as the success stories; rowing like many other sports/disciplines is full of politics, injuries, controversies and heartbreak before one can wear the green and gold and line up in an Olympic final.
Hobby: Writing children’s epic fantasy
Favourite food this week: Chat Potatoes/or those massive mushrooms at woollies
Favourite BN product for this time of the year: Recuper8
Favourite training song this week: Never Surrender-Skillet
Session to try this week: Session on the erg: 20mins at rate 28…walk around for a few minutes then get back on and do a 500m sprint!