"Go off as fast as you can and hang on for dear life when it starts hurting"
David Rackstraw is currently top of the Men's RowUK250 Leaderboard with a time of 37.0. Who is he and what are his indoor sprint rowing secrets?
Who are you?
I am David, I'm 35 and a wedding photographer from sunny Sunderland (not really sunny)
What got you into indoor rowing?
I got into indoor rowing through CrossFit. I'm a member of CrossFit Glacier which is probably one of the best decisions for my health I've ever made. Lots of workouts include indoor rowing and the coaches mentioned that my times were crazy fast so I've kind of just seen how far I can push myself on the erg.
What is the highlight of your indoor rowing 'career' so far?
The highlight so far has to be setting the British Record for the maximum metres rowed in 1 minute. I've broke the record three times now. I spent literally every day on the rower, I was obsessed with breaking it.
Watch David's British Record
Do you only train for sprints or do you also row longer distances?
I train for everything (apart from a 10k as I've not done that yet). My best times are sprints by far and I'm hoping to do well at the British Indoor championships later this year at the 500m. I'm also in an online rowing league and each month we have a new challenge which could be anything from a sprint to an interval, or a long distance to restricted stroke rate. My aim long term is to get a sub 6 min 2k as that appears to be the holy grail of rowing.
What top tips would you give someone starting out on the ergo?
Join an online indoor rowing team/league its addictive and a lot of fun competing against other people from all over the world regardless of ability.
For others doing the RowUK250 Challenge, do you have any secrets you're happy to share?
The row 250 challenge is just at the point where you are gonna feel a burn. So my tips would be:
Get a fast start half pulls seems to work for me
Don't do full length strokes
Go off as fast as you can and hang on for dear life when it starts hurting
If you're ever lacking in a bit of motivation, what keeps you rowing?
Always track your times and set yourself challenges. Even if i improve by 0.1 of a second, the sense of achievement keeps pushing me to do better each time.
Have you ever been on the water in a rowing boat?
I've never been in a rowing boat but would 100% give it a go so if anyone fancies taking me on the water get in touch!
Think you can go under 37.0 for the 250m?
I know I can easily get under 37.0. I almost got it today but I had just done a 2k row about 20 minutes beforehand so my legs were not 100%. When I get under 37.0, I will aim for under 36.0 and so on.
Think you can get under 37.0? Beat others, beat yourself, beat everyone.
Find us at #RowUK250 on Instagram and Twitter and check out the latest Men's and Womens leaderboard here: RowUK250 Leaderboard