Sara Bertolasi, rowing towards Tokyo Olympics 2020

From a story by Gabriele Ferraresi
Sara Bertolasi, 30 years old, two Olympic Games on her belt- London 2012 and Rio 2016 - rowing in her specialty, the coxless pair. One constant thought: the third Olympics in Tokyo 2020, where it would be the first Italian ever in its discipline to compete three consecutive times under the five circles.
Sara, how would you describe the starting moment?
"In rowing the start of race is a very special rite, the judge who gives the start is like a God in that moment! When you do an international regatta, there are six lanes and before the start, the referee marks the names of the nations: he does it with a certain cadence, so you hear "Italy!", "Great Britain!", "New Zealand!"... until you get to the last. At that point he says "Ready!" and then "Go!". That's where the race really starts:

That moment of pause between "Attention!" and "Go!" is the moment before the race, and at that moment I never feel ready, I think every time it's the last one I'll dare doing an Olympics or a World Cup. I'd like to run away. When you leave, however, no longer think about fear, do not even think about it anymore: because there is nothing to think about, there is only to do.

After the start, in fact, there is a lot to row – really a lot - but there is also some room to think: "During the race you have the opportunity to meditate: the rowing a races in which I participate usually last around 7' and 20'', which gives you time to make calculations, to think".
Do those 7'' and 20'' fly away?
Yes and no: "It depends a lot on the state of form. If you're experiencing physical pain they never pass, so much so that often with the same amount of training the one who can resist the most wins. Before the start, I always think about what I will feel during the race, hoping that this is not gonna cause me any pain... but it always does!” Abandoning is not an option contemplated, one does not even think about it:

In the end you always race, even if you don't understand why you do it: you go and look for things that hurt you, things that are difficult and painful, but that in the end are the most beautiful. Everyone can do the easy ones, there's no pleasure in them.

A race to remember?
"The Rio Olympics: I'm now preparing for the third Olympics, but at the time I decided to stop, I was sure. I remember that at the start of my final I looked around and thought "These are the last 240 strokes of my life". I looked at the mountain, the Christ of Rio, the traffic, the people who were walking, thinking "Enjoy all this Sara, because you will never do it again" and so I enjoyed the race stroke after stroke..."
And then? "Then what? Then I changed my mind!". See you in Tokyo 2020.

The training of a rower

Rowing requires an excellent combination of upper and lower body strength, combined with good motor coordination, mental discipline and physical endurance.
Especially in the coxless pair, a rower must have an excellent rowing technique, as well as coordination with his/her partner. The name of this discipline is in fact inspired by the lack of the helmsman - hence the "cox", is replaced by the front rower, who controls the direction of the boat by moving the helm with his foot underneath the seating platform.
The indoor rowing workout par excellence is the one on the rower, which simulates the rowing movement and trains the same muscle chains. To improve certain aspects of physical fitness you can follow different types of training, usually working on one of the main biometric factors:

  • Training duration
  • Average speed
  • Calories burned
  • Average power produced
  • Ergonomic resistance

SKILLROW and SKILLROW app, the training with the rower designed for athletes

To get the best result from your workout, you need to be able to train with a state of the art rowing machine and be constantly followed in your personalized training. The combination of SKILLROW - the rower of the SKILL Line designed for those seeking maximum performance - and SKILLROW app, allows multiple training possibilities, designed for those who want to train their technique, endurance and rowing power in complete safety.
Connettendosi dall’app è possibile sfidare tutti gli utenti e scalare la classifica, svolgere lezioni mirate al miglioramento della tecnica ed all'efficienza energetica sulle lunghe distanze, oppure eseguire allenamenti personalizzati, come allenamenti ad intervallo ad alta intensità o il TECHNOGYM NEUROMUSCULAR TRAINING, il programma d’allenamento firmato Technogym che sfrutta al massimo la tecnologia dello SKILLROW.

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