March 4, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. -
Sophomore Elle Logan, a member of the Cardinal women's crew team and an Olympic hopeful, took some time out of her busy schedule at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. to answer some questions about the experience of preparing for the Olympics. She is there, along with freshman teammate Lindsay Meyer, training for an opportunity to represent Team USA at the upcoming 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Stanford is the only collegiate rowing program to have two undergrads in Olympic Team Selection Camp.
Q: What's the biggest difference between collegiate and national team rowing?
A: The biggest difference between collegiate and national team rowing is the volume of training. It would be impossible to train as much as the national team does on a collegiate level and still have a normal college experience. On the national team, rowing is the top priority as compared to academics in college. Therefore my focus is entirely on preparing for the next practice or what I can do to be a better rower and with that, the quality of rowing is much higher. I have noticed that the national team rowers approach every work out with the same composed mentality--whether they are hard pieces or just steady state, practices are very consistent.
Q: What's the hardest part of training for the Olympics?
A: The hardest part of training with the national team and trying out for the Olympics is trying to not let the lows get too low and the highs get too high. If I have a bad practice I try to figure out what I can improve on and go from there. If I have a good practice I see what worked well and continue to build off of that. Training would be impossible if I too much time dwelling on one good or bad practice. It is about always getting faster no matter what changes you have to make.
Q: What's your favorite current workout?
My favorite workout so far would have to be 1500m pieces bumping the rate every 500m. I like them better every time we do them as I get more and more comfortable rowing in the pair.
Q: What's it like being the youngest person in the group?
A: Being the youngest person in the group I definitely have less experience than the other rowers. Everyone training here is an amazing rower and I have learned something from everyone. I have made some great friends even though they're older than me because I just try to be myself.
Q: How do you keep yourself mentally focused?
A: I keep myself focused by making sure that I do things other than rowing when we have a practice off, whether it is going to a movie or the beach. In San Diego on an afternoon off, a couple of the rowers and I take off into the hills to the shooting range to shoot trap. I have to keep my life balanced so I don't get too caught up in rowing 24-7, and when it is time for practice I am completely focused on that practice.
Q: What's it like to be training without going to class?
A: The amount of training is increased because all we have to focus on is rowing. Instead of going to class after practice I take a nap. At night I usually get about 9 hours of sleep every night because I don't have to stay up to finish homework and I don't have to wake up early to go to practice before class in the morning. Without class I am able to recover better and as a result I can train more and at a higher quality.
Q: What do you miss most about Stanford?
A; I miss my friends at Stanford a lot. Also, to my surprise, I miss going to class and actually learning, not doing the homework, just going to class.
What is the most important thing you've learned from this experience that you can share with your teammates at Stanford when you return?
A: The most important thing I have learned is to control what you can control and keep building off of what you are learning. Also I have learned that if you use your legs you row faster!