Eduardo Linares Ruiz, from Peru, claimed a gold medal this past October at the 2018 World Rowing Coastal Championships in Canada. It is clear that a love of the ocean (he started as a surfer!) and tons of dedication, hard work, and relentless training brought him this accomplishment.
Many thanks to Eduardo for emailing me these responses to share. I am particularly grateful that he took the time to write his answers in English, which is not his first language! If you are interested in becoming a better coastal racer, read Eduardo’s responses very closely - there is a lot in there:
How did you get started in coastal rowing?
In 2015 Peru, my country, hosted the world championships, I participated for the first time and I really liked this new rowing experience.
What is your favorite thing about coastal rowing?
What I like the most about rowing coastal is the freedom I feel when I'm rowing alone in the open sea.
Can you tell us a little about your championship race? What was your strategy?
I knew it was going to be a hard race, because I knew most of my rivals and I knew they were very good. My strategy was to qualify through the heats with the least possible effort and not get tired for the final race. Also, I prepared myself a lot mentally.
How did you prepare to win this race? How often do you train?
For this competition, I prepared very hard, trained two to three sessions per day, tried to row 30 km per day (in the morning and the afternoon), what gave me endurance capacity, which is necessary in a competition of 6 kilometers
You mentioned to me that you travel for training. Where do you train? How important is traveling to other countries and racing around the world? What countries did you go to in 2018?
It is very important to have some competitions before the world championship, that helps you to know what level you are in, and at the same time be in a competitive environment.
This year I had two preparation regattas: one in Peru and the other competition was in Sweden where there are very experienced rowers in coastal!! Furthermore I traveled to Germany various times this year to train in different waters and to spend time with my familia there.
Do you only train in coastal rowing? Do you row flat water?
I also practice olympic Rowing , but I am more dedicated to coastal Rowing because it is easier for me, since I live in front of the sea in Peru. It has good coastal conditions, there are days that are very calm but there are others were there are many waves and it is impossible to practice olympic rowing.
Do you do other sports?
I really like surfing! I surfed before I learned how to Row but now it's harder to practice it, because the rowing absorbs me all the time
Do you often row in rough water or big waves? How important is that to your training?
It is necessary to train in all kinds of conditions, because you never know where the next competition will be and what conditions it has
How do you practice for the turns in coastal racing?
It is very important to practice the turns in the buoys, it is usually the last thing I practice in my preparation! I have buoys to train, and I put them in different places to practice in all directions. The turns in the buoys can determine a competition. It is something very important in this mode of rowing.
Do you lift weights or do other cross-training?
I do train a lot the physical part, my coach is Cuban and he likes to work a lot in the gym, two to three times a week. Some days I have power, with a lot of weight, few repetitions, and other days low weight, many repetitions.
What advice do you have for people who want to be successful in coastal racing? Anything mental, physical, lifestyle, etc?
in the coastal Rowing is very important the physical part, it is a long distance and for that you also have to be prepared psychologically, you have a lot of pressure from the rivals for a long time during the competition. Something interesting of the coastal is that many factors intervene, and you have to have a lot of skill to face them in the best way. In Canada one of the factors was the start of the race (beach start), which I had to practice a lot the month before the regatta.
What do you do outside of coastal rowing and how do you balance training for a world championship and maintaining a family and a living?
The rowing is very sacrificing, I have the support of my family, which is very important in the career of an athlete. I am a lawyer and work in the municipality of the district where I live, and they give me many facilities to train. In Peru I belong to a program where they give us a monthly scholarship, which helps us cover some of our expenses (economic support) and includes health insurance.