Kim Brennan

Kim Brennan
2XU

Kim Brennan

Rower

Kim won a silver medal in the womenโ€™s double sculls and a bronze medal in the single sculls at the London 2012 Olympic Games. She was the only rower at the regatta to compete in two events.

Kim started her sporting career as a track and field athlete, winning silver in the World Youth Championships in the 400m hurdles in 2001. As a result of injury in 2005, she switched to rowing and made her first Australian team in 2006 where she won a bronze medal at the World Championships in the Womenโ€™s Eight. She has since won multiple World Championship medals and represented Australia in every Olympic boat class.

What does your standard training week involve?
We normally row each morning, except Sundays, and nearing competition season, we might row twice. During the day we have the necessary appointments- massage, physio, pilates, biomechanics, video review etc. and then in the afternoon we do either cross training (ergo or bike riding) or weights.

Where is your favourite place to train?
Itโ€™s pretty hard to beat the lake- Lake Burley Griffin, Lake Varese (our Italian training base), the Rotsee (Swiss rowing course in Lucerne), Lake Bled (Slovenian lake). Some very tough but rewarding sessions out there, but nothing more magical than the boat gliding effortlessly on a calm sunny day.

What is your favourite 2XU garment? When do you use it and why?
As above- definitely the Elite Compression Tights. I wear these in the mornings to ride to training and to row in, then after our evening sessions for recovery. They look great, feel great and work wonders.

What is your favourite training accessory?
Thatโ€™s a tricky one - Iโ€™m not great with gadgets, though I do find the stroke coach in my boat quite handy (it tells you the speed you are going and the number of strokes you are taking per minute).

What has been the toughest experience in your career and what did you learn from it?
Missing out on the final at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. I learnt that itโ€™s not enough to want to win - everybody wants to win. From then on, I focused a lot more on the "how" to reach my goals, not just the end goal.

Whatโ€™s the most common training mistake you see on the circuit? Any suggestions on how to avoid it?
The biggest mistake I see, and I have also been a culprit of this many times, is assuming harder is better. While rowing requires lots of strength and power, it is also a sport about efficiency and grace. Too often we rely on grunt and quantity at the expense of finesse and quality.

What motivates you to train and race harder?
I love the challenge of learning about my limits and how to get as close as possible to executing the "perfect race". The satisfaction of setting yourself a goal and achieving it is a really special one.

Describe your diet/meal plan leading up to a big race:
Sounds trite, but I just try to eat a healthy balanced diet. I donโ€™t have any real rules - although I do like an icecream the night before I race...tradition?

How do you balance your training and racing life with life outside the sport?
Itโ€™s tricky, particularly because rowers train a lot and travel a lot. Thereโ€™s not all that many hours left in a day not spent eating, training or sleeping. But Iโ€™ve always believed that a happy rower is a fast rower, and this means having all parts of your life in balance- friends, family, work and fun.

What type of nutritional supplement do you find most helpful (either for training or competition)?
Iโ€™m actually not a big believer in supplements...milk?

Best and worst thing about being a professional athlete:
Best thing is being able to follow your dreams, day in day out, while travelling to some amazing places and meeting some inspiring people. Worst thing is not having enough time for friends and family, and constantly being tired.

In five years time, I'll be:
Getting a real job!

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

  • 2012 London Olympic Games
Kim Brennan