Benedict Tufnell

5.35.8: How Josh Dunkley-Smith Did It

by Benedict Tufnell

On Saturday 10 March 2018, Dunkley-Smith broke the World Record for fastest ever 2000m on an indoor rowing machine with a time of 5 minutes 35.8 seconds. The 28-year-old’s performance saw him post a time bettering New Zealander Rob Waddell’s 10-year-old record of 5:36.6, by almost a second.

Towards the end when things started to get a little bit dire I was able to compensate for fatigue.

In this video produced by Rowing Australia Josh talks through his approach to the record breaking test. Having fallen just short of the record in an attempt last year Josh says that he changed his tactics to a more front loaded-strategy.

“I had an attempt last year and did it mainly on power” says Dunkley-Smith “pretty low rate and hauling on it. Giving it a little more work, opening the system up more in the first 200-300 [metres] was a better approach.”

“Getting that front loading of lactate, getting the system started so it wasn’t only coming on line half way through was one of the changes and also keeping the rate up a bit more. Towards the end when things started to get a little bit dire I was able to compensate for fatigue.”

As seen in the video, Josh chooses to not wear any footwear when rowing on the erg and completed his 5.35 2k in bare feet.

“I have always erged bare feet, I have always liked the idea of just being able to show up and go and not worry about a lot of extraneous things.”

The damper setting he says was ‘around six’ or a drag factor of 130 – as is the national team erg-test policy.

See the full video below.

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