Hannes Ocik’s (GER) Rowing Routine
July 6, 2016 — My Rowing Crew
Hannes Ocik (eighth of June 1991, born in Rostock) is a 25-year-old German rower.
He is part of the German national team and stroke man of the Men’s Eight.
Since the start of 2016, Hannes has captured gold medals at the 2016 European Rowing Championships and the 2016 World Rowing Cup III as well as a silver medal at the 2016 World Rowing Cup II; all in the Men’s Eight.
Although normally based in Northern Germany at his home rowing club of Schweriner Rudergesellschaft, Hannes is currently training out of the Olympia rowing base in Germany (Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia, and West Germany).
Hannes started his rowing career in 2005 with his first regatta and moved very early — at the age of 14 — into a boarding school for sports in Rostock. Since then, his biggest dream has been to compete at the Summer Olympics. After qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in April 2016, Hannes can now realize his childhood dream with the end goal of winning a gold medal in Rio!
What is your typical morning routine before you leave for morning practice?
It depends on where I stay overnight. When I am sleeping in Dortmund — in my room nearby our training center, I get up at around 7:00 am because our first training session normally starts at 7:30 am. Usually, to be honest, I sleep as long as I can in the morning. When I feel that my stomach is empty, and I need a bit of energy, I have a big bowl of cereal.
It is a little bit different when I stay at my girlfriend’s place because she lives 60 kilometers away from Dortmund. Therefore, I get up around 6:00 am in the morning to be on time in our training center. I am happy that I have a comfortable car, and loud music helps me to get awake.
How long have you stuck with this routine?
I think as long as I am training in Dortmund and preparing for the Olympic season.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
Because I moved out quite early, my morning routine has not really changed in the last ten years. The only difference is that back in the days I was living in the boarding school for sports and was “living” my routine there, and now I get breakfast and lunch in the Olympia rowing base in Dortmund.
What time do you normally go to sleep?
This depends on if I can have a nap (or two) during the day or not. Sometimes, when we have meetings, conferences, PR events (etc.), and I cannot have my general midday nap, I am “game-over” very early. On days like these, it can happen that I go to bed directly after we finished our training…
Haha, okay maybe not directly after the training session, but right after I had dinner. When I can have my nap between our training sessions, I am a little bit more rested and able to stay awake a bit longer.
I would say, normally I go to bed between 10.00 and 11.00pm.
Do you do anything before you go to bed to make your mornings easier?
Not really. I pack my bag so that I do not have to do it in the morning. But most of my training stuff stays in our training center.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
Like I said before. When I am hungry, I have a big bowl of cereal before the first training session that starts at 7:30 am. Otherwise, I have breakfast after our first session, at around about 9:30 am at the Olympia rowing base. We have breakfast all together, with all people from the A-squad.
Do you follow a strict diet while training?
I will not say so. Of course, we eat often in our training center and have our own cook. I guess he is taking care of us and looks after what he is cooking for the team.
Moreover, it is obvious that we are not allowed to drink alcohol in our preparations for the Olympic Games or other important competitions. I personally think that as closer it comes to the big rowing events, the more you look after your nutrition. We have a regularly weight-check and our coach will tell us when we have to lose some kilos. Because you know that, our boat has to be as light as possible.
What do you do to warm up before your first practice of the day?
Actually, we have a short chat, and then we go to the boathouse. We do a little stretching program before going on the water.
When we start our training in the boat, we begin with a little warm-up: 5–10 Minutes — constantly increasing our strokes.
During recovery days, how is your routine changed?
When you mention “recovery days”, do you mean absolutely no training, a full day off? If so, then on these days, my routine changes completely. As you might have noticed before I love sleeping, and to recover any lost sleep (and of course food) is the best type of recovery.
Also, when I can, I would stay the whole day in bed. haha.
However, normally this is not possible. I always try to do “normal stuff” to relax and distract myself from rowing and training. By normal stuff, I mean going into town, going for a walk, go food shopping and cook a great meal.
When traveling for camps/competitions, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a new environment?
When we have training camps or competitions, the routine varies — BUT during the past couple of years, you learn how to handle these situations. Therefore, one could say that it is not really a new situation because you know what you can expect when you travel.
What do you do if you fail to follow your training routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
Because my morning routine is not THAT special I don’t really care when it changes. During the last 10 years, I’ve learned how to cope with different living situations and being in different environments.
What is the one daily habit and/or routine that you believe contributes the most to your success as a rower?
Hmmm, this is a difficult question. To my mind, the reason for my success is never giving up. Being aware, every morning, of why I am rowing.
In addition, being focused on your goals.
Plus: learn from your setback and never give up.