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Rowing Workout for Serious Rowers

Is your Erg Rowing Workout file getting  a little old this rowing workoutsummer? Do You feel like you are not getting a return from your rowing workout sessions? Well, here’s a nice rowing workout blaster plan to blow out those summer cobwebs. (And help you discover more ideas for a new erg or rowing workout)

The Blaster Pyramid Rowing Workout

First – How to Warm Up

  • Begin with some easy rowing for 10 minutes.
  • Then do 1 minute at medium power rate 26 – 28.
  • Take a short break and do 15 strokes at high power rate 28 – 30
  • Row light for 20 strokes and then do another 15 stroke push at high power rate 30 – 32
  • Again row light for 20 strokes before doing a 10 stroke push high power rate 32 – 34.
  • Take a short break before rowing continuously for 5 – 7 minutes.
  • Next get ready for the blaster rowing workout proper.

Before you begin this particular rowing workout you need to remember a couple of things.

First: Row or erg efficiently.

Second: Focus on a good rowing workout rhythm

Third: Have a plan. Even though the rowing workout is not a 2k all out, you should still follow a good rowing workout strategy.

Fourthly: Set yourself up. That includes setting a correct drag factor setting and also adjusting your footplate to the correct position.

This rowing workout focuses on a pyramid system. Here it is:

  • 2 x 250m with 3 minute rest.
  • 2 x 500m with 5 minute rest
  • 1 x 750m with 7 minute rest
  • 2 x 500m with 5 minute rest
  • 2 x 250m.

So as you can see. Begin with a 250m and when you finish take a 3 minute rest. Repeat the 250m before moving on to the 2 x 500m. The long 750m in the middle of the rowing workout is the peak of the session. See below for an explanation on the rowing  intensities.

This rowing workout is a stinger and is best left for a time when you feel like you need a sharpening session. Also make sure that you are in good physical and mental shape before attempting this workout.

The Blaster Rowing Workout Intensity Guidelines

The first 250m rowing workout blasters should be done at close to maximum power and speed. This is an important step for the rest of the erg or rowing workout. Don’ t try to save yourself  because in a rowing workout like this one – every stroke counts.

The 500m sections should be done at a lesser intensity than the 250s. You could for example try to practice the 1st 500 of your race. In fact a rowing workout like this one is great for trying out different things. You get a number of chances to tweak your racing routines.

The 750m should not be done at maximum. Remember over longer distances you need to be smart. A good example of approaching this section of the rowing workout is to use it to practice the middle 750 of your race pace. Alternatively, if you are feeling tired you could aim to do race pace – 2 seconds per 500m on your split power.

Like all rowing workout (for the boat and the erg) you need to be personally aware and responsible to your own needs and requirements. This erg rowing workout is designed towards sharpening you up and getting you in peak physical condition for a 2k erg or rowing race.

And like all good erg rowers, you should aim to train and develop your physical and mental rowing skills towards a strong 2k erg score test strategy. And have this in mind when you approach any rowing workout.

 

Rowing Posture Sitting on a Chair

Did you know that there are 1000’s of things that you can do to make yourself a better rower – starting right now. And almost all of them are non rowing tasks.

Changing habits are hard. And the bad news is that this tip requires you to change one of your habits.

But first:

 

I Have a (non Rowing) Question for You…

Where are you sitting right now? Are you at a desk – crouching down looking at these very words on your monitor? Or maybe you’re on the couch at home slouching down flicking through your ipad? Or are you on a bus or train, on your way to work reading this on your phone?

You could be anywhere reading this.

Wherever you are and whatever device you are reading this article on, I want you to  think about one thing – right now.

 

Just one simple thing.

 

And when you think of it, I want you to do something immediately afterwards.

 

Ready?

 

Your posture.

 

How is your posture?

 

Are you sitting correctly?

 

Or, are you slouching down with a curved back, tense shoulders and protruding chin?

 

If it’s the last one – change it right now. Make yourself sit correctly so that you are maintaining your back and spine in a good neutral position.

How to correct it:

Uncurl your back, rotate your pelvis and sit on the bones of your ass. That’s the same bones that stick down those 2 holes in your seat as you are rowing in the boat. And same bones that sit on the seat of the erg (and somehow always get really sore after a really long erg session).

 

But What Has All This Got to do With Rowing?

And more specifically, helping you to row faster?

Well let me show you by telling you a short story. I heard this once a couple of years back and was amazed by its simple brilliance. At the time Peter Haning was coaching some rowing crews.

Haning was 3 times World Champion in the Lightweight Men’s Single Scull from 1993 – 1995. In some ways he was ahead of his time because he rowed with a particular style and technique that is not unlike the current rowing styles and techniques. Most notably was his flat back and upright body position.

But though he rowed upright with a flat back he still got a great dynamic body action with lots of length generated from swinging his body both forward and back.

I don’t’ know if it was by accident or design that he rowed this way, but the fact is that it was great to watch.

 

And deadly effective.

 

Anyway – back to my story. When he was coaching, he once subtly corrected a rower who was on a public computer on a hotel lobby checking his email. Very courteously and helpfully he motioned to the guy to sit up a little. To correct his posture from the slouching position he was in.

 

Before you say anything – this wasn’t a case of Haning getting involved in something that was none of his business (even though the rower was not one of his athletes). This was a guy who had seen this rower actually row out on the water and saw his limiting problem.

And like all good coaches he took his opportunity to impart his knowledge freely and helpfully – in the right context.

The rowers problem was a pronounced curved back. This curved back was – with time – making him inefficient and have some of the following adverse problems:

  • Weak finishes of his rowing stroke
  • Tired a lot especially towards the end of races
  • A generally a poor performer into strong headwinds
  • Have thoracic back tightness (which lead to injury threats)
  • On more than one occasion in a rowing race had difficulty breathing (his chest was constricted with the curve)

You would think that this guy should have been able to solve this problem, long before Haining came along. Especially since he was getting intensive (and good) coaching from his university rowing coach. But no matter how hard he tried in the boat to correct his problem, he still reverted back to his old habit when he was under pressure.

 

That is until the day he got a subtle bomb dropped on him by a 3 time world champion. Who showed (and fixed) him his problem for him in 10 seconds.

 

You see, it was not about his posture in the boat that was the major cause – it was about his posture out of the boat.

So Remember This:

Sit up and be aware of your posture until you have created a new (good) habit. And you will go a long way towards avoiding some of the problems this guy had with his rowing technique.

 

Rowing Seat Racing – Why Rowers Need To Be Vigilant

Whatever the rights or wrongs of selecting a rowing crew with seat races – if your coach is into it – you must learn how to handle it.

Making sure you do as well as you can is all about looking out for yourself. Here are some things you need to watch out for (other than rowing and pulling hard).

#1 Never Hold Back

Most seat racing in rowing is blind – you never know when you are going to be switched and tested. For that reason you need to make sure you give it everything in each race. And because  you are giving it everything you need to…

#2 Insist on Honesty and Fairness

If you smell a rat (that a rowing rival is trying to screw you)  then you need to speak up. Let your coach know. If it’s a crew fairness issue – tell the rowers that the seat racing is not fair. Let people know you are not happy.

Let them know you are angry.

This is a competitive situation and months (or maybe even years) of hard training and sacrifice are on the line.

For that reason everyone needs to play by the rules. Including:

  • Same rating (whether it’s capped or open)
  • Same start sequence (if its power 20 and settle to 38 – then it has to happen in every seat race)
  • Same finish sequence. Say you are doing 1000 meter seat races. You are switched into a boat and you break free with clear water up with 200 to go. Make sure your boat finishes off the finishing stroke sequence**

**If the crew you get switched into were cranking the rate up to 42 for the last 25 strokes – insist that it does the exact same in your seat race. Just because you are winning by a lot of water and rowing well, it should never be a reason to ‘save’ some energy for the next seat trial.

Because you must make as much time as possible in every race.

#3 This point is crucial.

The same applies to your crew if you are behind. Some crews give up towards the end of a race (especially towards the end of a set of seat races when everyone is tired). Insist that your crew finishes the race like all the other races.

Remember if your coach is using a seat racing matrix – every second counts towards your aggregate score. So even when you’re boat is losing you can still gain total time.

Police this yourself. Don’t expect your coach to spot these things. S/he will be busy taking times and watching how well everyone is rowing. So its up to you to ensure that your crew rows as hard (and sticks to the same rating) as all the other seat races you are involved in.

Even half a stroke less per minute for 10 strokes can make a big difference in a short seat race. So the bottom line is to be Vigilant. And if things are not being done fairly – Make it known. To EVERYBODY

#4 Watch out for Mental Weakness

You can mentally prepare for extremely hard rowing races using methods you might not have considered. And while seat racing is like real racing – from a mental point of view, you still need to watch out for mental weakness and tiredness.

Embrace The Fear

It’s ok to wake up with your heart pounding in your chest. Seat races and rowers make for a potent mix of adrenalin and fear.

You can use this to your advantage as long as it doesn’t consume you so much  that you can’t even pull the oar.

    While it goes without saying that you should try to instantly gel with the crew you have been switched into – you need to mentally blend also.

    Let the crew you join know you are psyched and ready for a fight – Ready to win.

    If someone comes into your crew invite them into the fold. Let them know they are welcome and that you are on their side. This is very important for:

    • Fairness
    • You own needs (you want to win)

    Even a few simple reassuring words can make a big difference. Get rowing immediately and tell them that it’s GOOD. Small reassuring gestures like telling them the boat is going well and that it feels like you are going to have a great race can be reassuring for both you the newcomer (not to mention the positive impact it can have on the entire crew).

    Make sure you brief (and re-brief) the crew on what the plan is. If it’s a set race plan from your coach -  repeat it. Just so you and the rest of the crew know exactly what’s happening.

    Also try to fix something the crew did not do well in the last seat race. Talk it through quickly and sharply. If it’s making the first 10 strokes better – make them better (but stay within your coaches instructions).

    Good Luck…

    Oarsome Foursome v Romanian Women’s 8 – A Technique Lesson

    Have you ever watched the Romanian Women’s 8 in full flight? Here they are in the 2008 Olympic Final.

    Take a look especially at 1:04 and at 4:54

    When they were at their best, watching them rowing was something to behold. It was truly unique – and deadly effective. Their results speak for themselves.

    But their rowing style and technique really defined them.

    At its most simple – they moved their hands very fast away from the finish of the stroke and followed with a really fast body swing forward. Then the slide was taken very – very slowly (in proportion to the hands and body movement). They crept  up the slide as slowly and delicately as possible. (You can relly see this at 4:54)

    Look at the overhead shot at 1:05 in the video. Watch out for the speed of the blades on the recovery of all 6 crews. Notice how quick the Romanian blades move off the finish and then slow dramatically in the slide forward.

    • There is a notably big difference in comparison to the other crews’ bladework.
    • See how they explode with an amazing leg drive off the catch and open up the body angle late in the drive phase?

    And you know what?

    They did the same thing – whether they were at 36 strokes per minute in the middle 1000 meters of the Olympic Final, or out for an easy training session during a World Cup Regatta.

    Watching them train was great and was a real chance to see how they rowed their boat. The contrast between the hands & body speed and the slide speed during the recovery was almost unbelievable.

    It was almost like they were doing a stop drill exercise -where you stop at various points during the recovery to help with timing, balance, co-ordination and all round general technique.**

    Anyway – the point about the Romanian Women’s 8 is that they had a particular way of rowing their boat. And it wasn’t just confined to the 8. At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, the bow and stroke of the 8 teamed up to row the pair.

    Which they won gold to match their Gold in the 8.

    Rowing exactly the same style.

    Oarsome Foursome – Completely Different Style (Still Effective)

    Do you remember the Oarsome Foursome? If not – here’s a really great video of them training in 1996

    See how they are much slower with the hands away?

    But see how fluid they are after that initial ‘set’ point.

    Look at how they just roll up into the front and into the water with the blades – in one fluid seamless movement.

    I’m sure you’ve heard before that the catch is the ‘last thing you do on the recovery phase’? (or something similar). This rowing is a perfect example of that movement.

    Important Features of Both Styles

    Romanian

    Hands: Really Fast away from the finish.

    Body: Follows the speed of the hands (quick)

    Slide: First quarter on the recovery is quick. But then it slows dramatically.

    Catch: After the very slow slide the blade drops in quick and the change of direction with the slide (and the engagement of the legs is dramatic.

    Leg Drive: Go down hard and the body remains forward. The whole of the drive phase is very horizontal. See how low and level they move their bodies towards the bow? It looks like their whole style is based on not disturbing the boat run (in both the recovery AND the drive phase).

    Back swing: Very dynamic through to the finish (which helps a fast spin of the hands away on the recovery)

    Australian

    Hands: Deliberate and controlled way from the finish. The guys sit very still at the finish with toes pointed, knees flat, core braced and the only things that move are the hands. See how they all meet at a point together?

    Body: Controlled – and a noticeably separate movement from the hands. Very different from the Romanians where the hands and body move almost together.

    Slide: Very fluid, direct and deliberate. Notice how well they match the slide speed with the speed of the boat.

    Catch: Part of the recovery.

    Leg Drive: Simple effective movement: Press (or push)

    Back swing: Compared to the Romanians the back swing in the Australian Boat is much more ‘even’. Sure they open up hard together towards the finish, but they don’t over rely on the legs-back separation in the drive phase.

    The use both together.

    But notice how dynamic the finish of the drive is: The back and arms move faster as the momentum, power and boat speed increase towards the finish.

    It shows excellent timing with the movement of the boat.

    So Which is best?

    It’s up to you. I been directly involved with crews rowing both styles at a serious level for a long time. We spent 2 whole seasons trying to row the Australian style and spend 5- 6 seasons rowing more like the Romanians (but not as extreme).

    The crews I was involved in went fast with either style – Top 7 in the world fast.

    What you can try…(and why)

    Option # 1

    If you are inflexible the Australian style may suit you better because the fluid movement in the recovery will give you momentum for a good

    • Compression
    • Stroke length

    Aim to purposively build the boat speed towards the finish.

    Release the blade and feel your boat run.  Make sure you brace and sit still on the finish and don’t disturb your boat.

    The Australian style could also work well for you if you have a problem with the length of your stroke (you row too short)

    Be very careful though. The oarsome foursome match the slide speed forward with a quick catch and connection. So for you to do it right, you need to match this.

    Option #2

    Rowing the Romanian Style is a little more challenging in my experience. It’s a bit like walking a tight rope. Once you are moving and are in the groove then you are ok, if you stop moving or break the rhythm they you could be in trouble.

    It also requires good control and flexibility – especially with your hips, hamstrings and lower leg joints and muscles.

    Creeping up the slide is the balancing on the tight rope part – but the dynamic drive and lightening quick hands – body  – first quarter slide creates a nice rhythmic momentum that will carry you a long way up the slide towards the catch.

    It’s kind of like sting and float – with a high work to rest ratio.

    It works on the erg too

    You can try either of theses techniques on the erg. Study both videos and decide which style you think will work best for you.

    ** Actually this is one of the best rowing drills you can do to get your boat going well. Whether you are in a crew of 8 or in a single scull or are on the erg – it truly is a worthwhile drill.

    P.S. Drew Ginn is the bow man in the Australian 4. He runs a great blog and site called rudderfish – which gives us all a really unique insight into the world of a multiple Olympic Rowing Champion.

    “How a High Carbo Diet for 2k Rowing and Erg Races Can Help You Go FAST”

    Carbs are king for high intensity rowing. The harder you row – the more you burn.

    First – a few simple truths:

    • Your muscles consume mainly carbohydrates (stored as glycogen) during a hard 2k erg or rowing race.
    • During an all-out maximum 55 strokes per minute sprint – almost all of your energy comes from carbohydrates.
    • On the other hand – at 50% of VO2max (which is around 69% Max Heart Rate intensity rowing) around 33% of your energy comes from carbohydrate.

    In the beginning…

    A high carbo loading diet was (and still is in different guises) a very popular method of improving athletic performance in the 1970s. Especially among marathon runners and cross country skiers.

    But times have changed and most athletes & rowers are well aware of a good diet and its importance to high performance sport. Most good rowers (including lightweights) consume an excellent diet that has a high proportion of carbohydrates during training and in preparation for 2k racing.

    But some still don’t…

    Why a High Carbo Diet is Important for Rowing Training and Racing.

    Rowing training fatigue is cumulative. Let’s take an example:

    Say you erg on Monday and pull 3 x 1000 meters all out with  3 minutes easy rowing between work intervals. You go home and decide that you are too tired to eat and decide instead to watch the rowing scenes in ‘The Social Network’ over and over – just for err… kicks?

    Then on Tuesday you do an early morning, on-water rowing session – 90 minutes at low rating and low intensity. But this time you do eat – before the session you have a coffee and a slice of toast. After the session, because you are in a hurry to get to work you leave the boat house immediately and end up eating nothing until lunch time. At which point you have a great big chicken caesar salad.

    That evening (right after work) you have another erg session. This time it’s 5 x 5 minutes at Threshold pace. With a 5 minute break between work phases.

    How do you think you would perform in that erg session?

    Do you think that you would be pulling close to your best? (assuming the training load of the past 2 days is a normal load for you)

    The answer is you would probably suffer hard because you have no fuel to fire your muscles because you’ve  eaten very little carbohydrates in the previous 24 hours.

    In other words you’re glycogen depleted. And doing hard erg or rowing sessions (or 2k races) when you are glycogen depleted is NOT a good place to be.

    Even over a week, you can slowly get depleted if you don’t keep topping up the fuel you’ve burned. This is even more problematic when it’s racing season and you are doing a lot of high intensity rowing sessions.

    So the bottom line is when it comes to training – keep topping up. And remember – it’s cumulative (even over 24 hours).

    2 Steps to Boosting Recovery Time.

    After a hard interval rowing session or a long steady endurance session, eating carbohydrates within a short time can improve your recovery time. Aim to eat a carbo rich food with a high Glycemic Index(GI) within 2 hours of the session. During this time, your glycogen reloading ability is sky high so it’s a great head start in boosting your recovery time.

    And the sooner the better.

    If you can have something within 20 minutes of the rowing session it’s even better. And when it comes to competitive team or group situations, this can mean the difference between doing well at the following day’s 2k erg – and doing only average.

    Here are some high Glycemic Index(GI) Food and Drinks:

    • Sports Drinks
    • Bagels
    • Raisins
    • Bananas (well ripened)
    • Dates
    • White Bread
    • Corn Flakes
    • Waffles
    • Doughnuts
    • Biscuits
    • Jelly Beans

    The first few on that list are obviously healthier options than the last few. But you get the idea. Try to be organised and bring a little snack with you to eat immediately after training.

    The next thing you need to do in your 2-step recovery eating plan is to eat a meal high in mid – GI Carbohydrates within 2 hours of training. Here are some examples of mid GI foods.

    • Wholemeal Pasta
    • Porridge
    • Muffins
    • Whole Meal Bread
    • Muesli
    • Whole meal Brown Rice
    • Durum Wheat Spaghetti
    • Potato

    You should also include some protein and fats in your meal. And remember to rehydrate. Carbohydrate needs water to help store itself in your muscles and liver

    A Final Word for Lightweight Rowers

    Ideally you should be just above race weight 4 – 5 days before your big 2k. You wouldn’t want to be more than 2kg above for a lightweight man and slightly less than that if you are a lightweight woman.

    But with practice and learning your body’s response to eating carbs and retaining water (1 gram of carbohydrate needs around 3 grams of water for storage) you can also take advantage of high carbohydrate recovery eating.

    I’ve had considerable results with some experimentation with lightweight rowers I’ve worked with. Many initially came from an old school that said carbs are bad for weight control. We learned to disprove that notion and more importantly we learned to improve the rowers’ performance, health and well-being (feeling of happiness) using a high carbo diet with heavy training and steady weight control near big 2k races.

    Lightweight Rowers – After Weigh-In Strategies To Help You Prepare For A 2k Race

    After you have weighed in for your 2k erg competition or 2k rowing race you need to do a few crucial things. Otherwise you could bomb when it comes to your actual race. If you have followed a good pre race lightweight rower sweat down strategy, this is a good play for immediately after weigh in.

    1. Immediately Begin the Slow Process of Rehydration

    When you go into the weigh in room you need to bring a drinks bottle with you. Have it beside you so that the instant you step off the scales and get the all clear that you can row or erg in the lightweight class – start to drink.

    2. Drink a Sports Drink slowly and a little at a time

    The worst mistake you can make is to drink too much too soon. Even if you have a good quality sports drink with lots of stuff in it to help you retain the fluids, it will still run through you if you. Remember your stomach can only process a certain amount of fluid per hour. Sip a little – slowly and frequently.

    3. Aim to drink it all right up to 5 – 10 minutes before start time.

    Spread out your drink from the time you weigh in till the time of your race. There’s no point in drinking everything in the first hour post weigh – in. Use as much of the 2 hour window to rehydrate as you can. This will help you to drink and slowly and get maximum rehydration.

    4. How MUCH you drink depends on lots of factors like:

    • Dehydration (how dehydrated you are)
    • Temperature. You will need more in warmer conditions.
    • The speed you drink at
    • How much you eat. Eating will slow down absorption.
    • The drink you use. Sports drinks are best because they are designed to help you retain the fluids you intake. Water tends to just run through without contributing much by way of hydration.
    • The temperature of your drink. Cold drinks get absorbed but run through quicker. This is not necessairly a good thing. Aim for a drink that is not ice cold.

    5. You should eat something if you haven’t eaten in a while

    Say you haven’t eaten since the evening before the weigh- in. And you don’t really feel hungry because you’ve been psyched all morning making sure you make the weight. You should still aim to eat something after weigh in.

    Actually, if you are in good time and are on weight (or slightly below) 10 minutes or so before the weigh in you could have something light (like a rice cake or something).

    6. What should I eat – and how much?

    You can eat anything from breakfast cereal, to bread rolls and nutella, to rice cakes, to bananas, to a honey sandwich to a powerbar. The stuff lightweight rowers eat after weigh-ins is as varied as there are lightweight rowing techniques. (Literally hundreds of different options and opinions) . It really is up to you what you eat (if you eat at all).

    • Maybe you’re not comfortable with eating so close to race time – that’s fine.
    • Or you have eaten already because making weight for the 2k race is not a problem for you.

    For a newbe – I would suggest you try something out in training before your 2k erg or 2k rowing race. Aim to weigh in just like a lightweight rowing race (except at a different target weight) Pick a hard training day and arrive for training early. Do the ‘weigh – in’ and eat afterwards. Test different foods to find out what you like. And more importantly – to find something that agrees with your digestive system.

    The last thing you need is to have some rice cake repeating on you, mid-race.

    7. Finally

    The aim is to hold on to almost everything you have ingested pre race. If you need to go pee too often before the race, chances are that you have drank too much or too fast. It you have ever tried to do a 2k erg or rowing race in a dehydrated you will know that it is a brutal experience. And it can also be  dangerous.

    In The Heat Of The 2k Erg Battle – For you if you are racing at the CRASH B’s (or anyone else doing a 2k)

     

    Remember:

    While it’s all well and good using the thousands of motivational techniques that you do on a day to day basis in racing and training. Please think of one thing…

    What WORKS for you.

    Be it:

    • Rock solid 2k Erg Rowing Technique.
    • Staying super smooth and relaxed when you are tired
    • A strong middle 1000 meters race pace – sticking with your strategy.
    • A hard start and strong finish to the line – playing to your strengths.
    • Whatever esle (there are 1000′s…)

    Above anything else – stick with it.

    Use all of your mind power and will to hold yourself to the thing that you know works for you. Even if it’s just by the bare strength of a cobweb. Hold on and rely on it. You WILL get there.
     

    Get Angry.

    When you begin to start to feel sorry for yourself and begin to make compromises it’s time to get angry. When you are in the middle of that 2k and you are just about to entertain the thought of compromise –get angry.

    Quit the bull, quit making the excuses about the hotel room, being awake all night, the rough flight or drive to Boston, not going well in training lately, whatever. Of course they are considerations, but remember that the greatest athletes of all time (including rowers) throughout history have performed no matter what.

    Some have broken world records having woken up earlier that morning feeling absolutely tired, weak and crap. Some have become Olympic medal winners having admitted afterwards of wanting to stop mid race (I will find the article on this and post it).

    Anger is a great lactic acid killer. It will clear your decks, focus your mind and will bring a hard reality to your rowing. This can work in your favor. But you must control it. Don’t go from a 1:45 to a 1:43 (you will blow up). HOLD what you are doing (hold your split), and use the anger to stop thinking about

    • Yourself
    • The guy beside you
    • The hotel manager
    • Your coach
    • The world
    • …Whoever or Whatever.

    Use it to motivate you and help you POWER YOUR WAY THROUGH the danger point in the 2k race.
    Go for it – let out an erg shattering and attacking primeval scream. Believe me it will work wonders for you.
     

    Stick with your strategy

    Sticking to your 2k erg test and race strategy is paramount. You should aim to stay with it because this is what you have prepared for.
    But if you need to change in the middle of the 2k erg race, remember you can salvage a lot by thinking about what you can do to minimise your losses.

    • You first goal should be to stick to your original 2k race plan.
    • If it’s not working – get angry (see above).
    • Assess your position. (if you still need to change)
    • Follow the 2k erg test problem solver article and follow it home.
     
    Finally Good Luck – All of my positive energy and good will is powered and directed towards you prospering and scoring well in Boston this weekend.

    Rowing Catch – 3 Things You Need To Know

    You need to have a good rowing catch for lots of reasons. Most rowers get it right and are capable of working an excellent catch at the beginning of the rowing stroke.

    But whether you row on a daily or weekly basis, on the erg or in the boat, you should always aim to have a great rowing catch to get the most out of your rowing training sessions. Here’s how you can do it.
     

    # 1 Sit At The Right Angle

    Make sure you sit up relatively straight at the catch position. Don’t be in a position where you are reaching forward too far from your hips or shoulders because this will cause a weakness in your set up and rowing timing.

    And it could lead to other technical problems during the power phase.

    The correct angle that you should aim to be at with your body at the rowing catch should be a pitch forward at about 1 or 2 o clock. Anything more than this will be over reaching and will cause you to work harder than you need to when you are opening up your body on the drive phase.

    On the other hand if you are too upright (or even leaning back – which is a big NO NO) then you will not be able to fully utilise your body swing angle towards the finish of the drive phase.

    If your shoulders are too far out of your sockets it will cause a rowing catch that is taken mainly by your shoulders. It could also cause problems in the rowing power phase just like the wrong body angle will.
     

    #2 Catch The Flywheel

    The perfect rowing stroke catch for you involves putting yourself in a position of maximum strength and bracing capability. If you are outside the zones of optimum position your catch will be either too weak or too hard.

    A weak catch will force you to row harder late in the drive phase. It’s easy to spot a rower with a weak catch – they usually look a little slow in the first part of the drive (especially with the legs) and have a big whooosh rowing finish to compensate for the lack of power at the catch.

    A hard rowing catch is not the best way to begin the rowing stroke either because you are risking loading your lower back and shoulders in a way that would risk injuring yourself. It’s not worth it.

    The best rowing catch involves a little brain power.If you think about the word ‘catch’ for a second you will realise that it means to catch … i.e. you are not hitting, banging, lifting, pulling, connecting, reversing…

    You are simply… catching.

    Catch the flywheel on the fly, tip it along and keep it going, don’t slow it down or try to move the flywheel faster than the rest of the rowing stroke can take.

    Just think ‘catch’, same as you you’d catch a ball in mid-air – with skill and definite poise.
     

    # 3 You Need to Brace

    The bracing of the load of the handle through your body and on to your legs is crucial. The seat on the rowing erg or in the boat is merely a balancing object – it has nothing to do with power.

    It’s only useful to maintain your balance vertically on the drive phase and a good place to rest and relax your legs on the recovery phase.

    All the power in rowing is anchored between the handle and your feet. You are pushing one off the other. And to do it correctly in the right rowing sequence, you need to begin correctly – at the catch.

    If you don’t brace yourself correctly the transfer of power from your feet to your handle you will never be fully effective of efficient.

    Think about engaging your big muscles in a good order and sequence (legs, back, arms). Once you catch, brace your arms and back while your legs do the job. Then and only then should you allow the brace position of your arms and legs to change (in the back swing) through the rowing sweet spot and towards the finish.

    The 2k Erg Test Results, Findings and Recommendations

    So we finally got the chance to do the 2k’s yesterday.

    Here are the results including the January results and the PBs of the rowers:

    Group A

    Friday 2K January 2K PB
    A1 21 YO Male 6:48.1 6:48 2k 6:44
    A2 42 YO Male 6:54.2 6:54 2k 6:39
    A3 18 YO Female 8:10.8 8:11 2k 8:06
    A4 28 YO Female 7:22.4 7:24 2k 7:24

    Group B

    Friday 2k January 2K PB
    B1 33 YO Female 8:52.1 2k 8:54 8:54
    B2 28 YO Female 7:53.2 2k 7:57 7:45
    B3 19 YO Male 6:27.8 2k 6:28 6:28
    B4 56 YO Male 7:27.3 2k 7:25 7:23

     

    Comments

    Like all 2k erg tests, this was a hard test for all the rowers. Some suffered more than others. Some scored P.Bs. Some felt bulletproof, some felt empty.

    But the glaring question is can we find anything from timing of the work sessions we did in the past couple of days?

    Generally Group B (the group who did the 1000 meters at pace on Wednesday (2 days before the 2k test) and (3 days after the hard weekend) fared better. Here’s why…
    Continue reading

    Rowing Lightweight? Here’s a Race Day Weigh – In Strategy

    Lightweight rowers often spend more time thinking and talking to each other about ‘making weight’ than rowing technique and training.

    Believe me, I’ve been there.

    It’s particularly difficult at the beginning when you are an inexperienced rower or erg rower and haven’t got a clue on how to do it right.

    But even if you are an experienced rower you might pick up a tip or 2 from the following discussion.

    Wake Up Weight

    Wake up early and check your weight  immediately. But make sure your bladder etc is empty becacuse this can make a difference of 200 – 300 grams. You should wear your weigh – in uisuit to get an accurate picture of how much you need to lose. Ideally you should not have to lose more than 1kg because anything more than this will lead you into a struggle you do not need. Continue reading

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