Fall 2016 Week 26: Boat Run and First Head Races

This week will conclude with our first head races of the season, fortunately we’ve prepared for them throughout the summer and first weeks of fall.  We’ll continue to build our endurance, stroke length and matched rhythm, applying these tools both in practice pieces and races.

In practice we will also continue to incorporate “three strokes and pause” finish pauses and hands away pauses as a means to work on boat feel and run.  A strong, matched finish with proper posture and control optimizes boat speed.  Be sure to finish strongly and match your feather to stern pair, sit up on the front of your butt (not slouched over), keep your body still, and feel the boat through your glutes and feet.  If the boat is down to one side, slight pressure on the opposite glute and footboard can help it even out.  Coxswains will make these pauses a little longer than normal, steer straight, and let the crew “teeter totter” a bit to try to find the set before the next “three and pause.”  The set will not be perfect – these are difficult drills but will help in the long run.  We’ll do these mostly at low rates but with strong pressure.

A note on ratings in general – we generally warm up at low rates (16-20spm).  There is no need to change rates and “hit a 20” during the warmup unless unless specified by the coach.  Similarly – when a boat is not going particularly well during practice we will more often respond by DROPPING RATE and INCREASING PRESSURE – not the other way around.

Workouts

  • Monday – warmup by sixes on the square, focus on length and handle heights, then on the feather.  Incorporate “3 and pause” drills at the finish.  Next go all 8, and do 2-3 hard tens at 24-26spm to get ready for workout  Workout: 3-4 x 1 mile at 24-30 spm (coaches and coxswains will decide for each boat) at or above race pressure.  Long paddle between, we’ll use the ‘one mile courses’ as we did last week.  3 x 20 leg lifts and stretch.
  • Tuesday – warmup by sixes on the square, then on the feather.  Two rounds of “3 and pause at the finish” drills.  Then two round “3 and pause” at hands away.  2 x 25′ steady state rating pyramid – 5 minutes each at 16, 18, 20, 18, 16.  3 x 15 shallow one leg squats (each leg) and 3 x 20 scullies
  • Wednesday – warmup by sixes on the square, focus on length and handle heights, then on the feather.Next go all 8, and do 2-3 hard tens at 24-28spm to get ready for workout  Workout: 3-4 x 1 mile at 24-30 spm (coaches and coxswains will decide for each boat) at or above race pressure.  Long paddle between, we’ll use the ‘one mile courses’ as we did last week.  Stretch.
  • Thursday – long ‘head race warmup’ – out past HOTA start line.  Use “3 and pause” drills.  One HOTA race piece with “focus 20s” at each 1000m – for finishes, for catches, for length, for leg drive – or other focus as per coach or cox.  24-28spm depending on boat.  Pressure will be a little LESS THAN 100% for those racing this weekend.  Cool down and stretch.
  • Saturday and Sunday – HOTA and SHOP regattas.

 

Fall 2016 Week 25: Matching Length and Building Endurance

We’ll continue to build on long, strong matched strokes and the endurance base that we’ve focused on the last three weeks.

To better match our finishes, we will use the matching tape marks that coach Nathan has set in each of the club 8s (and some 4s) to set our foot stretchers.  At your finish position, with legs down and the handle all the way into the body, your oar should be directly above the tape mark on the gunwale nearest your rigger.  Adjust your foot stretchers forward or back to make this happen.  This may be a different position than you are used to – but it helps ensure that all the rowers in each boat finish their strokes at the same angle relative to the boat – which will improve our ability to match and to maximize boat run from the finish.

Our workouts will continue to focus on endurance – with medium and long pieces primarily.  We will continue to gradually build volume (distance and time working) and intensity over the next 6-8 weeks, before tapering in preparation for the last few races.

Workouts

  • Monday – warmup by sixes w/ cut the cake.  Workout: 4-5 x 12′ w 2′ rest, at moderate pace (75-80% – should feel like 6k +8-10splits), @ 20-22spm. Do a hard 20 at the 4′ mark and 8′ mark of each piece at 26-28spm, close to your target 6k pace, then lengthen back out.  3 x 20 scullies and 3 x 15 pushups.
  • Tuesday – long ‘head race warmup’ with body over pauses and high tens.  Workout: 1 x 6k at race pressure, 24-28spm.  Optional to do this on the erg (entirely your choice).  Anyone who does not want to erg – we’ll put together boats and do the 6k on the water.  The on the water piece will be about 28 minutes and may involve a wide turn or two if necessary to avoid bad water – “Occ Challenge style.”  Cooldown and stretch.
  • Wednesday – warmup by sixes w/ outside hand only drills on the square to work on good, connected and long strokes.  Workout: 3 x 15′ rating pyramids – 5′ each at 16, 18, 16.  Then 18, 20, 18.  Then 20, 22, 20.  Strong pressure at the low rates – as we did on Sunday.  3 x 15 shallow one leg squats (each leg) and 3 x 1′ plank.
  • Thursday – short ‘head race warmup’ – just up to the 500m pole past Penn Ave, spin, warmup quickly back past the dock, spin again and start first head race piece at middle ramp.  2-3 x HOTA w 4′ rest between.  22-28spm depending on boat.  Do not sprint until the end of the last piece.  Cool down and stretch
  • Sunday – loooooong row.  Made 8-9 miles this Sunday, we’ll continue to build week by week.

Extra Work

For those of you who wish to be competitive and/or wish to improve your conditioning – it is important that you do the planned workout (or one similar to it) anytime you cannot be at practice.  It does not have to be exactly the same workout, and some days you may only have time for a 30-40 minute run, bike, swim, etc.  We row five days per week, and recommend working out on either Friday or Saturday as well (so you have one “off” day).  60-90 minutes (or more) of cardio (whether erg, run bike, swim etc) is ideal and/or moderate strength and flexibility workouts – low weights, high reps – focus on abs, quads, glutes, and lats.  And we’ll post a list of suggested workouts – but any of the ones we are currently doing or that you did in winter training are good.  Do what you can – every bit helps!

 

 

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Fall 2016 Week 23: Long Finishes

For the past couple of weeks we have been stressing long and strong finishes, emphasizing the connection between the shoulders, lats and core to help maintain control of the pressure and momentum coming through the finish. Maintaining this control allows us to turn the handle around without it pushing into our bodies, and delaying our release or forcing us to throw the hands out into the next recovery.

We don’t want that, of course. We want to be able to turn the handle around and release it at the same speed it came in, without getting ahead of the speed of the boat. This requires consistency with our movements and not rushing through the finish to rush through the release of the hands.

But it’s also important to note that when we do go for higher ratings and aggressive pressure, we do need to move our hands more quickly through the finish and through the release. This needs to happen with the same type of control and consistency as if we’re rowing at a 20, even if we’re rowing at a 30. The strong finish, the tap down, the turn around of momentum, the feather – they all need to be there regardless of the rating.

Maintaining this control and consistency will allow the boat to run out as we release the hands and swing forward when the boat is traveling at its fastest point.

To highlight the control  and consistency we’re looking for through the finish and release, you can watch the video below.

 

Monday

Warm up: Pick drill by six followed by 10-15 stroke rotations of pauses at the finish on the feather, followed by arms away.

Workout: Following the warm up drills, we’ll take it on a steady state at 20 SPM with pauses at arms away and bodies over included throughout.

Once we spin, we’ll do a full pressure HOTA head race piece back, starting at 20 SPM, and bumping the rating throughout the piece.

Post Workout: 3 x 40 squats and 3 x 40 scullers

 

Tuesday

Warm up: Full slide strokes with 10-15 stroke rotations of arms only and bodies over included throughout.

Workout: 4 min at 20 SPM/ 1 min at elevated rate between 22 and 28 SPM.

Cool down with rotations of cut the cake.

Post Workout: 3 x 70 second planks and wall sits

 

Wednesday

Warm up: Full slide strokes with rotations of cut the cake. For the warm up, we’ll spin before the 11th street bridge and continue back towards the boat house.

Workout: 2 x 20 minutes with 5 minutes rest. Depending on heat, we can do some of the pieces by 6.

  • Piece 1: 10 min at 24, 10 min at 26
  • Piece 2: 10 min at 26, 10 min at 24

Post Workout: Stretching routine

 

Thursday

Warm up: Pressure warm up of 50%, 75%, 90% and full at 18 SPM into steady state at 20 SPM.

Workout: Steady state at 20 SPM with rotations of pauses at arms away and body over incorporated on coach’s call.

Post Workout: 3 x 12 push ups and 3 x 40 leg lifts

 

Sunday – TBD

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Summer 2016 Winds Down

With summer season winding down following Master Nationals, we’ll begin our transition to the fall season, which will be great. This will see us moving away from the interval work and towards longer conditioning and endurance base work. We will also be able to focus a bit more on drill work and technique as there will be plenty of time between now and our first head race. This week we will begin that process and we will plan to get lots of strokes in at low to moderate ratings, as well as moderate to full pressure.

 

Monday

Before we get out on the water, we’ll unload the trailer and rig boats.

Warm up: Full slide strokes with rotations of outside arm and inside arm only.

Workout: Steady state at 18 SPM at 75-80 percent pressure with a focus on long finishes/ releases.

Post Workout: None

 

Tuesday

Warm up: Full slide strokes with rotations of outside arm and inside arm only.

Workout: 35 minute rating pyramid with rating changes every 5 minutes:

  • 18, 20, 22, 24, 22, 20, 18

While at the 18 at both ends, we’ll include pauses at the finish, first on the square, then on the feather.

Post Workout: 3 x 40 lunges and 3 x 40 scullers

 

Wednesday

Warm up: Full slide strokes by six with rotations of pauses at the finish, starting on the square, then the feather.

Workout: Power fours at 20 SPM for 2 minute rotations each

Post Workout: 3 x 40 reverse lunges and 3 x 30 second superman’s

 

Thursday

Warm up: Full slide strokes by six with rotations of pauses at the finish, starting on the square, then the feather.

Workout: Steady state at 80 percent pressure at 20 SPM with pauses at the finish and arms away incorporated throughout.

Post Workout: 3 x 70 second wall sits and 3 x 70 second planks

 

Sunday

Warm up: Pick drill by six followed by 10-15 stroke rotations of pauses at the finish and arms away.

Workout: 2 x 15 minute pieces with drills incorporated at 80 percent pressure, and 10 minutes continuous at full pressure, with 3 minutes rest.

  • Piece 1: 5 minutes at 18 SPM with 10-15 stroke rotations of pauses at arms away; 10 minutes continuous at pressure.
  • Piece 2: 5 minutes at 20 SPM with 10-15 stroke rotations of pauses at bodies over; 10 minutes continuous at pressure.

Post Workout: Full stretching routine

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Summer 2016 Week 21: Masters

As a reminder, rowers will be heading to Worcester, MA for Masters Nationals and race Thursday through Sunday. Practice for those still in D.C. will be at the normal times, with Coach Steve running practices on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. We will also load the trailer on Monday, as it will be leaving Tuesday.

Monday

Warm up: Pressure warm up at 18 SPM with a couple rotations each of 50%, 75%, 90% and full, and taking it to all eight or all four at 90% pressure.

Workout: Once we reach the stadium we’ll stay on a steady state at 18 SPM to the channel. After we spin we’ll break the return trip up into a few different pieces, each followed by 2 minutes of paddle rowing and 2-3 minutes rest.

  • 2 x 45 second pieces with starts, high and swing.
  • 2 x 2 minute pieces with start five to base rate (no highs) and bringing the rate up to sprint at 60 seconds to go, and again at 30 seconds to go.
  • 2 x 30 second pieces with start and high only.

Cool down with rotations of cut the cake.

Post Workout: Loading trailer

 

Tuesday

Warm up: Full slide strokes with rotations of cut the cake between the bridges, and steady state at 18 SPM to the stadium.

Workout: We’ll practice a few starts, breaking down the start sequence a little more than we have recently.

This will be followed by a cool down of cut the cake.

Post Workout: Stretching routine

 

Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday

Coach Steve is the man with the plan. Have fun!

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Summer 2016 Week 20: Last Full Week of Fine Tuning Before Masters

Monday

Warm up: Pick drill by six into full slide strokes at 20 SPM.

Workout: We’ll head right into a the steady state from the warm up and incorporate pause rotations at the finish, for 10-15 stroke rotations. We’ll eventually drop these out.

We’ll also incorporate a few high 10’s every 4-5 minutes.

Post Workout: Full stretching routine

 

Tuesday

Warm up: Full slide strokes with rotations of cut the cake through 11th street bridge, followed by elevated ratings to the stadium.

Workout:

  • 2 x 45 second pieces with start, high 10 and swing, followed by 2 min paddle and 2 min rest
  • 2 x 2 minute pieces with start, high 10 and swing and sprint followed by 2 min paddle and 2 min rest
  • 2 x 30 second pieces with starts and high – no swing, followed by 2 min paddle and 2 min rest.

Cool down with rotations of cut the cake.

Post Workout: 3 x 70 second planks and wall sits

 

Wednesday

Warm up: Pick drill by six into full slide strokes at 20 SPM to the stadium.

Workout: 1 x 20 minute pieces with rating changes every 5 minutes.

  • Ratings: 22, 24, 26, 28

Cool down with pauses at the finish.

Post Workout: Stretching routine

 

Thursday – we’ll plan to do one 1K this evening, with a start time of 7:40 pm from the start line.

Warm up: Pressure warm up through 11th street bridge, followed by elevated ratings to the stadium.

We’ll spin and practice starts, high and swing strokes.

Workout: 1 x 1K.

Cool down with pauses at body over.

Post Workout: Stretching routine

 

Sunday

Warm up: Pick drill into full slide strokes at 18 SPM.

Workout: Steady state at 18 SPM with rotations of outside and inside arm only rowing, and eventually dropping this drills.

Post Workout: Lat stretches

 

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Summer 2016 Week 19: Precise Movements

As we move into the last month of the summer season, we’ll be looking to make our movements – finishes, catches and handle heights in between – a little more sharp and precise, regardless of rate or pressure in the boat. Part of this means trying to be more secure with our movements:

  • Getting the body set so when we arrive into the catch, we’re not taking momentum from the body onto the balls of our feet;
  • Not letting our hands go down to the gunnels if the boat goes down to our side;
  • Keeping the hands up into the catch as we square and look to lock in with the blade;
  • Finishing off the stroke first, before tapping, and tapping before we try to feather
  • And of course, coming down and away together with the hands.

Matching up these movements allows for boats to tap into some free speed as the boats will have cleaner sets at the finish, stay stable along the recovery, run out further between catches and so on.

Free speed is where it’s at.

 

Monday

Warm up: Full slide strokes with rotations of legs only strokes for 10 strokes rotations, then back to normal for about 20 strokes. We are looking to lock in with a quick catch, before the legs turn around on the drill, while holding the body support forward.

Workout: Continuous 20 stroke builders, and once by 8, staying there for about two minutes, then coming back down to 6, 4, and a pair. After we cycle through a few times, staying continuous on a steady state at 20 SPM.

Post Workout: 3 x 40 squats and 3 x 40 scullers

 

Tuesday

Warm up: Dead water strokes with rotations of legs only, by four. This will be followed by the pressure warm up, with two rotations each of 50%, 75%, 90% and full pressure to the stadium. Add in by 4 or 8 when reaching 90% pressure.

Workout: 4 x 3 minute pieces with rating changes every minute, followed by 2 minutes paddle and 3 minutes rest. Ratings will be between 28 and 40 SPM.

If time permits, we’ll throw in a few 30 second pieces at the end, followed by a cool down of cut the cake.

Post Workout: Old stretching routine

 

Wednesday

Warm up: Full slide strokes with rotations of legs only strokes for 10 strokes rotations, then back to normal for about 20 strokes. We are looking to lock in with a quick catch, before the legs turn around on the drill, while holding the body support forward.

Workout: Steady state at 20 SPM up to the channel. After we spin, head piece style race back to the back with rating change along the way.

Post Workout: 3 x 70 second planks and wall sits

 

Thursday

Warm up: Full slide strokes with rotations of cut the cake just past the 11th street bridge, then spinning and doing start sequences back towards the boathouse.

Workout: 2 x 1K with 5 minutes rest.

Cool down with rotations of pauses at half slide.

Post Workout: 3 x 40 reverse lunges and 3 x 13 push ups

 

Sunday

Warm up: Pick drill warm up, followed by gradual rating increase to the stadium.

Workout: Multiple 45 second pieces followed by 2 minutes at 75 percent pressure at 20 SPM, and 1 minute complete rest.

Post Workout: Stretching routine