SBTC Workout of the Week: # 1

Editor’s note: This is the first in what we hope will be a series of workouts from SBTC head coach Larry Gluckman. Keep checking back as spring progresses for more workout ideas.

Work Out Type: Stroke Play or Fartlek

Purpose: To transition from winter cross training and ergometer rowing to on the water rowing. This workout will help the mind and body remember the lively and light feel of your single. Developing hand skills and catch-press timing to permit slightly higher rate rowing. Once the mechanics of the workout become familiar, the number of strokes can be increased as well as the various rates built into each piece.

Frequency: 1 time per 6-8 workouts.

Warm up: Steady state rowing for 15-20 minutes. In the second half of the warm up include a few 5 stroke builds changing the rate without increasing the pressure measurably. Just try making the sculling feel lighter and quicker in order to excite the neuromuscular system.

Workout Overview: This is a moderate fartlek or stroke play workout which includes variable stroke rate pieces from 10 – 30 strokes in length. All the pieces should be preceded by 3-5 rolling strokes mimicking your racing start at a very moderate rate. Work on stroke and slide length and the transition from the preparatory strokes to the stride or base strokes.

Workout Structure:

Pyramid Format. Two (2)  pyramids of this combination of pieces:  2 x 10 strokes, 2 x 20 strokes, 4 x 30 strokes, 2 x 20 strokes, 2 x 10 strokes. Each pyramid is 240 strokes. Active recovery between pieces by paddling 5 strokes more than the number of strokes of the piece you just completed.

Example: one of the 10 stroke pieces above, including the lead in and recovery, would look like this:

  • 3 strokes start (3/4, ½, 3/4) (rate 26-28)1
  • 10 strokes stride (rate 24-26)
  • 15 strokes paddling

After the first pyramid is complete, paddle lightly for 10 minutes. On the second pyramid incorporate a 5 stroke riser or sprint at the end of each 20 and 30 stroke piece, trying to raise the rate 1-2 beats.

Example: an example of a 20 stroke piece including this sprint in the second pyramid would be as follows:

  • 3 stroke rolling start, (rate 28-30)
  • 15 strokes stride (rate 26-28)
  • 5 stroke sprint (rate 28-30)
  • 25 strokes paddlingl

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Cool Down: Include a 20 minute cool down remembering to reestablish your stroke length which tends to shorten in the early season as the stroke rate goes up. If the quantity of strokes seems too much for the start of the season reduce the number of 30 stroke pieces. Try not to lose the focus of the workout:  to keep the sculling feeling light more like skipping and less like shoveling snow.

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