SBTC Workout of the Week: # 4

The Big Hosmer traffic pattern board, as posted on the boathouse. Made by 2009 SBTC sculler John Graves.

The Big Hosmer traffic pattern board, as posted on the boathouse. Made by 2009 SBTC sculler John Graves.

Work-Out Type: Over-Distance Training Approaching Race Rates

Purpose: Teach the athlete to increase speed as stroke rate increases. Secondly, to increase the rower’s ability to work effectively and efficiently at race ratings as he or she builds to competition season.

Frequency: 1 x within every 8-10 practices

Workout: 4 x 10 minute intervals with varying stroke rates with 5 minute rest periods between intervals.

Workout Structure:

Warmup: Row a 10-12 min. steady state warm up plus 10-15 strokes at each of the stroke rates in the workout (keep reading for an example and discussion of how the rates will be assigned).

Pieces: Each of the four 10 minute pieces is broken into four segments. Each segment will have a length and rate associated with it that change with each subsequent piece. Each segment should also be approached on a rolling start with your standard start sequence as well. Pieces should be at a race effort throughout.

For the segment ratings, the first segment of any of the pieces is rated at 6 strokes per minute below your race rate, the second segment 4 spm below your race rate, the third 2 spm below, and the fourth and final segment in each piece will be at your race rate.

In terms of the time in each segment (hence the time spent at a rating within the pieces), the general shift is toward spending more and more time at the higher rating over the course of the workout. See the example below for illustration:

If your race stroke rating is 32, your pieces and their constituent segments would be as follows:

Piece A          (10 minutes total) = 4 min at 26, 3 min at 28, 2 min at 30, 1 min at 32

Piece B          (10 minutes total) = 3 min at 26, 3 min at 28, 2 min at 30, 2 min at 32

Piece C          (10 minutes total) = 2 min at 26, 3 min at 28, 2 min at 30, 3 min at 32

Piece D          (10 minutes total) = 1 min at 26, 2 min at 28, 3 min at 30, 4 min at 32

Example: Piece A – Off a rolling start, take a 3/4, 1/2, 3/4 starting sequence before striding to 26 spm. At the end of 4 min, again use your first three strokes of your start sequence, then stride to 28 for 3 min. At this point (the seven minute mark of the piece), another rolling start sequence to 30 spm. The piece is capped by one last rolling start sequence at the 9 minute mark when you raise the rating for your last minute at 32.

After the interval, paddle for 2 minutes. Take a minute to drink or make any other adjustments, then move to a stronger 1/2 paddle in the remaining 2 minutes of preparation before Piece B. (Sculling at half pressure clears lactate faster than paddling).

Remember, each piece’s segment lengths change. Stay engaged mentally and make the appropriate shifts in segment length from one piece to the next. If need be, write your workout on a piece of tape that you can put in the foot well or splash box to remind you what you’re doing when you’re cross-eyed.

Cool Down: Length of the cool down should be at least 15 minutes and should include some sculling at half pressure. Challenge yourself with low rate rowing including balance and partial feather rowing.

New Workout: 3-4 sets of 8 x 0:40/0:20 at start, stride and sprint stroke rates with 5-7 minutes rest between intervals.

Something not quite making sense? Need some individual adaptation? Drop a line to Coach Gluckman and he’ll be in touch.

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