Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Winter Training: 'CanaDawgs' Getting it Done Indoors



The above video, posted yesterday, shows the the Washington Huskies in action on land during a winter training session not unlike the one I visited three weeks ago–look for a write up, including an interview with men's coaches Michael Callahan and Luke McGee in Rowing News' March issue–with line upon line of ergs, and the intensity building throughout as each rower works toward a personal best and a team goal. (Looking at the personnel, it appears that this video was shot last season, as 2011 Pan Am Champ Ty Otto is seated next to Hans Struzyna near the middle of the first or second row–see 2:28-2:41–and Anthony Jacob is present as well.) Just recently, the 'Dawgs' visited the Canadian national team for a training camp, covering 100km in just two days at Shawnigan Lake. The relationship between the Huskies and the Canadian national team is quite a strong one at the moment, with several former Huskies are training with the Canadian men's eight–Will Crothers, Rob Gibson, and Conlin McCabe (McCabe is, in fact, still a Husky, but taking the year off to train for London). In addition to these three, Dave Calder (Beijing silver medalist in the men's pair, with partner and Cal alum Scott Frandsen–somehow they manage to get along) and Anthony Jacob are also training with the Canadian squad.

Given this level of crossover, it is impossible not to notice the similarity between the above video, and the one below, posted to YouTube by Will Crothers last year:



The field in the men's eight is going to be very strong in London. With rumors swirling about Team GB's lineups and priorities, as well as shifting going on in the Australian squad as Duncan Free and either Fergus Pragnell or Will Lockwood will push two of last year's bronze medalists in the prioritized M4- into the M8+ (an eight that was perhaps one bad stroke from third place last season), not to mention the dominant German 'Achter' and what we feel will likely be a strong U.S. entry, the race for the podium in London will be an intense one. While glimpses of work and training session details might seem to many like insider information, not to be shared, as Canada's Kevin Light said in a Rowing News interview (referencing his film, The Spracklen Philosophy) not long ago:
I had no hesitation showing by means of video or photography the intensity of work or the quality of rowing from inside our training camp. I believe every successful rower and every successful coach knows that you need to train hard to win. There is no magic formula revealed in this video, and I don't think showing people from other countries that we trained hard to achieve what we did will make it any easier to do. In some cases it may make it even harder to do.

-RR

2 comments:

  1. Having watched the The Spracklen Philosophy there is about much training "detail" as there is in a GB crew update...

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    1. Thanks for the comment! The point is not to indicate that 'The Spracklen Philosophy' is loaded with details about training–the point is to say that more athletes are sharing training data (i.e. test scores/breakdowns, video from training sessions, etc.) than they have in the past (Drew Ginn, Eric Murray, et al., many of whom we have written about here before). Light's quote does a nice job of summing up the reasons for athletes being comfortable with such information sharing.

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