Showing posts from October, 2011

Update from the Road: Upcoming Coverage from Philly and Princeton This Weekend

I've not yet figured out a way to write while driving, but I'm working on it. In the meantime, the above is a video from the trip down to Philadelphia from Boston, moving on from coverage of the Head Of The Charles to the Schuylkill and the Princeton Chase this weekend. The weather men are predicting snow storms, but (fortunately) we're well equipped with waterproof gear and will be bringing you more coverage of the racing on throughout the weekend–and stay up to date with @RowingNews and @rowingrelated on Twitter for updates on the action as it happens out here on Boathouse Row. More to come as the racing kicks off Saturday morning in Philadelphia. -RR

Coaches' Corner: How to set your athletes up for success, mentally and physically

Drysdale leads through the enclosures (Photo: B. Kitch) Whether you are coaching athletes or you are an athlete yourself, it is always important to set yourself up for success. What this means is not putting yourself in a position where your mind or body will fail by trying to do too much, too soon, or biting off more than you can chew, from a training and racing perspective. Examples of this include trying to handle a larger workload than is practical in terms of training volume, expecting to beat competitors that are several levels of skill and ability above you and trying to make too big of a jump in performance (like a third year rower trying to go from a 6:30 2k to 6:00 in one year). It is, unfortunately, common for athletes, and even coaches, to set overly ambitious goals and to attack them with palpable vigor only to end up too tired, injured, beat up or demoralized having only scratched the surface of their proposed training plan. Why does this happen? It happens because

VOTW: Motivation for Winter Training, Courtesy of Rowing Canada Aviron

Canadian lightweight Cameron Sylvester gives us an inside look at what it takes to train for an Olympic medal, with the Canadian men's team–each athlete has been interviewed for the video, with the audio from each interview spliced together. Not only do these athletes follow the same training plan, they also think alike, as all echo one another throughout this nicely edited piece. Need some motivation to hit the erg this winter? Watch, listen, and learn. For content on the 47th Head Of The Charles, check out the coverage from Saturday and Sunday , with results, photos and interviews, posted to the official website of Rowing News . Want to suggest the next 'Video of the Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, or send us your suggestion via Twitter ( ). -RR

Charles Chat: Tips on Taking the Right Course from Five-Time Champion Leigh Heyman

Heyman's collection of HOCR 1st place medals (Photo courtesy of Leigh Heyman) Yesterday, I put together a piece for Rowing News with Ned DelGuercio (coxswain of the U.S. men's eight) on how to tackle two of the most important bridges on the course at the Head Of The Charles. Today, five-time HOCR champion (see image above), and 2007 U.S. National Team member Leigh Heyman of NYAC shares his take on navigating the Charles, which spans to use throughout the race course, and his personal list of do's and don'ts with RR. From Leigh: I'll start off with Weeks and Eliot, since these are the two bridges that are the hardest to navigate, and the source of the most anxiety. Everyone looks at the course map and says, "it's a no-brainer–never take the right hand arch at Weeks or Eliot." And this is true–they are the arches of last resort. The only reason to use them is to avoid a collision. But then on race day, there you are and you have to make a fas

Coaches' Corner: Managing Team Dynamics

Isis trains in Putney (Photo © Bryan Kitch) Taken together, coaching team dynamics and dealing with different personalities form a very important aspect of coaching in any team sport, and rowing is certainly no exception. With so many people from a variety of different backgrounds, high school, collegiate and national teams always contain a large mix of personalities and abilities. Teammates who might have different approaches and different motivations must find a way to work together and have a sense of cohesiveness if they are to succeed. Finding a way to walk the line and balance these differing individuals is the difficult task of the coach. While a large part of coaching in any sport is taken up with the "Xs and Os" and technical aspects, it is as important, if not more important, to be a great leader. To be a great leader, one must not only have the charisma to teach and inspire, but also the ability to understand and facilitate the creation of team chemistry. This i

VOTW: Red Bull XRow 2011 in Switzerland

This week's VOTW comes to us from Switzerland, where the 2011 Red Bull XRow covered 18 kilometers on the water, as well as 7km on land, broken up into six stages (three rowing, three running)–the added twist is that the eight-man crews must carry their boats across all the running stages (note the foam padding lining the gunwales expressly for this purpose–and don't try this at home). The course runs from Zug, south across the Zugersee to Immensee, overland to Küssnacht am Rigi, south along the Vierwaldstättersee to Meggen, overland to Wartenfluh, and then west on the Rotsee to Luzern (Lucerne), before a final mad dash off the water and up the hill to the finish. All together, it makes for quite a spectacle, as well as an intense training session for the athletes involved, as they expand and develop their aerobic base over the course of the Fall season. This year, competitors included members of the Swiss national rowing team, André Vonarburg among them. Want to suggest the

Head Racing: The Coxswain's Perspective, with Phelan Hill of Team GB

Cranking through Weeks at the Head Of The Charles (Photo: P. Biro) The Head Of The Charles is just over a week away, and it's known as one of the trickiest courses around for the coxswain, who has to navigate bridges and traffic on the narrow stretch, always keeping in mind that the most direct route is key, while keeping his/her crew focused on the task at hand. Like the Head of the River Race on the Tideway in London, there are a huge number of crews to contend with, hordes of spectators, and much to think about while executing your race plan. Phelan Hill , the coxswain of the GB men's eight (silver medalists in Karapiro and Bled), has a great deal of experience guiding crews through head races, winning the 2011 Head of the River with Leander Club last April. Here, Phelan shares some of his knowledge with RR, from establishing the rhythm through the start, to the final build toward the finish. Getting Started RR: When it comes to head racing, there's much more

Coaches' Corner: Autumn Racing and Peak Performance, Workout Structure

Evening light, Eliot Bridge (Photo: © Bryan Kitch)  As we get into the Fall head racing season on the collegiate and high school circuit, programs are training for longer distance races, which are ultimately secondary in importance to the Spring championship races. In order to build aerobic base fitness, emphasis should be placed on long distance workouts–volume is key, but it should be tempered with more aggressive work. Many people run afoul here, in that they are afraid to train hard enough, and end up holding themselves back too much in the Fall. With a Championship peak as the ultimate goal, it is certainly important to avoid getting into 'race-shape' or being 'race ready' too soon. How do you avoid this as a coach? In order to understand this, one must understand what makes one race fit and ready to achieve physiological peak. We know that race pace work and lots of rest counterbalanced with great intensity will get one physiologically ready for a peak perfor

Evening Post: RowingRelated's First Birthday Today

The original RR banner, 10/11/2010 One year ago today, I started this website as a simple blog, having drawn the original logo on a piece of binder paper. Over the past year, it has grown more than I ever could have imagined, and for that I am both gratified and extremely thankful. The format of the site continues to evolve, and we'll be hard at work developing more content in the coming weeks and months, covering regattas for Rowing News and adding our own take on a host of subjects, related, of course, to rowing. From training and physiology, to technique, indoors and on the water, to breaking news and challenging the status quo, there is so much in store, and we're very excited to begin. The second iteration of the RR banner, circa 1/1/2011 From day one, we've done our best to remain true to the original mission statement of RowingRelated – that being delivering thought-provoking content, and sharing our opinions honestly and openly (for the first ever post to R

VOTW: Tour of the Devon Boathouse in OKC, with Ryan Monaghan

The VOTW this week is a guided tour of the Devon Boathouse in Oklahoma City with 2010 US National Team member and two-time Cambridge Blue Ryan Monaghan , who is currently training with the High Performance group at the facility. The Devon Boathouse was designed by renowned architect Rand Elliott, who gave the building its distinctive shape and lighting in order to evoke the bow of a boat cutting through the water. The training facilities, which are shared by the OKC U.S. National High Performance Rowing and Canoe/Kayak teams, as well as the varsity programs at Oklahoma City University, are extensive and well-maintained, as the video will show. For more on the Devon Boathouse, check out the official website of OKC Riversport , and see the online coverage of the Oklahoma Regatta Festival on , with further photos and video interviews from the event ( Thursday , Friday , Saturday , Sunday ) that included the annual OGE NightSprints (500m racing under the lights at night o

Rumor Mill: Teti to Coach U.S. Men's Eight at CRC for 2012 Olympic Games?

Ever since the boats were selected for the 2011 World Rowing Championships, there has been controversy surrounding the U.S. men's rowing team. We published an article in August  (prior to Worlds), asking questions about the nature of selection, which seemed to be producing inconsistent results within the team from year to year, and which hasn't, during the McLaren era, produced many notable results internationally, despite the talent within the U.S. system. The article sparked a discussion that continued through the World Championships, and things didn't settle down following the performance of the U.S. men in Bled – in fact, things have heated up across the board. After coming back from Worlds, I headed over to CRC to meet the newly appointed head coach, Bernhard Stomporowski, who comes from the German system, and whom Mike Teti greatly respects as a coach. Following the interview and tour of the facilities that I put together for Rowing News , there was some speculati

Coaches' Corner: How to Manage Offseason Training and Fall Fitness

Part I: Pitfalls in Structuring Training Plans When structuring a training plan as part of a longer term goal, it is very important to always keep the big picture in mind. For coaches and athletes at both the high school and college levels, who have their championships in the Spring (around the end of May or early June), Spring must be the goal and all training and racing must be conducted with that goal in mind. For elite athletes, training and racing internationally, the championship or goal race might be at the end of the August. Regardless of the level or timing of the yearly cycle the training must be responsive to that primary goal race. Most coaches know this, and know the basic principles behind training cycles, and many people have done enough research to know all about microcycles and macrocycles , and about what many think of as the 'scientific' basis behind training at different points of the year. Most people are familiar with terms like 'aerobic base,'

VOTW: The Spracklen Rowing Philosophy - Motivation, Thanks to Kevin Light

It has been said before, and it will be said again -- the Canadians make good videos. This week's VOTW comes to us from Beijing champ and 2011 World bronze medalist Kevin Light of Rowing Canada Aviron, and features some excellent insights into the coaching mind of Mike Spracklen. The video also showcases some of Light's photography, which has been featured in Rowing News magazine, among other places. For more of Light's work, check out his Flickr photostream . Also, check out Rowing News' online coverage of the Oklahoma Regatta Festival, with two weekend interviews that Bryan has posted from Oklahoma City, featuring U.S. U23 World Champions Mike Gennaro and Ty Otto on their outstanding summer and plans for the coming year, as well as Beijing Olympian and U.S. lightweight national team member Tom Paradiso on his comeback to elite level competition. Want to suggest the next 'Video of the Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, or