Showing posts from December, 2011

Winter Training: Frandsen and Crosby on Cycling as Cross-Training

As we've discussed here on RR before, the best form of 'cross-training' for rowing is rowing on the ergometer. However, there are other activities that can be beneficial when used the right way, and to the right extent–cycling prime among them. Now is the time when most North American and European rowers are in the depths of winter training, with spring racing season seemingly distant on the horizon, and the hum of the ergs in the boat bay serving as a substitute for the sound of 'water boiling aft.' Beijing silver medalist of Rowing Canada Aviron, Scott Frandsen , knows very well the demands that rowing places on athletes at the elite level. In a recent blog post , Frandsen discusses the benefits of breaking free for a while, while continuing to develop the aerobic base by means of the bicycle (video of the incredible landscape included below). Frandsen also touches upon the need for rowers to structure their training plans according to the goals of the overa

Video of the Week: Eric Murray's 60 Minute Test

Eric Murray of Rowing New Zealand called his shot recently, aiming to break the world record for 60 minutes. And he did just that, posting what was (of course) a very impressive distance (18,728 meters). While this alone is certainly outstanding, perhaps even more impressive is the heart rate data from the test, which shows Murray at 190+ for all but 10 minutes of the hour-long row, maxing out at 201. Following the test, he doesn't flop on the ground , but instead stays seated and maintains a grip on the handle, before moving the erg aside and receiving his trophy for a world-record performance–that being a mop. 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

Winter Training, Olympic Trialling – Australian Squad Too Aggressive?

One of the most famous names in Australian rowing, Drew Ginn, has just completed the first stage of trialling for the London Olympic Games, and, despite doing quite well, he's questioning the system. The trials took place over the course of four days, and saw the rowers racing twice each day–the first day included both a 5k time trial and a 2000 meter race. Given the distance yet to go before London, Ginn expressed concern in a recent interview with regarding the preparation of the athletes on the squad at this point in the training cycle. According to Ginn, this has been the most difficult series of trials since those leading up to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta (when Ginn was training as a member of the 'Oarsome Foursome'). Even then, they were racing once per day, rather than twice. It's one thing when someone new to the squad is having trouble making the adjustment to the senior level. It's an entirely different situation when a proven, peren

VOTWs: Sculling Technique with Zac Purchase

This weeks' VOTWs (yes, technically 'VsOTW,' but does anyone really say 'RsBI' in baseball?) come to us courtesy of Zac Purchase , and set the tone for winter training as we look to expand our capillary development at low stroke rates, building a base for the power to come as the weather warms up once again in the spring. The videos exhibit not only the precision with which Purchase (former holder of the world's best time in the LM1x, set in 2006 at Eton-Dorney–Jeremie Azou of France now holds the record from the 2011 U23 world championships of 6:46.93) executes the technique, but also the discipline that it takes to repeat each movement again and again, ingraining the proper muscle memory while expanding his aerobic base. While there is much to learn from watching Purchase in the above videos, Zac was not in action at GB Rowing Trials over the weekend in Boston, Lincolnshire. There were, however, some very interesting results at the 5k time trial event. I

Film for the Weekend: Bled 2011, Thanks to Mike Nicholson

Having been fortunate enough to attend the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia, I can say that Mike Nicholson  has done quite well here, capturing the sights and sounds around the race course, as well as catching up with a number of the top athletes on the outstanding Australian national team. Bled is, without question, one of the most picturesque rowing venues in the world, and the weather cooperated beautifully this year, making for good racing (and reporting) conditions. In case you missed it, or would like to relive it all once again, check out the coverage of the 2011 World Rowing Championships from the course on ( opening ceremonies , and days one , two , three , four , five , six , seven and eight are a click away), with links to over 40 video interviews with athletes and coaches. After an extremely successful 2011 campaign, Team GB will be in action over the weekend , with national trials taking place in Boston, UK (the original version).  Pe

The Importance of Recognizing Hard Work, Across All Sports

Obvious, right? As we get into the swing of winter training, we begin the the most grueling period of preparation as we aim to peak in late in the spring, or early summer. Lots of mileage must be logged in order to build the aerobic foundation that will allow us go as fast as possible during the racing season. In the midst of all this, it is acceptable, and even good, to appreciate the difficulty of the work that you are doing and to understand the commitment and drive it takes to succeed as an athlete. But don't be Captain Obvious. Everyone knows it's hard . We don't have to constantly talk about how hard it is. This includes talking to teammates as well as your inner monologue. The more negative we become regarding what is simply the required level of training to succeed in our sport, the more it is going to make that training difficult to accomplish. I believe there can be a significant benefit to treating the 'daily training grind' as no big deal—just

Trial VIIIs on the Tideway: Cloak v. Dagger, and Hell v. High Water

Clouds over the Tideway (Photo: B. Kitch) The Trial VIIIs for the 2012 Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race took to the waters on the Thames earlier today, despite very difficult conditions. The races, which are intra-squad and typically feature pithy names (this year was no exception), help to determine lineups, and give the athletes their only chance at the full 4.5 mile Boat Race course on the Tideway, from Putney to Chiswick, before the main event. This year, the CUBC eights ('Cloak' and 'Dagger') took off first, at 1:15pm. The race featured a clash and several lead changes, with Cloak leading by more than a length at one point, but Dagger, stroked former Wisconsin Badger Stephen Dudek , making a decisive move near Barnes Bridge to secure the victory. CUBC president David Nelson (a veteran of the Australian junior and U23 national teams, as well as last year's Boat Race), who sat at seven in the Dagger crew, will undoubtedly be pleased with the efforts of his boat

VOTW: Support the U.S. National Team Women as They Pursue Glory in London

It goes beyond 'The List.' Beijing Olympian and 2011 U.S. national team member Megan Kalmoe is at it again, this time publishing a video promoting the 2012 'Power and Grace' Calendar. This is the second year of the project, which is a fundraiser for the U.S. women's team, with the proceeds going to help the athletes (who are committed to full-time training in what is, in the U.S., an amateur sport) in any number of ways–Kalmoe herself lists a few. The video includes footage from both training and racing, with clips of from Bled as well as the weight room in Princeton. For more information and to order a copy of the 2012 calendar, follow the link below: And for more videos featuring the U.S. women's national team (not to mention the 2011 edition of 'The List'), check out Megan's YouTube channel . Also, see Bryan's interview with Kalmoe about 'The List,' Movember and inter

The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race – Part 2 of 6

The second installment of the documentary on the Oxford crew as it prepares for the Boat Race in April has been released, covering the rigors of the student experience at England's oldest university as well as the intensity of a one-year program. Roel Haen  of Skadi ARSRV, who rowed on the Dutch national team from 2004 (when he competed at the U23 level) through 2007, walks us through a typical day of training, while OUBC head coach Sean Bowden discusses the body's adaptations to the training and some of the overuse injuries that can occur as a result of such a repetitive sport, as well as the sacrifices that are made to produce the best possible outcome on the water. The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race is on for 7 April, 2012 at 2:15pm GMT. For more information on the crews and the upcoming race, check out the official website of the Boat Race . -RR

Moving Rowing Forward: Drew Ginn Leading the Way Again

Sculling silhouette (Photo by Kosala Bandara/Flickr ) In our sport, there is a pervasive feeling that some magic is at work when we watch fast crews perform. While there is certainly splendor in watching great athletes achieve to their potential, both on their own and as part of a unit, the secret is that there are no secrets. There is only work. Drew Ginn –a three-time Olympic gold medalist, and bronze medalist in Bled earlier this year–knows that as well as anyone. Perhaps that's the reason he's so willing to share. After all, as Kevin Light says in a recent interview about his new film on Mike Spracklen for, "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." Ginn has been hard at work training lately, and I can say this definitively given his most recent blog posts. On Monday, Ginn posted an article to his blog

VOTW: World Cup Racing Set for Sydney, Australia in 2013 and 2014

The 2013 and 2014 summer racing seasons will feature action in the Southern Hemisphere, on the international regatta course in Sydney. As the video explains, a invitation will be extended to all medalists at the London Games for a subsidized trip to the first World Cup of 2013, set to take place in March as part of an expanded 'Sydney International Regatta Festival.' In addition to a great deal of footage from the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, there's also an appearance from Drew Ginn , as well as a number of shots of the venue in Sydney. With Australia coming off its most successful World Championships to date, the Aussie team will look to continue to build momentum through London, bringing elite, international competition to Australia for the first time since the Sydney Olympics. For more information see the official website of the event at . Coverage of the USRowing Annual Convention, which featured presentations by Mike Teti , Tim McLa

On the Road Again: The 2011 USRowing Annual Convention

Airport Sunrise (Photo: B. Kitch) Rowing News  is on the move once again, this time attending the 2011 USRowing National Convention in Hartford, CT. There are a number of extremely influential coaches presenting throughout the weekend event, including Mike Teti, Tim McLaren, Kevin Sauer, Tom Bohrer, Liz Trond, Lori Dauphiny, and Harry Parker, among others. Sara-Mai Conway of Flywheel Fitness and the Austin Rowing Club will also be in attendance, giving a presentation on the business of rowing . See here for a complete schedule, and look for updates from the convention via @rowingrelated and @RowingNews on Twitter, with further updates to to come. -RR

Coaches' Corner: Learning the Difference between Pain and Injury

In all sports, and especially in endurance sports, it is important for coaches and athletes alike to be able to differentiate, as much as possible, between pain and injury. The higher the level of training and the heavier the training load, the more difficult it becomes to walk this fine line. In rowing, as in other endurance sports, success is largely determined by mental and physical toughness, in both training and racing. No matter how healthy or injury-free you may be as an athlete, achieving to your maximum capability on race day comes down to the ability to push through pain and discomfort. Rowing, like any racing sport, requires pushing up against one’s physical and mental limits (for a related article from The New York Times , click  here ). However, in addition pushing through manageable barriers, there are often instances in which the athlete, doctor/trainer, and coach must determine whether it is 'normal' pain or an actual injury that could detract from training an