B. Preparation

B. Preparation

Preparation Phase

The Preparation Phase is broken down into 4 “sub phases” in order to reflect the year’s actual goals and challenges.

Prep 1 – is also known as winter training and the specific goal of building the aerobic base using the erg and muscular strength using the weight room.

Prep 2 – is designed specifically to provide a transition to the water. This challenging time is characterized by short practices on the water due to weather and light resulting in low intensity, technique heavy practices. The previous gains of Prep 1 will need to be maintained by continuing on the erg and increasing the intensity of the remaining erg periods to account for the low water intensity.

Prep 3 – is the longest phase and is the water work designed to prepare for the spring race season; the erg will only be used during this period when water conditions force us off the water. The practices will still be primarily aerobically based but will begin to see the introduction of peak power work associated with starts and sprints.

Prep 4 – is designed to transition from the sprint season and rest period into the head race season using mostly AT workouts.

Preparation 1 Schedule

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Jan1

Abs 1

S 1

Abs 2

Con 1

Abs 1

S 2

Abs 2

Con 2

Abs 1

S 1

Abs 2

Erg 1

Rest

Rest

Jan 8

Abs 2

S 2

Abs 1

UL5

Abs 2

UL2

Abs 1

S 3

Abs 2

UL6

Abs 1

UL1

Rest

Rest

Jan 15 60%Int

Abs 1

Test

Abs 2

S 2

Abs 1

UL2

Abs 2

S 3

Abs 1

UL6

Abs 2

UL1

Rest

Rest

Jan 22 65%Int

Abs 2

UH1

Abs 1

UL9 S2

Abs 2

UL7

Abs 1

UL9 S3

Abs 2

UL6

Abs 1

UL2

Rest

Rest

Jan 29 70%Int

Abs 1

UH3

Abs 2

UL9 S3

Abs 1

UL6

Abs 2

UL9 S1

Abs 1

UL6

Abs 2

UL5

Rest

Rest

Feb5 60%Int

Abs 2

UH5

Abs 1

UL9 S2

Abs 2

UL7

Abs 1

UL9 S3

Abs 2

UL6

Abs 1

UH1

Rest

Rest

Feb12 65%Int

Abs 3

Test

Abs 4

UL9 S4

Abs 3

UH4

Abs 4

UL9 S3

Abs 3

UH1

Abs 2

UH2

Rest

Rest

Feb19 70%Int

Abs 4

UH2

Abs 3

UL9 S2

Abs 1

AT3

Abs 2

UL9 S2

Abs 3

UH4

Abs 4

UH3

Rest

Rest

Feb26 75%Int

Abs 3

UL8

Abs 2

UL9 S3

Abs 4

UH4

Abs 3

UL9 S2

Abs 4

UH5

Abs 2

   UL5

Rest

Rest

Mar4 65%Int

Abs 4

UH2

Abs 3

UL9 S4

Abs 2

AT1

Abs 1

UL9 S3

Abs 3

UL2

Abs 4

UL6

Rest

Rest

Mar11 75%Int

Abs 2

Test

Abs 1

UL9 S1

Abs 2

UH4

Abs 3

UL9 S2

Abs 4

UH4

Abs 3

UH4

Rest

Rest

UL                           Utilization Low Intensity/Aerobic Threshold (65 – 75%MHR), workouts promote improvement in aerobic endurance using mainly fat metabolism.

UH                          Utilization High Steady State (75 – 80%MHR), workouts promote improvement in aerobic endurance using carbohydrate and fat metabolism

AT                           Anaerobic Threshold (80 -85%MHR), workouts are designed to improve performance in the mixed aerobic anaerobic zone which is important as it is the energy zone used in the middle of the race at “base rate”.

Workouts

Abs 1 1 set 20 leg lifts, front/right/left plank 30 sec each, 30 crunches, 10 superman’s
Abs 2 2 sets 20 leg lifts, 10  roll ups, 10 left & 10 right rotations; all back to back with 30 sec rest between sets
Abs 3 2 sets 20 leg lifts w/hand weights (2 x 5lbs), front/right/left plank w/side arm lift, 15 oblique crunches each side, 20 bicycles with leg lift each side, 10 superman with 10 second hold, 30 sec rest btw sets
Abs 4 2 sets 20 stab ball front plank w/leg drop, 10 stab ball rotations each side, 20 stab ball crunches, 10 stab ball side bends each side, 10 stab ball side planks each side, 10 kneeling supermans with crunch and 10 with pulse each side, 1 min rest btw sets
Strength 1 4 sets 10 bent over rows, 10 squat & lat push up, 10 pushups, 10 stability ball hamstring curls, 10 dumbbell toss
Strength 2 4 sets 10 shoulder press, 10 lat pull down, 10 bicep curls, 10  triceps’ overhead press, 1 minute row/elliptical at full power, all back to back, with 30 sec rest between sets
Strength 3 2 sets 10 squat and lat pushup, 10 bicep curls; 10 triceps overhead press, 10  hamstring curls (ball); 10 pushup, 300m row; 10 leg lifts, rollups; 15 sec rest between exercises, 1 min rest between sets
Strength 4 4 sets tba
Conditioning 1 34 min 3 x 10 min @ 75% mhr with 2 min rest between pieces
Conditioning 2 34 min 3 x 3 min @ 70%/4 @ 80%/3 @ 70% mhr with 2 min rest between pieces
Ergometer Workouts; warm up not included
UL 1 50 min 9 x 5 min @ 22; 30 sec rest  50% intensity
UL2 54 min 8 x 6 min @ 22; 45 sec rest  50% intensity
UL3 63 min 7 x 8 min @ 20; 1 min rest  50% intensity
UL4 72 min 6 x 10 min @ 20; 2 min rest  50% intensity
UL5 54 min 3 x 15 min @ 18; 3 min rest  1 and 3 at 50%, 2 at 60% intensity
UL6 46 min 4 x 4/3/2/1 @ 16/18/20/22; 2 min rest  50% intensity
UL7 46 min 4 x 4/3/2/1 @ 18/20/22/24; 2 min rest  50% intensity
UL8 49 min 1 x 15 min @ 20, 1 x 4/3/2/1 @ 18/20/22/24, 1 x 15 min @ 20; 3 min rest  1 and 3 at 50%, 2 at 60% intensity
UL9 38 min 2 x 15 min @ 22; 4 min rest  50% intensity
UH1 50 min 9 x 5 min @ 24; 30 sec rest  60% intensity
UH2 54 min 8 x 6 min @ 26; 1 min rest  60% intensity
UH3 46 min 4 x 1/2/3/4 @ 18/20/22/24; 2 min rest;  1 and 4 at 50%, 2 and 3 at 60% intensity
UH4 46 min 4 x 1/2/3/4 @ 20/22/24/26; 2 min rest;  1 and 4 at 50%, 2 and 3 at 60% intensity
UH5 60 min 1 x 20 min @ 20, 65%mhr; 1 x 15 min @ 20/22/24/22/20, 75 – 85%mhr; 1 x 20 min @ 20, 65% mhr with 1 min rest after piece 1 and 4 minutes after piece 2
UH6 49 min 1 x 15 min @ 22, 70%mhr; 1 x 1/2/3/4 @ 18/20/22/24, 75 – 85%mhr; 1 x 15 min @ 22, 70%mhr; 3 min rest btw sets
AT1 44 min 2 x 4/3/2/1/2/3/4 @ (22/24/26/28/26/24/22), (24/26/28/30/28/26/24); 6 min rest
AT2 64 min 4 x 2000m @ alternating (20/22/24/26), (22/24/26/28); equal rest  70% intensity
AT3 50 min 2 x 20 min @ 28/30; 10 min rest 70% intensity

 

Technique Focus

Length has 2 components; the first is the physical component that is measured in degrees around the pin and the second is the time component which is measured in tenths of a second that the blade is in the water under pressure.

We deal with the physical component by ensuring the rigging of the boat and oars are correct for the rower and that the rower’s flexibility allows for an appropriate amount of compression and layback. The time component is the tricky part to address as it can be more art than science or mechanics.

The time component begins with blade placement at the front of the stroke and is considered the most important task for the rower to master. It starts the “power clock”, determines how much run the boat will experience and sets the rower up for a well supported release, which is the primary factor in determining length at the back end.  We prepare for blade placement, also known as the catch, on the recovery using proper posture and ensuring that our speed on recovery (slide speed) is appropriate to the stroke rate which allows us time to roll up the blade to the square position, breathe, fully engage our powerhouse and drop the blade in the water before driving.

The art part of the catch I spoke of comes with the next factor which is “seat – catch timing”. It is critical for the blade to connect with the water before the drive begins or the blade will slip through the water and not provide the necessary resistance. In this case, known as driving the blade in, the boat will not accelerate since the rowers power is consumed by moving water and not the boat so the “length clock” doesn’t start until well into the drive. We prevent this condition by ensuring that the blade has entered the water and “locked in” before reversing the seat with the drive; something that takes much patience and discipline.

Drills that we will use to train for proper seat – catch timing are; the “cha”, top end, Russian catch and turtle. The drills, while important to the process, are useless without feel. The important point here is to connect the recovery to the drive efficiently and patiently by feeling that light, but immediate pull in the hands and lat’s (latissimus dorsi) together with increasing pressure on the feet as the legs drive quickly and powerfully away against a locked in blade.

Once we have “started the clock” at the catch we need to keep it running as long as possible, that is done by keeping the blade in the water under pressure throughout the drive and initial release. Keeping the blade under pressure at the finish of the drive into the initial release is called “rowing the blade out” and will make the difference between a win and a loss among already fast boats.

Issues that prevent “rowing it out” are a weak or collapsed finish posture, low handle height (finishing in the lap), feathering in the water and a lack of connection at the catch which leads to poor drive timing and a caught blade at the finish. In all these cases the rower is unable to keep the power on into the finish resulting in the “length clock” stopping prematurely.

Drills that we will use to train for a proper release are 25/75’s, “stick – it’s”, ¼ slide, feet out, square blade and rowing with partial crews (pairs/4’s/ 6’s). Additionally, we will keep working on our preparation and seat – catch timing so that our connection, or lack of, doesn’t sabotage our ability to row it out. Additionally, we will keep working on the abdominals which provide the foundation needed to support the finish and hold the “lay back” position for the release.

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