Winter Practice Sign Ups

Moving forward, please sign up for which practice you expect to attend. Sign up is available at:, and the link is permanently available under the Winter Training tab.

Based on the four practices we had this week, Sunday at 11am and Wednesday evening were the busy ones. Wednesday we split into two groups as rowers exceeded ergs.

So when you sign up, and want to avoid circuits or running, keep in mind we currently have 18 ergs available. I’m not saying we need to stick to that at all, because I’m happy to have people do circuits and run.

First Practice of Winter Training – Yes!! December 1, 2013

Welcome to the first practice of Capital Rowing’s 2013 Winter Training. The first few practices of the season will be foundation practices, which will allow us to determine some of our strengths, and some of our weaknesses, while trying to get everyone on the same page since we all come from different rowing backgrounds. There will be plenty of drill work, as well as some endurance work in which we will elevate the heart rate. However, this endurance work will be low rating – nothing above a 20 – and force us to maximize the pressure with our legs to get a sweat going at low ratings before elevating to higher. We will carry on this way for a few weeks.

Warm up: The below warm up is one of two warm ups that we will do throughout winter training. 

  • 2 min full slide at 16 spm at 75% pressure
  • 1 min arms only
  • 1 min body over
  • 1 min quarter slide
  • 1 min half slide
  • 2 min full slide at 16 spm at 75% pressure


3 x 3,000 (approximately) meter pieces – now some might be thinking this isn’t an endurance building workout. Well, your momma didn’t raise no fool – you’re right. We’ll be doing three very different 3,000 meter pieces to 1. review technique, 2. experiment with low ratings and 3. find a baseline in which we can use to judge growth over the winter. The three different pieces will be as follows:

Piece 1: 2 min steady at an 18 at 75% x 2 min at various pause positions – finish, body over, full. 12 min total.

Piece 2: Rating pyramid: 2 min 16, 2 min 18, 2 min 20, 2 min 20, 2 min 18, 2 min 16 – all at 75% pressure.

Piece 3: 3,000 meter piece at a 20. This will be our baseline piece to test where we stand entering training so pressure will be full.

Cool Down:

The cool down will be light pressure strokes from the warm up.

Focus of Practice:

On these strokes, as with the warm up strokes and especially the first piece’s drill strokes, we are looking for support in our bodies and arms, and then streamlining those motions.

Swing Motion

Noting the image above (which is based on rowing on the water with a slight tap down), we want our body support to carry from the finish, to body over, to full slide – only change the angle at which we sit. And as we come forward with the arms, minimize any up and down movement. Sure, there will be some degree of arms coming down on the recovery, but don’t let the arms fall on top of our feet, where we then have to lift them up aggressively at the catch. Make is small, light and streamlined to the handle is staying level. Please note, I don’t expect everyone’s positioning to be like a stick figure, but we will exaggerate the position and swing on drill strokes.

The video below highlights what a streamlined motion of the stroke, with a pause at body over, should look like in the boat. Note the minimal tap down by the rowers to get the blade out. Effortless work.