As I write these articles, I imagine my audience as being similar to me - a master's rower with no formal coach and limited (if any) training partners. If you have a coach, they likely have a style they want you to row and specific workouts planned for you so that my articles, while hopefully interesting, may not be ideas you can ready implement. As a single sculler, you may have a little more latitude in how you row and what workouts you do, even if you do have a coach.
In last month's article I recommended an erg workout that could help you determine if your training was on track for an upcoming erg test or competition. For most of you, that competition is probably over. So now, unless you have plans for an early season race, like San Diego, I feel it's a good time to take a short mental and physical break from the rowing motion.
I'm a big believer in cross training, especially as we get older; but as I said last month, if you want to do well on the erg, you need to spend time on the erg. I don't believe, however, that to be good on the water, you have to spend time on the erg. I have an opportunity in the winter to train with a team and a coach... for swimming. I love having workouts planned for me, I love having teammates to push me. I don't have that in rowing so I take full advantage of this time every winter. Come spring, I'm fit but also refreshed and ready to get back into rowing.
Rowing for many has become a year-long activity and this can lead to burn out, as well as overuse injuries. If you've finished your big erg test and don't have another race planned for a while, take a short break now - not from physical activity but from rowing specific activity.
Find another exercise that will challenge you but at the same time, give your mind and body a break. Then when you get back to rowing, you'll feel that much more energized and ready to work harder towards your next goal.