row2k Features
Collegiate Coaches Corner
Training Part 3 - Favorite and Unique Workouts
November 24, 2020
Erik Dresser, row2k.com

Marist Men

Following the cancellation of the 2020 spring racing season, row2k solicited the collegiate coaching community to engage in a variety of high-level topics within the profession. We submitted over sixty questions across a dozen topics and thank the coaches and staffs that found time to contribute their thoughts during this stressful time.

This week we focus on the topic of Training with the following questions:

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE AND MOST USED WORKOUTS AND WHY DO YOU PREFER THEM TO OTHERS?

CAMPBELL WOODS – MARIST MEN
We do a series of the same four to five workouts, 6K prep pieces throughout the year which sounds boring but actually makes it really great for the athletes to look back and see how much they have gained since the last one. In addition, because we have been doing the same ones for 5 years we can also go back and show the athletes how fast they went on the same workout at the same time during the previous season. This is really great feedback to show them that they are gaining fitness.


ALICEA STRODEL – MINNESOTA WOMEN
2K steps both on the water and on the erg. It teaches you how to change speed with rate (every 500) and how to go faster when fatigued. It’s also good for the athlete to get comfortable with the distance.


LEE RUMPF – GEORGETOWN LIGHTWEIGHT MEN
We ensure that every workout that we do is the appropriate type of stimulus based on time of year, point in the mesocycle, athlete feedback/performance, and desired outcome at the end of the mesocycle. So, we don’t really have any favorites. Our most used workout is getting in a ton of meters.


GABE WINKLER – OREGON STATE MEN
We do 3x20 minutes (with 4 minutes rest, enough to get a drink of water and record the scores), starting at a rate 22 straight through then building throughout the year. We do this at least once a week. This pushes all the buttons for a good workout: it’s mentally hard, it’s physically hard, if you fall apart technically, you will suffer, and you will cover a lot of meters. I believe this also builds deep fitness. If you are out of shape, you cannot fake a 3x20. But doing it consistently, you will see some big gains. A 6k should feel like a welcomed change because if you are doing it right, it’s essentially a 3x6K workout.


ERIC GEHRKE – GEORGE WASHINGTON MEN
My favorite workout period is 90-minute 2km Steady State AMRAP with heart rate rest. The work is short enough each piece to have high quality movements, the rest is based around how fit you are, and at the end you have completed a sneaky number of meters without realizing it. You can use this workout to measure and engage a lot of different focuses as well, so it’s always applicable.


COLIN FARRELL – PENN LIGHTWEIGHT MEN
2x6k, because Tyler Nase said so, ha! My team will get that joke, but essentially Tyler came to our team and really felt like that was a workout that could help us, so we started doing it more, then more, then more. It’s one of those love/hate things for the rowers since it’s a hard session, but they know the value of it and look forward to the challenge. But again, I think this goes back to why it’s a good workout for us, and the concept of having an adaptable training program. It was really about where Tyler and I saw our squad and felt like we could benefit. So, I don’t really think there are any magic workouts, but just ones that are helping the team get where it’s trying to go.


BART THOMPSON – ADRIAN
We use some of the classic ones (like 5 x 5 min) a decent amount. But I’m also a fan of what we call “20 Minutes of Hell,” which is 20 x (:40 on, :20 off). It’s a good 2k indicator and mentally really makes the kids work.


ETHAN SHOEMAKER – STETSON
We don’t do much interval work, so the vast majority of our workouts are just long slow intervals over 90-120 minutes. We do like to do the “Fartlek” workout, however. It is 10’ intervals (4 min, 3 min, 2 min, 1 min). The rating goes up 4 beats each time and the pressure builds with it. It allows the crews to just touch higher speeds before shifting it all back down the low rates again. As an athlete I always enjoyed leapfrog too, because it felt like a game, but you got to have solid coxswains to do leapfrog.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL WORKOUTS OR ROWS THAT ARE SPECIFIC TO YOUR SCHOOL OR BODY OF WATER?

GABE WINKLER – OREGON STATE MEN
We have access to a pond that is just 1000m long. It’s a blessing and a curse sometimes. It’s great to have this protected stretch of still water (as opposed to our ever-moving river) but it is also only 1000m long. It does show some speeds but a 1K is completely different than a 2K. You need to do a lot of them (like a minimum of 4-5 all out) to get some physical gains.


MADELINE DAVIS – BOSTON UNIVERSITY WOMEN
You can’t beat Boston in the fall. Like all rowers here, we spend a lot of time on the Head of the Charles course throughout the year, but with special focus and attention in September and October. We race the full course, do repeats of different segments, and give our coxswains plenty of chances to take those turns at full speed.

HOCR Course
HOCR Course


COLIN FARRELL – PENN LIGHTWEIGHT MEN
We definitely like distances that are 1500m or less, that’s what you can get done straight on the Schuylkill. We also have the racecourse permanently set up, so anything that’s 1500 or less allows for at least 6 boats across. It’s also pretty easy to squeeze in a 7th if you really wanted to. One of the last workouts we did prior to the season getting suspended was 1000m pieces with our Heavyweight crew; we had 6 boats across, so that makes for a really fun, competitive situation.

We also do an annual “triathlon” which has changed a lot over the years, but always ends with running the stadium steps in Franklin Field. That’s always a fun teamwork out that we do right before Thanksgiving.

The last thing that stands out for some is that for most hard erg workouts, the coaches are doing the sessions as well.


CAMPBELL WOODS – MARIST MEN
We do an annual Biathlon in the winter which is a 10K erg and a 5K run across the Mid-Hudson Bridge which we usually air live on our Facebook page. There is always a ton of good-humored posturing and trash talking in the lead up to the event which makes it fun. Our longest row of the season is the “Island-Row” from our boathouse in Poughkeepsie up around Esopus Island and back (about 17 miles).


LEE RUMPF – GEORGETOWN LIGHTWEIGHT MEN
Exorcist stairs. Famous steep set of stairs just off campus featured in “the Exorcist”

Wilson Bridge rows. Longest standard row we have. About 7 miles out and back. Pass the Lincoln, Jefferson Memorials. Pass the Pentagon and the National Cemetery. Pass National Airport and Old Town Alexandria and the Office of Naval Research for the US.

Fury Road, If you know you know.


BART THOMPSON – ADRIAN
We do some “November Project” style circuits that utilize the hill on one side of our boathouse, the steps on the other, the deck that we have, our docks, and the nearby residential road. It’s a massive running circuit. Those tend to be a lot of fun. Same with the triathlon we do that takes advantage of our clean water: swim, bike, erg. We row on Devils Lake, so we call it The Devil’s Tri-dent.


ERIC GEHRKE – GEORGE WASHINGTON MEN
When I was coaching in upstate New York we had a fall workout that was based around the length between two bridges on Fish Creek. We included the entire club in doing the workout to mimic a race day environment with lots of boats and it also just kept the entire program connected on that day. We checked in with that shorter ‘head race’ very often and were able to see growth in boat speed through it.


ETHAN SHOEMAKER – STETSON
I think every team has rows that are specific to their body of water. Rowers are typically pretty good at using what they have. We have essentially unlimited kilometers of protected water, so we love to go on the long rows out and back. Though the longer I coach the less I like being miles from the boathouse, for safety reasons. We have a few workouts we like to do that we have given names too, and it is a past time of us coaches to think of new ways to do the same things.

We have one workout we call the “Pancake Breakfast.” Think about the movie Anchorman if you are wondering where the name comes from. We try and do the workout at least once every cycle. It is 2x4km all out with equal or greater rest time between. Sometimes it is fun to just go for it but having two in a row allows the athletes to reset and learn from the first before doing it again.

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Comments

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GonGB
11/25/2020  7:16:16 AM
Hi everyone, from my point of view and taking in count the facilities, quality of water course,age of the students-athlets (I do juniors) I strongly believe in periodazation but making it as simple as possible. One of the priorities is to have a well rested athlete to perform a quality training session, that will guide the rowers through the long season to its best peak. In relation to the latter is making a good mesocycle plan, then micros avoiding interference of training tasks.For instance do not train steady state followed by a sprint session. What I also try to avoid is the effects of weight lifting with the specific training specially if you only have one session per day. Finally, one rule that I implement is,challenging, and doable objectives in training sessions. By always listening to the athletes, receiving feedback from them. In other words creating a healthy challenging atmosphere of training.



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