Fancy a fun end to your season…. get over to Vienna in Austria and compete in the Vienna Night Row 350m sprints.
Fancy a fun end to your season…. get over to Vienna in Austria and compete in the Vienna Night Row 350m sprints.
Hanlan’s Spirit - training for flow book by Jim Joy is now listed for sale in the Rowperfect shop. Or buy both and save!
This book’s importance is the connection between training the body and training the mind. don’t be deceive by the title – although Jimmy Joy has written it in the spirit of Ned Hanlan whose skill and ‘one-ness’ with his scull were legend, the lessons and techniques explained in the second half of the book are appropriate for all coaches and athletes who care about skilful rowing.
The book is in two parts, the first sets out both the history of Ned Hanlan and Joy’s own philosophy of mind/body integration for optimal rowing and sculling experience.
The second part is a tutorial, taking the reader throughout four stages of the rowing stroke release,e recovery, drive and entry. Each explaining where and how to teach flow.
The concept of a “peak sporting experience” is well-known by athletes and coaches – it is described by athletes after moments of intense endeavour and outstanding results as the feeling of ease and slow-motion such that the game seems effortless.
I’ve personally experienced this very intensely once in my rowing life. The Tideway Scullers School womens eight beat the selected England Commonwealth eight in the first round at Henley Royal Regatta. [Read more...]
I got some interesting insights from a rowing scientific test detailed in Jimmy Joy’s book about “Flow in rowing”.
He has a controversial coaching suggestion; a double hand feather for sweep rowing is more efficient.
Jim had this tested in the MIT hydraulic lab in 1964 by one of his oarsmen athletes, Dr Dennis Ducik.
“In sweep rowing if you relay on the inside hand only to release then the thumb acts as a block to the flow of the handle and the wrist breaks severely. The two-handed release fosters flat wrist rowing.”
Want to test this out and let us know if it works for your crew?
I have just returned from a weekend coaching in Invercargill. And, yes, I have heard the joke before; you know, the ones which goes something along the lines of “I won a raffle; first prize was a weekend in Invercargill. And second prize was a week there…” Invercargill is about the southernmost rowing centre in the world. It is a long, long way from the glamorous centres of our sport. From the Rotsee, the Charles, from Eton Dorney.
Invercargill is nearly as far south as you can go in New Zealand and the weather is not renowned for its friendliness. That part of the country is in the Roaring Forties and the standard wind is southwest, cold and wet. Most of the country likes to look down on the Southlanders, they must be provincial and backward. After all they haven’t joined the rush to the sunny and fashionable northern regions.
But. And it is a big but. New Zealand Rowing is still basking in the glow of Olympic success.
At the recent games in London NZ had a fabulous regatta. Twenty six athletes won three gold and two bronze medals. Four of these athletes are Southlanders, from Invercargill, that looked down on place at the bottom end of the world. Nathan Cohen was in the M2x that produced that amazing sprint that brought a win. Storm Uru was in the LM2x that had arguably the rough side of the conditions and the unsportsmanlike behaviour of the Brits and still brought home a bronze. Storm’s brother Jade was in the M4- and Louise Ayling in the WL2x. Invercargill has a population of about 50,000. NZ has a population of 4.4million. So 1% of the country produced 15% of the rowers in the team.
It seems to me that instead of looking down our noses at the southerners we should be looking up at them and asking them how they do it. How does a small town with a small rowing community consistently produce way more than their share of winners?
I have some ideas about the reasons behind the success. Whenever I visit Invercargill I notice the old fashioned hands on style. This weekend they held the first of the regular Winter Training Programme camps for promising young rowers. It was also the first of the regular winter series of 7km races. There was activity on the river all weekend. Young, old, fast and slow they all came out to row. Children cycle out to row on the Oreti, a river shared with fish and ducks (and fishermen and duck shooters), parents join in with maintenance and fund raising. The kids I coached said “Thank you” after each session. Simple stuff, but rowing in Southland is proof that simple still works.
Rudyard Kipling, the poet of the British Empire, reputedly called Invercargill “The last lamp-post in the world”. I would rather think of it as a shining beacon on the road to Olympic excellence.
We read this suggestion as a way of picking a quad scull crew reported in a rowing forum.
What do you think is inherently unfair about the selection process?
Three seats are already assigned, and fixed. Three more rowers (A, B, C) will race for the remaining spot in the number 2 seat. Proposed schedule: 2x 1250 m with tailwind (if any) in the morning, half an hour between races, first with A then with B.
Winner is he who is faster by 2 s or more or, if inside that margin, chosen by the national team coach. Then in the afternoon, the same again with the winner and C. Labels A/B/C are assigned by random draw.
Who would you want to be, A/B or C?
Read other articles about Testing and Selection.
One of the urban legends about legal methods of increasing a personal test score or an important race is to take bicarbonate of soda before a 2k erg test.
Here’s a useful article that sets out how to calculate how much bicarb to take (body weight), and what the effects were on a test group of athletes.
During intense exercise a significant proportion of the energy required for muscle contraction comes from anaerobic respiration. This is when you produce energy whilst having a limited oxygen supply. This has the negative effect of increasing cellular and blood acidity. High acidity limits the ability of your muscles to contract, meaning you slow down. Bicarbonate is an alkaline, meaning it will neutralise an acid. This is also referred to as a buffer (because it ‘buffers’ the effects of an acid). Bicarbonate is the body’s primary extra cellular (outside of cells) buffer. As such, ingesting bicarbonate before intensive exercise should increase the body’s buffering capacity (how much acid your body can buffer). So we may hypothesise that by consuming bicarbonate of soda before exercise, we can delay the point of slowing down (because our body will buffer the acidity for longer).
Most athletes experience some bad side effects – principally runny tummy and cramps as a result. THis is well-known and puts many people off using bicarb.
I thought it interesting that the study scientists dissolved the bicarb in water. I’ve always heard that athletes swallow the powder insider gelatine caplets (as pharmaceutical medicines use). The large amount of water may make you feel bloated and I’m not sure an hour beforehand is enough time for the body to process the liquid into urine.
Although they say the scores were ‘better’ but not statistically significant. Well, in my book, any improvement in a maximal output test score is a good thing – as an athlete I wouldn’t worry about the significance of the statistics – I only want to be able to submit a better score.
What do you think? Anyone tried this?
With another FREE RowingChat coming up, there’s no excuse to miss Ben Hunt-Davis talking about how he achieved his Olympic Gold
Medal and then translated his athletic lessons into business success. With his inspiring book “Will it make the boat go faster?” he’s dedicated his life to helping others achieve their dream. Get your questions in when you sign up to this free event and Ben will be ready to answer them on the 23rd of May.
To join us for this RowingChat go to the following link and grab your ticket HERE.
We’re excited to continue bringing world class rowers and coaches to you so make the most of it. Get your questions in and get talking. For some, it has been the chance of a lifetime.
Our chat with Carlos Dinares is still up for you to hear to so you still have a chance to experience RowingChat right now:
RowingChat is a live and interactive online webinar where viewers get to hear interviews with some of the greatest figures in rowing while text chatting with them directly.
Ask questions straight to our guests using the text chat service during the session or send your questions in beforehand when you sign up.
Get training tips, listen to rowing stories, and start improving yourself as a rower and a rowing coach through RowingChat.
I have been coaching a young athlete who has ambitions to row at the Olympics – one of the things we discussed what how to find the right rowing club for her to join.
I was very frustrated by being asked for advice (which club to join) only to find that many people were being asked the same question.
What puzzled me most was her desire to try to join a rowing club NOW, without waiting for a conversation with the club coach, athletes or even a basic appraisal of the number of wins the club had delivered in recent seasons.
Now, I don’t mind athletes canvassing views, but I was taught that your coach was the person whose advice you took.
There are lots of famous rowing clubs who go through down-periods and one of the ones being considered was in this situation. I didn’t want to say flat “no” don’t join them, because I respect the views of the athlete and they need to buy into any decision.
What would you have done? Is this a problem of youth or did I frame my questions in the wrong way?
If you have bothered to think about this it will help you work out which clubs may be right for you.
Eight steps to decision making gives a helpful framework, the main things it misses are:
Making a really effective rowing website has been a labour of love for Rowperfect over the past years since 2006 when we started writing this blog.
We want to fit into what you want and so today we’re introducing changes to the newsletter, the blog and our social media accounts at Facebook and Twitter.
The blog used to update five times a week and got compiled into a weekly newsletter – but we’re not convinced that suits what you want.
We will still send out the newsletter once a week but it will have fewer articles.
Get only the news you need that fits your interest in rowing. You’ll see on the right side of this page are ‘categories’ which we use to indicate the area of interest for each article we write.
Well we’ve split up the newsletter subscription into 3 areas: Coaches, Athletes and Coxswains.
When you subscribe to the newsletter - you’ll see a list of options and you have to tick the box of the newsletters(s) you want. You can edit your subscription at any time using this link or clicking the Preferences in the footer of your email
We hope this will enable you to get the parts that fit your interests.
A reader wrote to us asking
Our son is a serious rower and has painful, cracked callouses on his hands. What is the best way to speed healing? Thank you.
We wrote a book all about this because his experience is not un-common.
Soak hands in warm water.
Soap vigorously when the skin is softened and warmed and use a pumice stone to rub over the surface of the callouses to reduce their height.
Dry hands carefully and apply hand cream to soften skin.
Do this every night.
Sleep with cotton gloves on to keep the cream on his hands. A lanolin based cream is good as it’s heavy and greasy. It should absorb over night.
Over time, the callouses reduce in depth and if he gets new blisters they are not so deep in the epidermis.
He needs to learn how to tape his hands properly to protect the cut skin and give cushioning so he doesn’t aggravate them while rowing and allows the healing to continue.
We wrote an ebook about this - Blisters and Skin Injuries in Rowing
His hands will get more resistant to blisters the more he rows. Develop good hand hygiene habits.
Resist the urge to use teeth to pull off skin that’s ragged.
Cut off loose skin and hang nails or burst blisters with sharp nail scissors.
Be aware of water-bourne diseases and wash hands after rowing every day and before eating and make sure his tetanus injections are up to date.
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