I am training for our New Zealand – Masters Rowing National Championships and my crew, The Tyred Swans are all using Marlene Royle’s 1k racing training programme.
How are we doing?
The overall programme is very detailed at the beginning of the book covering all types of training session so it’s clear what each session is about. The first part sets out very clearly how to adapt the programme for people who want to train 4 times a week, 5 times or 6 times. This allows for flexibility not only in which day to train and the programmed session (Marlene is very clear that if you do fewer sessions which ones are the “priority” sessions and which are optional.)
I am training 4-5 times a week. But some weeks my life is too busy, or I’m travelling for work and so this allows me to focus on the core training I need.
Building racing crew combinations
The other thing which works really well for us as we are building a new crew combination, is that each training block is set out very clearly and it repeats for a second week, This gives us the chance to improve our scores from one week to the next. This morning I did ten minute pieces. The programme calls for a rate change every two minutes going from 18 to 20, 22 and back down to 20 and 18. By doing four of the pieces we can measure our boat speed for each rate change and I can see if we can hold the same pace as the rate increases as when it decreases – and also when we’re getting tired in the last set.
I use a GPS to measure our boat speed. Here’s our current challenge. Wind., Our little lake is around 3.5 km around the perimeter and so we can easily do 10 minute pieces. But this morning the wind was coming from the west and we had one leg into a direct head wind, one leg with a side chop and of course one leg with a tail wind. As I saw it we had two choices – to start each piece at the same place on the lake so our scores were directly comparable i.e. we were always doing 22 into a headwind. Or we could just do the pieces in whatever part of the lake we were when the timer was ready to start after the programmed rest in between sets. We chose the latter, figuring (perhaps erroneously) that we needed practice at different wind conditions and different ratings. It does mean our boat speed times aren’t directly comparable.
What would you have done?
PS. This is what a Tyred Swan actually is. Our club logo is a swan with crossed oars so this is a “kiwiana” joke on our age, logo and the animals we row with.