Preparing for Rowing Training Camp


You’re off for a rowing training camp during the holidays.

What should you expect? What will the coaches be doing? What should you do to succeed? What should you pack?

Rowperfect has the answers.

Start with the rowing training

First consider how much training you are going to be doing.  Many camps train 3 times per day.  Some do 2 or 1.  Find out what your coaches plan.  This will help you with what to take with you – a check list of clothing, tools and other important rowing gear.

Then read our checklist for coaches and rowers for pre-camp preparation including suggestions on training sessions for selection.

Will there be crew selection?

One of the best outcomes from camp is the rowing coaches get to spend time testing out crew combinations and figuring out who will go into which racing crew.  The lack of time pressure and the ability to train at ‘civilised’ times of day is a luxury we all enjoy.

Seat racing is one way of picking a crew.  If you have never done it, or not understood how it works, this helpful article Seat Racing at Training Camp will explain what it is, the rules of seat racing and how to run seat racing if you’re a coach,

Top tips for surviving rowing camp

There are few things more frustrating on camp than getting blisters and finding you can’t hold an oar.  And so my number 1 tip for camp is to look after your hands.

My skin softens up very quickly and so if I haven’t been in a boat since before Christmas and we go to camp on 31st December, that is five days during which my callouses repair.  But then launching into 3 outings a day simply brings out blisters, which blister on top of other blisters and cause me pain and misery.

Our camps often had crew selection and seat racing scheduled for day 2 and 3 and so this intense workout happens just when my hands start to fail.  Nobody wants their performance and summer crew selection undermined by painful blisters.

My top tip for rowing blister prevention:

  1. Tape your hands as soon as a blister seems to be appearing.  I like micropore next to the skin with electrical tape on top.
  2. Wear rowing gloves over the tape to give additional palm protection.
  3. If you do get a blister, always remove the tape after each outing and re-tape before the next one.  Exposure to air seems to help the liquid in the blister to absorb into the skin.
  4. If you want to puncture the blister to remove liquid, it’s your choice.  I didn’t do it.  Others do.

Lastly, we have some novel blister prevention product for you to test out.  Read more about hand blister prevention and cure. 


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