Transitioning novice rowers from head to regatta racing


I am the novice development captain for my rowing club and I am currently thinking ahead, to regatta season. I was wondering what is best for the novices (on the erg) when it comes to transitioning from head to regatta season?  In terms of the novice winter training, they mainly did UT2’s to get used to being sat on an erg for a longer period of time and 1K and 2K tests. MSU Novice Rowers

I like to do a range of pieces which reflect a) the racing distance they will be doing and b) set up some competition in the group. so here are some suggestions.

Teaching rating to novices

Do ladders. 20 firm, 10 light stepping up 2 points in rate each time. Do 2 or 3 sets. Set 1 starts at 18 ends at 28; Set 2 starts at 20 ends at 30 and set 3 starts at 22 and ends at 32.

Teaching the distance you are racing

5 x 1km with 3 minutes rest in between. Flat rate each piece. First piece rate 18; then 20; 22; 24; 18. Do this two weeks on the trot then start at rate 20. Because it’s a fixed distance, this will show the group who pushes harder and finishes first. Take the rest time from when the slowest person finishes the piece.

Then if they are racing 2k, you can do stepped distances. So 3 x 2k (pretty hard workout), 500m at 26, 500 at 28, 500 at 30, 500 at 32. Second 2k start at higher rate. if they find 32 too high, start 2 points lower

And also whether on the water or the erg, always, start every piece with a racing start. In fact, if you row off light pressure, do it in the start sequence (whatever you use e.g. 3/4 then half, then 3/4 then full slide etc etc). So they get used to the sequence all the time.

Rowperfect readers – what would you add to this?  Add your ideas in the comments please.

Atlanta Junior Rowing Association Atlanta Junior Rowing Association


Subscribe to our Newsletter for more information:

Our Rowing Network

Did you like this post? Support this blog and our network by donating

Feel like Rowing again? Visit the Shop at!

Accessories, equipment, boats, clothing

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Whether it’s sports, nutrition or equipment, you’ll find what you’re looking for in one of these categories


Everything about rowing – browse through our large archive or search for articles of your choice


Search Blog


Rowing Network

Do you like our posts? Support this blog and our network by donating


Get all latest content and news!