Coaches Corner

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Coaches Corner

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:29 am

Hi All,

Welcome to the training blogs. This will be my blog where I'll post my thoughts and ideas for training. I'll explain why we do certain work outs in more detail for the those interested in the science. It will also be a good place for you to ask general questions regarding training and technique.

I encourage everyone to set up their own blog, put your name (and maybe something witty in the title). In your first post write what you think your biggest rowing strength and weakness is and set yourself a training goal for the vac. Try to make your goal as specific as possible as it should help focus your training, be it a particular erg score, weight target, training volume or a combination of the above. In subsequent posts update us with what you have done in the last couple of days, if you have any personal questions you think either I or another member could help you with or at least discuss post them too.

Coaching philosophy 1:

Be goal orientated.

My goal for this term is to go +4 or better across M1 & M2 over Summer 8s and have a M3 (and more) which qualify as one of the top crews in rowing on.

I set up this forum as I believe it will help achieve this goal as it will help the whole squad communicate and stay in touch over the vac, encouraging and pushing each other to achieve the best we can returning after the vac as better athletes ready to take on Trinity term.
Also, I think this forum will help us get to know each other, I will learn about you as athletes and you will learn about me as a coach so we can hit the ground running for camp and beyond.


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Re: Coaches Corner

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:40 am

Don't be afraid to get involved.... I don't bite too hard. The blogs are a great way of recording your training and making sure you stay focused. Don't get me wrong the points system is excellent, but when you look back at your mountain of points just before you jump in your boat on May 25th it will feel much better if you know that every single point (or at least the vast majority) went towards actually making the boat go faster.

Coaching philosophy 1: Be goal orientated. What does it mean to me?
Action point 1: Does it make the boat go faster?

Bumps racing is a 'Zero-Sum Game', for you to bump, someone else has to get bumped. For you guys this means you need to be a minimum 7 seconds faster than the crew you are chasing (and faster still depending on whose around you). You can be sure that every other crew around you will train this vac but you can also be sure their training isn't perfect.

How do we get 7 seconds faster than our competition?
The nature of bumps racing is that you will sprint until you finish even though 2k is not a sprinting distance. So this gives us two areas to work on, 1- sprinting faster than anyone else 2- sprinting at near peak speed for longer than anyone else.
Number 1 will be partially taken care of with the size and strength you've gained up until this point as well as the technique we will develop in Trinity. The rest will be done by increasing the size and effectiveness of your heart and lungs and by turning your strength and size into effective boat speed. This is where the mid range ergs come in, they train your body to effectively put down power in a rowing specific way and they push your aerobic capacity, the better your aerobic capacity the more effectively you'll turn O2 into useful energy which moves boats.
Number 2 is about working on your anaerobic fitness and your ability to deal with lactic acid. By increasing your lactic threshold you will delay that searing feeling you get in your legs mid race and make your body more competent at working with raised lactate levels. Bumps racing more than any other is about working when lactate levels are up, if you don't sprint early your pursuers might and could catch you, pacing is not a concept and as a result you will start to hurt a minute in so delaying this point and making you more effective at this point is paramount in being successful. This is where the sprints come in, they condition you to deal with lactate, you can't do too much of this however as left over lactate not properly clearing before your next work out will lead to fatigue and over-training (getting slower).

tl;dr - Focus your training on the mid range erg sessions improving your aerobic fitness. Top this up with a couple (1 or 2) sprint sessions a week to start lactate conditioning. This is how you make a boat faster at this stage of the season.

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Re: Coaches Corner

Post by Admin on Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:18 pm

Sorry for the quiet at my end, I was making my preparations to return to the UK, got back on Saturday and was in London watching The Boat Race yesterday.

Coaching philosophy 1: Be goal orientated.
Action point 2: Tracking progress

A useful part of the training regime, for both the athlete and the coach, is tracking progression.
By doing a standard test every couple of weeks you can see if you training has been effective over that period and provide a frequent reminder that you are making progress and keeps the goal in mind.
Positive change should mean confidence boosts, can help direct training towards targets and help you make adjustments to your split goals for other ergs.

It's not just important/useful while you are improving. If your scores aren't getting better it flags up that there is something not quite right about your training. The earlier you find this the earlier you can make the changes and get back on track. At the end of the day your training is judged by your performance during term, if you avoid the signs that training isn't working you are just wasting your own time and effort.
Things to look out for if you are missing performance targets
- Poor recovery, are you eating, drinking and sleeping right? are you taking the right time off?
- Has your training been focused? Are you doing work which will help you get bumps?
- Is there a bit of inexperience? Do you need to make a plan for tests? Are you being over optimistic in target splits and therefor over-training?

From this, if you have access to an erg could you please do a 8 x 500m test this week and post your score on the spreadsheet and on here. We'll schedule another one in 2 weeks at the beginning of camp and you can track your improvement.

Why an 8 x 500?
It is good sprinting distance, it is starting to look at your anaerobic fitness
It won't hamper your other training like a 2k would

Any questions just shout

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