April 2018 Training Suggestions for High School and College Programs

April marks the start of the racing season for most high school and college programs. This means racing almost every Saturday of the month. With many goals to achieve in a very short time, let’s start by talking about race pace. In order to develop an efficient racing cadence, use the approach of gradually increasing the stroke rate. For instance:

  • AT workouts in the form of steps. Example: 2 x 4k (2k, 1k, 500m, 250m, 250m) racing at 23, 27, 29, 32, and 34 strokes per minute.
  • Another AT workout: 3 x 4k – first and second at 24-26 spm, third piece in the form of 17 strokes on /five strokes off at a rate of 32 spm. This allows the rowers to take strokes at a high cadence without too much lactate, without “over working” the rowers.
  • TR, transportation workouts of 4 x 5 minutes (2, 2, 1) at 30, 32, and 34 spm will prepare them to race comfortably at a rate of 34 or even 36.
  • “Builders” during warm-up – 20-stroke accelerations at 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 slide, everything above 40 spm. This is a great way to develop relaxation, pick-up of the boat, correct blade work at high cadence, and not get too tired.

Starts: Crews need to be quick out of the blocks to be in the race. The best time to practice starts is during the warm-up or as the first part of the workout – 5 x (5+10) at max. Another option is to start every TR and AT piece with the start at full speed and then settle to whatever is required for the piece.

Aerobic capacities are needed as the base to any rowing race. Hopefully, the boat has developed a good aerobic base during the winter and early spring workouts. At this time of the year, a minimum of three aerobic workouts are needed to maintain this base.

  • U1 / U2 workouts in form of a pyramid (4, 3, 2, 1 …) at (18, 20, 22, 24 … 18) for U2 workouts and (20, 22, 24, 26 … 20) for U1 workouts.

A suggested weekly schedule for the month of April is below:

In non-racing weeks, a solid 60-minute U1 workout, side-by-side, should take the place of a Saturday race. Keep your U2 and U1 at maximum volume for this week.

Type of Workouts: TR1 – Transportation, long interval; TR2 – Transportation, short interval; AT – Anaerobic Threshold; U1 – Utilization, medium intensity; U2 – Utilization, low intensity.

If you have any questions about this program or a specific workout, feel free to reach out to me at Kris.Korzeniowski@usrowing.org.

– Kris Korzeniowski

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