Training Suggestions for March 2019

The month of March is the second month of specific rowing preparation. Some coaches will call it pre-competition. All serious racing will start in April and I hope that you continue to build a good base of aerobic capacities. Now, you are ready to introduce some intensity (2x transportation workouts), bring the cadence up and get ready to race in April. The cadence of the workouts controls the intensity. Transportation workouts (TR1- long interval and TR2- short interval) are the best way to prepare athletes to race. It is suggested to increase racing rate gradually coming back from the rate you want to race at championships. See below:

Yes of course there will be the boats who will race high regardless of what they are trained at, but we are focusing on training to race properly.

Mike Spracklen’s pyramid of 19’(4’,3’,2’,1’, 2’,3’,4’) is an excellent workout and the cadence decides what kind of workouts it is. If the cadence is (16,18,20,22,20,18,16), then the workout is mostly U2 and is only U1 for one minute. If the cadence is (22,24,26,28,26,24,22) then the workout is U1 for four minutes at the beginning and four minutes at the end of the pyramid. The rest of the workout is an AT workout.

AT workouts can be at a steady cadence or in the form of steps or short intervals (17-20 strokes/on and 5-10 strokes/off). For instance 3x 4k, 1st and 2nd at 26, 3rd of (17/5) at 32.  This is a good form of getting some high cadence strokes, we know that the lactate build up would be small.

I would suggest to put some short speed e.g. 8 x 30”/30” off at over 40 or  “builders” at ¼ or ½ slide or just for a few starts at full speed into the the warm-ups..

In order to facilitate the athletes’ transition to the higher cadence, many pieces are in the form of steps with variety of the cadence. Have at least one day (bad weather) a week with the pieces on the erg as well.

I would also suggest using time instead of miles or km to keep track of the volume of workouts. This way, you can quickly find out how much time is wasted on talking or just hanging around before going out on the water.

Here is an example of a program for the month of March.

U2 Utilization, regular steady state
U1 Utilization, hard steady state
AT Anaerobic threshold
TR1 Transportation, long interval
TR2 Transportation, short interval

For more information about these workouts, see USRowing’s Level 2 Coaching Manual.

If you have any questions related to the program, please feel free to contact me at

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