The Hard Way

By Rich Davis

Most races are won by seconds. Assuming your rowers are fit and row reasonably well, your next area of focus should be to teach them how to row hard. Intervals, such as 500-meter pieces performed until technique deteriorates, will help your rowers grow accustomed to race pace. Time each interval, with the goal of improving the time it takes them to complete the distance. It’s important to create a culture of rowing hard, even when eyeing a taper. I always liked to ride alongside the boat I wanted to row harder, urging them to press with their legs and pry with their back. Another way to increase intensity is by practicing the last 30 strokes of your race plan when it’s time to go in and the crews are tired. The goal, of course, is crossing the finish line first. If you have two crews, give the slower one a head start and have the other crew row them down. Instruct your crews to give their all for 30 strokes. Don’t worry about technique; have them sit tall and drive with the legs. The thirty strokes will be anaerobic and if performed right, your athletes should be failing by the time they reach the final strokes. Be sure to have a long warm-down after these hard workouts.