BY RICH DAVIS
PHOTO BY PETER SPURRIER
One of my greatest worries as a coach was that my rowers would lose their ratio during the throes of battle. The ratio naturally changes as the rates increase, but it’s still important to maintain it, even if the difference between the drive and recovery is reduced at full speed. In a low-rate endurance workout, for example, the ratio between the drive and the recovery may be as much as three to one. At race pace or higher, it may come closer to one to one. But it’s still important to be aware of it. There are several other cues you can focus on. Pay close attention to what proper timing feels like. Try to feel when the backs of your calves touch the ends of the slides, which indicates whether or not you are driving evenly. Keeping the head up on a level plane will help increase awareness of lunging at the catch. By focusing on the horizon you will also be increasingly aware if you are moving horizontally or if there is excessive vertical motion. Paying attention to the oarlocks on your side and on the seat of the rower in front of you are useful tricks to focus on timing. But the most important cue, the one that trumps all others, is whether or not you are in front of your competition during a race.