Masters are known for their endurance—it’s one of the good parts of aging—so we should build on our strengths. If you have worked on general strength and endurance in the winter, your periodization focus in April should be on improving your endurance. Rowing long distances at low rates may not be exciting, but it’s what is needed. Rowing with a partner or partners can help with the tedium. If speeds vary among the group, work in some turns rather than adjusting your rate and pressure. To keep your focus, insert a few 10s or 20-stroke sprints. You can also use interval training to build endurance. Row any predetermined distance, such as 500 meters. Record the time. Paddle the same distance and then repeat the interval, only pushing harder. Keep repeating the intervals until your times slow or your rowing begins to break down. Next day out, return to long, low-rate rowing. Maintain this focus for the remainder of the month while working on technique. In May, begin incorporating speed work, followed by an even greater focus on speed in June. After this periodization training, you will be well-prepared for racing.
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