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    Repeat After Me

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    Repetition training is used to improve stroke mechanics at race pace with work bouts of generally less than two minutes. Work at your current race pace or use your target speed for the end of the season.

    Recovery time during repetition training is unstructured as compared to traditional interval sessions, when the rest time is clearly defined. You decide the type and amount of recovery following each bout of work subjectively. Recover until you feel that you can do the next piece as well as you did the one before. If you need to paddle five minutes easy after rowing a 90-second piece, that is fine. The goal is to maintain high-quality strokes at speed. There is no sense in rushing into the next piece if you are still tired.

    You must always keep in mind that the purpose of these pieces is to improve speed and economy. To do that, you need to row fast in good form for several stints and be 100 percent ready for the next one. A general guideline is to rest three to four times longer than the work period.

    A sample session might go like this:

    * Row at full pressure for one minute, rest for an indeterminate amount of time, repeat.

    * Row at full pressure for two minutes, rest for an indeterminate amount of time. 

    * Repeat the sequence three times.

    Each set of strokes has to be treated as if it will be your best of the day. 

    Marlene Royle is the author of Tip of the Blade: Notes on Rowing. She is a specialist in masters training, and her coaching service, Roylerow Performance Training Programs, provides support to improve your competitive edge. For information, email Marlene at or visit

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