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    This is the time of year when doing pieces on the erg is usually reserved for warmups, extra work, or when the weather forces athletes off the water. But with the spring regatta season no more, virtual erg competitions and online resources have become an easy-to-access alternative.

    One erg challenge began April 6, and is being run by Concept2. The Vermont-based company’s 2020 Spring VIII Series is set to last a total of five weeks and consists of five different workouts. Results are submitted to the Concept2 Online Logbook. 

    Another erg challenge is the U.S. Virtual National Championship run by USRowing in partnership with Rowers Choice. Information on that event can be found on the USRowing website.

    In addition to the erg challenges, there are multiple online resources offering virtual workouts and information on training and dealing with the emotional impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

    A few good places to start are the Association for Applied Sport Phycology’s COVID-19 blog; Community Rowing, Inc’s CRI Upstream blog; and the USRowing webinar series.

    The 48-session USRowing membership benefit series is being run six days a week and features expert advice for members of the rowing community on training, nutrition, and sport psychology. Each session is recorded and past webinars are listed and archived. 

    “When COVID-19 hit, we wrote up a list of speakers,” said Chris Chase, director of youth rowing at USRowing. “We have 48 sessions planned, and we have speakers confirmed for almost all of them. And for the ones we don’t have confirmed, we have speakers who have said they would speak if needed.

    “So far, no one has declined, and the response has been awesome,” added Chase. “Our hope is this is a way to make the bond of our community tighter and stronger and give a lot of value to people.”

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