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Fitness - Land Training

  • Published in Coaching

Fitness - Land TrainingLand Training 

Land training takes up all those efforts that aren't in the boat. Ideally, as much of the rowing training as possible should be done in the boat, but circumstances quite often limit the ability to do this. As a result, fitness sessions need to be conducted out of the boat.

Specific training is the best training you can do for rowing. If you are a marathon runner, then you run as a training modality. If you are a cyclist, then you ride your bike. As a result, as a rower you should row to get fit. As pointed out above, quite often circumstance means that not all the required fitness work can be conducted in the boat. So what is the answer? Rowing Ergometers!

Many people hate the dreaded Ergo, but really it is the best training tool out there. The ability to measure and control training is one of the key features on the Ergo and of course the specificity of the training.

Training Frequency

How much and how often should you train?

I believe, that to be competitive in A Grade racing in surf boats, a BARE MINIMUM of 8 sessions a week should be done (3 Boat, 3 Gym and 2 Ergo). Below is an example of how you can fit those sessions in.























As it is a struggle for many people to make this commitment, it is hard to see why you would perform training that is not specific to your chosen sport. I do not be any means say that you CAN'T or SHOULDN'T do cross training, just that it should not be the core component of your training. Some of the hardest and very worthwhile sessions I have done in my own training have been running the sand hills at Wanda. But these were additional sessions on top of what I believe are the base sessions that you should be doing.

The key? Specificity!

We all have finite time, and getting the greatest effect from our effort is the goal, and as surf boat rowers this goal should be to become better and faster rowers. To do this you need to row, not run, cycle or swim. These are great fitness tools, but they should really only be used as additional training sessions and to break the monotony of rowing up (as it does sometimes make you stir crazy).

Training Sessions

As indicated, you should be doing in boat work and out of boat work. You will find HERE some suggested ergo training sessions, and HERE some in boat sessions.

Anaerobic Threshold Training 

What is the anaerobic threshold?

The anaerobic threshold (AT) (also called the lactate threshold) is the level of exertion where your body must switch from aerobic metabolism to anaerobic metabolism. Aerobic metabolism burns oxygen and produces carbon dioxide as a by-product. Your lungs provide the oxygen and get rid of the CO2. This is the metabolic pathway that provides most of the energy we use in our daily activities. Anaerobic metabolism kicks in when the preferable aerobic system can no longer keep up with the demand for energy - when we cross the AT. At this point, the lactate cycle starts to provide the needed additional energy, burning stored sugars for fuel, and producing lactic acid as a by-product. When lactic acid builds up in our bodies, it causes discomfort like cramping and general distress.

Can training affect the AT?

Yes. Through training, we can have some effect on our anaerobic threshold. We can train our bodies to be more efficient at aerobic levels so that we can go longer and harder before the anaerobic system kicks in and starts hitting us with lactic acid. In other words, we can train to raise our AT.

What is the best kind of training to do to raise the AT?

It is generally agreed that you need to do high quality aerobic work to improve your aerobic efficiency and thus raise your AT. This means training at a level close to but below your present AT. Based on our own experience, we recommend (see below) workouts that are long sub-maximal intervals, with roughly equal rest.

How often should I do AT training?

This will vary from person to person and may depend on your present level of conditioning; how often you train; where you are in your training year; and how old you are. AT intervals should be done at least once a week during the 2-3 month period before your competition. The fitter person will be able to do these more often, but it is still important to allow recovery time. Older athletes may find the recovery to be slower than it used to be. Listen to your body.

Good workouts for the AT:

Be sure to warm up well before starting. You may wish to do an extra piece at the beginning as a warm-up where you build the pressure through the piece.

5 x 750 meters with 3 minutes rest

4 x 1000 meters with 3-4 minutes rest

4-5 x 5 minnutes with 4 minutes rest

5 x 4 minutes with 4 minutes rest


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