Rowing at race pace is different than rowing at 18 strokes a minute. One important difference if you train to race is that you row at 18 to get better at race pace so training at low rates is just training to get faster at race pace. When we analyze both rowings the difference is:
- The stroke rate, it goes from 18 to 36 that is (18×2). So in each stroke at steady state we can have 2 full strokes at race pace.
Because of that technique is going to change because the body is changing direction a lot faster at race pace than at steady state and that has consequences on the run of the boat.
In this picture we can see the former World Champion single sculler. In this picture he is rowing at open rate (Maybe 42) its is at the start of the race I believe. That picture is taken at a movement and technique that works at open rate full speed and not steady state.
When we analyze rowing and technique we need to understand that crews don’t row the same technique, power curve, length of stroke and ratio at low rates than racing rates.
In this picture we are going to analyze a movement that is performed by this rower to get the maximum speed to get the fastest he can down the rowing course.
The key things I see are:
1) He is just before the release and he is so connected to the water still. He has still full pressure on footstretcher and he has started to slow down the inertia of his body to bow by start pulling himself up against the grip. This is helping him to initiate the change of direction of his body mass without disturbing the run of the boat. You can see that by looking at his head that is already leading to the stern.
2) His legs are totally down and he is fully hanging on grip and footstrtecher.
3) The only way you can assure that he has still full pressure on feet is because he is seating up and totally engaged on his upper body,forearms are parallel to the water and grip and wrist are firm.
4) Also you can see that the boat is up so that means that his body weight is suspended on the oar and not on the seat. You can see how good crews like this one when they suspend well their body weight at the catch the boat comes up from the line of flotation and goes down again at the release. That play of up and down helps the system to get good rhythm key to rowing.
5) A big difference with low rates is that at race pace he will change direction of his body mass going against the oar a lot more that at low rates where he will look for a longer drive and will let the boat run more at the end of the stroke. This movement at high rates requires a lot of coordination and feel.
6) Also If you take a picture on the same position as yesterday blog he won’t look the same because he won’t row that long at the end of the drive to minimize the slow down and drop of weight at the end of the stroke at high rates. At low rates that is not an issue because what we are looking is to get strong with the drive so we can maximize the length of the strokes.
7) His grip is really good.
y) His face is so on it.. He is going for it and all his brain is just flowing with the feel and adjusting each stroke to the feedback he is getting on a totally relaxed way.
9) His shoulders are so relax, this is so hard at this intensity level. He is so even.
10) His timing at the end of the stroke to change direction is going to be just perfect. You can see that he has coordinated perfect the drive and is ready to release and start the recovery to get to the catch.
Thank you to this great picture!