Training for different boat events.
Should there be different curves for different boats?
We know that the slowest boat is the 1x. After that we have the 2-, 2x and 4- and finally the 4x and the 8+. If we check the drive times of these different events at race pace we can see that the slowest has the longest drive time and the fastest boat the shortest drive time.
This is a data that we can take to the Rowperfect3.
If we are racing in a 1x we know that we will have a longer drive time, that means that we will have a higher drag factor. If we race in an 8+ we are going to have a lighter drag factor. Also we know that the lighter the drag factor is and the shorter the drive time the harder is to keep your body weight suspended all the way through the drive.
Because of that the harder it is make the curve peak later in the stroke. Also we know that the faster the boat the more effect there is of a front loaded drive and this also makes the peak force position move closer to the start of the curve.
To give some clear ideas here what I’m saying is that the curve will look different as you play with the drive time, stroke rate and drag factor. The curve needs to always go out [to be fat - convex not concave]. Depending on how you are built and where you find strength in your body will also have some effect on the shape of your curve. [Do you have a proportionately stronger upper or lower body?]
When should we peak the power curve?
I like everybody to start with a heavy drag, a low rate and trying to peak at 50% of the way through each stroke.
When they are able to produce a perfect curve like that peaking at 50%, then I start increasing the challenge by setting a lighter load and increasing the stroke rate. Also increasing the intensity makes it hard to sustain good coordination and mistakes on the power curve show up much more easily.
Do you think the power curve through the water and on the Rowperfect should be different based on whether you are sweeping or sculling? For example, if you are in an 8 should your peak power be earlier compared to if you are in a single, double or quad? And do you think that there should be a difference in that power curve between men and women?
The answer is I would do the same for everyone at the beginning of the season. As if everyone were rowing a 1x. Low rate, heavy drag factor and peaking at 50%.
As the season moves on, I will start reducing the drag on some workouts and increasing the rate. I will match the drive time in the water for the boat I’m going to race to the one on the Rowperfect3. The drive time is a field that the software gives and you can set to display on your computer screen.
Yes if you are doing pieces at race pace with the drive time of an 8+ you will be peaking at 35% to 38% of your power curve. If you are in a 1x it will be 45% to 50%.
The other events are on the middle numbers between 35% to 50%.
So what about curves for women versus men?
Power curves for women normally show less power in the second part of the stroke.
Women have proportionally more power in their legs and glutes than in their upper body. This will be clear from the power curve. Women are more front loaded and peak earlier in general than men. It is a question of power and strength.