The Healthy Artist – Vol.0008

Artist health

Welcome back! Now let's talk about becoming a rowing instructor, building my class.

 

We covered "How to train for races" last time. Now let's go into some benefits of becoming an instructor.

This all ties into my training plan. How? Well, In order to row better/faster it takes skill, strength, speed. And who better to give me that instruction than an instructor. Better yet become an instructor. Now don't get me wrong I joined several forums, groups and I'll list them below. They helped greatly. And that work led me thru about two years of improving my rowing skills but eventually, I hit a point where I thought "wow! there are people rowing faster at an older age and they are not as big as me" (the same build as me to clarify). In general, this doesn't make sense!?! But it did make sense. These people I mentioned are notably faster than me, and the rest of the people I'm training with too! I added that so I can keep a little of my self-esteem intact.

How can these older athletes with smaller frames or "less muscle" by the initial view have times that are better on the erg?!?! Hows this possible?

The answer is they are more experienced and therefore they have the skill to row efficiently. You may still be scratching your head saying well if your big and muscular and you go row you could do it. Well maybe, and maybe not. I'm seeing there is a point where you just are muscling thru it,  If you watched the CrossFit games 2018 day 1 Event 4 there was a clear bunch of people who were rowing easily thru the marathon and others who looked like they hadn't put in as many meters of practice as others. These are true athletes so I really respect them for jumping in on the first day and doing the marathon on the 4th event. Wow, that should have hurt!

So back to the point. Im taking the instructor training as part of my training. I want to better my technique and allow my rowing to speed up, by rowing better. What I've found in the instructor training are several key points ill pass along to you here:

• Do not overcompress your legs. When you slide forward into "the catch" you need to keep your heels down (mostly) and don't let your knees go past 90 degrees. This means your knees are a straight vertical line from your ankles. I'll add an image in here as well to push this point home.

 

• Next, let's talk about going slow to go fast. In this explanation, you'll need to row fewer strokes per minute and take the stroke rate down to below 30SPM. For example, if you are giving an all-out push on the stroke, then your relaxing as you come back to the front of the Erg and this is your recovery. You can take several seconds and recover while slowing your sliding towards the flywheel. I prefer to push back and smoothly transition into sliding forward and resting but never stop. This explosive pushback from the rower can offer large amounts of power and then as you slide forward you rest and recover. Try taking your Stroke Rate to 20, 22, 24, 26, and each time try to complete your favorite distances like 2000meters while consistently keeping the stroke rate at say 24 SPM. Try out the different stroke rates and look at how much power you can push with consistently, Youll be amazed at how easy you find it to pull "big watts" for 2000m when you take the stroke rate down. Essentially you are giving yourself a break to recover from each stroke. After saying that Id like to add another favorite quote I have.

"Win the stroke" - Cam Nichols

So the class helped me to identify where are my faults. And I can identify other peoples faults as well. But not in a bad way I'm thinking its good to see sometimes what can be a fault might be made into an asset. We are seeing some techniques that you need to follow as a rower in order to avoid injury. But some can be adapted and pushed in just a small manner in order to make them an advantage I feel.  The class also helped me to identify areas where proper form and techniques in the form of the stroke and the timing were more important to the aerobic effort I was exerting.

I am planning out my first 2 rowing classes as part of my overall Rowing certification.  The first class is a beginners class or Rowing 101 that is required. I'll be offering that class to a small group at home and at work. At work, I started up a rowing group and that should be the perfect spot to give a 101-course for about 15 minutes. The class I'm building on for after that should be fun and is a competitive rowing course for those who want to spice it up a little more. It's a class that we will not take too seriously but it's a way to set a goal and work towards it on a set timeline.

Ok. That's about it for this time. I hope you've learned a bit and are still interested and excited to learn more.

 

Next time we talk about ..... Plugging the holes in my skillset, or fixing my weaknesses. I should know the weaknesses now and halfway thru the season in August/September.

Then in an upcoming blog ill cover:  mid-year progress. "Programming the workouts to step up times and hit goals."

See you soon!

Garry

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