Well hello there everyone! Yes, it is in fact me, Coach Dorio! Long time no see here on the LOCR Blog! Sorry about the leave of absence! I’m sure you will all be happy to hear that the blog will be getting some much needed attention in the future.
This week I'm talking about Summer Rowing. Yes, the rowing we do when it is actually warm and sunny here in Portland instead of cold and rainy, as usual. I have to admit, the weather here during the summer is pretty exceptional. We are lucky so we have to take advantage of that. Summer is your time to take risks, and to experience things you normally don’t have access to during the Fall, Winter and Spring seasons. It is also your time to stay ahead of the game, and keep training in order to get ahead of the competition!
Hey, it’s pretty warm out! And the water is very refreshing. Why not use this time to step outside of your comfort zone and take out a single?! While there is a stereotype of sorts concerning the single being “terrifying” or “challenging,” it is an amazing boat to row. It really allows a rower to feel minute technical adjustments they need to make in their personal rowing and gives the rower a very interesting perspective on boat feel. There is nothing like taking the time to challenge yourself in the single to see all your hard work pay off once you step back into a bigger team boat. You will thank yourself for it. Our coaching staff is great, and they are dedicated to pushing athletes to new heights. They will give you the right steps in order to progress in rowing ANY boat properly. And look, if you take a little dip, IT IS OKAY! It happens to the best of us, and it will make you that much better the next time. It is also a great time to take advantage of this, before we step into bigger team boats during racing season.
Summer is supposed to be a fun time! Time to take vacations, hang out with friends, and have a little bit of...dare I say it...FUN while we are down at the boathouse and rowing. However, this is the perfect time to either maintain or amplify your training a bit. If there is one thing I learned while rowing in high school and college, it’s that your fitness can be lost in the summer. I am not saying you need to do 10k everyday on the erg, but there are some fun alternative activities that can allow you to hang out with friends AND get in shape….even outside of rowing. Showing up to rowing everyday is great, and that is an amazing step that most rowers at other clubs don’t take! But rowing is only 2 hours of the day! Why not do an additional activity?!
I got in really great shape my freshman year of college. I hit PR’s on all my erg tests, and really pushed myself past what I thought I could achieve. However, I was on a really competitive team and I knew I would have to keep the momentum going with my workouts through the summer if I wanted to make the boat I saw myself making in the fall. I didn’t have access to an erg, so it was a little difficult to stay in “rowing” shape. Summer was my time to see the friends I hadn’t seen for quite some time. So I decided to combine the best of both worlds, and figure out ways to spend time with friends, and get a good workout as well! When we would go to the pool, I would suggest doing a swimming relay. Obviously with my friends being naturally competitive, a 4-lap per person relay would turn into being a best out of 5 competition, and 4 laps turned to 20! Let me tell you, I was sore the day after that! Or, we would play water polo. No better way to get a great swimming workout in than playing water polo. You are always moving! Frisbee was always a popular activity with my friends as well. So naturally, Ultimate Frisbee was a regular game we played. Playing Ultimate for an hour can really allow you to get some good cardio in, while having a lot more fun than a traditional run. However, I knew I couldn’t always get the people together to workout the “fun” way, so I would go on a minimum 30 minute run every night. I would just make a good playlist, get lost in the music, and go for a refreshing run during a cool summer night. Even though I wasn’t erging all summer, I got back to campus in the Fall, and PR’d on my 5k by 25 seconds! It really just showed me that any extra effort counts and pays off. You can definitely have fun, while staying in shape!
Let me tell you, I have to commend everyone coming down to the boathouse everyday in the summer to row! It says a lot about your dedication and commitment to the team, and your personal development as a rower. Just remember, while people from other clubs are also rowing during the summer, there are a good amount of people that are not, and you are taking the steps to get ahead of them, and that is going to pay off in the fall! Have fun this summer, and challenge yourself. If you want to take out a single, ask! It shows great initiative, and any coach would be willing to take you out and work with you. If you want to hang out with friends, but also get an extra workout in during the day, go for a swim, or pick up a frisbee and get a game of Ultimate going! Taking that extra step will pay off!