Do Rowing Camps Maximize 2K Performance? Part 2

By Patrick Rufo | May 5, 2015

In Part 2, we will review the training each camp type provides and how to make the most out of your camp experience: Click HERE for Part I of this article

5-Day Collegiate Camps

Training
Most 5-day college camps are not long enough to provide significant training improvements. There will be limited opportunities to get on the erg. A novices will receive the most benefit with the two-per-day water sessions. At the end of most camps, coaches run a “Race Day” and rowers race a series of short pieces. Training for this type of camp is mostly aerobic capacity training (i.e. steady state) with a lot of feedback on rowing technique.

How to Maximize your Experience
Ask if there are opportunities to get on the erg to do a little extra training. You will need to do some sprint work to get you ready for an upcoming 2k test. If you are unable to get on an erg, use the free time to stretch and work on your core strength. When you return home, you can put some time into building up your sprint training and 2k training before you test. You can also train for 2 weeks prior to camp to allow you to get some erging in and prepare for the two-a-days.

3-Week Competitive Camps and Junior National Team Development Camps

Training
The main goal of the camp is to prepare rowers to compete at the local regatta at the end of camp. There will most likely be erg testing at the beginning of camp so coaches can put together competitive line ups. Athletes may also be exposed to seat racing. Coaches may use the ergs a few times to help select athletes, but most of the training will be on the water.

How to Maximize Your Experience
Everything will depend on what kind of shape you are in when you show up. To maximize the 3-week camp, make sure to train prior to showing up. Two weeks of easy aerobic capacity training along with sprint training will allow the workouts and practices at camp to work to your benefit. You should arrive at camp in better shape than the other rowers. Look for opportunities to get extra training in. Local camps may provide opportunities to do extra training before or after practice while overnight camps may not.

5-6 Week Competitive Camps

Training
5-6 week competitive camps focus training and competition at the major regattas at the end of camp. Training will comprise mostly aerobic capacity training and technique to allow athletes to learn to row together. Erg testing and seat racing on the water will decide line-ups. Access to ergs will depend on the location and camp resources of the club. Athletes will need to focus on rest and recovery when off the water. Expect to race in multiple races at each regatta, with opportunities to advance from heats, semi-finals, and finals. Athletes will need to learn how to taper and handle the challenges of travel and staying in peak condition.

How to Maximize Your Experience
Training prior to camp is a must. Focus more on anaerobic power and 2k training as you may have to 2k test when you arrive. Your free time should be dedicated to rest, mobility, stability, and flexibility. Contact the Collegiate/Club Coach and see if they have a pre-camp training plan. Racing at multiple regattas will help you get faster and pull a better 2k time. Make sure you recover for at least 1 week following camp but doing absolutely nothing is not recommended. Instead build back both your aerobic capacity and sprint training you had prior to camp.

Junior National Team Camp

Training
The first few weeks of Junior National Team Camp is focused on selection. Athletes should arrive at camp completely prepared and ready to seat race and test on the ergometer. On the water sessions will be geared toward identifying who moves the boat the best. “Real” training will not begin until the line-ups have been determined and coaches can begin preparations to train and travel to the Junior World Rowing Championships. Camp will be front loaded with anaerobic power training and 2k training preparation. Athletes should expect to be very tired.

How to Maximize Your Experience
Rowers that could potentially make the Junior National Team should be physically and mentally prepared for a very tough training camp. You should be following some kind of pre-camp training plan to get ready for seat racing and erg testing the first week of camp. If you do not have a pre-camp training plan then you should prepare to follow a two a-day training schedule comprised of anaerobic power training and 2k training preparation. Expect anaerobic and 2k training in the morning and aerobic capacity training in the afternoon. Athletes that are cut early from camp should try to attend one of the other types of camps immediately after being cut. The 3-week competitive camps and 5-6 week competitive camps will accept athletes cut from junior national team camp. If you are unable to attend one of these camps then you try to continue a normal training cycle following being cut.

Online Rowing Training Camps

Training
Training goals will be discussed prior to purchasing the program. Rower and coach will set up time to consult online. It will be up to the athlete to provide daily or weekly video of their rowing to provide to the online coach. Athletes will also need to update coaches on daily or weekly results to allow the coach to modify the program if needed. Training focus can and will be dependent on the ongoing consultation.

How to Maximize Your Experience
Success with an Online Rowing Training Camp all depends on the coach that created the program and the athlete following it. Athletes need to be self-starters and able to communicate results to the coach on a daily basis. ALL results should be recorded, whether they are good or bad. Athletes train at home or a nearby facility one or two times a day depending on schedules. The athlete needs to be fully committed to following through the training plan. Accountability for both the athlete and coach can only be insured if the program is completed. Any obstacles to training or physical or mental issues should be addressed in the initial consultation. Parents of athletes should also be involved to help the online coach keep the athlete on task.

For more advice on rowing, strength training, rowing and erging technique, and training programs, please reach out to us at camp@sparksconsult.com. Find Pat on FACEBOOK