Varsity, What to expect this fall

  • 05 Aug 2015 8:01 PM
    Message # 3467246

    A new fall season is upon us, and with it comes a number of different emotions.  Elation as we get back to doing something we love and seeing friends we have missed over the summer, trepidation as we begin to think about what boats we will may be in, dread as we wonder what workouts the coaches will throw at us this season, and excitement as we consider all the possibilities of the season ready to unfold.  I suspect I missed a few emotions ... or twenty!

    For the coaches, there are two primary objectives for the early fall season.  The first of these is to just get the fitness and skills of all the rowers back up to competitive levels.  Over the summer athletes pursued many different paths, some took a break from the rigors of practice in order to allow them to come back in the fall with renewed energy and spirit.  Others took advantage of the summer to go to camps and summer rowing in order to improve skills and maintain fitness.  

    Secondly, the coaches need to asses where every rower fits into the overall team.  Over the summer, last year's rowers have all experienced some level of progress or regression in their fitness, technical skill, mental fortitude and a host of other factors that will impact their success this year. Add to the mix a whole class of new varsity rowers and it is very likely that the natural ordering that developed over last season will be shaken up.  

    Ultimately the coaching staff wants to see each rower attain whatever goals they set for themselves this fall and to see the whole team succeed competitively in our four regattas.  The plan we will follow this season will be broken down into several phases.

    Phase 1: Weeks 1-3

    During this first phase of the season we will be working on developing skills and fitness.  All varsity rowers (those on both the red and black training plans) should expect to have significant practice time devoted to fitness through dry land body weight exercise and erg sessions.  During week 2 we will schedule an initial 6K test piece on the erg.  We will row in big boats and small boats and it is a near certainty that you will not row in the lineups you rowed in the spring.  You may be placed in boats you will not be competing in and you should expect lineups to be different each day, to be put in seats that you are not used to and sides you don't normally row.  This is an opportunity for you to show the coaching staff how adaptable you can be, how quickly you can learn, and how effective you can be at helping any boat go faster. You will spend a lot of time rowing partial boats and on the square or partial feather.  These drills work if done right, so commit to doing them right.  You should be focusing each day on improving your fitness and skill so that you can be of the most benefit to whatever boats you are in.  Those rowers with expectations of rowing small boats with a particular partner will see that partner occasionally but not frequently.  

    Phase 2: Weeks 4 - 5, Head of the Cuyahoga Prep

    Head of the Cuyahoga is the weekend of September 18-19.  It will involve two separate events.  On Friday night, September 18 we will participate in the "Friday Night Lights" race, a 500 meter sprint under the lights in eights.  This is a fun event and we will pick lineups for this event from the rowers able to attend by Tuesday, Sept. 15.  FNL lineups should expect to row only once at practice and the lineups for FNL may not be at all close to lineups that will compete in the head races.

    Lineups for the head race itself will be selected by Tuesday, Sept. 8th.  Rowers will be selected for at most two events and will spend the remaining on the water practice time rowing in their race lineups as much as possible.

    Expect another 6K test piece during this period.

    Phase 3: Weeks 6 - 8, Speakmon Prep

    Speakmon is October 10th and the three weeks between Cuyahoga and it will be spent tweaking the Cuyahoga lineups.  This might involve swapping one or two people into a boat or it might involve trying completely different lineups.  During week 6 and early in week 7 you should expect that we will be more fluid with our lineups.  On Tuesday, Sept. 29th the lineups for Speakmon will be set and the remaining practices will be spent working largely in those lineups.  

    During this period we will also be attending the Charlie Doyle on October 3rd.  This 2000m "head" race is unique and this is a great opportunity (assuming we have boat availability) to try small boats (singles, doubles, pairs).  Let me know if you have an interest in this and we will do our best to work it in.  We are not going to specifically focus on training for this, it will simply be another step toward Speakmon and lineups will be posted on Tuesday, Sept. 29th.

    Once again, expect another 6K test piece.

    Phase 4: Weeks 9 - 12, Eagle Prep and Season End

    Eagle lineups will be posted on Wednesday, October 14th.  This period will be focused heavily on training in those lineups.  Expect a high level of intensity, especially early in this period as we look to end the season with our fastest on the water times.  

    We will be out at the boathouse on the Monday and Tuesday after the Eagle to help get things ready for winter and to do a final 6K test piece.  We will take a couple weeks before winter training starts up.

    I hope that this gives everybody and idea of what to expect this fall.  Lineups will be pretty fluid.  If you find you are an experienced rower in a less experienced boat, resist the urge to complain all practice and instead focus on leading by example and making the rest of your team faster.  Unless you single, you need fast teammates to be fast.  If you are the least experienced rower in an experienced boat, don't panic, coaches aren't going to put you in a boat you are unable to keep up with.  Learn from the experience around you.

    As always ask questions or voice concerns if you have them.

    Coach Mike


Contact Us
The Indianapolis Rowing Center boathouse is located inside Eagle Creek Park on Eagle Creek Reservoir.  
The IRC director maintains an office in the Eagle Creek Park Office Building.

Boathouse Address - no packages
7350 Eagle Beach Drive
Indianapolis, IN  46254
(317) 991-1829   

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Andrew Purdie, Executive Director
7840 W. 56th St.
Indianapolis, IN  46254

Postal Address
Indianapolis Rowing Center 
PO Box 53223
Indianapolis, IN  46220
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