Rediscovering Leg Drive and Speed

The last couple training weeks have been a “false start.” It gets going and then-whoopsie! Caelan’s sick. Start again–Mommy sick!  Start again–YMCA’s emergency closed!

I have a new work schedule, too. I’ve been trying to balance increasing my work time, honoring family time, and including opportunities for training. The ultimate struggle of being an amateur Masters rower: real life.

When I have been able to row, I’ve worked to make it a tough, quality workout. Lately, my workout numbers bothered me. I see the workout results posts people share on social media, and the times are killer. 1:47/spilt for a 30-minute piece at low rate. A sub-1:45/spilt 2k at a 26spm. What???

Now I’m realistic enough to not expect a time like that, but with all the time invested on the machine, shouldn’t my numbers be better? Take away all the scattered and reduced training load of the last two months, and just consider it. What should I really be doing?

The epiphany

Then I saw a post by Justin Farina, known by Instagram handle @garageathlete, showing some sick erg spilts at super low rate. This time he posted a grab from Concept2’s App, and he displayed drive speed.

It was a “duh, you’re a moron,” eureka moment.

One of my technical faults is I’m slower off the legs. I know this. I specifically trained to increase leg drive speed in the spring. I saw how tracking drive speed improved by workouts. But seeing his ridiculous drive speed at a 16spm reminded me I about its importance.

The last two weeks I’ve zeroed in on increasing the drive speed at all stroke rates, although currently most workout spm is under 26. Erg numbers posted big improvements immediately.

Other notes about rowing training

  • The Y decided to make their performance training room public. That means two more rowing machines to choose from! Check out my new view:

Totally awesome, right? Window over parking lot, orange wall, or white wall. The good news is these two beauties aren’t abused like the other two on the main cardio floor. So I can set the damper at 4 instead of 7 to get the same drag.

  • My shoulder is still a little off, but much better than it was. I haven’t been able to fit in a swim or yoga in week, though.

About camckenna

I write; I row.
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