Westdale Rowing Community

Information for the Westdale Rowing Community

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Novices will be on the ergs on Tuesday morning.  Experienced rowers will do some form of outdoor running/House of Victory/The 300.

There is also a small group of novice rowers meeting at Leander Boat Club at 4PM for some work in the rowing tank.  You know who you are after this morning’s practice.  To get to Leander, go to the foot of Bay St., turn left on Leander Dr. and go to the end circle.  Leander is the yellow building on your right.  Note that if you are doing the tank session on Tuesday afternoon, then you do not have to attend practice on Tuesday morning at the school.  Moving forward, we will be rotating groups through the tank through the Fall and winter on Monday and Tuesday afternoons.  This is a FANTASTIC way to learn the rowing stroke before we go on the water in the spring, and will narrow the gap considerably with the west coast crews, who are able to row on the water year round.

Lastly, I’m cutting and pasting part of an article on rhythmic breathing and how it is SO important for rowing, running, and any aerobic work that we do.  Elevating your heart rate and then sustaining that pace is important, but you will find that once you establish that rhythmic breathing pattern, you will be able to sustain your activity for MUCH longer.


Breathing easy
On the subject of a rower’s breathing rhythm, the Concept2 website offers a clear and practical description, pointing out that as the intensity of rowing increases, rowers will generally begin to take two breaths instead of just one per stroke:

“During high intensity rowing, exhale as you finish the drive.  During the recovery, inhale, then exhale quickly. Inhale again just before the catch.”

The timing at both ends of the stroke are not simply arbitrary. The breath in before the catch creates an increase in intraabdominal pressure, which in turn improves power application on the drive. “More intraabdominal pressure at the start of the catch gives you better stability of the spine,” Arend says. “Exhaling at the end of the stroke is where we use our abdominal muscles anyway and abdominal muscles are involved in exhalation.”

Fortunately, “the optimal breathing rhythm usually comes naturally,” says Arend. “It is dependent on the athlete, the intensity of the rowing, the tempo, etc.” It is only if a rower feels that their breathing is restricted at any point that Arend suggests taking a closer look to “analyse what type of breathing rhythm they use.”