Westdale Rowing Community

Information for the Westdale Rowing Community

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Another week in the books, and the first month is done & dusted! I’ll be publishing the top mileages and ergs at some point soon. Well done, and keep it up!

1. December is upon us, and it’s a busy month! There’s a PA Day on Friday and the first test week of the season is coming up the week before the holidays. Be ready & be healthy! We will be running sessions at Leander over the holidays–stay tuned for that. We will likely be starting them at 9am.

2. As Mike mentioned this morning, he has a limited supply of Westdale Rowing unisuits available. Please see him. It is not mandatory to have one for the winter indoor races, but you MUST have one for the spring season. If Mike doesn’t have your size, you’ll have to get one from RegattaSport. Instructions on how to do it are on the blog.

3. FYI to the parents, we are slowly increasing our fleet of ergs! There are now two near-new ones in house, and we have decided to add a third in partnership with the PE department. You’ll recall from the initial meeting, we talked about “capital purchases”. Ergs fall into this category. The two we’ve bought and the one we’re about to buy aren’t brand new, but they have VERY low mileage and have been used more as decorative furniture lately (as home workout equipment sometimes becomes!) If we were to buy ergs from the local indoor regattas, the cost would have been roughly $1150 each for an erg used just for that regatta. Three would have cost us $3450, but buying the used ones will cost us $1850. Needless to say, this is good news to our budget!

4. There are still a few outstanding cheques due for yoga/winter fees. Please get these in as soon as you can. Coaches get grumpy if they have to keep chasing!!!

5. We will incorporate “Hug-A-Llama Day” into our next Theme Thursday. Coach Mike LOVES “Hug-A-Llama Day” and will post more about it here in the next week. The ACTUAL day is on Sunday, December 9, however with Friday the 7th being a PA Day, we will celebrate the occasion on Thursday the 6th!

6. Coach Tom will be away from Wednesday, December 5 through Monday, Dec. 10. Coaches Mike & Peter will be running the practices as per normal. The workout for Thursday the 6th will be a team erg in place of what is there now.

7. The first Fortino’s Grocery Bagging Fundraiser will be held on NEW YEAR’S EVE! All rowers will be slotted into a two or three hour shifts between 10am-6pm, with 10-11 rowers per shift. If you have any preferences for times, please let me know. (Blocks will hopefully be 10-12, 12-2, 2-4 and 4-6, however this might change slightly….but you get the idea!) Those of you with unisuits, please wear them. Those of you who don’t have a unisuit, please wear any Westdale clothing you have! We will also hopefully have an erg onsite, with all rowers taking a turn showing the public what we do! (The erg is NOT a workout—you will be going back to bagging groceries, so nobody wants sweaty hands on their tomatoes!

8. The date has been set for the first indoor regatta of the winter! The Leander Indoor Championships is held right here in Hamilton, at St. Mary’s School, on Saturday January 12th. All of our local rowing high schools will be represented, and it will be the first opportunity for our novices to compete against other schools. For these regattas, rowers must register and pay for the regatta themselves, however you must consult with the coaches on what category you will be racing in. Entry fee is TBA. Registration is open at regattacentral.com. Experienced rowers can register any time, but ask if you aren’t sure which category to go in. Novices can go to the site and look around. Instructions on how to register will be put here at some point. Entries close January 8th at midnight, so there’s still lots of time.

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Those pulling the Peak Power and 1′ tests should be ready to pull at 7:25AM sharp! If you can all be there by 7:00, I need to get your weights, heights and arm spans. We’ll do one peak power test per person at a time, then move onto the next person, so please be sitting on the erg and ready to go when I get to you. Once I get the last person’s first peak power test, I’ll go back to the first person and go down the line again. We will do three of these 10-stroke tests. Once the last PP test has been done, we will wait 20 minutes as per RCA’s guidelines, then do the 1′ test. Please be on the ball and ready when I get to you–we want to get these done by 8am.

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Those pulling RADAR 6K tests on Tuesday will need to warm up and be ready to pull their first stroke at 7:30am SHARP. We will structure tomorrow’s workouts so that the ergs are free by 7:20 for warmups.

I’ve been meaning to address this at practice, but haven’t done so yet. One thing that is incredibly helpful with your training, is having a diary/log book. You’ve noticed that we mark down all the numbers from the workouts. These give you a detailed analysis of your own performance to a point where the numbers make sense and where you can see improvement. It’s important for coaches to have those numbers for evaluation as well, and we always will….but you should all know what you should be aiming for in a workout and all, even novices, should begin to get a grasp on what the splits should be. What you should record are:
1. Date;
2. What the workout was;
3. Appreciable data from the workout (i.e., x number of metres, avg split, avg rate. Or, “Ran 10 laps of the track in 32 minutes, stopped twice for water”)
4. How you felt (i.e., if you’re coming off illness/injury)

We want you to understand what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and most importantly, to see for yourself, the fitness and aerobic improvements you are making.

At the coach’s meeting at Leander on Saturday, the idea was floated to have a club training camp down south at March Break. No location yet, but two places discussed were North Carolina and Tennessee. This is VERY early in the process, but the club wanted to get an idea, if it was to happen, the numbers of who might be interested. This camp would only be available to experienced rowers and POSSIBLY some top-performing novices, depending on the number of coaches. The biggest requirement would be to have parent supervision (1 parent per 4-5 athletes would be the rough guideline). Camps are incredibly valuable and absolutely level the playing field against schools like UCC, Branksome and Havergal, who go to Tennessee. It’s a week of intense rowing—usually 2 or 3 rows a day on great, calm water with focus on both training rows and technical rows. Budget is TBA as well–I will try to suss that out as quickly as I can.
What we’re looking for at the moment is: if this were to happen, who would be interested in going and what parents would be available to go? This wouldn’t be a school trip; rather a club trip. Not guaranteed that it will go forward, but we’re trying to gauge interest. The club says that a minimum of 25 (from all the high schools), would be needed to do it. Any rowers interested, or parents who would be interested in being chaperones, please let me know.

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Our parent club, Leander BC, is hosting “Fun Fridays”. I believe it starts this coming Friday (Nov. 30), but I will confirm. This is an extra session during the week. There will be group training opportunities at Leander this winter that will be in a “club” atmosphere and that will include athletes from all the high schools. We will be contributing to the coaching pool within this training group, as well as other coaches/overseers.
Those of you doing RADAR, or aspiring to make a CSSRA final or podium in June, should be prioritizing this session. If you ARE doing another sport, please talk to us and we can guide you on what you should be doing in terms of total sessions per week (Rowing + Other Sport). If you AREN’T doing another sport, and aspire to make CSSRA finals/podiums this year, you should be aiming for 8 sessions per week minimum, by supplementing your training with the Leander sessions.
It isn’t for everybody, and we understand that schoolwork, work and other activities can get in the way. If you are interested, but have questions, please ask.

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Two quick reminders.

1. Theme Thursday tomorrow is ‘Twin Day’. Pick a partner and come to training dressed the same!
2. Some of you will recall that last year, the school instituted a $20 athletic fee, in order to get into the school awards lunch at the end of the year. You can pay this fee to Sandra, or online directly to the school (we do not collect this). This is just if you wish to attend the banquet and is NOT mandatory, I believe. Ms. Gittings would be the person to speak with if you have any questions. There is obviously TONS of time to pay this….I will post periodic reminders on the blog.

***NOTE–this is not the end of season rowing dinner we have on the final night of CSSRA. This is the school event for all sports.

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We will train indoors on Friday. Wind chill of minus-12 is forecast.

Some have asked us about what we look for in making that determination. First is temperature. I believe the Leander threshold in the spring is a wind chill of minus-5 or warmer. There is also a water temperature threshold. I can’t remember what that is, but will update closer to April. Our temp threshold would be somewhat similar to Leander. One thing I’d like to try this winter is….there are numerous athletes in our program who do a lot of running and cross country skiing in cold temps and we wouldn’t be against bringing a group outside in cold conditions….but it needs to be a decent-sized group (10+) to warrant one of the three coaches being with them. These athletes would also have to be ones who are able to run at a decent, vigorous pace in order to keep warm. Any athletes who would be interested in being a part of a cold weather outdoor running group should make themselves known to us. It gives us another training option, and it allows you to get outside occasionally in the winter! The other thing we look at, are conditions. If there was rain or melting snow the day before that freezes overnight, then ice patches become a problem. Running during a blizzard is quite peaceful and calming, but if there’s accumulation or if it’s slippery, we’d take that into consideration as well.

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Those of you who are interested in doing RADAR, which is Rowing Canada’s Athlete Identification system, should let us know as soon as possible. The deadline for submission is next Friday, November 30. NOTE: this is only for experienced rowers.
Please do your Monday workout on Sunday, then take Monday morning off. The 6K test will take place on TUESDAY morning (Nov 27). Test will start at 7:30am sharp–you will need to be warmed up and ready to pull by then. Do not come to regular training that morning–just be ready to pull at 7:30.
Peak Power and 1′ Tests will be Wednesday morning, November 28. Start time will be 7:25 for the Peak Power, and 7:55am for the 1′ test, so again, be warmed up and ready to pull. You will be excused from yoga that morning.
The 2K test will be Thursday morning, November 29. Test will start at 7:40am sharp. Please be warmed up and ready.
If you wish to re-pull any of the tests, we can do so on Friday morning, November 30.

The Clothing and Unisuit order page has been updated with Regattasport info. For novices, please do not order a unisuit yet. Mike has some in stock, and you can buy them from him at a slight discount, rather than ordering from Regattasport. We will suss out what he has shortly, and he will let you know what he has in stock.

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Looks like our next opportunity to get outside will not be until FRIDAY. I will update closer to that day.

This week’s Theme Thursday is “TWIN DAY”! Pick a partner and come to practice dressed the same!

Winter/Yoga $50 fee is now due! Cash is fine, or cheques can be made out to Westdale Rowing.

The next three week block of training is below. Keep it up. Believe it or not, this is the last full three week block of training without a disruption, until Cycle 6 (February 12-March 4).

Some of you have asked about testing. We’re doing something a bit different this year. We’re eliminating one round of testing–the round that we usually did around this time. Also, novices won’t do 2500 metre tests this year–they will do 2Ks. This round of testing will take place during the last week of school before the holidays. Experienced rowers will do a 6K, 2K, Run test, Strength test, and Flexibility test. Novices will do a 2K, Run test, Strength test and flexibility test.

Westdale Training Program CYCLE 2 Nov 19-Dec 9