Westdale Rowing Community

Information for the Westdale Rowing Community

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Training & Important Dates (Parents & Athletes)

Dear Athletes & Parents,

Welcome back from March Break & to the official start of outdoor season training! 😀

happy minions WOOHOOO OMG WOOHOO


-Wednesday, March 25th, 3-4pm:
SWIM TEST FOR ALL NOVICES @ Dalewood Swimming Pool *mandatory for all new rowers* athletes must wear cold-weather clothing for the swim test in order to mimic falling in the water during the outdoor season – this means LONG SLEEVES & LONG PANTS. Due to the timing, rowers completing the swim test are asked to leave their last period class about 10-15minutes early to give enough time to walk to the pool.
-Thursday, March 26th, 7pm: Parent & Athlete Meeting (Outdoor Season Waivers/Chili Cookoff/Training Schedule) @ WSS Library *mandatory for all*
-Sunday, March 29th, 12-3pm: Tank Session (*mandatory for all*) @ Welland International Flatwater Centre (directions here: https://goo.gl/maps/ZLgb9)
-Wednesday, April 1st, 3:30-5pm: Women’s Team Rigging & LBC Rules @ LBC *women’s team only*
-Thursday, April 2nd, 3:30-5pm: Men’s Team Rigging & LBC Rules @ LBC *men’s team only*
-Saturday, April 4th, 9-11am + CREW LUNCHDocks In @LBC, followed by a crew lunch (whole team). Coxswains & bow-persons will be taken in the coach boat during the docks-in session for a loop around the harbour to observe traffic patterns & safety spots if clear. If required, I can provide a ride for coswains & bow-persons to the crew lunch (if your rides have already left). ***Steffan will also hold a special coxing/bowing clinic from 1-3pm for new coxswains & bow-persons only. I highly advise new coxswains & bow-persons to attend (you can go right after the crew lunch).

NOTE: To the men participating in the MCC exam, I also have my OSCE dry-run on April 2nd at 6pm, so I can bring you all to McMaster Hospital if you need a ride post-rigging at LBC. Just let me know in advance.

TRAINING PLAN MARCH 23rd-29th: *Testing & Movement Screening Week*

Monday, March 23rd:
Men – Team Meeting, 30min Erg (20/22spm) + 10min Tech Erg, Stretching & Debrief
Women – Team Meeting, Warmup Run, Weights, Cooldown & Stretching/Debrief

Tuesday, March 24th:
Men – Warmup in Lower Gym, Overview of Movement Screening; Weights/Movement Screen; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief
Women – Warmup; Tech Erg Rotations with Core Circuit (300 circuit/25min tech erg); Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief

Wednesday, March 25th: *Swim Testing @3pm (Dalewood Pool)*
Men – Warmup in Middle Gym, 2km Erg Testing, Core Circuit, Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief
Women – Warmup; Weights; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief

Thursday, March 26th: *Parents & Athlete Meeting @7pm (WSS Library)*
Men – Warmup in Lower Gym, Weights & Movement Screening; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief
Women – Warmup; 2km Erg Testing; Core Circuit; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief

Friday, March 27th: 
Men – Warmup in Lower Gym, Cardio & Core Circuit; Movement Screening; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief
Women – Warmup; 25min Tech Erg Rotations (run/erg/core); Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief

Saturday, March 28th: OFF

Sunday, March 29th: *Tank Session in Welland*
ALL ATHLETES – 12-3pm Tank Session at the Welland International Flatwater Centre (directions here: https://goo.gl/maps/ZLgb9)

…see you all in the morning!

Ali 🙂

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Friday Training, Crew Breakfast, Nutrition Training Resources, and Mac 2×4 Shirts

Hello Westdale!

A few quick points:

1) Friday’s Practice (TOMORROW) is still running from 6:30-8am at Westdale Secondary School.
Given that Monday is a holiday (the session at LBC will be optional), we are asking that all athletes try to attend this Friday’s session. Men’s Team athletes that have not completed their 2kms will do a 2km test, while the rest of the team will complete a relay. After the relay, the entire team is invited to play a game of man-hunt (as promised!). There will also be a SURPRISE at the end of practice (before the crew breakfast). Following the practice, we will have our crew breakfast at The Pancake House on Main St. West (more info below).

2) Crew Breakfast TOMORROW (Friday) at The Maple Leaf Pancake House (Main St. West) after Friday’s Practice:
If you’d like to attend the crew breakfast, please sign up via the doodle poll by clicking here (you need to sign your name, select the location you prefer, and then click “save”). We currently have 21 athletes planning to attend – if you want to join then please sign up ASAP so I can update our reservation to a larger number.

3) NEW Nutrition Training Resources:
I provided the Men’s Team with weight adjusted rankings of their 6km times along with a package focused on nutrition for training & competition (i.e.: how to train at a neutral energy intake). The Women’s Team will also find these resources useful. These resources include:
1 – What your training target splits should be, based on your 6km test scores & associated basic nutritional guidelines (eating/drinking/replenishing glycogen stores): Nutrition & Training Guidelines Package
2 – Important exercise science terms for rowing & competitive training: Exercise Science Glossary
3 – Detailed nutritional guidelines (with recommended intake amounts & recipes/examples) for a more thorough overview of how to accomplish what’s listed in the basic overview of nutritional targets: Nutrition Guidelines from McMaster Varsity Dietitian
All of these resources have also been uploaded to the “Athlete Training Resources” tab of the blog.

4) McMaster 2×4 Shirts:
Planning to race at the Mac 2×4 race? It’s customary for each highschool to design shirts for the competition & then teams can swap shirts (or give shirts to the winning team) if they want to (there’s no obligation to do this – you can keep your shirt if you want). If you’d like to race at the event, then we recommend you purchase the Mac 2×4 Westdale Racing Shirt. Luke & Lauren Gadsdon are coordinating the shirts and the cost is $15 per shirt, so please bring $15 to them  by Friday, February 20th (next week on Friday). You can pay by cash or by cheque. If paying by cheque, please make cheques payable to “Dina Gadsdon”.

To all of you attending formal this evening: HAVE FUN! Since today’s Thursday, here’s a #TBT to when your coach attended her Gr. 11/12 formals:

(Bonus points if you can guess which one’s your coach).

See y’all tomorrow,

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Crew Breakfast Signup

Hello Westdale Rowers,

Do YOU want to eat breakfast on Friday? Of course you do. FOOD IS AMAZING. Let’s eat some.



This Friday, Feb. 13th, we’ll be holding a crew breakfast after practice. Please sign up here if you’d like to join for Friday’s crew breakfast (and you can pick your preferred location too): http://doodle.com/qfgut4buwg59t53q

The location that receives the most votes is the place we’ll eat. If you’re undecided, then select both locations and click “save”. The location options are The Maple Leaf Pancake House (on Main Street West near McMaster Hospital) or Wimpy’s Diner (on Main Street between Locke & Dundurn).

See you all tomorrow morning,

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RE: Friday’s Practice (Feb. 13th)

Hi Westdale,

The school will still be open on Friday (even with the PA Day), so there WILL be a practice from 6:30-8am on Friday morning (plus the surprise). It’s particularly important to attend this Friday because Monday is Family Day and not all will be in the city. There will also be an opportunity to go for a crew breakfast directly after practice (yummy food!). You can sign up for the crew breakfast here: http://doodle.com/qfgut4buwg59t53q. For those that are available on Monday, there will be a practice at LBC (more details to come later this week).

Men’s team: as promised, you will have a substantial opportunity to play man-hunt (after the primary workout – which will take up the first 45min of practice). The women’s team is welcome to join the game if Mike agrees to it. Then food.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Cheers, you awesome people. 😉

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Resuming Regular Practices (Plus Final Exam Days)

Hi Westdale,

Two quick notes:

1) Optional training will continue tomorrow (Friday), Monday, and Tuesday morning from 6:30-8am at Westdale Secondary School (Middle Gym). If you’re able to join, then we’d love to see you at practice. We recognize that exams & school are still your top priorities, so please manage your time accordingly as you see fit.

2) Regular (mandatory) practices resume next week on Wednesday, January 28th. The first two practices will NOT be held at Westdale due to the PA Days. Practices on Wednesday, January 28th, and Thursday, January 29th will be held from 9am-11am (SLEEP IN, YAY!) at Leander Boat Club. All athletes are expected to attend. Attendance will be taken. Friday’s practice (Jan. 30th) will be at Westdale at the regular time.

Please arrive at LBC at 9am on Wednesday, January 28th & Thursday, January 29th. If your carpool driver is unable to drive because they’re at work (*ahem, parents*) and/or you’re not on a good bus route, then please contact me (Alessandra) and I will coordinate carpools to LBC for Wednesday morning. Following practice on the PA Days, there’s an option to go out for a team brunch.

There are only 3 practices between Wednesday (Jan. 28th) when regular training resumes and your Canadian Indoor Rowing Championships (CIRCs) race on Sunday, Feb. 1st, so it’s crucial that you all attend all of the practices next week.

On a lighter note, for those of you recovering from (or studying for) your math exam(s), enjoy a light break by watching these Snakes on a Plane:

snakes on a plane

…here’s hoping y’all knock the rest of your exams out of the park.


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Winter Training Plan (PDF)

Hello Westdale,

Please click on the following link for a copy of the Winter Training Plan that you can print off at home: Winter Holiday Training Plan. We will review the training plan at the end of practice tomorrow.

See you for the relays (and a holiday surprise!),

*Athletes planning to join holiday training should contact Alessandra (important for coach:athlete ratio).

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Training (Dec. 16th-19th) & Winter Holidays

Ola, Westdale!

Hopefully you all had a good practice this morning. This week’s training plan will run as follows:

***Final Week Before Holidays***

Tuesday, Dec. 16th:
Men – 5min run, 5min dynamic warmup, “Super Squats” Circuit, 50min weights, cooldown & stretch
Women – 25min erg (castles @22/24SPM 5min each); 25min house of pain; 25min core circuit

Wednesday, Dec. 17th: *Holly to take unisuit sizes for anyone that was away on Monday*
Men – 5min run, 5min dynamic warmup, 20min erg (castles @22/24spm 5min each), 20min core, 250/400/800/400/250 power tower
Women – 10min warmup run, “Super Squats” Circuit, 50min weights, cooldown & stretch

Thursday, Dec. 18th: *Guest Coach from Queens U*
Men – 5min run, 5min dynamic warmup, “Lactic Leg Lunge” Circuit, 15min core, 40min weights, cooldown & stretch
Women – 20min erg (ladders @18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 26, 24, 22, 20 – change every 2min)

Friday, Dec. 19th: *Guest Coaches from UBC + Medals*
Morning: ALL @WSS – 5min warmup run, 5min dynamic stretching; “Super Squats” Circuit; Relay Races (10,000m set distance); cooldown & stretching; winter holiday training
Afternoon: 4pm @LBC – Brock University Recruitment Invite to HS Athletes (info on university, rowing, and opportunities at Brock University)

***Winter Holiday Training Plan***

Please note: this holiday schedule may change slightly depending on coach availability. Changes will be indicated on the blog. Maximum 15 athletes per session (1:15 ratio of coach:athletes), unless an additional coach is available.

Away for the holidays? Try some cross-training. My favourite is alpine skiing, though cross-country skiing is more beneficial for rowing. Skating intensely is also good. Try to get at least 4 session of cross-training in per week (8 sessions over the holidays) if you’re away.

Monday, Dec. 22nd: 8-10am @LBC with Alessandra (tank, ergs, weights – Day 1, core)
Tuesday, Dec. 23rd: 8-10am @LBC with Alessandra (tank, ergs, weights – Day 2, core) *crew breakfast to follow*

December 24th/25th = OFF
Friday, Dec. 26th: OFF for Westdale Rowers. LBC Club Members Only (2km testing at 10am) – Check with Coach Steffan for details.
Saturday, Dec. 27th: OFF for Westdale Rowers. LBC Club Members Only (erging marathon) – Check with Coach Steffan for details.

Sunday, Dec. 28th: 10am-12pm @LBC with Alessandra (tank, erg, core) *team skate on harbourfront skate rink to follow*
Monday, Dec. 29th: 10am-12pm @LBC with Alessandra (tank, erg, weights – Day 1)
Tuesday, Dec. 30th: 10am-12pm @LBC with Alessandra (tank, erg, weights – Day 2)

Dec. 31st/Jan 1st: OFF

Friday, Jan. 2nd: 8-10am @LBC with Alessandra (tank, erg, core)
Saturday, Jan. 3rd: 10am-12pm @LBC with Alessandra (run & stairs)

Sunday, Jan. 4th: OFF

*End of Winter Holiday Training Plan*


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Submission of Emergency Contact Info/Waiver, Outdoor Fees, and Chili Cookoff Money

Hello Everybody,

This is just a friendly reminder that the following things are required soon (especially the emergency contact info):

1) Emergency Contact Info/Waiver – This applies to six athletes (3 men, 3 women) who still need to submit their emergency contact & waiver before continuing with the outdoor season. Please submit these tomorrow morning at practice, or by Tuesday at the latest. ***This is the MOST important thing to submit at this stage of the season.***

2) Outdoor Fees – Outdoor fees can be maid payable to “Westdale Secondary School” with a memo line of “Westdale Rowing – Outdoor Season”. The total cost for rowers is $225, and the cost for the coxswains AND flyweight athletes (there are four of you) is $110.

3) Chili Cookoff Money – Please remember to collect the $20 for each ticket you sell. This fundraising money will then be used to pay partially for the event space, and partially for coxswain boxes & rowing equipment. This can be submitted to Coach Mike.

See you all at practice tomorrow morning at Leander Boat Club (6-8am), followed by the crew breakfast!


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Outdoor Run @ Leander Boat Club – Weekend Plan

Hi Athletes and Parents,

Tomorrow’s practice will be our first official practice at Leander Boat Club. Practice will run for 2 full hours from 6-8am, followed by an optional weights session from 10am-12noon. Those uninterested in completing the optional weights session are able to leave at 8am.

Practice will involve a 60minute outdoor stair run (supervised by me, on my bike) and an erg & tank session, so please dress accordingly. The weather network indicates a high of +4 and a low of -2: click here for the forecast. I highly advise wearing layers so that you’re comfortable both inside & outside.

Training Overview:

Saturday, April 5th: ***please arrive on time!
6-7am: Men = 30min erg @22SPM/30min tank with Mike (switch off in G1/G2 groups); Women = stair run with Ali
7-8am: Men = stair run with Ali; Women = 30min erg @22SPM/30min tank with Mike (switch off in G1/G2 groups)

Sunday, April 6th:
6-7am: Men = Stations 1 & 2; Women = Stations 3 & 4
7-8am: Men = Stations 3&4; Women = Stations 1 & 2
***CREW BREAKFAST!!! 😀 *** (Either “Wimpy’s” or “2 Cougars & A Cafe” or “Harbour Diner” – depending on numbers)

Station workout overview:
Station 1 = 30minute erg (interval: 4min@22SPM CAT 6, 1min@28SPM CAT 2/3)
Station 2 = 20minute core + 10minute LBC tour (with Alessandra)
Station 3 = 30minute tank (with Mike) *watch/rest while waiting in order to pick-up tips
Station 4 = 30minute aerobic weights

PLEASE NOTE: Monday, April 7th will be OFF. I will post training details about the rest of the month, including practice location (i.e.: WSS or LBC) and coaching details (for the Men’s team), on Monday afternoon before leaving. Any questions about the training can be sent to my email. I will be unable to receive text messages on my Canadian mobile number, because I am swapping my SIM card.

Men’s Team: If there are ANY issues with the assistant coaches helping out while I’m away, please speak directly with Mike AND email me so that I’m aware & we can address any potential problems.

See you all tomorrow!

PS – If you’ve lost your Chili Cookoff tickets: please email Lori Prevec immediately & CC me so that I’m aware. She will be able to advise you on what to do next for replacing the tickets.

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Team Yearbook Photo (Tomorrow!) & Training until April 7th + CREW BREAKFAST :)

Hello everybody!

I hope you’ve all had a chance to enjoy the warm weather. A few important things for tomorrow:


The yearbook team will be taking the Westdale Rowing Team photo at 9AM by the main entrance doors. Please meet at 8:55am by the Auditorium doors. Be sure to wear your GREEN, GOLD and any ROWING GEAR you can find. You should advise your Period 1 teachers that you need to be temporarily dismissed for about 10minutes.

2) TRAINING SCHEDULE (Monday, March 31st – Monday, April 7th)

This week marks an important transition from indoor to outdoor rowing. Tomorrow (Monday) morning is the LAST DAY of indoor rowing, and Tuesday (April 1st) marks the FIRST DAY of the outdoor season. Practice times AND locations are all indicated. I (Alessandra) will be leaving on April 7th for 2.5 weeks, so I’m planning a “start of the outdoor season” crew breakfast on Sunday, April 6th following our regular morning practice at Leander Boat Club to kick things off before I’m gone.

“Fun Day” Monday, March 31st – 6:30am @ WSS
-Athletes completing RADAR: 6km testing (6:30-7:10am)
-EVERYONE ELSE: 2-group relay tag run & stairs (6:30-7:10am)
-DODGEBALL CROSS-TRAINING FUN! <—- post-run/stairs & 6km testing (7:10am-7:40am)
-Stretching & Boat Announcements (7:40-7:50am)

Tuesday, April 1st – 6:30am @ WSS
-Men: Strength Weights
-Women: G1 = 2x25min erg castles (5’@22SPM, 5’@24SPM), 5min rest; G2 = core session & run

Wednesday, April 2nd – 6:30am @ WSS
-Men: G1 = 2x25min erg castles (5’@22SPM, 5’@24SPM), 5min rest; G2 = core session & run
-Women: Strength Weights

Thursday, April 3rd – 6:30am @ WSS
-Men: G1 = core session & run; G2 = 2x25min erg castles (5’@22SPM, 5’@24SPM), 5min rest
-Women: 5xGadjanski Runs (2’rest btwn sets), 300 core workout

Friday, April 4th – 6:30am @ WSS
-Men: 5xGadjanski Runs  (2′ rest btwn sets), 300 core workout
-Women: G1: core session & run; G2 = 2x25min erg castles (5’@22SPM, 5’@24SPM), 5min rest

Saturday, April 5th – 6-8am @ Leander Boat Club
-Station 1: 30minute erg (steady state @22SPM)
-Station 2: 30minute tank (with Mike) *complete core exercises while waiting for your turn on tank
-Station 3: 60minute run & stairs (with Alessandra on bike)

Sunday, April 6th – 6-8am @ Leander Boat Club + CREW BREAKFAST (*Ali’s last day)
-Station 1: 40minute erg (interval: 4min@22SPM CAT 6, 1min@28SPM CAT 2/3)
-Station 2: 20minute core (with Alessandra)
-Station 3: 30minute tank (with Mike) *watch’rest while waiting to pick-up tips
-Station 4: 30minute aerobic weights
***CREW BREAKFAST TO FOLLOW*** (Harbour Diner? Wimpy’s?)

Monday, April 7th – OFF

3) CREW BREAKFAST (8am Sunday April 6th)

As mentioned above, a crew breakfast will be held after practice on Sunday, April 6th. Everyone is welcome, and family can join too if they’d like.