Westdale Rowing Community

Information for the Westdale Rowing Community

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Training (March 3rd-6th) + Mac 2×4 Event Info

Dear Westdale Rowers,

Thank you for arriving early this morning in your team colours to set up the ergs and prepare for the Mac 2×4 training session with the guest coaches and Cable 14. We’ll be posting a link to the video clip/interviews and news footage on here once we’ve got a copy, so stay tuned.

Please ensure you submit your consent form tomorrow if you haven’t already. Due to the requirements of the HWDSB, we are unable to accept verbal consent alone (we need something signed). Thank you!

Two important things in this post:
-Training this week
-Mac 2×4 Event information

1) Training this Week:
Tuesday, March 3rd: *please bring in your Cable 14 consent forms if you haven’t already
Men – 10min suicides & core switchups in lower gym followed by dynamic warmup; 60min weights (regular); stretching *RAFFLE OF JL SHIRT*
Women – Check-in/roster update; 10min warmup run in gym; Erg; House of Pain; Squat Circuit; Nutrition discussion; Cooldown & Debrief

Wednesday, March 4th:
Men – 15 laps of gym; dynamic stretches; LDR Erg (lactic acid flush); Squat Pyramid; Cooldown/Debrief
Women – 10min warmup; 60min weights (regular); stretching

Thursday, March 5th: 
Men – 20min Fartlek run (3rd floor); 50min weights (regular); stretching & cooldown + debrief
Women 10m warmup; Erg: transition training in teams (10min), + 20min erg @22spm & 20min core

Friday, March 6th:
Men – 10min warmup; Transition training in teams (10min), 25min erg castles; 20min core; debrief
Women – 10min warmup; 60min aerobic weights (light weight with 20reps); stretching

Saturday, March 7th: Mac 2×4 – see below

1) Mac 2×4 Information:

All athletes racing at the Mac 2×4 Event this Saturday, March 7th, are expected to arrive in the main atrium (first floor) of the McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC) by 7:30am. No exceptions. You must be wearing your unisuit. Race shirts will then be distributed at the event, to be worn over top of your unisuit.

Arriving by 7:30am is crucial as we need to check all athletes in & have you complete a warmup before the first race at 8am. 30 minutes is not a lot of time, so make sure you arrive at 7:30am sharp. Last year some athletes missed their races – please do NOT let this happen to you. Make sure you’re all ready to go by 7:30am in the McMaster Student Centre atrium. Injured athletes are also welcome to attend to cheer on their teammates, and should plan to arrive at the same time as the rest of the team. All highschool races and awards will be over by 11am.

Schedule of Events: Mac 2×4 Event Information – 2015 Schedule

*CREW LUNCH TO FOLLOW* – Vote on a location – The Mandarin or Boston Pizza??? Both have all-you-can-eat buffets. YUM. VOTE HEREhttp://doodle.com/wstu5fvupw47xi32


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Ontario Indoor Champs – Full Info

Dear Westdale Rowers,

Based on our team debrief this morning, you’ll find all the information regarding Ontario Indoor Champs included in this post. This includes race times, recommended arrival times, directions, what to bring, what to expect, and what’s expected of you.

Race Times: 2015 Ontario Erg Draw (online version available here)
*WOMEN’S TEAM: If you are concerned that you have been entered into the wrong weight/racing category, then please contact Mike immediately

Arrival Times: See your event listings below for your arrival time in red. Lightweights should arrive early for weigh-ins, particularly if you want to test your weight before weighing in. The lineup to weigh-in can be long. Weigh-ins are open from 7:30am up until the time of your race. If you’re able to arrive to cheer-on athletes in the first events then that is preferred, but the times listed below are based on the LATEST arrival time you should have based on your own personal race & category.

8:15am – Jr. HS Men (Heat 2 – Erik H) & Jr. HS Women (all heats) *arrive by 7:30am
10:05am – Jr. HS 150 Men (Heat 5 – Talal A.) *arrive by 8am
10:20am – Jr. HS 165 Men (Heat 1 – Lucas A. & Harrison M.) *arrive by 8am
10:50am – Jr. HS 135 Women (all heats) *arrive by 8am
12:10pm – Jr. HS 145 Women (all heats) *arrive by 9am (or earlier if concerned about weigh-in)
1:45pm – Sr. HS 165 Men (Heat 2 – Evan W. & Cooper W.) *arrive by 12pm (or earlier for weigh-in)
2:00pm – Sr. HS 135 Women (all heats) *arrive by 12pm (or earlier if concerned about weigh-in)
3:00pm – Sr. HS Women (all heats) *arrive by 12pm
3:35pm – Sr. HS Men (Heat 1 – Luke G. & Kieran G.; Heat 2 – Max M.) *arrive by 12pm

Directions: (From WEST) From the QEW, exit at 406 South.  Go 4 km to Fourth Avenue exit and turn Right at top of ramp.  At 2nd Traffic Light, turn Left onto Louth Street.  Go 1 km and turn Left on Ridley Road (before crossing train tracks).  Take 1st Left into Ridley parking lots. (Online directions can be found here)

What to Bring:
WAIVER FORM (MANDATORY): Ontario Ergometer Championships Waiver (online version available here)
-running shoes
-change of clothes (to stay warm afterwards)
-water bottle (with lots of water and/or sports drinks)
-food (LOTS OF HEALTHY FOOD – think breakfast, lunch, and snacks)

What to Expect:
-Lots of athletes, coaches, and spectators (more than at previous regattas)
-Vendors (clothing, pogies, food – though the food is usually NOT healthy and NOT very good… please bring your own!)
-University Scouts (talent recruits from Canadian & American universities)
-Warmup Ergs
-Racing Ergs (section is closed off to coaches & spectators – coaches & spectators must remain behind a line of tape)
-Podium for Medals (given out at odd intervals throughout the day)
-Your teammates & coaches to cheer you on 🙂 Your coaches are here to support you, so please talk to them to discuss your goals and race plan.

We expect all athletes to arrive on time, ready to race with their waiver & unisuit, and adequately prepared (food/hydration). You must check-in with your coach upon arrival. Find them when you arrive (they will be busy, so please scout them out!).


Remember: this is just another race. The important thing is personal improvement. You’ve trained for it and you can do it. So let’s do it.

See you all tomorrow,

PS – Athletes that are injured are still encouraged and welcome to join & cheer on the team.

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Training Workouts (Feb. 23rd-28th)

Dear Westdale Rowers,

This week marks the final five days before the Ontario Indoor Rowing Championships Regatta. The Ontario Indoor Rowing Championships Regatta is the largest indoor regatta that we’ll be attending. Although the Canadian Indoors involve nation-wide competition, the Ontario Indoors have a much higher attendance (this will be the largest/biggest indoor regatta you attend this year) and it often attracts university talent scouts from both Canada and the USA.

That said, the Ontario Indoor Rowing Champs is just another 2km race. The purpose of this event is to provide you with more racing experience and an opportunity to improve your 2km racing score. Awards are given to first place finishes (gold medals) and top ten finishes (t-shirts), but the most important thing is for you to have your own best race – whether that’s as a PB, improved focus, or a well-executed race strategy. As coaches, we will be looking to see and record your own personal improvement.

This week’s training is focused on preparing you for the Ontario Indoors.

Training Plan: 
Monday, Feb. 23rd:
Men – Ergs (10min warmup; 6x500m pieces; stretching; 10min tech erg; cooldown/debrief)
Women – Weights (10min warmup; 60min weights; cooldown & stretching/debrief)

Tuesday, Feb. 24th:
Men – Weights (10min suicide & core warmup in lower gym with partner; 60min weights; cooldown & stretching/debrief)
Women – Ergs (10min warmup; 6x500m pieces (2 starts @32, 2 body @30, 2 finishes @32+7ups – 2km split); stretching/debrief

Wednesday, Feb. 25th:
Men – Ergs (10min suicide & core warmup in Lower Gym with partner; 3x2000m race prep w 5min rest (NOT at steady 2km split); 10min core strength; stretching & team discussion)
Women – Weights (10min suicide & core warmup in Lower Gym with partner; 60min aerobic weights (LIGHTER, MORE REPS); cooldown & stretching/debrief)

Thursday, Feb. 26th:
Men – Weights (10min warmup run; 60min aerobic weights circuit (LIGHTER, MORE REPS); 10min cooldown & stretching)
Women – Ergs (10min suicide & core warmup in Lower Gym with partner; 3x2000m race prep w 5min rest (NOT at steady 2km split); 10min core strength; stretching & debrief)

Friday, Feb. 27th: *SHORTER PRACTICE
ALL ATHLETES – 30min Fartlek Run; 30min guided core session; 20min team prep for Ontarios & final requirements with primary coach

Complete information will be listed in a separate blog post later this week once the draw is released.

See you all tomorrow morning,

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Training 6:30am at Westdale

Dear Westdale Rowers,

A friendly reminder that tomorrow’s practice will be at Westdale Secondary School at 6:30am.

These are our final 5 days before the Ontario Indoors (the biggest indoor race of the season), so it’s very important that you all attend the practices to ensure you’re properly prepared. The full training plan for the week will be posted tomorrow.

See you all in the morning!
Alessandra 🙂

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Men’s Team – Weight Adjusted Rankings & Racing Entries

Westdale Men’s Team:

Please see the following documents for the weight-adjusted scores distributed at practice: 

6km Rankings *UPDATED: Weight Adjusted Erg Rankings (Men’s Indoor Team 2015 – 6km) – UPDATED
2km Rankings: Weight Adjusted Erg Rankings (Men’s Indoor Team 2015 – 2km)

I’m still missing some data from a few athletes (“DNRD” = Did Not Receive Data). Those that have data missing for the 6km will be completing their tests this week. The 6km is an important test to complete because it gives you the target training range for each category (e.g.: Cat 4 vs. Cat 6 – each category engages a slightly different system, anaerobic/aerobic/thresholds etc., so it’s important that you train in the correct category based on your 6km test split).

Ontario Entries: If your name is listed below, then I’ve entered you for the Ontario Indoor Rowing Champs. This list is based on those of you that contacted me about racing. If you are NOT able to race and your name is listed, please contact me immediately. If you name is MISSING and you ARE interested in racing, please contact me immediately.
-Luke G.
-Max M.
-Kieran G.
-Erik H.
-Talal A.
-Lucas A.
-Evan W.
-Cooper C.
-JJ S.
-Harrison M.

McMaster 2x4 Entries: If your name is listed below, then you’ve expressed interest in racing at the Mac 2×4. If your name is not listed, then it means you haven’t told me you want to race OR you’ve explicitly stated that you’re unavailable/not interested. If anything below is incorrect (or if you think you may have a conflict), please contact me immediately. Teams will be in groups of 4. Teams will be determined after Ontario Indoors.
-Luke G.
-Max M.
-Kieran G.
-Erik H.
-JJ S.
-Cooper C.
-Evan W.
-Lucas A.
-Harrison M.
-Will S.
-Julian R.
-Talal A.
-Arnaud D.

*Those racing at the Mac 2×4 will require their team racing shirt. The shirts are being coordinated by Luke Gadsdon. They cost $15 and are designed specifically for this event, as the event requires each team to come with a specific 2×4 racing top. Any payment should go to Luke Gadsdon (either $15 cash, or $15 cheque made out to Dina Gadsdon) by this Friday, Feb. 20th.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions – especially if the racing rosters written above is incorrect.

See you in the morning,

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Training Feb. 17th-21st

Dear Westdale Rowers:

First and foremost, if you plan to race at the Ontario Indoor Rowing Champs (the biggest indoor race that we participate in), then:

Men’s Teamcontact Alessandra Gage to confirm. She will be sending in the full list of athletes for the Men’s Team.
Women’s Team contact Mike Roche, as per his request in his most recent blog post here.

Training Schedule (Locations & Practices):

Tuesday (6:30am @WSS)
Men – Fartlek Run (20min for warmup); Weights (60min); stretching & debrief (Ontario Indoors + Mac 2×4 Relay Sign Up)
Women – 20min erg ladders at 6km pace + 6seconds (4min @22spm, 4min @24spm, 4min @26spm, 4min @24spm, 4min @22spm – 5min rest); 2omin Gadjanski Stair Circuit; 20min core

Wednesday (6:30am @WSS)
Men – Warmup; 3x12min @28/30/32spm (6km pace + 2seconds) + 8min active rest; Cooldown & Stretching
Women – Fartlek Run (20min for warmup); Weights (60min); stretching & debrief with Mike

Thursday (6:30am @WSS)
Men – Gadjanski Stair Circuit Warmup (x1); Weights (60min); Stretching & Debrief
Women – Warmup; 3x12min @28/30/32spm (6km pace + 2 seconds) + 8min active rest; Cooldown & Stretching (if more people, circulate with core & run)

Friday (6:30am @WSS)
Men – Warmup; 2x20min Erg Ladders @6km pace + 6seconds (4min shifts at 22/24/26/24/22spm) + 5min rest; Cooldown & stretching
Women – Gadjanski Stair Circuit Warmup (x1); Weights (60min); Stretching & Debrief

Saturday (10am-12noon @LBC (Leander Boat Club))
Whole Team – Erg/Tank/Core/Weights

Men’s Team: Your weight-adjusted 6km and 2km racing scores will be posted to this blog tomorrow. I will also hand out the 2km weight adjusted rankings. These scores will be based on your most recent 2km times (i.e.: the last 2km you pulled). For most of you this will be your LBC Indoors score, or the score you pulled last week on Friday at practice.

See you all in the morning,

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Training (Feb. 10th-13th)

Hello Westdale,

We have three weeks until the Ontario Indoor Rowing Championships – our biggest indoor competition. Each week leading up to the competition will have a different training focus.

Week 1 = Long Distance (RADAR testing, Cat 4/5/6, Technique)
Week 2 = Rate & Power Work (Cat 3/4/5, Split Training/Rate Training)
Week 3 = Competition Specific Training (Cat 2/3/4/6, Race Preparation)

Athletes completing RADAR who would like to use their LBC Indoor times are advised to complete their Peak Power & 6km testing at practices this week.

Training for Week 1 (this week) is as follows:

Tuesday, Feb. 10th:
Men – Warmup, Day 3 Weights (Cat 2/3), Team Circuit (Cat 4) [or: PEAK POWER RADAR TESTING FOR RADAR ATHLETES]
Women – Warmup, 6km testing (rate 28 *RADAR ATHLETES*) or 25min erg with castles (22/24 every 5min), core, run

Wednesday, Feb. 11th: 
Men – Warmup, 6km testing (rate 28 *ALL ATHLETES*), core/cardio, nutrition for competition session (guidelines “the extra percent”)
Women – Warmup, Day 3 Weights (Cat 2/3), Team Circuit (Cat 4) [or: PEAK POWER RADAR TESTING FOR RADAR ATHLETES]

Thursday, Feb. 12th:
Men – 20min fartlek run (yes, that’s the correct name for it; laugh if you really feel you must), Tech Stretch Challenge & Core Exercises, Weighted Lunge Circuit
Women – Warmup, 30min erg (R22), 30min core, 30min run

Friday, Feb. 13th: <—- oooooooo 
Men – Ergs: 2km testing for anyone that was away (20min warmup + 2km test) for LBC Indoors OR 2x19min erg pyramid (R=3min), LDRun, Core/Stretching
Women – 40min run, 30min Relay Circuit with Ergs, Core/Stretching
...PLUS A SURPRISE!!! (No. It’s not a candygram.)

Saturday, Feb. 14th:
OFF… because your coaches also have lives & you probably have friends/family/people you’d rather spend your day with anyway 😉

See you all in the morning,

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City Championships – Congratulations!

Dear Westdale Rowers,

CONGRATULATIONS!!! You all did a phenomenal job today in pushing yourselves to your limits and achieving some great racing successes. A quick recap so that everyone knows what transpired:

First and foremost: WE WON THE CITY INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS! This means we have the honour of keeping the City Championships trophy until next year. I’ll bring the trophy in on Monday morning so that you all have a chance to see it for yourselves (you earned it, together!).

Winning the City Championships demonstrates how, although we race individually during the indoor season, our individual successes influence one another as a team and work together to create success on a team-level. The City Championships was not won by any one particular athlete. You cannot win the City Championships on your own. It was won through the hard work of ALL of you. Well done, Westdale 🙂

Westdale also set 3 new record times:
Harrison McCann set a new record best for the Jr. HS 165 Men’s race with a time of 7:02.
Erik Heinbecker set a new record best for the Jr. HS Men’s race with a time of 6:48.
Luke Gadsdon set a new record best for the Sr. HS Men’s race with a time of 6:22.

Westdale secured a solid SEVEN gold medals in the following categories:
-Jr. HS 165 Men (Harrison McCann)
-Jr. HS Men (Erik Heinbecker)
-Jr. HS 135 Women (Sadie Boyter)
-Jr. HS 145 Women (Katie Yungblut)
-Jr. HS Women (Lauren Gadsdon)
-Sr. HS Women (Breanne Hyslop)
-Sr. HS Men (Luke Gadsdon)

WOMEN’S TEAM: Congratulations! Your team placed FIRST in the City Champs for overall points on a women’s highschool rowing team. Mike and I are both very proud of you.

MEN’S TEAM: I’d like to send a BIG shout-out to the Men’s team for getting an all-time high of personal bests. 10 of the 11 athletes racing all achieved PBs, and the remaining athlete was very close to their PB (only 4 seconds off), still securing a gold medal. Achieving a personal best is important (even more important than winning medals) because it indicates personal improvement and demonstrates how your training is impacting your racing abilities. As a team, you can never guarantee a medal because you can never tell how strong your competition will be – the competition is always changing and is external to your personal race. Medals are byproducts of working hard. What you CAN guarantee is your own personal improvement through training and, through that, you increase your chances of placing and/or succeeding as a crew by pushing yourself to your own personal limits. I’m MORE proud of the personal bests achieved than of any of the medals won today, so to ALL of you: a big congratulations and job well done. We also placed second overall to St. Mary’s – by only 1 point – at the City Championships for overall points on a men’s highschool rowing team. 🙂

PHOTO ALBUM FOR CITY CHAMPS: Please click here for a public album that can be viewed if you’d like photos from today’s races. To view the photos on a regular Facebook album, please click here (this only works if you have a Facebook account). If you have photos you’ve taken, please send them to me (Alessandra) and I can add them to the album so that everyone can see their athletes’ & teammates’ races. Peter was away today, but I’ve tried to compile a group of photos given that we missed his expertise this time around.

Super proud of all of you.

See you all on Monday morning @6:30am at Westdale,

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Leander (LBC) Indoors Regatta – Complete Information

Dear Westdale,

You’ll find the complete information for LBC Indoors in this blog post, including weigh-in information, arrival time recommendations, race times, and “must bring” items.

To begin, I’d like to personally thank all of you for being patient with me while Mike’s been away sick. Particularly, thank you for all your help on Wednesday morning. For those that have been asking, I’m okay but have been told I need to be careful with how much I exert myself this week, so having everyone listen up the first time I make a call or give instructions is very helpful. Yes, I do eat (a lot), and yes, I do sleep.

LBC Indoors Information

The first Highschool (HS) race is at 12:15pm. Athletes racing between 12pm-12:45pm should all arrive by 11am. All other athletes (regardless of your racing time) must arrive by 12pm (noon). We want everyone at LBC to cheer the Westdale team on, and this will ensure you’re at LBC before the first HS race.

Location: Leander Boat Club (50 Leander Drive) – 2nd floor (up in the “Bay City Music Hall” area)

Must Bring Items:
Waiver – printed & signed (2nd page of the PDF): click here for the waiver.
Food – LOTS OF FOOD. Bring a pre-race snack, post-race snack, lunch, and LOTS of things to nibble on. Think trail mix, granola bars, bananas, etc.
Unisuit – Please bring your unisuit. If you haven’t received your unisuit yet, then Mike will bring the unisuits to the race & you can collect yours then.
Warm Clothes – Cover up with a sweater & pants, and bring some layers so you’re prepared for both hot/cold.

Weigh-In Times: Weigh-ins open for lightweight & midweight rowers at 8:30am and will remain open until the time of your race. It is up to you to determine when you would like to weigh-in. If you plan to weigh-in BEFORE 11am, then please let your coach know so that they can accompany you.

Race Times & Draw: Please click here for the full race draw. This indicates your erg number, race time, category, and fellow competitors along with school affiliation.

What to Expect:
-Arrive at LBC at your expected time (either 11am or 12noon).
-Sign in at the front desk & submit your waiver
-Check in with your coach & set your things at your school’s table/area
-Review your race plan with your coach
-Change into your unisuit (if not already wearing it)
-Complete a 20min pre-race warmup, starting the warmup 30 minutes before your race time (this gives you 10min after the warmup to stretch & use the washroom/etc.)
-Medal Ceremony

…That’s all, folks! As usual, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or Mike.

Good luck & see all of you tomorrow. Sunday will be OFF, and Monday we will return to practice at 6:30am at Westdale.


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Training Tomorrow (Monday) 6am @LBC

Dear Westdale Rowers,

First of all: CONGRATULATIONS on finishing your first indoor regatta of the winter season. For some of you, this is your first regatta ever. Racing CIRCs is tough due to the timing of exams, so kudos to all of you for making it out and pushing yourselves to your limits. Mike & I are proud of you all.

Some of you may have been happy with a personal or seasonal best, while some of you may have felt disappointed with your results. The most important thing about CIRCs is that this gives us a baseline to work from for the upcoming races, and Ontario Indoors is our “peak” race, so we’ve got plenty of time to prepare. Regardless of whether you’re happy with today’s races, we’ve got lots of positive things to work from to improve. The indoor season is all about personal fitness and personal improvements, attained through training as a team where you can push one another to your limits. Let’s keep working toward this.

RE: Tomorrow’s (Monday’s) Practice @6am at Leander Boat Club: 

Tomorrow’s practice will be held at Leander Boat Club at 6am EVEN if there is a snow day. Practice will still be running. Please ensure that you give yourself ample time to shovel out your cars. There are two practice scenarios, depending on whether or not a snow day is called:

Scenario #1: If there is NOT a snow day: Practice will run from 6am-7:45am. There are showers at LBC that athletes can use, and you’ll have a full 50minutes from the end of practice to make it to school in time.

Scenario #2: If there IS a snow day: Practice will run from 6am-8am, followed by a team snow-fort challenge & snowball fight (and crew breakfast). BRING YOUR SNOWPANTS JUST IN CASE (and warm clothes!). Be ready for a snow battle.

See you all tomorrow morning bright and early. With snowpants. Now enjoy the SuperBowl (or don’t, if it’s not your deal) 🙂