Rowing Reflection

Just read a question relating to water temp and it's effect on boat speed. Thought I would comment here on our experiences over the years. In fact the best two experiences that I can recall that best illustrate the sometimes extreme difference are these:

2004 I recall James and I training back here in Melbourne in the middle of winter. Chris, James and I were quiet particular about our measurement, but the catch was that while Melbourne got colder and dove deeper into winter many of our competitors where over in Europe preparing in weather that was warming up. Actually it was hot as I remember watching daily reports on area's like Italy and Greece. Now at that time we were rowing on water that would have been below 14 degrees. Standing on the staging at 7am before pushing off for our session I would find my feet and aching. At that time when we did paddling session it was struggle to get the boat to go any faster than 2min per 500m. Much of the paddling would be at best 1.58 to 2.10. Much time would be spent paddling at rate 19 and heart rate 145-160 where the speed would sit on 2.02. This would be cause for alarm if we didn't consider the negative effect of cold water. Once we arrived only days later in Italy to join the team and be greeted by a wonderful Northern Italian summer we settled in an began working with similar effort and heart rate with speeds that were considerably faster. The best we did was about 1.50/52 which I am not a clear on, but most sessions were easily below the 2min mark.

Now this was not surprising to us but because it was so close in time from the cold to the warm water it presented more noticeably in our measurements on work loads. The exact science of specific water temp's and speed expectations is not so clear but I do believe it can be quantified. Other factors include salty water and water like in Munich which has a different mineral content. Subjectively Munich from a water feel has a sense of being heavy more like the cold waters we row in during winter. Varese to me once it warms up has a very oily feel and when it gets to 27 degree's it feel extremely fast. I am pretty certain the fastest days at Lucern have not only strong tail wind but very high water temp's and that combination makes for perfect condition to row World's best times. Temperature


Anonymous said…
Hi Ginn,

it's make sense, you probably RIGHT. And we can pay atention at time of day we are doing our training. Some times or for some people the body don't work so good at beginning of the morning like afternoons. So i think it's another variant to consider.

PS: 1.58 @ 160HR, good job. I'm dreaming and working to do this at the machine...

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