Tag Archives: recovery

Terminology : Rate (Rowing)

31 May

What?

Rate, or Stroke Rate is the number of strokes you take per minute in rowing, also referred to as spm, s/m or rating.

When?

Stroke Rate is used both in the boat, and on an erg during a piece.

Where?

On an erg, the stroke rate is usually displayed in the top right-hand corner of the screen, and is displayed as a number with s/m.

In a boat, the stroke rate is usually measured using a magnet and sensors attached to the underneath of the stroke seat (or under the bow man’s seat in a bowloaded boat), connected to a cox box. As the rower moves up the slide, a measurement is taken and relayed to the cox box.

 

Why?

Stroke rate is used to measure and monitor intensity.

It is important in competitive rowing, as a high stroke rate could mean that the rowers are being hurried and technique is more likely to suffer, subsequently causing the boat to unbalance.

An unbalanced boat means that not all blades are covered properly by the water, and so collectively displace a smaller amount of water, therefore moving the boat forwards less than that of a perfectly balanced boat.

High rating can also cause a crew to tire quickly, however this depends on the level of fitness of the crew. The higher the level of fitness, the higher the stroke rate can be without negatively affecting the balance or technique.

 

And finally …

Try it for yourself …

A low-rate erg session does not have to mean lower intensity!

The best way to maximise your energy output is to row at a lower intensity for longer.

As a good base-level workout for cardio fitness, lower-rate rowing can be used to focus on power.

Try rowing for 20 to 40 minutes at a stroke rate of 18 to 22 – pushing as hard as you can, but taking your time with the recovery – the fitter you get, the you should see your split-time lower, as you are able to use the oxygen more efficiently and push harder with each stroke. Keep a note of your average split time at the end of your piece, and use this to compare your progress over the weeks.

Rowing at a slow rate can burn as much as 400 calories per hour (dependant on your own bodyweight) – so get off the cross trainer and hop on the erg!

Train Hard : with a little rest this week!

24 May

With the exception of the outing last night, I have had to go easy this week on the training-front after sustaining a rather silly injury whilst at Thorpe Park on my day off from work Monday!

Whilst on one of the roller coaster rides, I forgot to brace myself properly and as a result suffered a neck injury as I was thrown around the Surrey countryside at 80 miles an hour, with several g’s forcing my neck into a rather unnatural position!

After a visit to the doctor, I was given painkillers to reduce the pain and inflammation, and muscle relaxants to let the muscles come out of spasm and rest and repair. Let’s be honest, not great the week of a big regatta – should have factored that in when we were planning the day out!

My neck is feeling a hundred times better than it was Monday evening, and I’m hoping to wake up tomorrow in as little discomfort as possible, as tomorrow is the Twickenham Regatta – my first regatta racing as an Intermediate, so it’s rather exciting!

If there is one good thing that has come out of this rather irritating injury, it is that it has highlighted the underlying issue I have in my neck and shoulders from sitting at a desk, and the importance to stretch all muscles – even if they do not appear tight or sore – to reduce future problems and injuries from happening.

All great with hindsight, hey!

 

So this evening we have the usual faff of derigging the boats and loading them onto the trailer ready for the race tomorrow. We’re hoping to make it as quick-a-job-as-possible – the other intermediates find it hilarious to watch us each time we load and unload the trailers, but I think they forget that they were once novices too! Practice makes perfect, and we’ve had a fair bit of experience of it all now, so it should be a pretty straightforward job … we’ll see!

Terminology : Heart Recovery Rate

10 May

What?

Recovery Heart Rate is the heart rate measured at a fixed period after you have finished exercising.

When?

In order to measure your Recovery Heart Rate, you would need to work out for at least 8 to 10 minutes – long enough to raise your pulse to near maximal exhaustion.

Typically, you would expect to see your heart rate rise from around 60/70 to 180/190 during exercise.

To be able to compare results over time to assess fitness, you should ideally keep as many of the variables similar as possible – ie. the time of day that you are exercising, along with the period and intensity of exercise.

Where?

You can test your Recovery Heart Rate anywhere!

Using a stopwatch and either your finger to feel your pulse, or an app or heart rate monitor, take your pulse immediately after exercise and note this down.
Wait a minute, then take your pulse again.

The formula for calculating your Recovery Heart Rate is as follows:

RHR = (exercise heart rate – heart rate after 1 minute) / 10

The higher the number for the recovery rate, the more quickly your heart has recovered from exercise.

The following table can be used as a guide to evaluate your recovery rate:

Recovery Rate Number Condition
Less than 2 = Poor
2 to 2.9 = Fair
3 to 3.9 = Good
4 to 5.9 = Excellent
Above 6 = Outstanding

Why?

Measuring your Recovery Heart Rate can be a good indicator of your level of your fitness.

The fitter you get, the more effective your heart becomes, and so the less work it has to do to keep your blood pumping around your body, and keep you moving.

But on the other end of the scale, the less healthy and fit you are, the longer it takes your heart to recover.

This is what is referred to as Cardiovascular Fitness.

Recovery Heart Rate can also indicate the intensity of the exercise you are taking. The smaller the drop in one minute could indicate you are working yourself too hard, and your body is having trouble recuperating.

There are two decreasing phases related to Heart Rate Recovery; the first minute post-exercise, and the resting plateau over which the heart rate gradually decreases.
The resting plateau can take as long as an hour for the heart rate to return to pre-exercise heart rate.

As a general indicator, five minutes after exercise the heart rate should not exceed 120 beats per minute.
After 10 minutes, the heart rate should be below 100 beats per minute, and the heart rate should return to its pre-exercise rate approximately 30 minutes after the exercise session. Although the initial sharp drop in the heart rate that occurs one minute after the exercise is the most meaningful indicator of fitness.

And finally …

Did you know? …

Miguel Indurain – Spanish, five time Tour de France winner – had a resting heart rate of 28 beats per minute – one of the lowest ever recorded in a human.

Train Hard : The once-over!

7 Mar

Ok, so I turned up to the club at half 6 for my medical/physical check with Jon.

I head to the RowPerfect before he arrives to give myself a warm up and see how I get on, and as I sit down I realise one of the coaches is sat next to me – Ralph!
He asked how I was, and commented on the dark circles around my eyes – ‘is that kohl, or just disease around your eyes?’ – charming!
He also told me not to go too hard as he had a feeling Jon had a test lined up for me. Yikes!

Anyway, I warm myself up for ten minutes, before moving over to the mats to stretch with the girls that keep arriving.

Jon eventually appears about five to seven, suggests I use the RowPerfect, to which I reply I have and he looks me up and down and says I ‘look and sound alright’!
Not sure that’s a 100% yes for Saturday just yet, but its a good start!

Will keep you posted as to the final verdict of course! But it seems the drowsy cough medicine’s done the trick for now.

Although in all honesty, I do feel one hundred times better than I did Tuesday evening, and I’ve been living with this cough for a while now, so I think I’m more than able to manage Saturday, although I am a little worried about being out in the cold and wet for 4 hours!!

Be Happy : My immune system has gone on strike

7 Mar

So I’ve been ill again this week with a virus.

Overtraining and not enough sleep, coupled with the lack of good healthy meals for the last few weeks and my immune system decided to take a holiday!

I’ve been at home 3 days, eating as much fruit and veg as I possibly can, drunk every cough medicine I could find in South-West London, and kept myself fully doped up on paracetamol and antibiotics to beat off the fever I’ve had!

I’ve just refurbed a long email from our coach Jon, insisting that I should only race this weekend if I’m 100%. I explained how I was feeling and he’s asked me to come to the club tonight, to test myself out on the RowPerfect, before going out in the boat.

The pressure is on, and I’m really desperate to be out there in that boat Saturday afternoon, racing for TRC!

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