Off-Season Training 



Summer is the time to relax a bit from crew. The goal over the summer is to do low intensity cardio training to stay in shape. Running, biking, swimming, and light erging/rowing are all great. Ergs will be available to take home over the summer on a first-come-first-serve basis. There’s a workout log attached here as well, along with suggested erg work. Rowers should strive for 3-5 hours a week of cardio work (heart rate above 130 BPM) per week. 


Be sure to log your workouts. Especially with erg work it’s important to see how your splits change over time. The goal over the summer should be 400,000 meters on the erg or running.




Fall Rowing

Training to win championship races in May starts in September. All returning rowers are expected to either row in the fall with ODBC Select Crew (, Wakefield fall crew with Athletes Without Limits (new in 2019), or participate in another fall sport at Wakefield. ODBC Registration opens July 24 and FILLS UP. Fall rowing allows rowers to double their rowing experiences, train with and make friends with rowers at other schools, and compete in 5km head races. 


Wakefield Crew’s goal is win more States and Nationals medals next year. The local teams that consistently do that (TC Williams, Gonzaga, National Cathedral) all train/compete in the fall. To be competitive at Stotesbury and Nationals, fall rowing is a must. 


ODBC and Wakefield Crew offers financial aid for fall rowing. 


For those of you with other activities in the fall, ODBC can be done part time. Contact coaches during registration about scheduling needs. Wakefield rowers will most likely carpool from school to ODBC Practice with parent coordination. 

Fall Green Days

Green Days are designed for those new to rowing who would like to try out the sport and learn more. We will have our fall green days several Saturday mornings from 9 - 11am. These are open to anyone regardless of experience and parents are responsible for rides.




Winter Training (or Winter Conditioning) starts the week before Thanksgiving. There will be practices 5 days a week (M-F afternoon). Rowers are encouraged to attend at least 3 practices per week. 


Work Out Suggestions


Summer training will be largely individual and substantially lower intensity than our winter training or spring season. The goal is to build out cardiovascular endurance to make ourselves more efficient athletes. Erg works over the summer will all be long and low. Put the erg in front of a TV and watch Netflix while doing some steady state. A heart rate monitor is HIGHLY RECOMMENED to track this. Training should be done at 130-160 BPM. Especially while erging, this will feel easy. Over the summer erg/running/biking speed should increase while the heartrate remains the same. 


Spending an hour lightly erging at 150 BPM is preferable to going “all out” with your heartrate 180+. Building a cardio base takes times, and will allow you to push yourself harder and faster when the fall season rolls around. 


If you are tracking meters (running/erging/rowing), the goal for the summer is 400,000m if you’re planning on being in a varsity boat. As a frame of reference, in the 2018 Spring Season the Varsity Girls rowed and erged total of 810,000 meters. We’re asking for about half the spring effort in the summer. 


If you are tracking hours (above plus swimming, biking), the goal should be 50 hours with your HR above 130BPM. 


Suggestions Without Erging:


Biking, Swimming, and running are the best alternatives to rowing/erging. Apps like Strava and MapMyRun and are great way to track these workouts. These activities also combine muscle strength with cardio endurance. A good running goal is to be able to run 5km in less than 20 minutes. Tracking time is really helpful here because the distances don’t line up. 5 miles on a bike is very easy, 5 miles running is a good workout, 5 miles swimming is tremendously difficult. 


Suggestions if Looking to Build Muscle:


My personal suggestion for weight lifting over the summer is the StrongLifts ( Program. They have an app that makes this easily trackable. This program might have to modified for Lightweight girls who have not lifted before. Reach out to coaches if this applies to you and we can help you get started. 


Suggestions if Looking to Lose or Gain Weight:


Weight loss is all about calories-in vs calories-out. A calorie is a unit of energy. Basically if your body consumes more energy than it expends you will gain weight. If your body burns more energy than it consumes you will lose weight. The ONLY way to reliably make a change to your size is to track food and exercise honestly. MyFitnessPal is a recommendation for this. Rowers looking to lift and gain weight should increase their diet of protein. Rowers looking to lose bodyfat and slim down should carefully track intake and decrease carbohydrates. 


A Heart Rate Monitor can be calibrated to precisely show calories burned in a workout. The calories mode on a erg is calibrated for a 175lb male. People smaller than that will burn fewer calories, larger people will burn more. Learn more about proper nutrition and fueling for races and workouts with this nutritionist presentation: Nutrition For Rowers: Fueling Workouts & Races by Lauren Trocchio, RD, CSSD, CSOWM, LD (PDF).

If you plan on making a change to your weight please talk with coaches to help establish a plan. Coaches have lots of experience with lifting and building muscle mass as well as lightweight rowing and maintaining fitness while dropping weight.