I’m sick and tired of the question, do ergs float? I say yes! With good coaching, tenacity and dedication to technique you can definitely transition those hours of indoor rowing to speed on the water.
Here are my go-to reminders once the snow thaws:
Patience: Do not go nuts when you first shove off from the dock. Take the time to find your groove, reestablish rhythm and trust that the cobwebs will work themselves out.
Blisters: These gnarly little demons manage to come out each and every Spring (and actually for me, they never tend to heal). Prepare and have your best healing remedies ready to go, such as black tea bags and hydrogen peroxide. The number one thing with blisters is that you do not want to alter the way you hold the oar because it will screw up technique and potentially create injuries.
Teamwork: Realize that unless you’re rowing the single, now is the time in the season to bite your tongue when you’re first back in the pair, double or quad. The first couple rows back are an adjustment period, and there is no sense in shooting your partner in the foot. Some people require a few extra rows to get their swing and mojo back.
Injury prevention: The first couple weeks back are the number one time in the season when you are most susceptible to injury. Although the Concept2 Indoor Rower is a full-body workout and replicates the on-water stroke well, there are many muscles that you have shelved for several months, particularly the small muscles around the ribs, shoulders and wrists.
Spring racing: Many of you are probably preparing for pre-season duals and my all-time favorite domestic race, the San Diego Crew Classic. I’m a proud University of San Diego alum and a true California girl, and nothing says paradise like racing the W8+ in the sun on Mission Bay. My best piece of advice is to “go with what you got.” At this point in the season it probably will not feel technically great, however that doesn’t mean that you should not race your heart out. Focus on your technique and team chemistry leading up to to the race, and then once you’re locked on—3,2,1 Attention—Go! Stick with your racing instincts, trust your rhythm, believe in your fitness and execute your race plan.