Every now and then I get a little stale, a little bored, a little frustrated with my training. This past winter, although I had a new workout routine – battling New England snowdrifts with my plastic shovel – I was in that very same place. thumbSo like any normal person (not really), I signed up for the Crash B’s – the indoor world rowing championships. In many ways it’s a wonderful experience – a goal for which to train, race day camaraderie and post race glory – yet, it’s also a very painful one! For those of you who don’t know about the Crash B’s, it’s the world indoor rowing championships where a couple thousand folks of all ages, race 2000m (approximately 6-10 minutes) “all out” on a rowing machine. It requires courage, focus and some solid preparation. So, one stormy day after shoveling myself out of the house, then driving when I shouldn’t have, I reached my training partner Patrick’s house for some Crash B training. The workout of the day was his pick; one I have never done and halfway through it I was wishing I never had made it up his unplowed driveway. It took every mental and physical trick I learned over my competitive years of training to complete the task. Although I wrestled self-inflicted nausea for hours afterwards, at the same time I was “on fire” knowing if I could handle that workout, I would be race day ready. So, give the below “fun” a try the next time you need a little confidence builder, a mental test or shot of adrenaline. Oh yeah, just don’t forget the Pepto!

Overview: This session is perfect for 1000m – 2000m prep or as an efficient interval workout.

What you need: 50-60 minutes total, 1 rower and your masochist mascot by your side (a training partner or just a pumping playlist).

The Execution:

Warm-Up: Easy rowing for 7 mins. with some Skills and Drills (technique work). Then go 3 minutes with 4 x 15 Hard Strokes at 28, 30, 32, 34 Strokes Per Minute (spm)

Break/Hydrate 2-3 mins.


1 min. ON (Hard) / 1 min. OFF (very easy rowing, recovery) x 20

1st min. Hard is at 24 spm, 2nd is at 26 spm, and 3rd at 28 spm. Record the average split time for your 3rd at 28spm. The goal for the rest of the workout is to row 28-32 spm and go your recorded average split time or better for 20 total Hard minutes OR until you are unable to hold that time for 2 (Hard minutes) in a row.

Note: You will get about 10-11 into this saying “there is no way I can do this for 20”. Stay the course!