A Change of Scenery Through Cross-training

A beautiful day cross country skiing

A beautiful day cross country skiing

A wise coach once told me that medals are “won in the winter, and picked up in the spring.” While this may be motivating right after the fall season, several months of erging indoors can bore even the most dedicated rower.

Ideally, with spring just around the corner, many of us are in our “rowing-specific preparation” phase of training. In addition to continuing to improve our rowing stroke on the erg, we should also be improving our aerobic fitness, strength, and flexibility. Erging is important this time of year, but cross-training can provide a change of scenery without losing your fitness momentum. If you’re going to venture outside the box, or erg monitor, the off-season is the time to do it! I’ve listed a few ideas to get you started. And, as always, consult with your doctor and fitness professionals before starting any fitness training regimen.

Running – If you can’t erg for a cardio workout, I’d say running comes in a close second. From steady state, to tempo runs, to high intensity interval training, you can’t go wrong with the versatility! All you need are a good pair of shoes and a safe place to run. Watch out for ice and check the weather before you go out to make sure you’re bundled up properly.

Biking and Swimming – Some equipment and facilities required. But if you can hop on a bike or jump into an indoor pool, you’ll have one heck of a workout. Swimming especially is a great low-impact, full-body workout. Just make sure you’re up-to-date on your swimming lessons before doing a cannonball into the water.

Cross Country Skiing – A fun but exhausting way to enjoy the great outdoors. This is harder than it looks, and you’ll discover muscles you’ll never know you had. If you have the equipment and skill, go for it!

Lifting – This is something most of us should have been doing anyways. But it’s never too late to start! Focus on building strength endurance with a higher volume of reps and sets, and lighter weights. Compound exercises, or movements that work multiple parts of your body at once, are great too. Think squats, burpees, or pull-ups.

Yoga – After all that running, lifting, cross country skiing, biking, and swimming, what better way to bring it all together than with a relaxing yoga session? Many rowers on our team do yoga to help with stability and flexibility. Find a good yoga instructor and you can too!

I hope this helps point you in the right direction to diversify your fitness routine. What kind of cross-training do you do in the off-season? Send us an email at info@fvra.org to let us know how it’s helped you reach your winter training goals!