What-to-expect


  • July  – After the National Championships, the club goes into semi-hibernation.  Beginner rowing camps (adults, kids) typically don’t start until August.  If you’re very keen, you can come down early to introduce yourself and watch advanced crews’ preparations for the Champs.  Additionally, you might want yo watch a few rowing videos on youtube (e.g. the Oxford / Cambridge boat race) – this will give you a good idea of what the sport is all about.  Never too early to work on your fitness though – running and cycling are a good place to start (don’t practice on the erg unless you’ve got someone to show you proper technique).

 

  • August  – This is when the beginner ‘learn2row‘ rower camps begin.  Typically, there will be a team of coaches assigned host the camps.  It’s important from the outset to highlight to beginners our safely & insurance requirements.  After a brief introduction, we’ll get you out in our ‘big blue’ (training craft) as soon as possible (perhaps even on your first visit to the club).   Some of last year’s beginners will sit up the front of the boat to help create a stable and safe learining environment.  Since the weather is fine, August is a good time to clock up some miles.  Indeed, over the coarse of a year, you’ll clock up at least 2000 KM.   The August camps won’t really make you fit, but your coach will focus on typical stretching exercises etc.  Introduction to drills (especially square blade and timing exercises).

 

  • September  – Well if you’ve enjoyed the August camps, you’ll be still with us and are perhaps ready to commit to membership.  This is a big decison as you may have to commit to training with your crew-mates up to five times a week.  Membership forms will need to be completed at this stage.

 

  • October – Land (Endurance) training commences.  Land training typically consists on erg and calisthenics.   Depending on your athleticism, this may be a big shock to your system but you’ll be surprised at how quick your body adapts to the load.  You will be introduced to the erg – and the science of getting fit.  You will be cautioned on the dangers of incorrect use of the erg.  

 

  • November – A Natural ‘pecking order’ will emerge from within your group (based on attendance rates, technique, fitness, strength etc).  The top rowers will be selected to row in their first competitive event.  It doesn’t matter if you come last – it’s all about experience at this stage.  Bring plenty of warm gear.

 

  • December – let’s get you outfitted in the Commercial Rowing Club official gear.  You are expected to training throughout the Christmas period (it’s what your competitors will be doing!).  If you are outside of Dublin and cannot make squad sessions, you will need to train at home.   At this point, if the squad is showing potential, the Captain will allocate a better boat.  In terms of paperwork, you’re coach will help you get registered with Rowing Ireland.

 

  • January – Strength training.  Typically, we’ll bring in a dietician to speak about correct cooking habits for a Commercial Rower.  You coach will publish a list of heads and regatta dates – you will be expected to declare your availability or otherwise well in advance.  On the water, your coach will take you through the drills at rate 18 or 20.

 

  • February / March – Since you’ve already clocked up about 700Km, this is a good time to get you out in small boats (double or single sculls).  Additionally, the club will be travelling to Limerick and perhaps Belfast for the Head-Of-River (HOR) timed events.

 

  • April / May – Since this is your first year, you’ll be entered into many regattas to gain racing experience ( not to mention experience of loading & rigging boats etc).  Intruction to ‘Starts’ (three halves, two three-quaters etc).

 

  • June – Speed Training.  Your coach will decide if your squad will enter the National Championships.  Hopefully the squad will be competitive at this stage (remember that Commercial is the biggest rowing club in the country so we typically win many Novice and Junior events).  Crews typically train every day for the six weeks run-up to the Champs.

 

  • July – National Championships – this is typically a 3-day event based in Iniscarra Lake in Cork.  Afterwards, you can haul yourselves and the gold medals back to Dublin and take a well-deserved break for six weeks.  Note: You will be expected to assist the next group at the August Beginner’s camp.  Any coach will tell you that you cannot productively put eight beginners in a boat together!  Thus, the success of any beginner’s group depends on them ‘giving back’ a little of their experience at the end of the year to the next cohort.