Obviously preparing for a Tasman row requires long sessions on the erg (short for ergometer, or Concept 2 rowing machine). We all mix our training locations, from rowing clubs to gyms or even at home (thanks to Concept 2 New Zealand for loaning us a machine), but quite often we get peculiar looks as onlookers can't fathom the proper technique. I even had one guy tap me on the shoulder in the gym, wondering where I’d learnt that “exotic technique”!
There's a direct correlation between performance and proper technique. It's not about rushing up the slide, pulling as hard as you can with your arms. Legs, arms and your back all have a specific positon and timing during the stroke.
The rowing stroke can be divided into two parts: The drive and the recovery. Watch this great video on the Concept 2 website (http://www.concept2.com/us/training/technique.asp) and learn how to improve your rowing technique.
But there's also a saying in rowing circles that "ergs don't float". Technique on the machine doesn't always equate to technique on the water - that's a whole different story.
- By Nigel Cherrie from the Trans-Tasman Rowing Team