Howard Ruby – Publishers Note Three

Welcome back again to the Ruby Rowing Chronicle

“Now you are an accomplished rower, so next week let’s start REAL training.” – Iva, my coach and partner.

For the last five months, we have been rowing alright, but it’s been mostly technical rowing—where she has been teaching me the racer’s stroke, how to increase and decrease speed with smoothness and ease. How to row in all weather and kinds of water, whether it’s bad water conditions due to waves, surges, wind, wakes, or other boats. I’ve learned racing starts, racing finishes, and how to row the middle. 1,000 meter races, 2,000 meter races, and 5,000 meter races. All of this in the double person boat and three kinds of rowing machines, including a double (or tandem) erg, which mimics racing in the double using sliders.  Now we start the real training—less talk and more rowing. 15,000 meters will be a normal day on the water. With 20,000 or more meters a possibility. Endurance, speed, and repetition of good stroke are the hallmarks of competitive training. We do as many races as possible to practice for the big world competitions. And most of all, we condition our bodies to do what’s necessary when called upon.

When an Olympic rower wins a race, they start the day after to train for the next Olympics four years later. Four years of training for one five to six-minute race. Well, I’ve put in two and a half now, so a year and a half more shouldn’t be too hard. I am out to prove that one can get better and better as the years tick off. Time will tell, but so far, it’s worked.

Howard Ruby