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    Yo.
    Basically I'm a pretty small girl (about 5 foot 6 and slender, size 6ish and teetering around 8 stone 6 lbs and 8 stone 8lbs) and I do a lot of rowing and the working out surrounding it. I row at 2 if it's of any interest to anyone so being small isn't the issue because as far as I know bow pair are generally smaller/lighter. I've got a bit of muscle from it, mainly the legs as expected from doing such a sport, but need to gain more. My physique is probably more suited to a cox than a rower (as people keep telling me :rolleyes: ) but I'm more of a sporty person and I enjoy it, and not only that but I'm reasonably good at it for a novice, as is the rest of my team (currently undefeated as far as races go). My main issues are:

    a) I'd like to continue with rowing next year, but because I'd no longer be a novice I'd have to make either the firsts or seconds team (realistically the latter) and so I need to be much better than I currently am in terms of power to compete with people who I'm either on par with or better than in terms of technique.
    b) there is a race coming up, at the end of this month, that is 5km. It'll be full power all the way I imagine and therefore I need to increase fitness and strength quite quickly.

    Therefore, my concerns are to find food that will both give me energy, be satisfying and will be nutritious for both before I exercise and for after I exercise. I know carb loading is good for before a race or exercise in general, but the only thing I can generally think of for that sort of occasion is pasta, which has a tendancy to make me feel a bit sick/weak after eating it ironically because it's a little too filling for my liking. However I also struggle with energy slumps if I exercise because I have a feeling my blood sugar has a tendancy to get a little low. I guess I need a happy medium between something that won't fill me too much and something that will prevent the energy slumps.

    I also need to find some food for after exercise because I seem to be faced with an insatiable hunger all the time after going to the gym, and I'm not sure I eat enough protein because I live in catered halls without an oven so can't really chose what meat I am given to eat, but because I live in London finding somewhere for lunch (when I'm not provided with meals) is quite easy to do but I'm never really sure what I should be eating that has protein but is easy to find in shops.


    And finally, some exercises to improve my erg times (around 8 minutes 30 to 9 minutes currently for my 2k) would be good and to improve my power on the drive.

    Sorry if this is a bit rambly :p:
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    Hmmm I'm not so good with all the nutrition and all that I'm afraid, but for your ergs, if you're looking to work on your 2k time then try doing 4x1500m pieces (with no more than 5 minute rests in between), good for building stamina and strength over short distances, then when it comes to doing a 2k test mentally it's quite easy because you're used to doing 4 pieces together, and it's only 500m longer.

    However if you've got a 5k race coming up (what is it by the way?) then doing 5k pieces on the erg would be ideal, or 20min pieces, or even better 2 x 20min pieces (5min rest in between).

    If you want to increase power on the drive then doing some regular weights sessions, which should be part of your training schedule anyway, should help.

    Hope that helps, and that someone else can advise on nutrition
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    I wouldn't worry about the energy problem. You're not going to run out of energy in a 5k race, considering how much calories are used up in a hard work out (will never be more than 500 or so). More importantly make sure you eat food that sits well in your stomach, like something you're used to, and make sure you have enough water so you don't get dehydrated, which can really impact performance. Just have a decent meal the night before and then something to keep you ticking over on race day.

    If you want a cheap well balanced meal replacement, why not try a recovery protein shake? I know its a bit strange for girls but its got everything you need and its dirt cheap per serving. Or you could get this drink called nourishment that a lot of rowers use which has a number of vitamins, calories etc. (you can get it from the newsagent at chiswick station...)


    Also seeing as you're small, work very hard on flexibility. You'll possibly need to extend your reach to match that of your crewmates so its important not to lose power and lever with your back at the front of the drive. And get someone good to watch you erg and help with technique. And if/when you do UT2, erg feet not strapped in, it helped me a lot!
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    (Original post by dobbs)
    Hmmm I'm not so good with all the nutrition and all that I'm afraid, but for your ergs, if you're looking to work on your 2k time then try doing 4x1500m pieces (with no more than 5 minute rests in between), good for building stamina and strength over short distances, then when it comes to doing a 2k test mentally it's quite easy because you're used to doing 4 pieces together, and it's only 500m longer.

    However if you've got a 5k race coming up (what is it by the way?) then doing 5k pieces on the erg would be ideal, or 20min pieces, or even better 2 x 20min pieces (5min rest in between).

    If you want to increase power on the drive then doing some regular weights sessions, which should be part of your training schedule anyway, should help.

    Hope that helps, and that someone else can advise on nutrition
    The 5k race is basically just the heads between the United hospitals (london medical schools). I'm not entirely sure what it entails but we've been there and back a few times and we're not really there yet. Granted every time we tried the course we were going against the tide making it a bit more difficult to maintain speed.

    I will try some ergs like you said, 4x 1500 sounds like a killer though, I find it worse to do 2x 1000 with no more than 1 minute break between then than an actual 2k, probably because with a 2k you can work through the burn whereas in intervals you have to reburn yourself, so to speak. I will definitely give it a go, though. Sounds like good discipline because I have trouble making myself face up to doing ergs and always substitute it for something a little easier to make myself feel better.
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    (Original post by partoftheweekend)
    I wouldn't worry about the energy problem. You're not going to run out of energy in a 5k race, considering how much calories are used up in a hard work out (will never be more than 500 or so). More importantly make sure you eat food that sits well in your stomach, like something you're used to, and make sure you have enough water so you don't get dehydrated, which can really impact performance. Just have a decent meal the night before and then something to keep you ticking over on race day.

    If you want a cheap well balanced meal replacement, why not try a recovery protein shake? I know its a bit strange for girls but its got everything you need and its dirt cheap per serving. Or you could get this drink called nourishment that a lot of rowers use which has a number of vitamins, calories etc. (you can get it from the newsagent at chiswick station...)


    Also seeing as you're small, work very hard on flexibility. You'll possibly need to extend your reach to match that of your crewmates so its important not to lose power and lever with your back at the front of the drive. And get someone good to watch you erg and help with technique. And if/when you do UT2, erg feet not strapped in, it helped me a lot!
    I've heard about nourishment but wasn't completely sure what it was, I know the newsagent's you're talking about though so I will definitely give it a go.

    Flexibility in what way? I've been told I have a tendancy to reach a bit too far but I think that is indeed because I need to extend my reach to keep up with the rest of the boat, I think they need to adjust my footplate though (someone taller was in it before me so I have a tendancy to reach the frontstops before I should). I've worked quite hard on maintaining a strong back during the drive recently though so the problem I used to have of, as you said, levering with my back, has mostly been eradicated. Good call though, the girl at bow also had the same problem and it seems like it's just because of our size.

    As for the energy thing, I tend not to lose energy in a race because of the adrenaline mainly, but I do tend to lose energy when doing ergs. Though I think the dehydration may not help as you said so I will ensure I drink much more before I do anything like that. Thanks
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    I just wanna watch this thread I'm also a novice rower, just about to start my first racing season
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    (Original post by sophie_c)
    I just wanna watch this thread I'm also a novice rower, just about to start my first racing season
    Awesome, races are amazing fun. Good luck with the season. I come from an ultra-competitive team and, despite the fact we don't look quite as powerful as others, I think we win on just sheer determination :p: What races are you going to be doing?
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    (Original post by Jessaay!)
    As for the energy thing, I tend not to lose energy in a race because of the adrenaline mainly, but I do tend to lose energy when doing ergs. Though I think the dehydration may not help as you said so I will ensure I drink much more before I do anything like that. Thanks
    The losing energy feeling on the erg will be more down to not having the cardio fitness to maintain that level of output. ie your heart and lungs cant transport oxygen fast enough to your muscles. However its good to feel tired, that way you know you're making an improvement. Rowings not really a long distance sport so lack of food shouldn't really become a problem like with cycling or long distance running. You want a lot of food though to help your muscles recover so that you can still do a workout the next day.
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    (Original post by Jessaay!)
    Awesome, races are amazing fun. Good luck with the season. I come from an ultra-competitive team and, despite the fact we don't look quite as powerful as others, I think we win on just sheer determination :p: What races are you going to be doing?
    i am so excited! Just got my onesie though, which I am not so excited about haha!
    Yeah...tbh a lot of people on our team are quite small... but think we maybe have the power...I hope!
    Ehm I don't know what races yet...we only start semester 2 tomorrow, so I guess I'll find out very soon! Going to Spain in Easter though for tour/training as 4s
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    Erm, high energy:

    # Brown pasta
    # Brown rice
    # Apples (an apple a day really does keep the doctor away, no, really!!)
    # Peanut butter
    # Apricots
    # Figs
    # Oatmeal
    # Spinach
    # Carrots
    # Yams
    # Low fat yoghurt
    # Whole grain foods
    # Almonds
    # Bananas
    # Pears
    # Potatoes

    Or you could try maltodextrin from myprotein, great quick energy source and its about £2.99
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    How often do you train?

    Do you do predominantly ergo work for cv fitness? And also do you do much in the way in weights?
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    (Original post by Keith Lemon)
    How often do you train?

    Do you do predominantly ergo work for cv fitness? And also do you do much in the way in weights?
    I don't do much in the way of weights yet because we've not been told what's best, our coach plans on getting us into it though. We also have circuit training but because my selected module classes are from 6-7 on a monday myself and another girl from my team usually have to miss the circuits which start at 6:30 unless we nicely ask the teacher if we can go in the earlier session which is orientated for the second years. I think the training will get more intense now though.

    As for CV fitness I go on the bikes (usually high resistance) and treadmill mostly. The ergs I do every other gym session just about because I go to the gym practically every day I get chance to go depending on my timetable and when I don't go on the water. I find that doing ergs every gym session is more detrimental than beneficial so I often just stick to CV which I'm quite used to as I used to do country cycling a lot anyway. I also do a class which is unfortunately called "legs, bums and tums", which, whilst sounding cringey, is quite helpful because it's mainly CV with added exercises such as planks and some leg exercises and stretches which I've found have actually helped a lot.
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    (Original post by Bishamon)
    Erm, high energy:

    # Brown pasta
    # Brown rice
    # Apples (an apple a day really does keep the doctor away, no, really!!)
    # Peanut butter
    # Apricots
    # Figs
    # Oatmeal
    # Spinach
    # Carrots
    # Yams
    # Low fat yoghurt
    # Whole grain foods
    # Almonds
    # Bananas
    # Pears
    # Potatoes

    Or you could try maltodextrin from myprotein, great quick energy source and its about £2.99
    Thanks! I will have a look for recipes to do with those foods. I love oatmeal and have a lot in my cupboard but I'm always out of milk because people steal it so I eat it surprisingly rarely.
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    As a rower, it's pretty much a necessity to cram your face with malt loaf with alarming regularity.

    As for the weights, with rowing being a sport which employs pretty much the whole body, you'll want to just do a full body routine of heavy compound exercises. Obviously the legs and lower back are of particular importance so squats, deadlifts and power cleans will be very useful.
 
 
 
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