Winter rowing training sessions with seals

The volume of our Jan - March rowing training happens inside, whether we want it or not. It’s the most time-efficient and weather proof way of getting our hours in, to toughen our skin, build rowing-specific fitness and find out about our weak spots...given we have no prior rowing experience!

However, the gold standard for our training is on-the-water rowing in our actual ocean rowing boat, which is still in a shipping container. The second best option is an open-water rowing boat with a sliding seat (and fixed riggers) and oars that can be feathered. Luckily, we have access to a few rowing boats in Sausalito by the San Francisco Bay.

 Meredith cruising in her weekly 'long slow' open-water rowing session in January.

Meredith cruising in her weekly 'long slow' open-water rowing session in January.

Our (self-made) training plan calls for a weekly on-the-water rowing session, anything from 1 to 4hrs at a time. So far so good, we’ve learned that we don’t like to sit for too long (not good!), even small waves make it much harder to maintain proper smooth rowing technique (not good!) and that rowing is actually more fun than we thought (fantastic news!).

 Learning the proper sculling technique on a racing hull, which turned out to be uselessly difficult!

Learning the proper sculling technique on a racing hull, which turned out to be uselessly difficult!

We also took a few sculling technique lessons in the narrow racing hulls, which turned out to be way more difficult than expected. In fact, we decided to stop wobbling around on the waves and do all our rowing training in traditional rowing boats with moving seats.