Monday, 1 November 2010

Well done to the Skeleton Crew

The following Empty the Tanks team mates rowed 31,000 metres between the 25th and the 31st of October:

Phil VenablesGBR 35,000
Todor PetrovBGR 62,000
David NicholasGBR 34,410
Dan McCarthyUSA 76,182
Caroline JoynsonGBR 44,757
joseph codaUSA 52,792
Mark BowerGBR 32,032

Well done team mates, follow the link to see your name on the honour board.


  1. I'd forgotten about that! Thank god I did that HM (PB of 1:21:03.9 by the way :D) on Sunday or I'd have fallen short! 3 in a row now.

  2. Excellent job on the HM time Mark. It looks like you just sneaked onto the Skeleton Crew honour board by over 1k there - nice work.

  3. Any suggestions for a newbie about how to row more than about 15K without losing feeling and then getting horrible pain in the ass and legs?
    I've done one HM but the pain got really bad. Surely there must be some other way. Ideas?
    David J.

  4. Hi David,

    I use a seat pad when I do my rowing - it definitely numbs the pain in the ass on the longer rows.
    Not sure about the pain in the legs? Is it the thighs or calves? The only pain I get when rowing in my legs is a build up of lactic after intense sessions. Do you stretch before your session? Try some foam rolling after your row to loosen up any lactic and disperse it around the system. Not sure of any other ideas about how to alleviate the pain in the legs.


  5. Hi Dave,

    A couple of thoughts:

    - Jump off the erg for a minute or so after every 30 mins to stretch the back. GB squad do this religiously, and I'd imagine other international rowers do the same - this is for a reason! I tend to perform a cat / dorsal stretch, as well as a mecca stretch, to properly stretch the lower back.

    - from personal experience, any sort of sciatic pain tends to be symptomatic of something else going on, such us excessive pressure in the lower lumbar area.

    - Consider core exercises to help strengthen the back (this can help), and check for good/strong rowing posture at all points in the stroke.

    Caroline's ideas above are also good!


  6. Thanks Dave and Caroline.
    I'll have to buy a pad and try jumping off for my next HM. If that goes better, perhaps I'll try a full marathon for the first time. :) I've been doing 10-15K without any problem or pain for a bit now so perhaps that alone will make my next HM better.

  7. I agree about warming up properly and the suggestions David made. I used to get some back pain after longer rows (10k and over).

    To stop this I did 2 things about a year ago:

    1. Warm up doing "Plank" and also "Reverse situps" on a gym ball. Basically these are exercises which arch the back like the rowing posture.

    2. I did a lot of core stability work to strengthen my lower back and core in general. This included lots of floor work, sit ups, press ups, plank, seated russian twists, V ups, squats, etc.

    I now get no back pain at all. I still do a fair bit of core work but not as much.