EuroMont Training Camp + First Rows of 2019

5.Feb.2019 by Jen Forbes

A great start to 2019 for the Green Racing Project Sculling Team!

January’s training block “EuroMont” put our bodies and minds to the test by heavily incorporating – what was for most of us – a new skill (Nordic Skiing) into our existing training regiment of erging, biking, ski erging, and lifting with metered increases in duration and intensity over the course of the month, and an eventual return to base level volume by the end of the month. The finale of the EuroMont was our participation in the Craftsbury Ski Marathon.

In the last week of December, the scullers enjoyed speedy visitors- some from the National Team Training Center, others from Pennsylvania Athletic Club, Dartmouth, Harvard, and Syracuse rowing programs. We enjoyed learning to push the boundaries of a rate capped 30-minute test, and a had the opportunity to practice and develop our Nordic Ski skills on the carefully-manicured Craftsbury trails.

The real cherry on top, the real gem of 2018 happened on New Years Eve Day.  GRP, GRP Alumnae, and Friends  pursued The New Years Resolution Race: a distance challenge that is broken up into two phases. The first phase of the the three-legged triathlon (Sprint, Middle, and Long Distance) started indoors on the three Concept2 machines (Erg, BikeErg, SkiErg). Each participant completed one piece of each of the distances, and least 1 piece on each machine. Phase two was an outdoor 1.5k skate ski race from the Lower Soccer Field, up Chip Hill,  around Duck Pond and back to the Lower Soccer Field. 


Most of the group chose either the BikeErg or RowErg for their Long Distance, quickly transitioned to their mid distance (which, again, most of us chose either biking or erging), and then to the Sprint, which inevitably left the SkiErg. We had a spirited effort fueled by coffee, a bumping playlist, and a great electrolyte cocktail. The walls later told us they heard Steve saying “I feel bad…I didn’t think they would go this hard.”


A note from Coach Steve on the Team’s NY Resolution Race performance:

“Props to Sydney “Squid” Michalak for doing the longest SkiErg today and fastest female ski time on snow!  Props to Krystal for toughing the whole thing when I got to hide behind a watch!  Props to Wheeler for torching the bike with the fastest longest distance of the day!  Props to Jen for throwing it down on all indoor machines to lead the pursuit!  Props to Nathan for skiing fastest somehow with one pole and skiing the finish again with Krystal!  Props Sonny & Spaulds for holding consistent, tough efforts throughout!  Spaulds gets the special nod on the painful SkiErg sprint and Sonny gets the nod for a fast ski after not skiing for… a year or two!  Props to Jenny for a fast ski and a fast SkiErg upon return to the Center!  And finally props to Phifer for the big “W” and the NASCAR jacket take home!”


After a short break, we reconvened outside on the Lower soccer field to start our ski race. Starting order was determined by fastest cumulative time among the three legs (rest is not included, and participants had up to 5 minutes to rest between legs).

In the end, after the meters crushed, and the trails slayed, only three competitors made it to the podium – but we were all victorious on this glorious training day- tired, happy, hungry, and content on our last day of 2018. 

As the year closed, we took moments to applaud the exceptional bodies we built and the willingness we unearthed – from sometimes very deep places – in order to push them!

January, our EuroMont Training camp, large volunteering projects, and The Craftsbury Marathon came and went in the blink of an eye. Our unique training environment at Craftsbury allows us to effectively learn and develop our skills in a new sport that will help develop our brains and bodies for rowing. Many elite athletes – notably from Great Britain, Switzerland, South Africa, and Croatia- in the rowing world have spent time and energy in developing their physiology in non-rowing specific training camps. Some of the benefits of these training camps include a change in stimulus, concentrated and increased training volumes, and a fun and fresh competitive environment. Ultimately the skiing was avenue for furthering our proprioception, bettering our balance, elongating our anterior chain, activating our posterior chain, and cultivating a greater sense of rhythm and run.

It was a big month for volunteering as a group with the Outdoor Center hosting US Ski National Championships during January, and with many of the other GRP athletes away at international races, the rowers took on the humble yet noble task of collecting, washing, sorting, and distributing bibs for the duration of Nationals. We had a great team and an even greater YouTube playlost to keep us motivated.

We perfected the Olympic banners in the gym

We taught the Sapling preschoolers how to ski

And cleared snow off the Hosmer Point roofs

January’s EuroMont training block incorporated  1-2 cross country is sessions daily, a daily erg, and a lift 3 times per week. The volume gradually increased over the course of three weeks and on the fourth week returned back to the volume of the first. During January we tested our 30-minute and 6k benchmark pieces, and raced in the Craftsbury Marathon at the end of the month. At the beginning of our new strength block, we determined our 1RM (One Rep Max) by utilizing the following guidelines.

  1. Warm up using a light weight that can be easily handled for 8-12 reps.
  2. Rest 2 minutes.
  3. Increase the weight by 10 to 20% and do as many repetitions as possible.  Failure should be reached between 2 and 10 repetitions.
  4. Calculate, 1RM= [(.033 x reps) x weight] + weight

We got an awesome tour of the Concept2 facility thanks to Bob Beeman and Greg Hammond, and did what seemed like a ceremonious lift at the C2 gym in a focused and spirited environment.

Mickey Fili getting technical feedback at the Concept2 gym during a team lift

In the final week of EuroMont, the women tested their 6k benchmark, and the entire squad raced and volunteered the annual Craftsbury Marathon. Wes came in an impressive 5th place finish, and won his age category for the 50k Classic Marathon. The rest of the crew took on the 33k skate race the following day. Jenny took the top spot among the women rowers, while Nate earned that title for the men in style – without any poles, cresting Ruthies and Dantes loop like a champ. Mickey, Jen, and Alex finished in that order behind Jenny; while Lucas (his binding broke mid-race, and was feisty and resourceful enough to replace it with a spare from one of the GRP skiers after running down Dante’s to the next feed station), and Andy finished in that order behind Nate in the men’s race. 

Wes + frosty beard after his 5h place finish at the Crafstbury 50k Classic Marathon!

Now that we’re just 10 weeks away from NSR 1, the squad is making moves to more liquid water training. As much fun as the snow has been for us, we’re ready to narrow our focus that much more for spring racing season.

The GRP women are trading their skis and poles for boats and oars this week, as we venture out West for a week-long spring training camp in Newport Beach, California. Bridget, Alex, Mickey, and Jen will train with SoCal Scullers this week alongside GRP alumna, Maggie Fellows before our longer spring camp in Florida starting Mid-March. Nate, Lucas, Wes, and Andy will stay the winter training course at at home on the trails and in the gym until – come mid-February-  they head south for their week-long training camp in Georgia. 

Stay tuned this week as we explore the waters of Newport Bay!