1974 Long Beach Lightweight Rowing Team Rows Again

Welcome '74 Team

Season Summary

Season Results






Active Rowing

Back Into Shape

Rowing Technique




1974 Long Beach Lightweight Rowing

Western Sprints Champions

Getting Back Behind the Oar

Working Our Way Back Into Rowing Shape

The Journey and Not the Destination

From Peter Mallory:
Team - While I am disappointed that I will not be able to make the Thursday get together, I have been very touched by all the praise for my role in what we accomplished 38 years ago. These emails are terrific. Jay, you might consider stringing them into a narrative on the website you are developing for the team. I think it is time to pause for a moment to review what we have been talking about as far as getting back into boats is concerned.

Reality #1: Sensible exercise is a key ingredient for a healthy middle age, so we should do anything we can as a group and as individuals to encourage any and all of us to adopt an active lifestyle which includes healthy decisions concerning diet and exercise.

Reality #2: When taking on difficult challenges, humans do better in the company of teammates, so we each have a responsibility to the rest of us to be mutually supportive. We are all eachother's athletic supporters.

Reality #3: The three of us who have continued to compete in rowing beyond 1974, John Fletcher, Bob Rogen and myself, have told you repeatedly that masters rowing nowadays is very fast. I think it is accurate to say that athletes our age are going just about as fast today as you all went back in 1974. The challenge is daunting . . . and you guys don't have a lot of experience shooting for third or fourth place in races.

That being said, it is the journey, not the destination, and I applaud all of you who wish to compete, so let us continue to brainstorm in that direction.

It is fall 2012. There are 2,000 meter ergometer races in January and February of each year. That is a realistic goal for everyone to participate in. For locals, there is the annual Beach Sprints at the Long Beach Boathouse. The 2013 date isn't announced yet, but the last one was Feb 4, 2012. What would a good goal be? We didn't have Concept2 ergs in the old days, but a number of you would have equaled or broken 7:00 back then. That is a 1:45 500m split. I could still do that at 44 when I won my first national championship, but I was the smallest guy and the least impressive score in my boat. That year I could do three 2ks with ten minutes rest at 1:52 splits and consider that an easy workout.

Something to Shoot For: Today at the advanced age of 67, having rowed moderately and semi-regularly for years and years on my erg at home, this afternoon I did three 2ks at 2:15 pace rowing at 22-3, and it was very manageable. It took a little discipline but not a lot of discomfort, and I was cruising. I am confident I could get well under 8:00 for 2k by the Beach Sprints in five months. I'd be very pleased, over the moon in fact, if I could approach 7:30. I'd also like to lose another fifteen pounds in the process.

Ergometer Workout

That should give you all some idea of what to shoot for. You are all younger than I, and a number of you are fitter and healthier, so adjust your expectations accordingly. Bob is in charge of helping you get from where you are now to where you decide you want to be in five months and in nineteen months at our reunion.

Once you get that far, those of you who have joined a club could consider racing during 2013, and you would follow your team schedule. We might explore the possibility of putting together a training group of our members at Long Beach Rowing Association. It would be sensible to coordinate our training schedule with the masters already training there. I would be ready and willing to help organzie and to participate.

2013 would form the base for 2014. It will take that long at least to reach close to your potential. So it would be perhaps a fall race or two, the January-February ergometer race season, culminating in a competitive entry in the 2014 Crew Classic. It would have to be eights, as that is the only event they have anymore. Those sufficiently committed could continue on the the 2014 Masters' Nationals. There is also a Masters' Henley and even a Masters' Worlds.

Team Goal: But that is very far away. The team goal should be to get everyone healthy and into a boat for a 40th Anniversary row-by at the 2014 San Diego Crew Classic with special reunion shirts and reunion oars.

The Big Race

From Peter Mallory:
Bob is your team trainer
. I would be honored to be your finishing coach. I actually know a great deal more than I did in 1974, but what I have seen and read in the last month or two, I am not the only one of us who has made good use of the last 38 years. At the very least, we are all sadder and wiser. Bob, I think we should have regular 6k ergs for those seriously (and not so seriously training) with participants submitting their scores via email. Perhaps a few of us in the area could occasionally meet at the Long Beach boathouse. I want to encourage any of us aspiring to be more fit and healthy.

Workout techniques - 5K and 10K Pieces / Steady State
From Bob Rogen
Hello All, I worked through a simple steady state 20 minute piece this morning, and afterwards while stretching I thought about different erg training I did when I raced as a masters rower. Two workouts were the basis for my base aerobic training: 5k and 10k pieces, at sub-maximal effort, "just grinding it out." It builds new capillaries, endurance, butt toughness, and above all, a mental toughness that is absoultely necessary in a timed 2k or 6k piece. 25 minutes for a 5k and 50 minutes for a 10k are good goals: you'll be pooped but not spent.

Another way to get back to rowing training in a big way: the annual Concept2 Holiday Erg Challenge: 100k or 200k meters between Thanksgiving and Christmas (this year that means November 22-December 25, which gives almost an extra week versus many other years). If you do it, I gurantee you'll be back into a rowing shape groove and you will likely lose some weight between the year's too big calorie/sweets holidays. It's a workload to do it all (I only did the 200k challenge) but it is fun to record your meters and see where you stand. We could look into signing up as a group and setting an overall meters goal for each week leading up to the end day. Please think about it.

Be well and welcome back, Bob

Ergometer Workout

Getting Started What to Expect
From Bob Rogen

And I've raced all of them at Masters except the singles. Lots of fun but be prepared to race against Olympians you saw on TV in 1972, 1976, 1984,...and many have retired and train 30 hours per week and are NOT slower or less hungry for a medal.

That said, wanting to race at that level is one of the reasons I returned to rowing 2000-2006. I say: go for it. The racing to me now is only the icing: as it was in 1974, the long process of effort, mistakes, learning, and improvement is the reward. That said, I remain proud of my Masters medals and efforts at World Masters games, US Masters Nationals, and Head of the Charles-the races that got me to return to the sport.

And allow me to embarass John and Joan and say seeing them at Masters races and HOC was a joy and inspiration for my training and racing. I am not rowing these days but working out daily, mainly cycling and cross country skiing in winter. I am happy to help any and all with their return to rowing. I learned a lot when I returned at age 47.

Biggest things I learned: YOU WILL NEED MORE TIME TO RECOVER AND STRETCHING IS IMPORTANT SO DO IT DAILY. Guys still racing like Ward, Randy, Adrien, and Fletch know this. Believe it: you are not 20 and your body knows it. So factor in rest days and rest after hard workouts. And stretch daily. And yoga IS a good thing for rowers.

Another thing to get: long slow efforts worked for us in 1974 and they still work. Use the erg for technique and endurance (put a mirror by it if you can). But beware of this about an erg: it loves to drill in bad habits and does it in a moments notice. So practice good form on the erg and it will translate to the boat. Our regular memory may be fading but our muscle memory is intact.

Ok, gotta go now but more help on the way. And you guys keep this up and I may have to return to the water after my six year hiatus. 6k ergs for time? Crap, I did a ton of those. Crap....

Yours in all of this with a smile,

The Big Race

Email #2
From Bob Rogen

No response to the initial email but here's Email #2. I will assume you get these. And I also assume if you are pissed at me or happy with me you'll feel free to tell me.
OK, a couple have asked questions about a program, erg settings, etc. So, here is how to get started on the path to rowing again.

The good news: what we learned and did in 1973-1974 still holds true: technique and fitness are based on long steady state efforts. Grinding it out, with good technique, is a challenge and the way to get the good technique instilled via muscle memory and the way to build endurance and staying power.

Bad news: there is none unless you dislike or do not have the patience for what I just said under "good news."

6 Minute Splits

20/20 vision: If you have access to a rowing ergometer, like a Concept 2, please please please do no more (NO MORE) than 20 minutes at a low setting (3 or 4 on a Concept @ machine) and a low stroke rate (no more = NO MORE than 20 stokes per minute). That's our starting point.

Goal here is to ease back into it, by easing your back into it, and not making it mental agony. Concentrate on form and technique: hands away smoothly and quickly, then back hinges over from the hips, then creep up the slide as you raise the hands slightly (moving up a ramp), then push back on the foot stretchers, making sure yo feel the PUSH in the legs, then swing the back from the hips, and then finish with the arms smoothly pulling through. Then again, and again. head up, breath smoothly, and keep it at a 20 or less. Feel the push with the legs and keep those hands moving.

We are striving here for steady aerobic exercise and to get your re-entry to rowing fun. Be sure to stretch the legs, back, and hips afterwards. Stretching before you erg? OK but muscles need to be warm. I suggest 5 minutes of easy rowing, then stretch, then get back on.

No erg? OK. Ride a bike, run, walk fast on a treadmill, walk/run stairs. Idea is to get back in the HABIT of exercise. We are talking lifestyle here, so keep it varied and fun.

Bicycle Workout

From left to right: Chuck Wright, Doug Corbett, John Fletcher, Pete Mallory, Adriaan Van der Cappellen

On the water? Great! Water beats a gym any time. Try to learn how to scull (take a class if offered or get assistance), or get back to sculling. It is the best way to return because you are in control of your workout, duration, technique growth, fitness challenge, etc. Returning to a sweep boat. Ok, but be sure you control your effort as others may be farther along. But if you can get back on the water, do so. Be well and congrats to all of us for getting together after 38 years. We've all walked through a new door that leads back to the boathouse.


Make sure you are ready for strenuous exercise everybody, stay within your limits. Be safe, have fun!


1974 Long Beach Lightweight Rowing Team Rows Again

A 40 Year Rowing Reunion is being planned for 2014. Check back here for details every few islands.