Technical realization training (TR-training) 

Extensive Duration - Technical Realisation (ED-TR) training is a form of training developed by Jeroen Brinkman that aims to lay the rowing technical and power base for the competitive season. Why this form of training is so effective is nicely illustrated in this video.

Why rowing technique?

Rowing technique (performing the correct movement) is important to achieve the following goals.

  1. Preventing injuries.
  2. Rowing together and synchronized with other teammates. 
  3. Convert the power delivered by the rower(s) optimally into speed (i.e. 'free' speed). Unlike cycling, for example, in rowing it matters how and when the power is applied. Good timing and power distribution thereby ensure more return on the invested power.
  4. Reduce the risks of catching a crab, especially when waves occur.
  5. Rowing mindfully. We all row for fun and then it helps to be in the boat in the here and now. And so not thinking about the problems at study or work, the miserable action list or the hassle with the kids at school. You can do this by searching for the ideal fetch, because that search never gets boring and keeps you in the here and now.


Two principles form the essence of TR-traning.

Power base

In Extensive Endurance/Aerobic Capacity/Green Zone training, the rower rows at low power and builds basic fitness. In such training, the rower should easily be able to hold a conversation. If this is not the case, the intensity is too high. This training can be rowed at power (pace 17-18) or with rhythm (pace 23-24). The rhythm variant is better, provided the rowers have sufficient technical mastery to perform this as low-power training. These workouts make up about 80% of all training sessions. Given this high volume, this is also the most important form of training to improve rowing technique.

Technical realisation (TR)

The rowing stroke of rowers is fully automated and is therefore in the muscle memory. To make technical progression, the old movement in this muscle memory will have to be replaced by a new movement. A very important principle applies here. The movement that is made most often, enters this muscle memory. Therefore, the new movement will have to be made for a long time and significantly more often, than the old one. Technical realisation means that it is not the intention that counts, but the actual percentage of strokes achieved with the new rowing technique to be learned. Ideally, you want to see the new movement every stroke and realistically more than 80%-90% of strokes in a workout.

TR coaching

TR coaching is different from what many coaches are used to. I will explain this in the following five points.

Limited duration

A rower who tries intently to learn the new technique, but fails to do so, learns nothing. When concentration falls away, the rower goes back to the old stroke present in muscle memory, which is not desirable. Because then the old stroke becomes ingrained in muscle memory again. The concentration limit is often at 75 minutes (five quarters of an hour), after which the rower finds it difficult to concentrate. In this light, two one-hour workouts are better than one two-hour workout. Rowing with only one turning point makes it difficult to abort training when concentration can no longer be mustered.

Stretching movement space

The rowing stroke in muscle memory has a certain margin: the movement space. Movements within this space are not seen as another movement by muscles. To learn new rowing techniques, it is therefore important to stretch the range of motion first. Differential exercises are great for this. This stretching should be repeated when the rower briefly loses the correct movement again. Focusing on what to hear/see/feel in order to distinguish the old and new stroke is important (sensory feedback). Preferably, (series) of motor exercises are given. Also see: Motor coaching.

Intensive coaching

Transferring is include the rowing technique that was learned in an exercise into the regular rowing stroke. To support rowers in transferring, the coach uses supportive feedback: the rower gets feedback what he does during this stroke. Preferably in clues what to feel, hear and/or see. The coach consistently runs down all rowers in the team: from stroke to bow and gives supporting feedback to each rower. Rowers who start "zombie rowing" where they fall back into the old stroke without thinking, thus not realising the minimum 80% good strokes, are taken out of it by the coach. 


If a rower is not occasionally technically overcharged, the rower will not make maximum progress. As a coach, therefore, keep coaching demanding and intensively throughout training. Uncoached rowing is therefore not desirable in TR training.


Supportive feedback requires a coach who is easy to understand, which can only be achieved with walkie-talkies.

TR training on the ergometer

For rowers using TR training on an ergometer to row better and faster on the water, it is important to make exactly the same stroke as the stroke made in the boat. Using it to pull up to the throat is not advisable, as it ingrains the wrong motion. It is better to raise the lever before the catch and lower it on the finish - exactly as it is done in the boat  - to put the right motion in the muscle memory. See also: Rowing machine

TR-execution with simultaneous learning

If the rower is able to pay attention to several technical focal points at the same time, this gives a much greater progression. Those technical focal points are called aspects of the rowing stroke below. Sometimes it seems difficult when a large number of instructions have been given, to put them all into practice. Fortunately, there are three different ways to do this.

Mantra (cyclic)
Each aspects belongs to a specific position in the stroke. By putting these aspects in the right order and repeating the aspects in your mind at the right positions in the stroke, a "cyclic thought" can be created. In this way, it is possible to pay attention to two to three aspects seemingly at the same time.
Each stroke aspect 1, aspect 2 en aspect 3 with the help of a mantra or cyclic thought.

In the second way, the different aspects are considered in turn.
One stroke aspect 1, one stroke  aspect 2, one stroke  aspect 3, one stroke all three.

In the third way, you start with one aspect related to the finish and from that point you build up and - when and as long as it goes well - add one aspect.
First aspect 1, when and as long as that goes well take one new aspect.

Leave it to the rower which method he or she prefers. Start with two aspects, because then the rower learns twice as fast. Later, choose to give attention to three or possibly more aspects.

Klassiek - Toelichting trainingsvormen

This article was translated automatically and is provided to you for free. You are most welcome to improve it!

© 2016 - 2024 Jeroen Brinkman