Winter Conditioning

Yorktown crew’s winter conditioning program begins in November and runs through late February when the team is able to get on the water. In general, the team practices four or five days a week during the winter, although exact schedules and attendance requirements are up to the discretion of the coaching staff. Winter workouts include plenty of work on the ergs as well as running, weight training, core work and even some yoga. All workouts are conducted at Yorktown High School.

While participation in the winter land-conditioning program is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended for all athletes who are not participating in winter sports at Yorktown or other formal conditioning activities. Students who are participating in a winter sport should talk with their coach.

2011 triathlon winners

Medal winners from the 2011 W-L triathlon (the only ice of the winter canceled the 2012 competition)

Yorktown participates in three indoor competitions in January and February to break up the monotony of winter training. The first event, generally scheduled in mid-late January, Is a rowers’ triathlon hosted by Washington-Lee High School. The three legs of the triathlon are a four kilometer erg piece, a two mile run and a timed weight-lifting event. It is a low-key and fun way for the team to judge its relative conditioning level.

Then, in early February team members participate in the MidAtlantic Erg Sprints hosted by T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria. Events here are based on a rower’s age, with the younger kids rowing 1,000 meters on the erg and the older ones doing 2,000 meters or a 20-minute row—or both. There also are a couple of relays at the sprints. This event is much larger than the W-L triathlon and far more competitive; it gives all the kids an opportunity to see how they stack up against the best rowers in the area. Results from 2013, when Yorktown won the team trophy, and prior years can be found here.

The final event of the winter, and by far the most fun, is Yorktown’s own erg relay competition. Low key in one sense—pre-registration is not required and kids can row as often as they want (even twice in the same event)—the relays are also highly competitive. No athlete ever wants to let his/her teammates down in a relay, and that spurs some lively racing.

Winter training lays the groundwork and is what produces medal-winning boats during the spring racing season.