An article in the last Crimson revives the old question of the amount of training necessary for our crews. We believe the University crew acts wisely in not commencing to train until after the Christmas holidays. The men obtain a respite from monotonous training, and have an opportunity of playing foot-ball in the fall. It the 'Varsity can afford to hold off as long as they do, we think that the class crews should postpone their training even further; for the race they row is a short one and unimportant in comparison with the 'Varsity race.
The principal reason which impels the class crews to begin work so early is one of rivalry; each crew has a vague idea that the others will derive some undefinable advantage from early training. If all the crews could be brought to see this, we think there would be a great advantage all around. Time spent on the rowing weights before the end of the mid-year examinations is wasted, for in the two weeks before the beginning of the semi-annuals the crews make but little progress, which is entirely lost in the hurry and excitement of the examinations. Furthermore, too long a period on the rowing weights is apt to grow irksome to men accustomed to rowing on the water. As the river seldom opens before the second week in March, four weeks on the rowing weights would be obtained by commencing immediately after the close of the examinations. This would give all the preparation necessary, as the weights are at best but a poor substitute for oars.
Again, a long course of training is apt to overwork class crew men, who can not stand the amount of work assigned to 'Varsity candidates; they become over-trained before the day of the race. This was shown last year, when two of the crews at least were in their best condition three weeks before the race was rowed.
We do not intend to disparage regularity in sleep, diet or exercise, but we think that crew men can do all the work necessary without beginning to train as crews so early in the season. It seems to us that much more would be gained by giving to each man a course of exercise suited to him individually; he would thus be freed from the necessity of presenting himself at a definite hour each day. We hope for a radical change in this matter, so that hereafter rowing in the class crews will not be so much opposed to the enjoyment of the pleasures and conveniences of life.