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Thread: Rowing (erg) whats best?

  1. #1
    Master Mossdog's Avatar
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    Rowing (erg) whats best?

    Any top tips for using a rowing machine to help with training during an extended period of none running due to injury?

    I'm more interested in maintaining (or building) endurance stamina than speed per se, and hopefully keeping a climbing ability.

    Is it just a case of clocking up a regular, daily, shed-load of kilometres on the machine?

    Setting a high drag factor (no cross dressing jokes please ), or medium (water-like) resistance?

    Any thoughts/experiences will be much appreciated.
    “My actions are my only true belongings.”

  2. #2
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of the indoor rower, although don't do it at all nowadays. It's very good for all body strength and I highly recommend.

    Personally I'd just set it up to the highest level and get used to pulling at that drag, you'll get used to it.

    Quite similar to running in terms of what you can do... i.e. sprints, or longer distance. I think the best distance is 2000m as that is the recognised Olympic distance. If you're brand new to rowing then 8mins or below is a good time for 2000m. My pb was 7mins04 and that is severely hard work, and I think ranked me well into the top 100 in the country for my weight at the time.

    Like running, constant effort over the distance is the best way to go quickly. Set the readout to give you your speed per 500m, for 8mins you need to average 2:00/500m.... it's quite hard work to pull under about 1:55/500m, and to maintain that kind of pull over a sustained effort is serious work. To get 7mins04 I had to average 1:46/500m which I'm pretty proud of, but then you see the Olympic rowers can do it around 6mins or below, and I can't even generate that power for one stroke, it's unbelievable....

    1 minute sprints are also good hard work, but if you want endurance then I'd stick to 2000m.

    As far as technique goes, do some research as it's quite easy to get this wrong and end up with a sore back. Similar to swimming (I guess), concentrate on generating power with each stroke rather than hammering out as many strokes per minute with less intensity. I think this is the commonest beginners mistake.
    Last edited by Travs; 24-01-2018 at 09:29 PM.

  3. #3
    Master Mossdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travs View Post
    I'm a big fan of the indoor rower, although don't do it at all nowadays. It's very good for all body strength and I highly recommend.

    Personally I'd just set it up to the highest level and get used to pulling at that drag, you'll get used to it.

    Quite similar to running in terms of what you can do... i.e. sprints, or longer distance. I think the best distance is 2000m as that is the recognised Olympic distance. If you're brand new to rowing then 8mins or below is a good time for 2000m. My pb was 7mins04 and that is severely hard work, and I think ranked me well into the top 100 in the country for my weight at the time.

    Like running, constant effort over the distance is the best way to go quickly. Set the readout to give you your speed per 500m, for 8mins you need to average 2:00/500m.... it's quite hard work to pull under about 1:55/500m, and to maintain that kind of pull over a sustained effort is serious work. To get 7mins04 I had to average 1:46/500m which I'm pretty proud of, but then you see the Olympic rowers can do it around 6mins or below, and I can't even generate that power for one stroke, it's unbelievable....

    1 minute sprints are also good hard work, but if you want endurance then I'd stick to 2000m.

    As far as technique goes, do some research as it's quite easy to get this wrong and end up with a sore back. Similar to swimming (I guess), concentrate on generating power with each stroke rather than hammering out as many strokes per minute with less intensity. I think this is the commonest beginners mistake.
    Cheers Travs, that's really helpful.
    “My actions are my only true belongings.”

  4. #4
    I have used an erg for 15 years. A good workout to be had - you can make your legs wobble.
    Approach it like running sessions- intervals, lsd, ladders etc.
    2km is the usual competition distance. Row your own sessions,distances and times.
    Wisdom states that cycling :running distance wise is 3:1
    imo rowing:running is 1.25: 1

    Research drag factor - a high df is not better- and how it relates to strokes per minute and power output.
    Research and aim for correct technique.
    Take the rower outside if you can - you will operate better.

    Get a seat pad.
    Enjoy the thinking time,
    Last edited by JohnA; 25-01-2018 at 09:34 PM. Reason: spelling

  5. #5
    Master mr brightside's Avatar
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    The Pete Plan is one of the best training schedules about. Oddly, in competitions you can select whichever drag setting you like, meaning 1 is not necessarily harder or easier than 10. I never got to the bottom of why this is before it started to screw my back up. Good while it lasted, though, and once you start using the proper 3 phase technique you drop about 5spm and get very knackered very quick.
    Can't climb for toffee...

  6. #6
    Master Mossdog's Avatar
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    Thanks again for all of the advice.

    I sussed out pretty quickly from some great youtube vids about the importance of technique and style and how less can be more regarding power and training effect. So far I've done two nights of 2x5000 metres with a 500m split of 2:31 average. A break between each session with some squats left me feeling quite toasty and 'glowing' in a very cold garage, so I like to idea of rowing outside when possible, or with the garage door open at least.

    I'm going to try a single 10,000 m 'trip' over the weekend. And yes John A! Great advice regarding a seat pad. Maybe I'm just a whimp but I'm thinking of wearing my cycling bib with gel pads for the next sessions.
    “My actions are my only true belongings.”

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