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  1. #1
    Master Mossdog's Avatar
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    Rowing - Erg 10000m

    So, Day 5 of my Erg ownership and I've just had a first go at the 10,000 m distance and chalked up 46.56.9 mins session with an average split of 2.20.8.

    Checking the Concept2 Logbook Rankings, for my age group, 58 years, that places me on a ranking of 549th worldwide (for those who can be bothered with such stuff) - on par with some bloke in Japan.

    Ok, I need to aim for top 40 ( to start with ) which means knocking 10 mins at least off my timing.I think my form is ok, I've spent a lot of time checking out Youtube vids for advice and I did a 1000m slow warm up beforehand.

    Should I just keep hammering away at 10,000 meters, everyday, or do some interval stuff (I'm never very good at that to be honest as I usually can't be arsed...but for a good cause I could try)?

    For starters, I know I can easily knock off a couple of mins as I felt reasonably comfortable, mega sweaty for sure, but it was nowhere near as hard (on the legs and lungs) as my local 6 miler on the fells behind the house.
    “My actions are my only true belongings.”

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    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Well done Mossdog...

    I think there is quite parallel with running in terms of training methods. You will definitely make some form of improvement with just regular steady rowing, but if you really want performance then you need to put in the shorter sessions. As in the other thread, I'd really recommend hitting the 2000m distance hard, a fantastic combination of speed and staying power (similar to a 5 or 10km run I guess).

    I also think that it's easy to underestimate the effort needed to knock off that large amount of time. To get down to 40mins you'd need an average split of 2:00/500m which is not bad going, but the additional performance needed beyond that becomes more difficult. 37mins would be around 1:51 by my arithmetic, and that is a decent pace for 2000m, never mind 10000m....

    Not saying it can't be done though...

    In terms of the pain from rowing... well it's a while since I've done it, but I remember it not necessarily taxing my legs too much at the time. But on severe efforts, I.e getting close to 7mins for 2000m, it is a beast on the lungs, and although it doesn't necessarily pain your muscles, you are limited by your body's ability to generate power. So if you got really serious, there's stuff like squats, weighted seated rows, core work, etc, will all help your cause... (parallels to strength and core work benefiting your running performance I guess)

  3. #3
    Master Mossdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travs View Post
    Well done Mossdog...

    I think there is quite parallel with running in terms of training methods. You will definitely make some form of improvement with just regular steady rowing, but if you really want performance then you need to put in the shorter sessions. As in the other thread, I'd really recommend hitting the 2000m distance hard, a fantastic combination of speed and staying power (similar to a 5 or 10km run I guess).

    I also think that it's easy to underestimate the effort needed to knock off that large amount of time. To get down to 40mins you'd need an average split of 2:00/500m which is not bad going, but the additional performance needed beyond that becomes more difficult. 37mins would be around 1:51 by my arithmetic, and that is a decent pace for 2000m, never mind 10000m....

    Not saying it can't be done though...

    In terms of the pain from rowing... well it's a while since I've done it, but I remember it not necessarily taxing my legs too much at the time. But on severe efforts, I.e getting close to 7mins for 2000m, it is a beast on the lungs, and although it doesn't necessarily pain your muscles, you are limited by your body's ability to generate power. So if you got really serious, there's stuff like squats, weighted seated rows, core work, etc, will all help your cause... (parallels to strength and core work benefiting your running performance I guess)
    Thanks again Travs. I think you're right, it's not a linear increase in power/mental effort/pain per minute, with each minute being equivalent - but exponential - each minute getting that much harder than the last! I'll take your advice and bash out some 2K rows and mix it up a bit.

    I've just returned from a cycle, all the while pondering about the target. Seems more realistic to initially aim for a 2:00/500m split and take it from there. Squats (air not weight) are definitely on the menu, as I've always secretly quite liked doing them :roll eyes:

    Have you tried the 20K row? It on the standard list of my PM5. It's just sitting there, silently offering the challenge (a bit like Caw, right at the end, when I recce-ed the Long Duddon last summer).
    “My actions are my only true belongings.”

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    Master Travs's Avatar
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    I think as you get down below a 2 minute split (obviously the threshold is lower for experienced rowers), the power you need to generate goes up steeply, needing more strength, and in turn more oxygen. At some point you will hit a wall you can't get over, due to physical limitations or the inability to breathe in enough oxygen. I know for me, I think the lowest reading I managed to generate on the rower was something like 1:32 or 1:36/500m.... I physically couldn't pull any harder, and I could only manage that power for 5 or 6 strokes.

    I'm not sure I've ever done the 20k row. I think the most I ever did was a straight hour at a steady pace. I've only ever made a real effort at either 2000m, or a gym competition which was a 1 minutes sprint.

    Funnily enough, my best ever 2000m time (7:04) was the first leg of a gym "sprint triathlon" which also included a 10km cycle and a mile run on the treadmill. So in theory I could have possibly gone a bit faster, as I was supposedly saving myself for the cycle and run. But perhaps it helped me to relax and think about my technique more.

    I do an unholy amount of squats. Don't be afraid of using weights, you don't have to go mad. I find that with no weight at all, I can basically do endless squats and it's a bit of a waste of time. But just 10 or 20kg on the back may even help your technique as you slow down a bit, and you can (well I can) still work on endurance and knock out 20+ squats...

    One weight exercise I'm dead against (and it has no relevance to rowing) is calf raises. I used to do loads, with a bit of weight on my back. Whether it was coincidental, I had Achilles problems at that time, and once I stopped calf raises the problems went away (although I also changed trainers, and it all coincided with an increase in training and racing mileage, so I'll probably never know exactly what was going on). I now do no weights on my calfs and they are in the best shape ever (except for the strained calf I got yesterday in the xc which caused me to retire, but I'm sure that's just coincidence again...!!)

  5. #5
    Master Mossdog's Avatar
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    Second bash at the 10,000m and managed to knock off 3 plus mins recording a time 43.14.4 and an average split 2.09.7/500m with a 30 spm rate. A major jump from 549th to 368th in the Concept2 logbook world rankings -Hoorah. But...can't imagine I'm going to be making any more substantial improvements without doing some proper training on the rower. Still, fun to see what I can do as a baseline.

    It was blooming' haaaaard though! At one stage I was hitting a couple of 2:00/500m readings but never got below that despite thinking I was squeezing a little bit more oomph out of my legs to push the split reading a notch lower

    Still plenty of room for improvement! Weirdly, splits seemed better when I focussed less on my technique and also oddly that was somewhere during the last 5000m. Last 5000 was faster/more efficient.

    Note to self - GET A PROPER SEAT PAD - cycling shorts weren't up to it and major arse-ache interfered with keeping my focus a couple of times mid- distance. Cycling gloves helped though.
    “My actions are my only true belongings.”

  6. #6
    Master Mossdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travs View Post
    .... I managed to generate on the rower was something like 1:32 or 1:36/500m.... I physically couldn't pull any harder, and I could only manage that power for 5 or 6 strokes.


    I now do no weights on my calfs and they are in the best shape ever (except for the strained calf I got yesterday in the xc which caused me to retire, but I'm sure that's just coincidence again...!!)
    1:32 is completely awesome. I just can't imagine getting anywhere near that. Hope that calf muscle is feeling better today and is on the road to recovery.
    “My actions are my only true belongings.”

  7. #7
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Well done you knocked a big chunk off there...

    When I hit about 50th-60th in the concept rankings for 2000m, I was assuming lightweight category (I think that's below 72kg or 75kg, I can't remember). In fact as I'm 79kg now and no fat on me, and when I competed in kickboxing my "fight weight" was 78kg, so I can't imagine I was actually below 75kg. So I guess I was nowhere near top 50 in the heavyweight rankings, where a huge number of the big hitters are...

    I'd love to have another go, I'm a lot physically stronger than when I last rowed in earnest, and a lot fitter as well. But so much on with running, I doubt I'll get time for a serious go at it.

    Thanks, the calf is slowly on the mend, confined to the cross trainer this week, and praying I'm fit for the Long Mynd Valleys this weekend.

    Keep us posted....

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    Master Travs's Avatar
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    I'd also say that your 30spm is pretty efficient, fairly similar to what I would be hitting. Everyone's different though. I seem to have a vague recollection of 32spm being prime for me, although you were doing a longer distance of course.

  9. #9
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    After an abysmal failure to row 21,097 m (half marathon) last night, due to severe 'pain-in-the-seat' causing me to bail out at only 13,089 m I decided to try a shorter one tonight.


    Set the PM5 for the first 2000m row, with intentions of being a warm up, but ended up 'going for it' instead!

    Result 7.59.8 mins, average split 1.59.9 @ 31 spm. Places me at 422 position on the 50-59 age group of Concept2 world rankings on par with a 52 year old guy in Austin Texas. Not that i'm competitive of course.

    It hurts! Tight chest and coughing. That's it. Can't be good for my health. I'm sticking to 5000m and 10,000 m for the future...
    “My actions are my only true belongings.”

  10. #10
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Well done, that is a good marker, and an impressive first attempt at 2000m.

    It's supposed to be tough...! I guess that's why it's Olympic distance.

    Not sure I can offer any advice. I think I generally pulled as hard as I thought I could sustain, right from the off, and held on for grim death. It's a case of finding a way to make your sustainable 1:59/500m lower.

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