Another milestone.



Two days after making 2k in 7 min 24 sec I tried a 5k, and this morning at 6 am and was able to record this time, 19;54.1, just barely faster than a 2 minute pace .   As usual, I was pretty good about sticking to my pace throughout.

I started thinking about thinking about doing a 5k below 20 minutes when I first got a rower, about 2 or 3 months after I had my stroke and started rowing seriously.  That was almost 2 years ago so this has been a pretty big milestone for quite a while and I am VERY glad I finally achiever it.

I just found out today that the OTC has a few C2 rowers, so I will be able to keep up my rowing while I am there for the world team camp.  I leave tomorrow, and will be there for almost 3 weeks, leading up to the World Championships in Houston.  I am trying to think of a good goal to try and hit while I am at the OTC and before I get back to South Carolina.  Anyone have any good ideas?










6 responses to “Another milestone.

  • Gary Echternacht

    In weightlifting I’m a big believer in making PRs in the smallest increment possible. Leaves room for more PRs later. You could apply that principle in rowing.

    Or you might set a base line PR for a new instance, perhaps setting 3-4 PRs in that distance in the three weeks you are there.

    Or you might row for a specific time (e.g., one hour, 45 minutes, 30 minutes) and count your distance. Actually I like the hour come to think of it. Bicycle racing has a one hour performance (it is individual). It is a killer thing however and few attempt it.

    Or, speaking of bicycle racing, try this test which I used to do occasionally. For 3 minutes row at a pace that is a little faster than you feel is comfortable. Then up the pace for the next three minutes. At the end of that 3 minutes you should feel like quitting, but you can’t yet. Up the pace yet again for another 3 minutes. After that you should feel like you are near death. Sit on the floor and try to recover. Take your pulse immediately and again 3 minutes later. The difference between your first and second pulse readings is your score. The higher the score, the better. Remember the paces you used for when you repeat this test. You will only want to repeat this test a few times in your life. It’s not fun, but you do learn that you can hurt and aren’t going to die from it.

  • Richard Guerard

    Sub 1:45 500m. That’s a good one.

    • glennpendlay

      Thats a good one, except for the fact that I hit a sub 1:30 500 meters about 4 years ago when training for the Glenn vs. Brad 500 meter challenge which was supposed to happen at the MDUSA Grand Prix event.

      Actually, I am far worse at short distances like 500 meters than I used to be, so that actually might be useful to train.

      I will have to think about that, but I like the idea. Thanks!

  • Peter Thomas

    Former rower and rowing coach here. The pieces commonly tracked are the 500, 2k, 5k, 6k, 10k, 30′, and hour of power. With good technique on the rower, a good long term goal for you would be to go sub 6:40 (1:40) on your 2k.
    Id say you should use a couple weeks of time there for aerobic development, then really test yourself sometime in the last week if you aren’t too busy. I’d try to set a 10k record before you try to break your 5k again. Ill copy and paste some workouts I had my rowers do on a regular basis. Cheers!

    Aerobic Development (3-4 times per cycle)
    4-5 x 15′ w/ 1′ rest varying stroke rates 18,20,22,20
    3 x 20′ w/ 2-3′ rest varying stroke rates
    2-3 x 30′ w/ 5′ rest

    High Aerobic (3-4 times per cycle)
    40′ divided into 10 5′ sections at 17, 19, 21, 23 and back down to 17
    30′ of 3′ @ 18, 2′ @ 22, 1′ @ 26
    40′ alternating stroke rates every 8 mins between 17 and 22

    Anaerobic Threshold Development 5k split +/- 2-6” (1 time per cycle)
    4 x 10′ w/ 3-5′ rest alternating rates 18 & 24
    10 x 5′ w/ 2-3′ rest- stroke rate 22-26
    10 x 3′ w/ 30” rest start above 5k split then gradually bring down- stroke rate 22-26
    3-4 x 2km w/ 5′ rest- stroke rate 22-24
    12 x 1:30 w/ 20” rest- stroke rate 24-26 after piece 6 paddle through on piece

    Race Rate 5k split minus 4-6” (1 time per cycle)
    4 x 750 w/ 5′ active paddling between
    2 x 1500 w/ 10′ active paddling between
    2 x 100m on, 100m off up to 500m and back down
    2 x 10 on 10 off up to 30 and back down w/ 2′ rest between

    Predictive Pace Workout (in lieu of faster than race pace workout once every 2 cycles)
    6 x 500m w/ 1′ rest
    4 x 1000m on 12′ centers
    4 sets of 5 x 250m @ 2k pace 60” rest and 5′ rest between sets

    Faster Than Race Pace 5k split minus 7-10” (1 time per cycle)
    3-4 x 1000m w/ 10-15′ active paddling between
    5-7 x 500m w/ 8-10′ active paddling between
    2-3 x (20 x 30” w/ 15” rest) 5′ rest between sets

    Maximal Power (1-2 times per cycle)
    5 sets of 3 x 5-10 strokes on 2′ centers 5-8′ active paddling between sets
    10 x 30 strokes on 5′ centers
    1:28-1:30 split until split slips for 3 consecutive strokes- 5′ rest (workout done when split can not be held for 3 strokes)

  • glennpendlay

    wow, thanks for sending all that. I regret to say that after reading all that i still don’t really understand what much of what must be some of the more some of the more simple concepts of programming for rowing.

    would it be possible to outline a typical week? What I have been doing is one 5k almost every morning, then on my second workout doing intervals, for instance 10ea 500 meters with 1 min between. I have also done 10ea 250 meters also with 1 min between. About once a week I will do a fast 2k instead of the intervals.

    what does that look like to you?

    • Peter Thomas

      Sure. Programming for rowing and for weightlifting aren’t actually all that different. The same core concept of starting by building your base and increasing intensity and specificity as the cycle goes on still applies. I would say that the major difference between programming for the two would be that much more time is spent doing larger volumes of work in rowing. As always, the name of the game is managing fatigue. I would go on a limb to say that frequent sprinting is far more fatiguing than maximal lifting, it certainly has been in my experience.

      To break down what is in my earlier post:
      The Aerobic development section is your rep work. It provides the volume required to get your heart pumping massive amounts of blood every beat.
      The High Aerobic section takes the strength you have built in the Aerobic Development section and makes it usable over long distances.
      The two above sections should make up the bulk of your training at any given time. At least 70%, more if you aren’t testing in the near future.
      The Anaerobic Threshold Development builds the systems you use when sprinting. I love the 4×10′ piece myself for general conditioning.
      The Race Rate section helps accustom you to the rates you will be using on your 2k. This is where we start to get goal specific with training.
      Predictive Pace workouts are excellent in the last week of prep for a 2k. You simply hold your goal 2k pace and stay completely consistent for the workout.
      The above three are the equivalent to heavy singles, predictive pace being your 95%x1x6 or something similar.
      Faster Than Race Pace workouts are the pain train. You are heavily developing your sprinting capacity with these and they are absolutely brutal. They should be done faster than 2k pace and should not be done frequently. Those 2 sets of 20×30 seconds on 15 seconds off build a lot of character.
      Maximal Power is just getting your split to drop very low. These are still very hard, but are more “fun” than anything else.
      Unlike in weightlifting, in rowing you can go harder than 100% (as a 2k is 250 strokes long, not 1). The above two is just that.

      As for what you are doing now, I am a fan of the 5k every morning, but for best results you should be doing almost double that volume in the mornings. Good rowing is built on meters on top of more meters. The intervals are probably sub-optimal for getting fast as fast as possible. As a general rule of thumb, any more than 8×500 is excessive unless you are trying to punish yourself for something. 10×250 is good, but it would be more for predictive pace than building your base.

      If I were programming for you as a competitive rower I would have you do one of the High Aerobic pieces in the morning and one of the Aerobic development pieces for your second session six days per week for two weeks.
      In the next two weeks I would continue with the High Aerobic training in the mornings and for the second session I would have you do Anaerobic threshold training and Race Rate workouts once a week each and fill the rest with aerobic development.
      The next two weeks would continue with the High Aerobic training in the mornings and for the second session I would have you do Anaerobic threshold training and Race Rate workouts once a week each as well as a Maximal Power and a Faster Than Race Pace workout. No Aerobic Development. That makes 6 morning sessions and 4 afternoon sessions for the week.
      The last week we would back off the volume a lot, 3 morning High Aerobic sessions, and two Predictive Pace workouts towards the beginning of the week. Two days out pull a 2x1000m at your goal pace, then crush your next 2k.
      This would generally be accompanied with a LOT of squatting for the first six weeks or so, along with plenty of work on the back, especially the lower back.

      Needless to say, this is a program for a competitive rower. You could easily get away with half the volume. Right now as someone fairly new to endurance, focus on perfecting your rowing technique and really being able to stay consistent throughout pieces while building up to the kind of volume in the program above. Ideally you would be able to hold the same exact split and stroke rate until you are ready to sprint at the end of the piece.

      Feel free to shoot me any questions you have on Facebook. I have been away from rowing for a while now and I miss it a lot so I do not mind talking about it as you can see.

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