SBTC Fall Workout of the Week: #3

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Workout Type: Repeats at 70-85 % of 2000 meter pace, with lower than racing stroke rates. Rower will complete 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions, each repetition comprised of a 1:40 work interval/0:20 rest interval.

Purpose: This is a workout that builds strengths, efficiency and improves mid-range cardiovascular fitness.

Frequency: 1-2 times every 10 workouts.

Warm up: Open with some rowing with a technical focus for 8-10 minutes. The emphasis should be on working on the transitions through the stroke cycle to increase the fluidity of the release, recovery and catch motions.

Close the warmup with 10 minutes of steady state rowing following this format:

  • 4 minutes at 18 spm
  • 3 minutes at 21 spm
  • 2 minutes at 24 spm
  • 1 minute at 27 spm

Workout: You will be completing 10 repetitions of 1:40 on/0:20 off in the following pattern and intensity:

  • 4 repetitions at 18 spm, 70% of your 2k
  • 3 repetitions at 21 spm, 75% of your 2k
  • 2 repetitions at 24 spm, 80% of your 2k
  • 1 repetition at 27 spm, 85% of your 2k

It is important to bear in mind that you are seeking repeatability across your pieces – not complete exhaustion accompanied by wildly varying pace.

How will the percentages of pace work? Let’s assume your 2k pace is 2:00/500m. You’d try to achieve the following paces:

4 x 70% at the 18 spm = 2:36/500m
3 x 75% at the 21 spm = 2:30
2 x 80% at the 24 spm = 2:24
1 x 85% at the 27 spm = 2:18

After completing the first set of 10 repetitions (you’ll note the set is designed to take 20 minutes) take a five minute rest on the paddle. Repeat a second time using the same format. If you found the percentage increases too much, instead work to find a pace that you can sustain as you increase stroke rate.

If you can complete two sets at the suggested ratings and percentages then consider a third. If you don’t feel ready for that, the next time you do the workout, manipulate the pace to slightly increase the challenge. Again, remember these are repeats not intervals – exhaustion is not the goal.

Structure: When it comes time to change the rate from repetition to repetition, think of it as a two-stage process with technique first (rating) and power second (pace). Work at being livelier and more efficient at the catch and release, and you can pick up a stroke or two in your rating. Next, consider a little more leg press and back drive to complete the transition to a higher rate and faster pace.

1. Set time and location for start of first piece.
2. Complete standard pre-race land and water warm up. Water warmup here comprised of 8-10 minutes of technically focused rowing, followed by 10 minutes of steady state in this pattern:  4 minutes at 18 spm, 3 minutes at 21 spm, 2 minutes at 24 spm, 1 minute at 27 spm (see above for details).
3. On the erg – set the ergometer for a work time of 1 minute and 40 seconds with 20 seconds as the rest period.
On the water – you can set newer NK products the same way, or just watch the time once you start moving.
4. Rowers ready? Begin your first 1:40 work interval at 18 spm, at a pace 70% of your 2k. Remember, you want to repeatably hit your target rate and pace for each work interval.
5. 20 seconds on the paddle.
6. Repeat this sequence 3 more times, before advancing to the next level:  3 repetitions at 21 spm, 75% of your 2k pace. Bear in mind to raise your rating first with a technical approach before adding more leg press and drive to complete the transition.
7. Continue following the pattern of work laid out above. After your 10 pieces, take a five minute rest on the paddle.
8. Resume the pattern for the second set.
9. After the second 10 pieces, take another five minute paddle to recover. If you’ve hit your targets, consider a third set. If not, build progressively more challenge into the workout next time.

Cool Down: Light rowing until the heart rate returns to near pre-row levels.

Next Workout: 12 x 500m with 2:00 rest at 6k pace minus 2-3 seconds

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