Running and rowing (erging)



  • That's coming down nicely from your previous effort, Mr I.  Strong finish.  I'm assuming from the display you just started rowing without pre-setting the work-out?  Only, if you wanted to get statto about it you can pre-set a 5k, then where the time is displayed it will count down the metres, and you can check out some useful split info in the memory afterwards, e.g. I think for a 5k it will automatically give you the average pace per km as well as stroke rate.

    While you were doing that I was spinning, but I think from next week I'm gonna juggle my gym sessions around so that I'm rowing Mon/Wed/Fri and spinning Tue/Thu. I think that'll fit in better with quality evening run sessions Tue/Thu as well.

  • Oh right, haha, yeah I just hit the 'Just Row' button, I was actually a bit annoyed that for a few seconds after Ive finished it still keeps ticking along, so really I crossed the 5k mark at 20:34. 

    I still think I had a little bit left (not much though) but I only started speeding up in the last 500 metres, whereas I probably should have started cranking it up with 1k left to go.

    Ironically my fastest 5k run (on a treadmill - not outside) is still 22:43 ........ so either Im hopeless at running or reasonably OK at rowing. 

    Considering I can see the 20 minute mark in sight for rowing though, knowing me I'll probably concentrate my efforts on rowing for a bit now. Nothing like a milestone to aim at.


  • Yep, especially when it's a nice round number.  Nice target.  There's nothing like trying to hold on to 1:5x splits and then seeing the dreaded 2 pop up to make you yank that bit harder.  (Oo-er!)

  • Well said Phil on the BIRC thread on another forum ... you can only beat those who bother to turn up on the day!

    As for that 5:52 - ffs, he must have been built like a carthorse.

  • Getting some base-building under way for the next competition.  image  45 minutes @ 1:56.3 (11,601m, 23spm).  No Katy Perry video in the gym though.  Bit disappointing.  (They've got a very small play list!)

  • 23 spm? you must be yanking hard on that thing ..........

  • Getting the old stroke rate down is a good exercise for improving technique.  (And also gives you something to focus on when the TV is showing the hags on Loose Women instead of Katy Perry.)  Once you've got the hang of, say, 2:00 splits or better on 27/28spm (or whatever), try to improve things not by increasing the split but by hitting the same split at 26, then 25, etc. You'll get used to pulling a longer stroke, and pulling it harder.  So when you go back to a higher stroke rate, your pace has improved.  Marvellous!

    In a strength training sense, you're pulling more force for fewer "reps" so it's good resistance training as well.

  • For a 5k, 20 minutes is 2:00/500m splits (obviously, even I'm not that innumerate). If you can happily come in 30 seconds or so after that at 30-odd spm, next time try holding the pace evenly at a slighly lower spm. Say 2:03 at 26-27 spm throughout.

    I'm currently doing 5k at 20:50 or so, 25 spm approx, aiming to knock just one second off each time but holding the stroke rate. Long-term goal is to break 20 minutes.


  • I find my stroke rate is affected by me swiping my ipad to move to the next page on the kindle reader.  Occassionally I miss, needing 2 or 3 strokes / page swipe  efforts to turn a page. That is the technique work I am currently focusing on image . I imagine that if I dropped the reading and put the hags on, then things may improve rapidly.

  • good advice phil and muttley.

    well my next go at the rower will be on thursday i think i'll start off aiming for a 20.20 pace. then hopefully if i have enough gas in the tank i will be close to a 20 flat time. but i will deliberately ignore stroke rate just this one time just to see if that 31 is my average then i can concentrate on lowering it the following time.




  • Today is endurance intervals day on week 3 of the Pete Plan.

    3k, 2.5k and 2k, 5min rests. My least favourite session. Gotta man up. Here goes.



    (A little later ... )

    The effort interval decreases while the rest interval remains the same. You'd think it would get easier ... but it doesn't! Final 1,000m of that last 2k and I was, to quote Phil, dying on my arse. The hrm was telling the story.

    Gotta work at getting the pace on this session in line with the 4 x 2000 and 5 x 1500 ones on the other weeks ... not there yet image

  • /members/images/789074/Gallery/20131213_123230.jpg

     Apologies for the blurriness .......... just as I finished and was taking a photo a stupid member of staff decided to come straight over and give me tips on what I was doing wrong ....... geez, at least give me 10 seconds yeah???

    Just in case its not clear, it was 20.24, still doing 31 strokes per minute though. God knows how to get the stroke rate down, I cant really seem to pull it back anymore than Im doing???


  • Good progress Mr I. More power and less strokes - you can view the power rating while rowing - maybe do some sessions with 500M sections where you focus on the power / stroke .

    I stepped off the treadmill this morning to find an eager staff member wanting to show me my running gait that they had videoed image Never known a member of staff do anything in my gym before. I think they were trying to pick up people for personal coaching (although that is probably me - bit cynical)

  • Muttley - I might have a go at that one next week, not done any variable intervals.  Would be interesting to see HR stats as well, and compare to running, something I've not done.

    Mr I - Good work.  On the stroke rate, one thing I learnt when I had a (very brief) go at proper rowing was to think about the rhythm of the stroke.  You basically want to spend a lot longer on the recovery than on the drive part of the stroke.  So in a slow count of 1-2-3, 1 is the drive and 2-3 is the recovery.

    I think Muttley or A-r may have linked to this or something similar earlier, might help.

    I've been a bit lazy this week, only the one steady effort.  Part CNBA and part resting for XC tomorrow, which probably won't be pretty cos my running mileage has been a bit rubbish recently.  More intervals next week!

  • PhilPub wrote (see)

    So in a slow count of 1-2-3, 1 is the drive and 2-3 is the recovery.

    ...Stick a bit of Strauss on the iPod.  image

  • Good video. She was pulling 1:49 at 23 spm ... strong lass image

    Phil - I do the endurance intervals at about tempo run heartrate, so once I'm up and going I'm looking to hold it at 155 bpm or just above, 160 bpm means I'm losing it. It's supposed to hit 160 at the end of the rep, not half way through ... as in that final 2k ... eurgh.

    Mr I - when I first saw that photo I thought it was blurred because you'd done that session properly and were still trembling uncontrollably ... disappointed by your explanation image

  • Greetings ergheads.  Good news and bad news on my front.  Bad news is that the XC on Saturday (with some help from a previous track interval session in the week) caused more of a reaction to my dodgy foot than I was expecting, so it looks like recovery could be slow.  The good news is I've well and truly got my cross-training mojo on to compensate, so will certainly be reporting some quality sessions here.

    I fancied doing something along the lines of threshold work today, so 45 mins incl. 2 x 15mins w/ 5 mins recovery in between (5/15/5/15/5).  Paces averaged 1:49.1 and 1:49.6 for the two efforts (both 29spm), about 10k pace so good "hard but comfortable" benchmark for future reference.

    Having said I'd just do one interval session a week, I might do one tempo type one and one quicker.  The steady 45 mins efforts might start to get a bit tedious.  image

  • The long steady efforts do get tedious. My erg is in the conservatory so I have only the four walls to look at. Cheesy 1980s music compilations at high volume provide a distraction (and annoy Muttley Jnr so that's a result both ways).

    5k brisk effort for me today. Took 3 seconds off previous one to finish in 20:54 but it felt a lot harder than it should have and the hr was high. Yesterday's long run still in my legs.

    Mr I has gone all quiet ... how're you doing, speak up!

  • Lol ....... ok now this is going to sound like an excuse ..... but ..... I have a cough ..... honestly a proper one, not like a girly 'cough- oh thats me out for the week', so havent really done anything since ... well actually that last photo you saw.

    I will give it a go tomorrow, but in all honesty there is no way I could even attempt for a PB at 5k because I know I'll fail before I start but maybe a 5k at 2:20 or 2:30 pace might at least keep me going for a bit.

    So I havent given up, just a pause in precedings image

    Luckily I have the week off between Xmas and New Year so hopefully it will have cleared up by then and I can put a solid effort into it again.

    Good work on your time there Muttley ...... you'll probably end up beating me to the 19.59 mark at this rate if this thing hangs around!




  • Also thinking about it all I ever do is 5k at the same pace on the rower, so I probably should start to throw in a few distance/intervals in there as well.


  • I don't know as much about rowing as I (think I) know about running but my common sense tells me that you probably don't have quite the same need to build up a base with long steady efforts in rowing as with running, partly because there's less injury risk, so you might as well crack on and mix it up with some variety of efforts, to keep it interesting.

    My focus to help me get through 45 mins today was to aim for a 23spm PB, which I managed with 11,714m (1:55.2).  Whilst my running is minimal I've been doing doubles of lunchtime row/evening turbo (bike), lunchtime spin/evening turbo, etc. and whilst the quads are getting a little tired I'm sure the rowing and cycling are doing each other good.  I'm setting some kind of sweating record though, with all this indoor activity.

    Nice one Muttley.  image

  • According to the forecast it's going to piss down and blow a hoolie tomorrow. So good job it's not a running day but a rowing day, in the warmth and safety of the conservatory image

    Out for a run on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day means back on the erg ... yay!

  • Your plan sounds a bit more consistent than mine. Not sure what sort of rowing/cycling/running I might be fitting in over the next few days, in between last minute shopping, scotch egg making (all the important stuff!), plus eating and drinking, so I'll just play it by ear.

    I've had a good block of exercise going into it though. Last interval session was 4 x 2k on Thursday, all 7:08/7:09, then I went for a looong one on Saturday.  Having never rowed further (non-stop) than 45 minutes up till then, I set the machine for a half marathon (21,097m split into 6,097/5,000/5,000/5,000) which I completed in 1:24:00 (1:59.4 pace). I had a brief pause after each section to wipe down and grab a drink. After all that, everything felt reasonably OK, apart from a couple of blisters on my left hand.  Oof!  So I think I'll need to get the skin hardened up before attempting that again, or get used to not gripping the handle so much.  Then 47 miles on the bike yesterday.

  • Running and rowing sounds like a good combination to work your upper and lower body. I have found I get painful calf cramps when I immediately cycle for more than half an hour after an hour of running. Would it be better that I did cycling for an hour before an hour of running?

  • Your legs will get less of a pounding from cycling compared to running, so you may well find it easier.  The only time I've run straight off the bike is when doing duathlons, and it's definitely more the quads that feel odd trying to run, rather than the calves. That's at race pace though, so I'm sure if you had a bit of a cool-down towards the end of the bike, spinning out on low resistance, you'd be OK.

  • Hello RW - rowing isn't that much of an upper-body workout. If you're doing it right you should be 60 per cent legs and 20 per cent each torso and arms/shoulders. That said, it does add a little bit of conditioning. Even if you only lean back a bit at the end of the drive that's still a contraction of the abs and 10,000 metres is probably close to 1,000 or so contractions.

    Phil - some decent mileage there. I regularly do slow 60-minute sessions, which are about as much as I can handle. I haven't gone further but I think I'll take a leaf out of your book and break it up into chunks with short breaks. Tomorrow's a slow day so I might start off with 3 x 5,000 metres. Possibly while the bird is roasting for Christmas dinner.

  • Merry Christmas everybody!  I've eaten too much!  Hmmm... five consecutive rest days the previous Mon-Fri, so back on it Saturday with a massive bike ride on my new Christmas tyres (84 miles, stopping at my brother's place 56 miles in for a large slice of carrot cake and a cuppa tea). Quads felt pretty wasted yesterday after that, so another rest day, and back on the rower today for a steady/hard-ish session.  Another 45 mins, this time continuous progressive effort as follows:

    15 mins, 23 spm, 1:55.0
    15 mins, 25 spm, 1:53.6
    10 mins, 27 spm, 1:51.0
    5 mins cool down
    (11,700m total)

    I've just been fitted with some orthotics to help my poorly running foot, and been instructed to wear them in with walking over the next few days, so it'll be more rowing and cycling before I can get back to running again.  These things had better bloody work.  I just wanna run again...

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    Happy New Year to all ergers and welcome to 2014.

    A slow effort for me today. I did try breaking it up into chunks on Xmas Day and set the machine for 3 x 5,000m. I did two of them, the third just felt like really hard work from the off. With that in mind today's jobbie was 2 x 6,000m and it went well, felt easier than an hour straight although the hrm data was the same. I guess I like the one break in the middle but can't hack climbing on for a third time.

    Stick with it Phil - even if you can't run you can still keep up the aerobic fitness aboard the mistress of pain.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    Good endurance Muttley.  I've now decided 3 x 15mins progressive is my favourite session, even if there isn't a rest between the 15min periods.  Had a session PB with it today, 45 mins, 11,953m (1:52.9), breaking down into:

    15m 1:55.4 3897 23spm
    15m 1:52.8 3989 25spm
    15m 1:50.5 4069 27spm

    ...although I must admit to an abandoned interval session last week.  image Not sure if there was some minor lurgy still in me or whether it was just a festive hangover, but I tried another ambitious pace for a 4 x 1k and gave up pretty quickly into the second one when I started breathing out my arse.  Ho hum, think I'll stick to the longer stuff for the time being, save the quicker sessions for when I'm brave enough to think about doing another 2k (either in competition or otherwise).

    Where's Mr I, he hasn't gone back to the treadmill has he?  image

  • Nice 'meterage' PP. I have been paddling away on some unambitious sessions.

    I did my best over the holiday to take myself into the Heavy weight category. Another couple of days of scoffing and I'm sure I'd have made it. 

    First non running days for a few weeks, so I took to the rower with a light 30mins  first thing, and 40 mins at lunch. Both sessions keeping the heart rate bobbing around 70 - 75% max.  Wednesday is the usual rest day for me now, sandwiched inbetween intervals and a tempo run, so the rowing on a Wednesday will be kept light

    I think the chain must need oiling as everything seems to need more effort. That seems like a good excuse.


    Maybe Mr I has his work cut out at this time of year stirring up the Daily Mail boards,

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