Concept 2 rowers

Now that I'm fully engaged in Concept 2 rowing I'm starting to get those competitive urges and want to improve.

So far I'm applying running principles in that I'm aiming for some steady rowing together with a number of interval sessions. Difference to running is that I am doing three interval sessions a week and one steady! Mainly because the steady session is so boring!

My medium term aim is to get under 20 minutes for 5k but long term to get as close to 7:00 minutes for 2000 metres as possible which I think is a realistic aim given my current best of 7:56.

My questions are:

1. Should I aim for a faster stroke speed or a stronger "pull". Currently I seem to average 32-35spm?

2. What level should I be using for the machine? Currently I do all my rowing on level 5.

3. What would be the best sessions to get me towards my goal?


  • I'm a long way from having a real idea about this (I'm about your level!), but I believe.....

    1. Stronger pull - low 20s, or 20ish, I think. May depend on the session(?)

    2. Around 4 or 5 is what the good people use. Before the session, if you're on the same model I use, you can press a couple of buttons ("rest" and "ok" perhaps???? I need one in front of me!) simultaneously and the drag factor will appear like magic on the monitor - 130 drag is about the ballpark - depending on cleanliness and other things, the slider setting is very machine-dependent, but the drag factor is absolute.

    3. Uh... ah.. er..... I decided to stop improving soon after my one and only 2K time trial! Horrible!

    More usefully, there's a forum on the Concept 2 website which is a touch po-faced and ego-driven compared to this one, but there's very useful help there.
  • definitely "low pulls" of 20spm or thereabouts as your technique gets better your 500m split times should go down also.

    When doing a race / time trial stroke rate should be much higher 32 +, but you should do most of your training at low spm

    as well as the forum on the concept2 site there is loads of good stuff on training there in PDF format so you cn download it

    sessions should be much the same as running ones - short intervals of say 500m with 3 min recoveries or 15x30 secs with 2 min recoveries and long rows (I do 5k or 10ks at 4-5 secs per 500m slower than my 2000M time)
  • I have always rowed at around 25-27 strokes per min whether I am training or doing a time trial. I usally put the setting at about 8.

    Although I am a big advocate of speed training in running I have almost always rowed at steady state somewhere just below my lactate threshold. I started out with 1500m/5,000m rows three times a week and developed to 10,000m. I found the 10k rows improved all my times across the board, from 4.40 1500m to 6.30 2000m to 35.00 10km.

    I am sure that intervals have a place in rowing just as in running but I made big improvements by just doing steady work. It probably helped that I didn't find it that boring - I needed loud music - but that was enough to focus my brain.

  • This is all a little bizarre.

    I tried the following last night:

    1. Setting the machine on "1". Too easy to row, felt very unnatural.

    2. Keeping spm below 30 also feels unnatural although that could be caused by bad technique (although I think its ok). Anyway I feel much more comfortable up around 30-32.

    I have downloaded the training manual from the Concept 2 website and will try and read this weekend.
Sign In or Register to comment.