Author Topic: Cross Training: Rowing  (Read 110347 times)

Cross Training: Rowing
« on: September 16, 2009, 05:19:46 pm »
Well - it seems we need a complementary thread to the Cross Training: Running one, for those of us who eschew the delights of the British pavement, and do it sitting down instead.

We've bought a Concept II 'D' for several uses. Some in the household want to lose some pounds and I want to cross train on it. I've never been much good at rowing - the gut gets in the way and I always feel like I'm not getting enough breath. Hopefully the rower will work its magic and the gut will diminish.

Today I did the longest row I've ever done - half an hour  :o. This included a 2000m timed section where I set down my base time of 9:07.7. I'm hoping one of these sessions a week, combined with some other steadier rowing sessions, and perhaps some intervals later, will see that time coming down as fast as my waistline dimensions.

no97trap

Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2009, 05:52:15 pm »
I've got a D too. I do struggle to use it regularly though. Are we going to create a log?

Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2009, 06:00:21 pm »
Good work!  Half an hour without a break is bloody hard, did you get off and stretch during?

you've certainly got room for improvement... :D  Some technique coaching should cut a minute off that pretty quickly and 7.30 should be within reach by christmas for someone that does as much pedalling as you do.  Let me know when you're next coming past if you fancy it! (you doing the Tints?  Fancy a mid-audax ergo session?  ;))


Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2009, 06:07:09 pm »
Good work!  Half an hour without a break is bloody hard, did you get off and stretch during?

I didn't get off no - I paused to reset the monitor into 2000m mode - and took the last 10 minutes or so after the 2000m pretty easy.

you've certainly got room for improvement... :D  Some technique coaching should cut a minute off that pretty quickly and 7.30 should be within reach by christmas for someone that does as much pedalling as you do.  Let me know when you're next coming past if you fancy it! (you doing the Tints?  Fancy a mid-audax ergo session?  ;))

That sounds like a brilliant idea except for one teensy weensy snag - the Tints doesn't go your way - the second loop is down to Hog Hill again. S'pose I could pop by on the drive home. Don't expect miracles - I'll have ridden 200km on fixed by then!

How about the next day - I seem to remember Simon saying his ride goes up to Barkway...?

Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2009, 06:09:55 pm »
How about the next day - I seem to remember Simon saying his ride goes up to Barkway...?

Sunday = swimming / cycling / running for me!  First triathlon over near northampton.

we'll be here on saturday though, if you've got the enthusiasm after the tints.  Or next time you're coming past...

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2009, 07:09:22 pm »
Technique, schmecknique.  Just yank harder.

SRSLY, get someone who knows their rowing to look at your form.  Worked wonders for me.

For some encouragement, I think the wattage for 9:07 is pretty low compared to what you're capable of on a bike.  8 minutes will be about 200W average - IIRC that's the sort of thing you can do on the bike so why not on a rower?  Technique, I think.  7:25 for me was an average of 254W.  That was tough.

Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2009, 09:33:38 pm »
I've had a desk job for 25 years. I have no upper body strength.

This will change.

rower40

  • Not my boat. Now sold.
Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2009, 09:42:08 pm »
My cross-training today consisted of sitting (3/4 lying down) in a cox's seat designed for a 10-year-old boy (i.e. 10 inches from hip to hip), and shouting (with electronic assistance) at 8 young girls.

First time in an Eight for most of them.  It went surprisingly well - they've been taught well in successive "Learn-To-Row" courses, and spent a long time sculling (i.e. two blades each, whereas rowing is one each) so they've all got good basic boat skillz.

[Young Mr Grace]
You've all done very well....
[/Young Mr Grace]

I just wish my back didn't hurt so much. :(
Be Naughty; save Santa a trip

Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2009, 09:47:27 pm »
I've had a desk job for 25 years. I have no upper body strength.

This will change.

you dont need much.  If you've been riding fixed anywhere hilly, you're plenty strong enough (so not Norfolk then).  Just got to get the technique right... :)

Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2009, 09:51:59 pm »
Just got to get the technique right... :)

I'm trying to emulate this technique:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/eqVmMd7FdAA&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/eqVmMd7FdAA&rel=1</a>

rower40

  • Not my boat. Now sold.
Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2009, 10:05:06 pm »
I've had a desk job for 25 years. I have no upper body strength.

This will change.

 Just got to get the technique right... :)
Hands Body Slide.  (on the way forward)
Keep the Arms Straighter for Longer. (on the way back)
Rowing is a Pushing Sport, not a Pulling Sport.

At my Rowing Club, we used to have a large metallic mirror that we could prop up against the ergos, so that the victims rowers could watch their own technique.

Edit - just watched that YouTube link. Excellent.  Notice that the recovery takes longer than the power phase.  Take your time forward.

OTOH we have a saying: Put an ergo on water, and it sinks. ;)
Be Naughty; save Santa a trip

Panoramix

  • 50 61 6E 6F 72 61 6D 69 78
  • Suus cuique crepitus bene olet
    • Some routes
Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2009, 10:06:51 pm »
If I were you I would do 2 sessions a week:

one of "5 by 5"
This is 5 times 5 minutes with a set distance. You must achieve the distance 5 times in a row (#3 and #4 will hurt) with a pause in between, you can do it in pair with a 5 minutes pause.

One long one for endurance (half an hour or one hour) same principle: a set distance that you must achieve.

I used to have a spreadsheet that would give you the distance to achieve depending on your 2k target but i can't find it  :-[

As mentioned above, 2k is just good at measuring your fitness! Btw, if you don't feel a bit sick at the end of a 2k, you probably weren't pulling hard enough  ;)

Regarding technique, it is easy: legs then stomach and finally arms and the other way round on the recovery. The smoother, the more efficient! Most of the work comes from the legs, don't forget to "lock" your upper body while your legs are pushing.

Edit: beaten to it by rower40 for the technique tricks...

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2009, 11:32:29 pm »
I've had a desk job for 25 years. I have no upper body strength.

This will change.

Yeah and my arms are huge as we all know.  :P

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2009, 08:37:39 am »
Notice that the recovery takes longer than the power phase.

Why is that? In cycling terms it's a disaster - you're reducing the time spent exerting force, so you must have to increase the force applied over that time = rubbish endurance.[and 7mins is definitely an endurance activity]

And yet it clearly works when rowing. Is it a consequence of how the flywheely-thingies are connected up? I'm baffled.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2009, 08:46:55 am »
I would argue that rowing and cycling are the same in this respect. In both disciplines, the engine is idling half the time, unless you properly circular pedal, and not many people do that.

In cycling, your legs are the engine, and (with the circular pedaling caveat) the legs are idle on the upward pedal stroke.

In rowing, your whole body is the engine, and similarly - it idles on the "non-power" stroke.

Marco Stefano

  • Apply some pressure, you lose some pressure...
Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2009, 04:06:40 pm »
Slower recovery is more important on the water. Newtonian physics, apparently - large mass of rower moves in opposite direction from small mass of boat, boat speed increases at first (reaction) then slows as weight pushes boat backwards through feet.

Not as important on a Concept 2, although if rowing at a high rating (high strokes per minute, spm) you can drive the machine across the room depending on the flooring and if you thump into frontstops. Also, the recovery (coming forward up the slide) is your opportunity to rest & relax. And yes, you need to, and can do, at 36+spm.

Technique is important; doing it right is more efficient and stops you f***ing up your lower back.

Rather than droning up and down, for interest, try:
3 x 10 minute pyramids - 4' at 20spm / 3' at 22 / 2' at 24 / 1' at 26 , then 22/24/26/28, then 24/26/28/30, with varying power ("pressure"), i.e. 4' light, 3min 1/2 race pace, 2' 3/4 race pace, 1' eyeballs out.
The first will feel quite easy (if you're properly warmed up), it's more difficult to force yourself to do the last one (or do another one...  :demon:).

Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2009, 06:39:43 pm »
Well... an improvement has occured  :)

8:48.3 for tonight's 2000m - down from 9:07.7 previously. This is despite giving blood 24 hours ago, so I'm pleased with that. Probably mostly down to technique - as this was off an average stroke rate of 22; any more than that and I run out of puff.

microphonie

  • Tyke 2
Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2009, 06:57:13 pm »
Ooh v jealous. Have thought long & hard about getting one of these - particularly since I really need to sort out some upper body excercise (not been to the gym in nigh on 8 years now & am pathetically puny).

Back when I did do 3 gym sessions a week the Concept II was my thing: mainly 10k rows rather than 2k sprints. Got my record down to about 42mins iirc. Don't think I'd manage a 10k in an hour now!

I don't think I can justify the expense of a Concept II, even a reconditioned one though. I have thought about a pilates reformer as an alternative though.

Bingo! That's what I am, a saviour.
A sort of cocky version of Jesus.

Marco Stefano

  • Apply some pressure, you lose some pressure...
Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2009, 08:40:31 pm »
Bought one second hand (ex. Canadian national squad bloke - sadly it hasn't made me any faster...  :-[) in 2001. It's a lifetime thing, as C2 have every part available and repair diagrams on the website. Plenty for sale on their forum.

Mind you, I intend to carry on rowing as long as I can, so it's an investment in me. I worked out it would payback in about 5 years against the cost of rowing twice a week in a local gym. And I don't have to go outside on wintry nights...

Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2009, 06:11:38 pm »
Good workout this evening, practicing timing my leg drive after the catch. I can feel when I get it right - like when you hit a cricket ball with the sweet spot of the bat - and the split time drops by 20s  :thumbsup:.

So - half an hour - 6250m; including two one minute bursts with a sub-two minute 500m split.

Knackered now though  ;).

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2009, 06:19:00 pm »
Keep being tempted to go to the gym and get back on it with the rower.  Tonight was a possibility but instead I've been persuaded to try a swimming club out.

It's getting quite tricky to fit everything in at the moment - and that's despite being young (ish!) free and single.

Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2009, 06:27:10 pm »
Good workout this evening, practicing timing my leg drive after the catch. I can feel when I get it right - like when you hit a cricket ball with the sweet spot of the bat - and the split time drops by 20s  :thumbsup:.

great, isnt it?   ;D

So - half an hour - 6250m; including two one minute bursts with a sub-two minute 500m split.

8k for 30 minutes was our bragging benchmark, only one of us ever hit 8,500 (and he really was 7 feet tall :o )

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2009, 08:02:31 pm »
Hmm.

So I went out drinking with some rowers last night.

Now I've agreed to go try out rowing on the water next weekend.

Where will the madness stop?  ::-)

Marco Stefano

  • Apply some pressure, you lose some pressure...
Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2009, 10:45:06 am »
Where will the madness stop?  ::-)

Never - that's why it's a madness... That's why I was sculling at 7:30 yesterday morning from Ely to Ely (i.e. going nowhere) via Littleport on a river with no scenic attraction whatsoever. Apart from Cambridge women's crews... ;D 

I'm sure Mike will back me up on this (the rowing, but possibly on CUWBC members too).

Re: Cross Training: Rowing
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2009, 11:48:28 am »
Where will the madness stop?  ::-)

Never - that's why it's a madness... That's why I was sculling at 7:30 yesterday morning from Ely to Ely (i.e. going nowhere) via Littleport on a river with no scenic attraction whatsoever. Apart from Cambridge women's crews... ;D 

I'm sure Mike will back me up on this (the rowing, but possibly on CUWBC members too).

+1 on both ;D 

We used to train from the fish & duck just south of ely so I know that stretch quite well.  Capsizing under the railway bridge in a 20mph northerly wind in feb was a particularly low point.

Simon - be careful, it's a very slippery slope.  Rowing is like a drug and when it gets you, you can forget about audaxing..