Marathon Rowing vs Running

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Marathon Rowing vs Running

Postby jliddil » March 28th, 2010, 9:08 pm

I'm considering doing a marathon. I've done a number of half-marathons no problem. I was a runner for years and ran marathons. For me a running marathon was not just as hard as a half-marathon. More like a logarithmic thing especially the last mile. Physical and mentally challenging. And I was always wiped the next few days. Just finishing a full marathon in 3 hours (my best time) really was tough

So the rowing half marathon is not that big a deal to me. I've had no recovery problems. So is the rowing marathon really more mental particularly if I'm only shooting for a 3.5-4 hour range time. I already know all the standard sports stuff having run in Arizona in 100+F degree weather for years. I certainly expect some soreness.

I figure I can row for hours since I'm mentally used to training for hours.

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Re: Marathon Rowing vs Running

Postby johnlvs2run » March 28th, 2010, 10:51 pm

Rowing a marathon is relatively easy compared to running one, and recovery is much quicker.
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Re: Marathon Rowing vs Running

Postby Carl Watts » March 28th, 2010, 11:28 pm

John Rupp wrote:Rowing a marathon is relatively easy compared to running one, and recovery is much quicker.


+1 as I found out recently when trying to run an event, turns out I can row 10K way faster than I can run 10K for example.

This did raise the question however, if the rowing didn't help my running as much as I had expected then does running help your rowing ?

Bearing in mind that distance running is going to do next to nothing to improve your upper body and rowing is more technical I think the answer is probably not as much as you may be expecting.

This is of course all relative as it does come down to the pace you are setting yourself as a goal.
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Re: Marathon Rowing vs Running

Postby jliddil » March 29th, 2010, 10:45 am

At least for someone like me who runs now maybe 5-10 times a year rowing has helped me in my running much more than either elliptical training or indoor cycling. At least now between rowing and some weights I have some upper body strength. So yes I think it depends on a bunch of factors and what your goals are.
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Re: Marathon Rowing vs Running

Postby Tinus » March 29th, 2010, 2:41 pm

John Rupp wrote:Rowing a marathon is relatively easy compared to running one, and recovery is much quicker.


For me they are both equally difficult. I guess that differences are most dependant on the different states of fitness and different desired results for each type of movement. If one of the types of marathons feels easier than maybe there is more room for improvement?

Also body composition might be of importance. If you are more of a mesomorph or slightly endomorph type than rowing performance might be better compared to running performance when viewed in relation to performances of other people. Also if you are lightweight performance on water is better compared to performance on the erg when related to others.
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Re: Marathon Rowing vs Running

Postby drachma » February 4th, 2016, 11:24 am

Recovery for rowing is generally faster because there is no eccentric loading on the muscles, which is a huge part of a running stride.

You can't really compare erg times and running times. Just because you erg a 10k faster than you run one doesn't make erging "easier;" it means an 10k erg is a shorter duration, higher intensity event. Or it just means you are poorly trained for running and better trained for erging.

Top end runners typically knock out their competition distances faster than top end rowers. For example, Running World Record 5k time is 12:37, for erging, 5k WR times are right around 15 minutes (14:56, LWT record time is 16:05). Of course, a WR running athlete will have no hope at competing on an erg and vice versa. Running favors lighter weight athletes. But, as you get slower your times on the erg won't look as bad. This is due to the cubic relationship of power to pace for the erg, while for running the relationship is linear. So for an athlete able to produce the same power running and erging, his erg times will look "compressed" and top out at a slower pace.
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Re: Marathon Rowing vs Running

Postby estragon » September 3rd, 2016, 5:54 pm

You can't really compare erg times and running times.


Agreed. It seems an absurdity to compare the two in terms of distance covered. Not only are you are using different parts of your body but you're operating in entirely different physical conditions. In the case of erging it's not even a real distance but a virtual world. The value of this virtual world is that we can use it to compare with others in the same virtual world, or against ourselves in previous performances. So it has an internal logic only.

Interesting what you say about recovery times. I've just got back into erging after a long lay-off. It's true that the fairly strenuous workouts of 30-40 minutes I've been doing have left me quite wiped out, I've found that I very quickly recover. Similar efforts of 30-40 minutes running have a much more drastic impact on my body. (Bear in mind I'm in my late 50s and fairly unfit at present.)
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