Long slow session vs. Just Rowing

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Long slow session vs. Just Rowing

Postby sdr2017 » October 17th, 2017, 1:46 am

I wanted to get advice about strategies for building endurance and speed in rowing. I have been rowing for about eight months now. For a while I did Pete's Beginners plan, then I drifted to free form rowing that is similar in spirit. I try to avoid rowing two days in a row to prevent injuries, and so typically get in three (or four) session a week. A typical week would be an 8K row, a 10K row, and some medium interval thing, such as 4X1500 where I work on a bit of speed. My question is about the "long slow row" that is occasionally advocated here. I do not really want to double my weekly meters, and I have had no problem with injuries. I typically take the longer rows at a steady pace that leaves me tired, sweaty and a bit short of breath at the end. I am not killing myself, but I am working hard. These rates are not very far from my best times, because my PR result from a bit faster early pace and a strong finish.

The question I have is should I be SLOWING down these longer session (8 or 10 K) to get into the mystical sweet spot in training, or should I just row what feels like a good workout and ignore the categories and HR calculations?

To add a bit of information, I am 58 years old and started rowing for cardiac (actually lung) rehabilitation. I am 5'-7" and 180 lbs,and I do not expect to get any taller. My best time on a 1K is 3:54 (1:57/500M) and my best time on a 10K is 43:28 (2:10.4/500M). (I have not done a 2K recently.). A typical 10K session would bringing me in just under 44 min. I have improved a lot over the last eight months and continue to see slow improvements.

I have used a heart monitor, but it started acting flaky and I resent buying a new one.

I welcome your advice.
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Re: Long slow session vs. Just Rowing

Postby gooseflight » October 17th, 2017, 3:33 am

If you are rowing three to four times a week and your max distance is 10K I wouldn't get too hung up on the long slow distance thing.

Your current volume isn't going to bring about the adaptations associated with a strictly polarized plan, i.e., 80 distance/20 speedwork.

For general fitness and progression your current mix of ~UT1 and speed intervals sounds OK to me.

Oh, and HR belts/monitors are very inexpensive these days ;)
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PBs (2004): 6:38 (2K) | 5:22.9 (mile) | 17:39.6 (5K) | 8323 (30 mins) | 36:52 (10K) | 1:22:03 (HM '05)
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Re: Long slow session vs. Just Rowing

Postby bisqeet » October 17th, 2017, 3:50 am

have to agree.
for polarised training the volume is too low to make (much of) an improvement.
I was doing about 120km-150km a week + OTW training polarised and that is probably bottom of the scale compared to better athletes than I (which is about 90% of the population :P ).


the work you are doing looks good, the only thing i would try and observe is not doing long & slow with a weak stroke (or drive).

Try and keep the power/spm at the same level as your current 1k PB.

1:57/500 is about (guesses) 220W(?) so if this was at 30SPM your SPI is 220/30 = 7,5W/Stroke.

Slow & steady can be done at 18-22 for depending on distances - so just multiply the SPI with the rate for the total wattage -

i.e rate 18 = 18*7,5 = 135W - which is about 2:18/500s

so i would be doing longer SS at R18 with a target pace of 2:18

http://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/t ... calculator

Have fun!!
Dean
2017 Season: 196cm / 94kg : M48
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Re: Long slow session vs. Just Rowing

Postby jamesg » October 17th, 2017, 4:26 am

No need to change training, 30-40 k a week is enough for endurance if we sweat, and it's got you good results. The slow row is not slow at all (speed). Only the rating (18-22) is slow, so each stroke is hard and long; probably what you're doing already.

Using the erg doesn't need a HR monitor (as an intensity proxy), since the PM shows power directly. The ratio Watts/Rating lets us monitor stroke quality, the amount of work done per stroke.

Speed depends on technique, as seen in the C2 video. It makes the legs do a lot of work in each single stroke so that we can keep the rating low in distance training, but have plenty of headroom if we want to go faster for racing.
77y, 188cm, 85kg, MHR 170. 3km/h in water, 10km/h on. Last 2k (1-16) 8.10@26
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Re: Long slow session vs. Just Rowing

Postby H2O » October 17th, 2017, 5:02 pm

Don't worry about injuries. Now and then something hurts which doesn't mean you have an injury. You go on. If it gets worse you ease up.
Make sure you keep the posture right (the guy from dark horse rowing on youtube has very nice posture as does Eric Murray of New Zealand, also visible on youtube).

If you are too worried about little things you won't work out enough and that will be the ultimate injury.
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Re: Long slow session vs. Just Rowing

Postby sdr2017 » October 17th, 2017, 7:24 pm

Thank you all for the advice. It sounds like it is OK if I keep doing my workouts. If I decide to up the volume I can revisit it.

Following up on bisqeet's suggestion, I can calculate my Watts-min/stroke for 1 K:

219.2 W / 25 SPM = 156.9 Watts min/stroke.

Changing that to 18 SPM gives me:

156.9 X 18 = 157 W for a pace of 2:10.6.

My last 10 K workout was 2:11.2 wth an SPM of 19, so I am close to the same Watts-min/stroke (power per stroke) rating. I guess that is good.

Scott
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