VO2 Max and performance

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VO2 Max and performance

Postby Goldenbough » January 26th, 2012, 6:55 pm

I'm a newbie rower, just completed my first three rows on the Concept2--but a long-time runner. My V02 max, as measured by a treadmill stress tests is in the 48-53 range, which is off the charts for my age group. My rowing times, however, convert to a minus V02 max for someone trained, and only a 13 V02 max for someone untrained. The highest watt output I've registered is 83. Really pushing on the treadmill stress test for a short time can get me to 14-15 METs which roughly converts to 260+ watts. I know my rowing technique barely exists, but still, I've gotten my heart rate up on the rower to 80-85% of my max HR, and my watt output is still not even half of my capacity. How can my perceived effort at rowing be so high, and my actual performance and energy output be so low? Can all that be attributed to newbie status and poor technique? Any thoughts?
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Re: VO2 Max and performance

Postby Bob S. » January 26th, 2012, 7:35 pm

Goldenbough wrote:I'm a newbie rower, just completed my first three rows on the Concept2--but a long-time runner. My V02 max, as measured by a treadmill stress tests is in the 48-53 range, which is off the charts for my age group. My rowing times, however, convert to a minus V02 max for someone trained, and only a 13 V02 max for someone untrained. The highest watt output I've registered is 83. Really pushing on the treadmill stress test for a short time can get me to 14-15 METs which roughly converts to 260+ watts. I know my rowing technique barely exists, but still, I've gotten my heart rate up on the rower to 80-85% of my max HR, and my watt output is still not even half of my capacity. How can my perceived effort at rowing be so high, and my actual performance and energy output be so low? Can all that be attributed to newbie status and poor technique? Any thoughts?
Thanks


Some stats would help here. Age? Height? Drag factor? stroke rate?

Suggested viewing:

Good technique:
http://www.concept2.com/us/training/technique.asp

The Thames Rowing Club technique video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqVmMd7FdAA

Bob S.
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Re: VO2 Max and performance

Postby Goldenbough » January 26th, 2012, 8:22 pm

age 73; ht 5"10; wt 147; don't have drag factor but new rower set at level 3; will check average stroke/min, but it was as high as 39.
Thanks
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Re: VO2 Max and performance

Postby Citroen » January 26th, 2012, 8:24 pm

Goldenbough wrote:don't have drag factor but new rower set at level 3;


It's easy to discover the drag factor.
Main menu --> More options --> Display Drag Factor
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Re: VO2 Max and performance

Postby Bob S. » January 26th, 2012, 9:41 pm

Goldenbough wrote:age 73; ht 5"10; wt 147; don't have drag factor but new rower set at level 3; will check average stroke/min, but it was as high as 39.
Thanks


A stroke rate of 39 is very high. Drive as hard as you can, pushing with the legs, and ease back slowly on the recovery. The speed of a boat and the simulated inverse boat speed displayed as pace on the erg monitor depend on the strike rate, but also on the length of the stroke and on the effort that goes into each stroke. High stroke rates are used in racing, especially for short pieces like 500m or less. But long exercise pieces are best done at moderate rates. The optimum stroke rate depends on the length of the stroke. Tall rowers with long limbs will take longer strokes and use lower rates than the shorter folks. I would guess that rating in the low 20s should work well for you.

Drag factors are usually used in the range 100-140. When you check out the DF according to Citroen's directions, level 3 should put you in that range.

These sites have more information about damper settings and drag factors.

Damper Setting & Workout Intensity:

http://www.concept2.com/us/training/bas ... ensity.asp

Understanding Drag Factor:

http://www.concept2.com/us/training/adv ... factor.asp

Bob S.
Last edited by Bob S. on January 26th, 2012, 9:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: VO2 Max and performance

Postby slwiser » January 26th, 2012, 9:43 pm

Technique and your muscles not being familiar with this movement is very significant I think. It is not running for sure. Give yourself some time and watch vids and take some of your own and show them for help. Stroke rate being so high suggests almost no push in the legs. Somewhere between 70-80% of your watts should come from the legs. The remainder is core and arms. I am not really much better but I do know where I fail. I keep having to tell myself that rowing for exercise is much more like continuous squats with weights with the rowing movement in the legs, only horizontal having my weight supporter by the seat. Many suggest that one should feel the your weight in the seat getting lighter at the initial push with the legs making sure to only start the arm break after the hands cross over the knees. Something I practice but can't maintain. BTW, I am preaching to myself here.
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Re: VO2 Max and performance

Postby Goldenbough » January 26th, 2012, 9:56 pm

Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to respond to my post. Much appreciated.
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Re: VO2 Max and performance

Postby jamesg » January 27th, 2012, 1:54 am

GB, You write 83W at rating 39, i.e. 2 Watt minutes per stroke (work done). This means you're pulling with arms and swing only, and no legs (or similar). I've noticed that producing power with just a small set of muscles forces the HR higher than doing the same amount of work with all of them at once.

Rowing is different from other sports. We have to use ALL muscle, to move the boat fast we put a lot of effort into each single stroke, but control the overall power level by controlling the rating, with a slow recovery. Once a boat is going fast she keeps going, so there's no need to rush to stick the blades in again, unless we're in a short race. Training is much more effective at low rating, because we can go on for hours, but only if the strokes are good ones.

Keep the drag very low so that the pull is fast; increase the drag only if with a full length stroke at rating 20 you can't catch the flywheel.

To see all this, try the backstop drill:
Start by pulling arms only: rating 60, 50-60W.
Add swing AFTER arms away; rating 40, 80-100W.
Once warm, add some knee lift, after the swing forward (so you clear your knees before lifting them): rate drops to say 30, 120W.
Increase knee lift and slide (after the swing forward) until you reach the chainguard, with shins vertical and truck forward and hard up against your thighs: rate 20-23, 150W. Keep going with all action smooth and continuous for >30'.

If for any reason you have limited hip action (like me, following replacement) you won't be able to do the full stroke. I'm 6'2 and produce around 110W at 22-24, steady state UT2, lifting my knees about 4". Currently 83kg.
77y, 188cm, 85kg, MHR 160. Last 2k (May 1018) 8.37@23
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Re: VO2 Max and performance

Postby Goldenbough » January 27th, 2012, 2:21 pm

Thanks for the advice--will try the drill.
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