low stroke rates

General discussion on Training. How to get better on your erg, how to use your erg to get better at another sport, or anything else about improving your abilities.
seriola
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low stroke rates

Post by seriola » June 17th, 2008, 8:38 pm

In most of my rowing onthe erg over 20 minutes and up to an hour I usually row at a rate of 18 spm. This seems to be in contrast with the recommended rates on the concept 2 training material which never really goes below 20 spm. This rate was engrained in me from university rowing days where all of us (heavyweights) erged at these rates. Rates in the boat were always higher say a 24 for an equivalent long piece. I am wondering if there is something wrong with these rates. The low rate thing goes all the way through my speed work - For example I'd do a 2000 on the erg at 26 as compared to a 36 in the boat. I never really thought that rates had anything to do with intensity as you can pull a 1:40 at 18 or 32 depending on how you pull. Should I be trying to lift my rates? I find it hard since a stroke rate of 20 drops my splits to a pace where I am getting into anaerobic threshold which is not what I want in a 60 minute row.

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Post by tdekoekkoek » June 17th, 2008, 9:07 pm

I see nothing wrong with erging at those rates. In fact as you are aware, if you pull those low splits at a low rate, you are probably rowing better and it helps you row faster as the rate comes up. That said, if you are looking to PR on the erg and simulate your on the water experience a bit more, you might want to bring your drag factor down and your rate up. I imagine your drag factor is pretty high.

But again, there's nothing wrong with rowing low rates. I think many people erg at too high a rate. I do my easy steady state at around an 18, but mostly do my 2Ks around a 28. However when PR'd my 2K, I was at around 30-31.

Cheers,

Trevor
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Englishman116
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Post by Englishman116 » June 18th, 2008, 12:26 am

If you're trying to pull a 2:00 split for an hour at 20 spm and your heart rate reaches anaerobic threshold, but you can pull a 2:00 split at 23 spm and keep your heart rate in an aerobic state, then you should do the piece at 23 spm than at 20 spm.

However, if you continue to do the piece at 20 spm, you'll probably be able to eventually pull the piece that slow and maintain an aerobic state throughout the workout.

I would suggest bringing the stroke rate up in order to meet your heart rate goals, and then slowly bringing it down after a number of workouts to see if your heart rate still reaches its anaerobic threshold at the lower rating.

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Post by Heaviestuser » June 22nd, 2008, 4:55 am

I am always rowing at 30-31. I get stuck when I row below 30 spm.
The movement does not seem to flow anylonger.

Lately I was told that a lower stroke rate is not so bad, and also allows you to row 2:00 splits.
But it did not work for me. Maybe my legs and arms are not strong enough for a strong and intense pull at low speed.
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Post by tdekoekkoek » June 22nd, 2008, 7:57 am

Heaviestuser wrote:I am always rowing at 30-31. I get stuck when I row below 30 spm.
.
Not meaning to be harsh here, but if you always row at these rates even for low intensity work, you almost certainly have poor technique and are rushing the slide. You would have a difficult time of it getting into a team boat as you would upset the rhythm of the boat.

Try learning to get more power per stroke.

Regards,

Trevor
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Heaviestuser
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Post by Heaviestuser » June 22nd, 2008, 9:55 am

Hi,
Thanks for your advice. As I am only rowing in the gym, there is no problem there with the rythm in the boat. :D

I wanted to start rowing on our local river, but I am too busy at the moment with other sports ( mainly tennis ).
I'll tackle the rythm problem there as it happens and if it will happen ( only If I join the local outdoor club).

Today, I tried to practice your advice and rowed 4 K below 30 spm @ 2.09.1 /avg 500 m, damper level @ 8.

Maybe my gym is not very deep into rowing, but the instructors always told me that I was the only - or one of the few guys - guy , who had a proper technique. (*)
Most of "my collegues" row @ 35 spm or even @ 40 spm. They also do not know what a draw factor is. When challenged, they row with a drea factor >= 180.
Most of the users only look at the display to set a time or to set a distance.
Afterwards they are content if they have burned 300 cal. :wink:
They have never heard of World online ranking or about this forum. :wink:

(*): there is always room for improvement.
Heaviestuser

Easy does it
---------------
1:43:0 500M
3:39:9 1K
7:40:9 2 K
20:11:2 5 K
25:30:9 6 K
44:04:7 10 K
1:39:3 HM

Lifetime 4,163,758 meters

iain
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Slower rowing

Post by iain » June 23rd, 2008, 12:41 pm

there are many people who row very badly in gyms. I have a similar experience with most people at 35+ SPM. however, most of them are pulling 2:15 or slower, so are wasting a huge amount of energy. In my gym I am yet to find a trainer who knows how to row. i hear them telling people to go even faster and to haul with the arms as if the legs aren't involved.

I have only rowed slightly more than you so am a novice, but I have seen people with the following technical faults which stop them getting any power into their strokes:

Some break their knees before completing their stroke, so the arms are wasted dragging them up the slide rather than accelerating the flywheel.

Take the catch with bent arms (or immediately bend them before most of the leg drive) so that their arms have to pull against their stronger legs, so either their legs do not use a lot of their strength, or part is wasted straightening their arms.

Weak back during the drive, so when they drive part of the force is used straightening their back not accelerating the flywheel.

You don't say your weight, height, sex etc. So it is difficult to judge your speed. Clearly 2:00 is faster for a shorter lightweight lady than a taller man. But I am a 39 year old lightweight who is not very strong and can improve my technique much more. But I can nevertheless maintain 2:03 @ 20SPM for some considerable time. if you are a man, unless you are particularly weak then requiring 30SM for 2:00 seems excessive, but like i say I am a beginner.

Regards

Iain

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Post by johnlvs2run » June 23rd, 2008, 2:50 pm

When I wear shoes, I wear size 9 and 1/2.
Sometimes I wear size 10 shoes, because my feet are well developed and it is hard to find shoes that fit well.
However, I rarely wear shoes that are larger than size 10.

In my humble opinion, anyone who wears larger than size 10 shoes is wasting energy, has terrible technique
as to the wearing of shoes, and needs to practice this so they will be able to wear size 10 shoes or less, like I do.

By the way I was at a gym recently and saw a guy wearing size 14 shoes, which was of course ridiculous.
Obviously he knew nothing about the proper sizing of shoes.
One of the trainers there was also wearing the wrong size of shoes.

Anyone who would like my advice about being able to wear the proper sizing of shoes, i.e. size 10 or less,
let me know and I'll be glad to share my advice with you.

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Post by PaulS » June 23rd, 2008, 3:46 pm

John Rupp wrote:When I wear shoes, I wear size 9 and 1/2.
Sometimes I wear size 10 shoes, because my feet are well developed and it is hard to find shoes that fit well.
However, I rarely wear shoes that are larger than size 10.

In my humble opinion, anyone who wears larger than size 10 shoes is wasting energy, has terrible technique
as to the wearing of shoes, and needs to practice this so they will be able to wear size 10 shoes or less, like I do.

By the way I was at a gym recently and saw a guy wearing size 14 shoes, which was of course ridiculous.
Obviously he knew nothing about the proper sizing of shoes.
One of the trainers there was also wearing the wrong size of shoes.

Anyone who would like my advice about being able to wear the proper sizing of shoes, i.e. size 10 or less,
let me know and I'll be glad to share my advice with you.
Surely it would vary with the person height! Short folk, such as yourself, can balance on those stubby little size 10 shoes (which actually seem to be overkill, IMO), but taller or shorter would have varied requirements to maintain the same balance characteristis. :lol:
Erg on,
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stroke rates

Post by robertk » June 23rd, 2008, 4:55 pm

Heaviestuser, I can't tell you how glad I am to see you here. I thought I was the only one alive to had scores similar to yours....WHO are these folks to can do 6:29 for 2000M??? How did they get that way? How long did it take? That's the forum question I'd love to see answered!

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Post by V5CVBB » June 23rd, 2008, 6:03 pm

I'm very new at all of this, but the low rates just seem natural to me. I'm 234lbs and almost 6'4" so moving up and down the slide at 30 plus seems akward to say the least. A slow easy piece for me is around 14-15 spm. Doing anything over 2k for time I seem to fall into a groove at about 18spm at 2:05 to 2:10 for upto an hour. I think my last 2k ended with a sprint of 28spm for last 100m.

For some reason I tried pulling a higher rate this morning. About 4500m at 2:08 and 25spm. Seemed my heartrate and breathing climbed quicker than normal and was sweating earlier than usual, but I felt I could have maintained the pace for hour or so no problem. I also noticed that I recovered very quickly after getting off the machine.

Guess I need to row the same piece at the same pace but differect rates and compare my heartrate to find where I work most efficiently.

Or maybe there is a chart somewhere that predicts my rate based my 12EE shoe size?
37y M 6'3" 233lbs
started 6/6/08
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Post by paul s » June 23rd, 2008, 6:56 pm

By the way I was at a gym recently and saw a guy wearing size 14 shoes, which was of course ridiculous. Obviously he knew nothing about the proper sizing of shoes. One of the trainers there was also wearing the wrong size of shoes.
So, you're saying that Shaquille O'Neal should wear size 10 shoes??? Apparently you have a magic formula to shrink feet. Am I right on this? Either that or you are a lunatic.

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Post by Nosmo » June 23rd, 2008, 8:39 pm

paul s wrote:Either that or you are a lunatic.
Why would they be mutually exclusive?

Warning faulty sarcasm detectors found.

John likes high stroke ratings. It seems to work well for him. This is a recurring theme in the forum, hence his sarcastic comments about shoes.

In general though it is easy to get high stroke ratings if your technique is bad and the vast majority of people who consistently row over 30 are doing so for the reasons iain mentioned. It is perfectly possible to row over 30 with good technique and moderate power, but few people do so.

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Further thoughts for HU

Post by iain » June 24th, 2008, 6:28 am

Nosmo wrote:In general though it is easy to get high stroke ratings if your technique is bad. It is perfectly possible to row over 30 with good technique and moderate power, but few people do so.
I think the point is that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with rowing at higher stroke ratings. However, if your technique is good, then you should be able to row at lower ratings even if you choose not to. the advocates of low rate training support it because when training at slower paces it is very easy to get sloppy with technique, this is not the case where every stroke remains powerful as required in low rate training.

At high ratings maintaining your breathing rhythm can get difficult for the majority of people who require 2 breaths per stroke at faster paces. I remember reading from one poster (I know, not statistically significant...) that, in time trials at the same pace, higher stroke ratings tend to lead to higher heart rates, but that they tired more quickly at lower ratings. It is horses for courses, each person needs to find the fastest (i.e. optimum) rating for them at each distance they want to PB.

If 2:00 is at 30SPM, to do sub-7 pace at the same power per stroke would require 45SPM and even John's beloved Danish lightweights don't keep that up for a full 2k! One possibility I didn't mention in my earlier post, is that if you need to rate 30 at 2:00, you may be training too fast. Most coaches suggest that the majority of your training (the endurance training) should be at 20S or so slower than an all out 2k. It may be that 8min 2k is your current pace. In that case, most of your training ought to be at 2:20/500m or so. You should be able to do this at the ratings advocated for training.

Regards

Iain

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Post by paul s » June 24th, 2008, 10:52 am

Nosmo wrote;
Warning faulty sarcasm detectors found.
Well heck. I thought I had a good sense of humor. Most people I know seem to think that. Obviously Nosmo is correct about my sarcasm detector. I guess I'll just go back to lurking. I really don't have anything to contribute to the forum anyways, unless there is some one else out there erging with only 45 - 50% heart capacity. Sorry John and cheers to all.

Paul Salata
69 - 270lbs - PB (Classified for reasons of embarressment)

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