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.
korkiley
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Post by korkiley » June 27th, 2008, 2:30 pm

jamesg wrote:67y 188cm 85kg; 3km/h in, 10km/h on. Last 2k 7.33 @ 22. Started 1951 or '3, I forget.
What does "..3km/h in, 10km/h on. Last 2k 7.33@22." mean?
John Rupp wrote:James, I don't quite understand.

The Danish record is 6:02.2 at 8 meters per stoke.
You suggest rowing at 10+ meters per stroke.

6:02.2 x 8 / 10 = 4:49.8 but you're only doing 7:33.

What am I missing?
What is 7:33? If that's his 2k time, then I don't understand your calculation.

Wow! I've always been fairly analytical about my sports techniques but you guys go beyond anything I've ever witnessed! Don't get me wrong. It's extremely interesting and I want to learn more but I'm having a hard time keeping up at the moment. One thing that makes it difficult is all the abreviations. Does anyone know of a glossary where I might look up terms such as SPI, UT1, etc. If not, perhaps we could have one here on the forum.

I wonder if the best stroke rate for an individual has anything to do with fast/slow twitch muscle ratios and other arcane stuff that I know little to nothing about.

Another question to do with stroke rate. As I mentioned, I am following Frank Birch's marathon training program. I'm now in my 9th week of training and I've done two sessions where I'm training for strength. This morning, for example, I did 1x(10x10): Set the damper +2 from your normal setting and do 10 strokes all out, then row lightly until HR falls below 75% Max HR.

I didn't think about it, when I rowed the same program on Tuesday before reading this thread, but this morning I wondered what flat out really means. Does it mean to pull as hard as you can with a slower SPM or to pull as hard as you can with the highest possible SPM. I tried it both ways, and both ways I was able to accelerate to a max of about 1:46/500.

And, by the way, in the entire 6 month of this training plan, the strength training only occurrs on the 9th to 12th weeks, a total of 9 sessions. Does this make sense to anyone?

Kor Kiley

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johnlvs2run
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Re: stroke rates

Post by johnlvs2run » June 27th, 2008, 4:13 pm

Nosmo wrote:they are probably doing it at 18-22 spm.
Yeah I seriously doubt they would be smooth at high ratings and then practice being jerky at low ones, probably more like 22-24 if that and low effort, like me doing 23 spm at 2:20 pace. Okay I've done < 2:20 at 10 spm before, so what. There is NO POINT to that and the form is totally different, i.e. all out and NO relation to the form at high ratings. Check out JamesG and Ranger, same thing, they can't go any higher because there form is off base.

I see you do low rates and high ones, so you are used to the higher ones for your race. I have no objection to that, just those who think doing low rates at intensity all of the time is something useful when in reality it is messing them up.
One of the the things I have been working on is rowing smoother at higher ratings. But this is more a technique issue and it has been coming along fairly quickly.
Bingo.... good that it's coming along.
When I was bike racing, I always did some work at very high cadences and some hill work at very low cadences. I still can spin at over 200 rpm for a couple of minutes. It not something I would want to do in a race but if I can spin smoothly at 200 rpm, then I am pretty comfortable at 140, which I may have to suddenly close a gap on a down hill or respond to an attack.
YIkes the highest I got was 135 and losing form badly after that, though I never did bike racing seriously. I loved climbing though, spinning 96 to 102 rpm up long hills, and climbing standing/sitting up steep ones. How did you get to spinning over 200 rpm! :shock: Do you feel that helped you for time trials and racing on the flats? I read that LeMond thought the spinning was useless, never did any of it and the same for Armstrong. To each their own I guess, I am interested in what you think of the 200+ rpm though and how you learned to do that.

As an aside, do you think it would provide any benefit to you to learn to "spin" on the erg?
Last edited by johnlvs2run on June 27th, 2008, 4:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by johnlvs2run » June 27th, 2008, 4:14 pm

korkiley wrote:What is 7:33? If that's his 2k time, then I don't understand your calculation.
Kor, I don't understand it either, should be 4:49.8.

SPI = stroke pause index, a measure of how long people can stop between strokes, no use to it really.

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Post by PaulS » June 27th, 2008, 5:22 pm

John Rupp wrote:James, I don't quite understand.

The Danish record is 6:02.2 at 8 meters per stoke.
You suggest rowing at 10+ meters per stroke.

6:02.2 x 8 / 10 = 4:49.8 but you're only doing 7:33.

What am I missing?
That's a long list, do we really want to go there? :lol:

While a couple Danes may race at the rates specified, the vast majority of their training is at far higher DPS than 8m/stroke. I've met Rassmus Quist, and obvserved him on the Erg, there is little doubt they do just as I say. B)

Now John will likely spam my inbox and I will share the vitriol with everyone if he does. :twisted:
Erg on,
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Re: stroke rates

Post by Nosmo » June 27th, 2008, 7:36 pm

John Rupp wrote:
Nosmo wrote:they are probably doing it at 18-22 spm.
Yeah I seriously doubt they would be smooth at high ratings and then practice being jerky at low ones, probably more like 22-24 if that and low effort, like me doing 23 spm at 2:20 pace....
There is no reason rowing should be jerky at even less then 16 spm. The motion must be continuous, smooth and relaxed. It is much more important to be able to do this in a boat then on the erg, but nevertheless there is benefit in being able to row well with power at all ratings. All of my on the water coaches have had us rowing at below 22 spm. It teaches control, balance and good sequencing. This is standard coaching practice, and although I don't know anything specific about the Danes, I doubt their training is unique in this regard.
Last OTW row I did, we did a few minutes of rowing at 12-14. If the stroke is jerky and not smooth, no one could follow them. This also requires very good balance so it is a way to work on the set up.

John Rupp wrote: I have no objection to that, just those who think doing low rates at intensity all of the time is something useful when in reality it is messing them up.
I would agree with that, but I don't think rowing at high ratings all the time is optimal either. Making power proportional to stroke rating is a reasonable thing to do. It is not what PaulS recommends but it is pretty close to the L4 workout in the Wolverine plan.
John Rupp wrote:
One of the the things I have been working on is rowing smoother at higher ratings. But this is more a technique issue and it has been coming along fairly quickly.
Bingo.... good that it's coming along.
I neglected to mention that I've been working on it mostly in the boat where it is much harder and more important then the erg.
John Rupp wrote: How did you get to spinning over 200 rpm! :shock:
Years of practice and riding a fixed gear on steep hills. Just keep lowering your gear and eventually you will get there. The idea is that if you can spin at 200 rpm then you will be very smooth and not get as tired at 120. Again this is a drill and a skill that is useful but not necessary (unless you ride a fix gear in hilly areas, then it is necessary).
John Rupp wrote: Do you feel that helped you for time trials and racing on the flats?
For time trials the only benefit would be if it was hill and you needed to get up to speed on a very steep downhill quickly and then were going to tuck and coast. Few TT's have courses where that is beneficial. For flat racing it is usefull when suddenly closing a gap--if one can efficiently spin then one does not have to change gears as much when having to suddenly accelerate. This has helped me in criteriums, where using a lower gear then others, I can accelerate out of corners quickly with less force on the pedals. It is most useful for downhills. Being a small person quickly accelerating on downhills to get on someone's wheel is critical. When I was a junior I had a gear limit, even when racing with the seniors, I had no choice but to spin fast.
John Rupp wrote: I read that LeMond thought the spinning was useless, never did any of it and the same for Armstrong.
I would like to see the quote from Lemond. I bet he meant spinning was useless as the default method of riding. But as a skill I doubt he would say that. Armstrong was known for riding at a much higher cadence then the rest of the peleton, so I'm not sure what you mean.
John Rupp wrote: As an aside, do you think it would provide any benefit to you to learn to "spin" on the erg?
I don't see any benefit on the erg.
In the boat there is some. What one does is as a drill try to row at a very high rating with low power. One could also load the oars very lightly but I don't know anyone who does this, simply because it is difficult to change it significantly during a work out.

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Re: stroke rates

Post by johnlvs2run » June 27th, 2008, 8:34 pm

Nosmo wrote:There is no reason rowing should be jerky at even less then 16 spm.
True but my point is if you take the 10 or 16 spm at intensity and apply that same form and TIMING to high rates then the high rating stroke will be oblong and ridiculous, even impossible to maintain. This is what I'm talking about. This is why training intensely at low rates, destroys the timing at high rates, and those who practice intense low rates almost exclusively, are generally not capable of performing at reasonable higher ratings with intensity, as their coordination is shot. In fact I have seen many on this forum say they are not able to go faster when they raise up the ratings.
I don't know anything specific about the Danes, I doubt their training is unique in this regard
There was a fellow when SuperCanoa first started coached by Ebbesen, who said Ebbesen told him there was no reason to ever go below 23-24 spm. A lot of people here seem to just plug in and think "oh Ebbesen must do this, because I do this", and they ignore what virtually all of the Danes are doing in practice.
John Rupp wrote:I would agree with that, but I don't think rowing at high ratings all the time is optimal either.
I don't know, as I've never done that, and don't know of anyone else who has either.
Making power proportional to stroke rating is a reasonable thing to do.
Agreed.
Years of practice and riding a fixed gear on steep hills. Just keep lowering your gear and eventually you will get there. The idea is that if you can spin at 200 rpm then you will be very smooth and not get as tired at 120.
This reminds me, I think it is the Japanese sprinters who train in big groups and one of the things they do is ride down steep hills in fixed gears. Yikes! They are conditioned to generate great power at high rates. I never had the brazonness to ride down any kind of a hill in fixed gear, imagining myself a total wreck in a field or under some truck.
I would like to see the quote from Lemond. I bet he meant spinning was useless as the default method of riding. But as a skill I doubt he would say that.
It is in his book, he was talking about training, said he didn't do it and felt it had no usefulness.
Armstrong was known for riding at a much higher cadence then the rest of the peleton, so I'm not sure what you mean.
Well I have Armstrong's training and it doesn't have anything of him training at high rates like 135 or anything like that. Normally it was < 100 rpm. Granted he rode at higher ratings up hills than most of the peloton, but then so do I. :)

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Re: stroke rates

Post by Nosmo » June 27th, 2008, 9:41 pm

John Rupp wrote:
Nosmo wrote:There is no reason rowing should be jerky at even less then 16 spm.
True but my point is if you take the 10 or 16 spm at intensity and apply that same form and TIMING to high rates then the high rating stroke will be oblong and ridiculous, even impossible to maintain.
The form should be the same just not the TIMING.
John Rupp wrote: ... there was no reason to ever go below 23-24 spm.
Well perhaps. There are clearly different coaching philosophies. Other very successful coaches But I cannot imagine coaching a novice crew to row together if they are starting to row at that high a rating.
John Rupp wrote: ...imagining myself a total wreck in a field or under some truck.
More likely you will just get thrown over the handle bars on the road.
Well I have Armstrong's training and it doesn't have anything of him training at high rates like 135 or anything like that. Normally it was < 100 rpm. Granted he rode at higher ratings up hills than most of the peloton, but then so do I. :)
One doesn't go for a long ride at and keep it above 135. One only does it for brief periods. (unless of course one is on a long downhill on a fixed gear. I recall one ride when I had a 22% mile long downhill--Houser Bridge in Sonoma County--I had to stop and rest just before the bottom).

If you look at track sprinters they always finish their sprints above 135. I would bet Armstong and Lemond go above 120 rpm very often in races but only for brief periods. Almost all decent racers do. I recommend spinning at high rates as a skill. I do it as a drill not for physical fitness.

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Re: stroke rates

Post by johnlvs2run » June 27th, 2008, 10:35 pm

Nosmo wrote:One doesn't go for a long ride at and keep it above 135. One only does it for brief periods. (unless of course one is on a long downhill on a fixed gear. I recall one ride when I had a 22% mile long downhill--Houser Bridge in Sonoma County--I had to stop and rest just before the bottom).
Was that > 135 rpm? Downhills always freaked me out. I rode with a guy who raced off road 60 mph downhills between trees. He was an A++++ personality. I could hammer him going up, but he'd leave me in the dust going down, skidding sideways around switchbacks with one foot down on a road bike. Scary stuff.
I recommend spinning at high rates as a skill. I do it as a drill not for physical fitness.
Good point.

LeMond's last TDF time trial, checked during 3 sections, 108, 95, and 99.5 rpm.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=AyvwtOQYQ-E

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