Transfer of rowing to running

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Cjfrancis
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Transfer of rowing to running

Post by Cjfrancis » March 14th, 2015, 4:52 am

Gday all,

The past few weeks I have really gotten into my rowing and have been posting a little bit on this forum. I was curious about transfer of aerobic capacity to running. I am in a combat unit in the military and we have a number of fitness tests centered around running and other things that most people know about. In my observations I have seen 4 types of fitness stereotypes in our unit.
1. the Gazelles, these are 65-75kg guys who run, run and run some more. There idea of strength training is bodyweight squats, jumping lunges and push ups. They typically crush runs like the 2.4km cleanskin run but struggle with pack marching or the heavier 3.2km webbing run that is used for SF selection and other entry tests.
2. The gorillas, These guys are 90kg+ and hit the gym at every chance, they typically are at the back of the clean skin runs, OR if they came form the rugby background or similar tend to sit middle of the pack after the first 400m. They often do well at pack marching due to being quite strong and if they have any amount of aerobic capacity do well at the 3.2km webbing run due to being able to handle the additional 15kg plus rifle weight carried during the run.
3. The seeners. These guys are your run of the mill bloke, they get seen at the gym and seen going for runs but never push themselves to hard and for whatever reason don't care to much about getting noticed during PT or have future aspirations to join SF or other specialist units.
4. The lingers. These guys are the Malingers. They feign injury more often than not to avoid anything strenuous. There is nothing else to say about them.

Im closest to number 2. I like lifting weights in big compound movements like snatches, cleans, squats, deadlifts etc. But once upon a time when I was leaner and younger I was capable of running a sub 19 minute 5k and a sub 40min 10km. A few years of powerlifting competitions and eating indiscriminately sure as hell fixed that as I packed on weight and stopped running. These days I sit more in the middle. I run ONLY when I have to, and pretty much row every day I get the chance, following (albeit loosely) a version of the beginners pete plan not from week to week but form workout to workout when able to due to work commitments. lift weights 3-4 times a week still doing back squats, front squats, Olympic lifts, deadlifts etc for lower body and weighted dips, presses and push press for upper body. Strength conditioning includes (heavy) tyre flips and sled/prowler intervals or if that isn't available we just take off the hand brake on mine or a mates car and push it up and down the street for 150-200m intervals. But as far as programming any running goes.. I don't do any.. zilch, nada. Unless we are made to do it in unit PT (which surprisingly is ofen less than once a fortnight) I simply never run.

Now Im not a horrible runner and can finish any running test we do well under the time cap. However the short time I have been rowing nearly daily I have noticed a huge improvement in my running, and almost cut an entire minute off of my 2.4km time from 9min 17 down to 8 min 28. That equates to a 1km pace of 3:30min which while it isn't lightning fast its pretty alright for a meathead who thinks cardio is a set of 20 heavy back squats. When I went to read up about it everything I found pretty much said there is little to no transfer except for a crossfit forum that dribble all the same pseudo-science mumbo dribbled by (generally speaking) people who had no legitimate experience in strength and conditioning.

So I wanted to see if anyone else has had similar experiences than me both for short distance stuff or the longer distance stuff? Or for different training modalities etc

Cheers

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hjs
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Re: Transfer of rowing to running

Post by hjs » March 14th, 2015, 5:57 am

You gave the answers yourself.
Erging does not help running much, it does build general aerobic fitness, being heavy (muscle) is not much of a problem.
Running only builds aerobic fitness, being light as possible helps a lot.
Crossfitters are horrible runners, reason, way to heavy, toprowers are also very poor runners.

But in general, training helps. If you just jog some, not even fast, that will help. And if possible get lighter.
For my training see twitter @Hjsrowing

Steve W
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Re: Transfer of rowing to running

Post by Steve W » March 14th, 2015, 9:56 am

CJ; From this runner's perspective, I believe rowing can give a slight boost to running. To be a decent runner, nothing replaces the specificity of running. Same could be said of most activities, so nothing genius in that statement. The additional aerobic training, especially high intensity work, can increase the aerobic capacity for short and middle distance times for running. Mental toughness that comes with the rowing can also transfer to other activities, whether it's running or other activities. This seems to be less applicable to longer distances. As a runner / triathlete, currently have 88 marathon or longer races and goal to run at least 100. I have noticed my shorter speed workout times for 2-8k improving recently. The only difference in recent training is the addition of rowing several times per week. For short to middle distances from my experience, there seems to be a 'boost' effect.
63yo, 62kg, Erg 500m, 1:58.6; 1k; 2k 8:04; 5k 20:46; 30min 7096m; 10k 43:49; 1 hour 13578m; half marathon, 1:37:49; marathon, 3:36:47
Skierg 2K 9:10; 5k 24:30; 30 min 6075m; 10k 49:56.5; 1hr 11776m; half marathon, 1:52:43.2; skierg marathon, 4:04:14.

Cjfrancis
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Re: Transfer of rowing to running

Post by Cjfrancis » March 14th, 2015, 5:53 pm

Thanks Steve that's some good perspective especially from someone as experienced as you in the longer marathon runs. I definitely feel like rowing has boosted my aerobic capacity significantly. And it has been surprising to see how it has helped with things at work. The only 'distance' work we do is either part of a gut check mental test, like finishing a bunch of activities then being told we have to webbing run 15km back to our last position OR its a long stomp with a heavy pack. But as far as having the engine to punch out shorter more powerful bursts out to 5 or 6k. At the moment pretty much anything up to 8-10km I can maintain a 4:15-4:20 pace easily enough. We have run 1000m intervals at 1:1 work rest which I was able to hold roughly 3 min flat to 3:10 per km which I am happy enough to achieve when my only deliberate aerobic exercise comes from rowing. On the c2 site there are training plans for rugby guys, who tend to be very powerful over 40-100m and even out to 200, has anyone here used rowing like that to increase their capacity over those distances and had good results?

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hjs
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Re: Transfer of rowing to running

Post by hjs » March 15th, 2015, 4:50 am

Cjfrancis wrote:Thanks Steve that's some good perspective especially from someone as experienced as you in the longer marathon runs. I definitely feel like rowing has boosted my aerobic capacity significantly. And it has been surprising to see how it has helped with things at work. The only 'distance' work we do is either part of a gut check mental test, like finishing a bunch of activities then being told we have to webbing run 15km back to our last position OR its a long stomp with a heavy pack. But as far as having the engine to punch out shorter more powerful bursts out to 5 or 6k. At the moment pretty much anything up to 8-10km I can maintain a 4:15-4:20 pace easily enough. We have run 1000m intervals at 1:1 work rest which I was able to hold roughly 3 min flat to 3:10 per km which I am happy enough to achieve when my only deliberate aerobic exercise comes from rowing. On the c2 site there are training plans for rugby guys, who tend to be very powerful over 40-100m and even out to 200, has anyone here used rowing like that to increase their capacity over those distances and had good results?
The point is rowing is very much focussed on the 2k and for that speed is relative unimportant.
For guys who sprint, deadlifts and squats are important.
I have never seen anyone use the rugbyplan. Makes little sense for rowing, so nobody uses it.
For my training see twitter @Hjsrowing

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speedy
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Re: Transfer of rowing to running

Post by speedy » June 11th, 2015, 11:41 am

Rowers row, and runners run. I see it time and time again people trying to use one tool for a focus not related to that tool. Sorry but it is that simple. That isn't to say you can't have more than one focus but you need to put time into both. How to do that? Well there are many ways but the easiest I have to suggest is in the morning after you get up do one activity. After you get out of work do the other activity. Don't over think which one you should do first, maybe on Mon do 1 & 2 and on Wed do 2 & 1. Play with it; routines are good as the paper they are on. You will know what works for you and what is your passion as you do it.
C2 Model E w/PM5 - Barely scratched the surface with what I can do with the PM5.

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