Newbie seeking advice

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.
Jaxta
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Newbie seeking advice

Post by Jaxta » March 17th, 2019, 3:07 am

Hi all

Newbie rower and first time poster seeking advice please

I am new to rowing (started end of last year). I've corrected some of those rookie mistakes - lowered my damper setting from 10 to 4, slowed my stroke rate from mid to high 30s down to 20-24.
I feel my form is good, concentrating on the phases of the stroke.

About a month ago I was really happy with my progress. Not fantastic times by any means, but I was happy with my times - getting around 2:20-2:30min/500m for 1, 2 and 5k distances.

I now find myself reading posts and Facebook pics of people's monitors, where they are getting sub 2 min/500 and for the life of me can't get anywhere close to that for any more than 2 or 3 strokes. I don't have height on my side (5.4 ft) but feel I have a reasonable fitness level.
I also struggle with keeping consistent - people who row EXACTLY the same in each of their splits (to the second and to the metre) over 30-60 mins blow me away!!

I usually row everyday using one of the concept 2 'workout of the day' routines, so lots of intervals and usually a 'time trial' once or twice a week. Am I just expecting to much to soon??

Any suggestions of improving my time/500 and consistency through the piece would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance

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hjs
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Re: Newbie seeking advice

Post by hjs » March 17th, 2019, 1:08 pm

First of all, height and thus weight matter a lot, most good rower are tall, I myself am 6.1 and among rowers often one the shorter ones.

For the rest, you could give a bit more information, how your sessions go exactly.

Rating, lower rates are usefull for training, if you do a race/timetrial you should better go free rate. And the shorter you are the higher your rating can be.
For my training see twitter @Hjsrowing

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Anth_F
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Re: Newbie seeking advice

Post by Anth_F » March 17th, 2019, 1:52 pm

Jaxta wrote:
March 17th, 2019, 3:07 am


I am new to rowing (started end of last year).
I also struggle with keeping consistent - people who row EXACTLY the same in each of their splits (to the second and to the metre) over 30-60 mins blow me away!!

I usually row everyday using one of the concept 2 'workout of the day' routines, so lots of intervals and usually a 'time trial' once or twice a week. Am I just expecting to much to soon??

Any suggestions of improving my time/500 and consistency through the piece would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance
You have only been rowing a few months. SPM and Pace Consistency takes a good amount of time to get it on point for sure... that goes the same for gaining strength and endurance on the machine. It will come though. To get fitter, do more longer sessions rather than lots of interval stuff. That way you'll build up a solid aerobic foundation. I would also suggest you take some rest days as well. If you are rowing every day and constantly doing harder interval stuff most days, then you are overtraining, combined with no rest, which is the wrong way to go about it.
42yo male 5'10 78kg (Rowing since june 9th 2016) PB's 5k 19:22 30min 7518m

My goals are simply to keep fit/get fitter and continue to enjoy rowing on the C2 :)

https://log.concept2.com/log

RayOfSunshine
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Re: Newbie seeking advice

Post by RayOfSunshine » March 17th, 2019, 2:25 pm

Jaxta wrote:
March 17th, 2019, 3:07 am

I usually row everyday using one of the concept 2 'workout of the day' routines, so lots of intervals and usually a 'time trial' once or twice a week. Am I just expecting to much to soon??

Any suggestions of improving my time/500 and consistency through the piece would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance
Yes, you're probably expecting too much too soon. You'll also need to be reasonable with your expectations.

I was in a similar boat as you and did all 5 workouts for all 24 weeks of the BPP (below). I posted all my workout on the Pete Plan thread (below) and followed numerous threads on the C2 forum. The advice from the people on this forum is pure gold.

One workout, not in the BPP, that was extremely helpful was 30r20 (30 minutes restricted to 20 SPM). If you have the ErgData app, you can follow the actual strokes as you go. Restricting the stroke rate forced me to maximize leg drive. I didn't like it at first, but it's now one of my favorite workouts.

https://thepeteplan.wordpress.com/beginner-training/

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=165414&start=1860
48M, 175cm/5'9", 74.8kg/165lbs
Neptune Beach, FL/Boone, NC

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hobbit
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Re: Newbie seeking advice

Post by hobbit » March 17th, 2019, 2:39 pm

Hi! I'm exactly your size, so I suffer from the same handicap. As hjs mentioned, the best rowers are almost invariably tall, and mostly strong. To see how much that difference is worth, you might enjoy concept2's weight adjustment calculator:

https://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/ ... calculator

It allows you to level the playing field a bit and see how much faster you'd be if Nature had made you bigger.
M 64 163cm/5' 4" 57kg/126lb
2k 8:16 (2018) -- 5k 21:03 (2018) -- 30' 7038m (2018) -- 10k 43:19 (2018) -- 60' 13475m (2019) -- HM 1:34:04 (2019)

Dangerscouse
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Re: Newbie seeking advice

Post by Dangerscouse » March 17th, 2019, 4:05 pm

If you only been rowing circa 4 or 5 months there is still a long way to go as many of us have been rowing for years. Your height and weight will count against you so it's your fitness and strength that you need to work on.

As Anth said rest days and lower intensity days are important as there's no benefit in thrashing it out too often as you need to recover.

Consistency is easier when you go relatively slowly at low rates but I don't bother with trying to achieve perfection. If you do want to do it, it will take a lot more experience and getting used to the amount of pressure required.

For now, keep trying to improve but stay happy with your own progress and times as "comparison is thief of all joy"- Roosevelt
46 HWT; 6' 4"; Liverpool 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:27; 6k= 21:23; 10k= 36:21 30mins= 8,356m 60mins= 16,317m HM= 1:18:40; FM= 2:49:39; 50k= 3:28:18; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you Row"

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johnlvs2run
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Re: Newbie seeking advice

Post by johnlvs2run » March 17th, 2019, 4:56 pm

I disagree that you're doing too much too soon. We don't even know what you're doing. :D
Jaxta wrote:
March 17th, 2019, 3:07 am
lowered my damper setting from 10 to 4
Check to see what the drag factor is. Based on your speed, a drag from 60 to 90 will be better for you.
Jaxta wrote:
March 17th, 2019, 3:07 am
slowed my stroke rate from mid to high 30s down to 20-24.
Being 5'4, you should stick with mid to high 30s for your ratings.
Starting from your fastest pace rating, the lower the rating the slower the pace.
The only exception for having lower rate pieces is when training for strength, but the pace will be slower.
73 5'8 155
age 70+ world record pace per weight percentages
skierg: 100m 87.4 / 500m 86.2 / 1k 85.9 / 2k 89.4 / 5k 87.6 / 30' 89.6 / 10k 92.2 / 60' 92.0 / 21k 93.6
bikeerg: 4k 82.1 / 30' 87.0 . . . my training log

Jaxta
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Re: Newbie seeking advice

Post by Jaxta » March 17th, 2019, 9:52 pm

Thank you to everyone who has replied.

I think I do have to lower my expectations of myself a bit, although hobbit, the calculator does make me feel better - thank you! It is good to see how I would go against others all things (ie height/weight) being equal. :D


Anth_F - I'm doing the Mud Season Madness challenge so wanting to row each day. I have built up enough days now to take one or two off and still make the 25 day minimum. Just have to fight the guilt of not rowing :roll:

johnlvs2run,

" Check to see what the drag factor is. Based on your speed, a drag from 60 to 90 will be better for you."

my drag factor on my best workouts were:
1000m - DF 103
2000m - DF 100
5000 - DF 84

So maybe not too bad?

RayOfSunshine, I have seen the Pete's Plan before - think I just need to sit down and have a good look at it again. From memory though some of the workouts are quite long - I'm a bit time poor but think that planning ahead will help me achieve the PP

hjs - yes, it's an uphill battle being short (not just in rowing!). I do try not to look at my stroke rate during a time trial, other than to try stop myself from going too hard at the beginning and finding I have to stop before the end.

Thanks to all for your advice, I'll keep on keeping on and hopefully bring those times down and consitancies up.

Thanks :)

jamesg
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Re: Newbie seeking advice

Post by jamesg » March 18th, 2019, 2:34 am

Working at about 2W/kg will keep you fit, using height and consequent BMI weight, and adjusting for age and sex. It's best to use hips and thighs, where the muscle is, in a full stroke, so that you can relax in normal work, reserving the high ratings for sprints.
78y, 188cm, 87kg, last seen MHR 159. 2k (2019-11-29) 8.33.8@23

Jaxta
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Re: Newbie seeking advice

Post by Jaxta » March 18th, 2019, 4:28 am

Thanks jamesg,
I need to increase my watts!!! It's good to have different things to monitor to track progress B)

kini62
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Re: Newbie seeking advice

Post by kini62 » March 18th, 2019, 4:57 pm

You gave your height, but what about weight and age. Both are important factors.

I'm 5'6". IMO your rating is correct for most of your pieces. I typically row at 23-25spm for all steady state distances from 2K to 15K. I rate up only when doing sprints.

As for the drag factor I find anything under low 100 makes it harder for me to get a good pace. The drive starts to become a lot quicker and being short there's just not enough length to really spin it up. At least that's how it feels to me. If you were under 20spm the lower drag would be OK to use.

Everyone's preferred drag factor is going to be a little different. I like mine to be 115-120 for most of my rowing and I don't change it for different length efforts.
56m, 5'6" 160lbs, rowing and skiing (pseudo) on the Big Island of Hawaii.

gooseflight
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Re: Newbie seeking advice

Post by gooseflight » March 19th, 2019, 4:15 am

kini62 wrote:
March 18th, 2019, 4:57 pm
As for the drag factor I find anything under low 100 makes it harder for me to get a good pace. The drive starts to become a lot quicker and being short there's just not enough length to really spin it up. At least that's how it feels to me. If you were under 20spm the lower drag would be OK to use.
I agree. Shorties tend to do better on higher drag. And for a newbie working out a stroke, it's important to feel something at the catch. 120 is a good starting point.
Roy Walter
M55 | 185cm | 90kg | Journeyman Erger
PBs (2004): 6:38 (2K) | 5:22.9 (mile) | 17:39.6 (5K) | 8323 (30 mins) | 36:52 (10K) | 1:22:03 (HM '05)

Jaxta
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Re: Newbie seeking advice

Post by Jaxta » March 19th, 2019, 6:43 am

Thank you kini and gooseflight. How do I adjust my drag factor? I thought that had to do with age of the machine, how dusty it is etc :?:

lindsayh
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Re: Newbie seeking advice

Post by lindsayh » March 19th, 2019, 6:58 am

Jaxta wrote:
March 19th, 2019, 6:43 am
Thank you kini and gooseflight. How do I adjust my drag factor? I thought that had to do with age of the machine, how dusty it is etc :?:
on a clean machine regardless of age the DF will range between about 80 on setting of 1 and about 215 on setting of 10. Every machine is a bit different and a really dirty machine may go as low as 90 on setting of 10. Ignore damper settings completely and just work off a standard DF set at each workout.
Best is to get in the practice of checking the machine you are about to use in a gym and setting the DF to your preferred number usually between say 100 and 130 depending on what suits you. On a machine at home it becomes less of an issue annd a monthly brush out will keep it clean. there is a huge amount of material here about drag factor and the like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEqWFHH1yeU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Uc2HQILJhU&t=41s
https://www.concept2.com/service/monito ... rag-factor
Lindsay
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PBs (65y+) 1 min 349m, 500m 1:29.8, 1k 3:11.7 2k 6:47.4, 5km 18:07.9, 30' 7928m, 10k 37:57.2, 60' 15368m

Jaxta
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Re: Newbie seeking advice

Post by Jaxta » March 21st, 2019, 3:58 am

Thanks lindsayh,

It's taking me a while to get my head around it all but all the advice has been great

I think I just need to give myself a little bit more time on the rower

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