Over time, I’ve found some good workouts for different purposes. Here is a partial list
Endurance Workouts: The intent of these workouts is to build aerobic fitness, improve CV capacity and increase the rate at which lactate is processed in muscles. The primary energy source is fat metabolism.
- 4 x 20′ / 1′ r (18 to 20 SPM) – This is my bread and butter session on the erg. The intent of the 1′ rests is to allow you to rehydrate and stretch. I typically do this session with a HR monitor and aim for a pace that keeps my HR between 70% and 80% of my HRR.
- Wolverine Plan L4 workouts: These can be done in a number of formats, but I usually do either 2 x (4 x 10′)/2’r or 4 x (2 x 10′)/1’r. Instead of using my 2K pace as a target for the paces, I usually go slower so that my HR only goes above 80% HRR at the end of the highest stroke rate intervals.
- Half Marathons: These are good every once in a while. My pace and rate in these is usually the same as a 4×20′, but because there are no rests, my HR will end up a little higher at the end.
Threshold Workouts: The intent of these workouts is to improve lactate processing and tolerance. Generally, HR in these workouts will rise consistently and end up at or around 90% HRR by the end.
- Continuous Rows: These are basically middle distance time trials. 5K, 6K, 30 minute, 10K, 60 minute. Generally free rate, although sometimes I will do them with a rate cap of 24spm.
- Pushes: These are continuous rows that are rowed with a strong negative split. The primary one that I do is a 10K push. For this workout you setup the PM for a 10K distance and 1000m splits. You start at pace about 8 seconds slower than you current 10K best pace. So, if you can do a 10K time trial at a 1:52 pace, then you would start this workout at 2:00. Then after 1000m, you speed up by a second to a 1:59 pace. The PM display can show you the pace for your current split. You just keep speeding up after each 1K section. The last 2K is pretty intense. You can do this with other distances or even based on time (like 30 minutes with 3 minute splits). The good thing about this workout is that it keeps you engaged trying to hit the paces exactly.
- Short rest intervals: These have about the same training effect as the continuous pieces but allow you to row a bit faster, and are more engaging mentally.
The main style of these workouts that I do is:
- 15 x 3′ / 1′ rest. This workout is done at about your 6K pace, maybe a second or two slower. I try to negative split this workout by noting the number of meters I do in the first rep and trying to increase that by 1 or 2 meters in each successive rep.
Long Interval Workouts: These workouts are the essential to preparing for both 2K racing, and also for head races and middle distance time trials. Generally they are done at around the same pace as a 5K or 6K time trial. Faster for the shorter intervals, slower for the longer ones. I have found that the best way to control the intensity of these workouts is to row to specific stroke rates in each interval. For the most intense sessions, do them as free rate and let nature take it’s course. Interval rests are designed to be between 0.5 and 1.0 times as long as the interval work period and should be long enough for your heart rate to get back below into the UT2 zone (<70% HRR). I generally do active rests, paddling at about 2:30 pace (2K + 50 ish), but I stop rowing long enough for a sip of water and to wipe my hands and face. These session should drive HR at or above 90% HRR in the last couple of intervals.
- The classics: These are from the Wolverine Plan and also in the Pete Plan
- 4 x 2K / 5′ rest
- 5×1500 / 5′ rest
- “The Waterfall” – 3K / 2.5K / 2K / 5′ rest. A fun variation of this one is to keep going to 1.5K / 1K / 500 for sprinty finale.
- Other ideas
- 8 to 10 x 1000 / 3’r Need to be careful about pacing the first few reps on this one. It’s easy to go too fast as first.
- Time based versions of these (4 x 8′, 5 x 6′, etc). I am doing more of these when I do erg sessions during OTW season. Since my pace is about 20 to 25 seconds slower in my boat than on the erg, if I want to emulate a 4x2K OTW session on an indoor rower, I will do it as 4×8′ or even 4×9′.
Short Interval Workouts: These workouts are the primary tool to improve 2K racing times. They are generally done at about 2K race pace and rate. Interval rests are between 1x and 2x work time. I do active rests again at about 2:30 pace, and I also stop for water or a wipe down every couple of reps. I try to get my HR down below UT2 (<65% HRR) by the end of the rests, but that might not be possible by the last few reps.
- The classics: From the Wolverine Plan (and used also by the Pete Plan)
- 8×500 / 3’30” rest – pace is a bit faster than 2K race pace
- 4 x 1000 / 5′ rest – pace is a second or two slower than 2K race pace
- “The Pyramid” (250/500/750/1000/750/500/250) / 1’30” rest for each 250m in the prior rep – pace on this one is 2K race pace going up and speed up coming back down
- Other ideas:
- 6 x 750 / 4′ rest
- Time based versions (8 x 2′, 6 x 3′, 4 x 4′, etc)
Very Short Interval Workouts: Since On the Water Master Sprint racing is done over a 1K distance, I have found that additional sprint training is useful. It might help with 2K training a bit, but is most necessary for short races.
- 16 x 250 / 2′ rest
- 3 x ( 6 x 1′ / 1′ rest) / 5′ rest
- 5 x 20 strokes @ 32 /10 stroke paddle, 5 x 20 strokes @ 34 / 15 stroke paddle, 5 x 20 strokes @ 36 / 20 stroke paddle, 5′ rest between sets ( from RowsAndAll: Sprint training. That workout is 30″ instead of 20 strokes for each work interval)