Happy with progress - how should I accelerate?

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PhillipR
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Happy with progress - how should I accelerate?

Post by PhillipR » May 3rd, 2021, 1:01 pm

35M / 230 lbs / 21.7% BF / 6' 6" (198 cm); Never athletic, no history of sports and no strength training.

Picked up a PM5 Model D on March 1st with the goal of a 7-min 2k and a 30 lb / 3.5% BF reduction, as quickly as possible without injury.

03/01: 240.7 / 23.3%
  • 500m: 2:30
    2000m: 9:50
    5000m: 22:57
05/01: 230.5 / 21.7%
  • 500m: 1:44
    2000m: 7:35
    5000m: 20:42
In March and April, I rowed 3-4d/week and am now trying for 5d/wk + 1d/wk functional strength training.

Targeting 2000 kcal, 40/25/35% Carb/Fat/Protein macros.
* I want long-term maintenance; keto/pure carb restriction isn't something I will adhere to consistently.

My routine is ad-hoc, doing 500/1m, 2000m and 5000m arbitrarily, depending on how I feel that day.

I'm happy with my progress so far. -10 lb, -1.6% BF and 42% faster on 2k means I should be able to achieve my goal in August, assuming a linear trend.

I'd like to hit my goal in June. How would you accelerate this plan?

I don't want to burn out through boredom or injure myself, nor significantly alter my diet goals.

- Unrelated: I may be travelling for the entire month of June, away from home and any gyms.
What exercises should I do to maintain this progress in absence of a rower, or any machines, for that matter?

robbiep
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Re: Happy with progress - how should I accelerate?

Post by robbiep » May 3rd, 2021, 6:46 pm

Try some longer rows - say one per fortnight. The sheer endurance it'll give you means that you'll be able to maintain form better over the shorter distances. By longer rows I mean 30 min, 10k and 60 min rows.

Your progress won't be linear forever, I'm afraid to say. It will be linear for a while, but that drops away. A better guide is to use watts rather than pace.

Plenty of very good people on here who will look at your technique for you and try to help with improvements to make it more efficient if you'll post a side-on video on youtube and link to it.

My experience of rowing, and then taking time away from it with other sports (badminton, cycling and running for me) is that although my CV fitness stays good or even improves, I still find a notable dropoff in form and pace for a few weeks when I get back on the rower, until I build back the rowing-specific fitness.

I'm currently doing just that. I've been getting out on the hills running a lot the last couple of months, and did a 5k on the rower today. 20:50, compared with 19:51 from 3 months ago. It was horrible.
https://log.concept2.com/profile/41592/log

51 HWT M
50+ PBs : (recent in red)
100m 17.0 / 500m 1:36.3 / 1k 3:32.2 / 2k 7:29.9 / 5k 19:51.7 / 6k 23:53.3 / 10k 41:36.4
HM 1:29:38.2 / 1 min 310m / 30 min 7407m / 60 min 14124m

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Ombrax
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Re: Happy with progress - how should I accelerate?

Post by Ombrax » May 3rd, 2021, 7:12 pm

Congratulations, Phillip - that is great progress.

I do have two comments - first, don't burn out. You don't want to get in a rut, and a variety of workouts and goals is a good way to keep it interesting.

Because a fair amount of your initial gains will likely have been due to improved technique, and because (as Robbie suggests above) your body improves most easily when you first start any given exercise program be prepared mentally for when you eventually hit a plateau, and the gains are much harder to come by. But keep it up and you'll continue to be pleased with the results.

Dangerscouse
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Re: Happy with progress - how should I accelerate?

Post by Dangerscouse » May 4th, 2021, 1:27 am

I agree with doing longer rows, but do them at a slower steady pace, and don't try to thrash your way through them.

There isn't really any alternative to the rower, but cycling and swimming are probably about as close as it comes.

It's important that you try to enjoy the process, and not just wholly focus on the goal. As you are hoping for a specific goal, there is a lot of potential for you to be demotivated either when you reach the goal, or if you don't proceed as hoped.

I'd also suggest that you do more interval sessions too e.g 8 x 500m; 5 x 750m; 4 x 1000m with 3 or 4 minutes rest between reps. You need to train your mind as well as your body to accept the build up of discomfort.
47 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:24; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,428m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

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winniewinser
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Re: Happy with progress - how should I accelerate?

Post by winniewinser » May 4th, 2021, 5:20 am

PhillipR wrote:
May 3rd, 2021, 1:01 pm
35M / 230 lbs / 21.7% BF / 6' 6" (198 cm); Never athletic, no history of sports and no strength training.

Picked up a PM5 Model D on March 1st with the goal of a 7-min 2k and a 30 lb / 3.5% BF reduction, as quickly as possible without injury.

03/01: 240.7 / 23.3%
  • 500m: 2:30
    2000m: 9:50
    5000m: 22:57
05/01: 230.5 / 21.7%
  • 500m: 1:44
    2000m: 7:35
    5000m: 20:42
In March and April, I rowed 3-4d/week and am now trying for 5d/wk + 1d/wk functional strength training.

Targeting 2000 kcal, 40/25/35% Carb/Fat/Protein macros.
* I want long-term maintenance; keto/pure carb restriction isn't something I will adhere to consistently.

My routine is ad-hoc, doing 500/1m, 2000m and 5000m arbitrarily, depending on how I feel that day.

I'm happy with my progress so far. -10 lb, -1.6% BF and 42% faster on 2k means I should be able to achieve my goal in August, assuming a linear trend.

I'd like to hit my goal in June. How would you accelerate this plan?

I don't want to burn out through boredom or injure myself, nor significantly alter my diet goals.

- Unrelated: I may be travelling for the entire month of June, away from home and any gyms.
What exercises should I do to maintain this progress in absence of a rower, or any machines, for that matter?
Great progress so far so well done on that.

Maybe have a look at the Beginners Pete Plan which I found a great programme to aid progress......
https://thepeteplan.wordpress.com/beginner-training/
Alex, LWTM, 6'2" 49yo, 100m 17.3 1' 340m, 500m 1:30.0, 1km 3:14.3, 4min 1220m, 2km 6:50.2, 5km 17:59.8, 6km 21:46.7, 30' 8082m, 10km 37:31.3, 60' 15,669m, HM 1:22:14.7, FM 3:08:12.8

Skierg 1' 281m, 2km 8:15.1, 5km 21:41.6

jamesg
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Re: Happy with progress - how should I accelerate?

Post by jamesg » May 4th, 2021, 8:06 am

I'd like to hit my goal in June. How would you accelerate this plan?
You don't mention your ratings, but for example your 5000m in 20:42 (180W) if done at rating 20 or less would be a useful workout tending to accelerate to say a 19' 5k at rating 24. But if done at 30, you need to go back to square 1 and develop a bigger stroke.
08-1940, 183cm, 84kg. Last seen MHR 158 in 2k = 220 - 77% of age.
2021-2: stroke 6 W-min. ½k 1:55.5; 1k 4:09.2; 2k 8:42.2; 5k 23:15; 30' 6247; 10k 49:36.

KeithT
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Re: Happy with progress - how should I accelerate?

Post by KeithT » May 4th, 2021, 8:14 am

Great progress!

Others have stated some longer rows and intervals and I agree with that as well. I also like the weight training at least once a week - work on things rowing doesn't cover much (think pushing/pressing movements for upperbody).
53 yo, 6'3" 200#
PBs (all since turning 50):
1 min - 376m, 500m - 1:21.3, 1K - 2:57.2, 4 min - 1265m, 2K - 6:29.4, 5K - 17:23, 30 min - 8366m, 10K - 35:54, 60 min - 16110, HM - 1:19:19, FM - 2:45:41

Dangerscouse
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Re: Happy with progress - how should I accelerate?

Post by Dangerscouse » May 4th, 2021, 10:36 am

KeithT wrote:
May 4th, 2021, 8:14 am
Great progress!

Others have stated some longer rows and intervals and I agree with that as well. I also like the weight training at least once a week - work on things rowing doesn't cover much (think pushing/pressing movements for upperbody).
Definitely. Antagonistic movement, and core workouts arw really important, and can be bodyweight movements if you've not got weights.
47 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:24; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,428m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

PhillipR
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Re: Happy with progress - how should I accelerate?

Post by PhillipR » May 13th, 2021, 4:37 pm

Thanks everybody for the advice. I took everything I saw in the thread and am trying to do a 30m every day now for the next two weeks to see how it helps. I read up on "UT1/2" and I know that 190 BPM is basically my unsustainable peak - I can hit it during a 500m but not maintain it, and it seems like my "UT2" is 137-155, so I've been trying to keep 150-160 for the full 30 minutes. It ends up being a 2:30 pace, which is hard to mentally be OK with, but I keep telling myself it's for distance and overall aerobic capability.

I'm still very much enjoying the process, so I haven't burned out yet. I may also try the 4 x 1000m suggested if I'm not feeling up to 30 minutes.
jamesg wrote:
May 4th, 2021, 8:06 am
You don't mention your ratings, but for example your 5000m in 20:42 (180W) if done at rating 20 or less would be a useful workout tending to accelerate to say a 19' 5k at rating 24. But if done at 30, you need to go back to square 1 and develop a bigger stroke.
I wasn't sure I understood this one, but I went back and looked and my 5000m in 20:42 was at Stroke Rate 26. I can't seem to pull it up, but I think on the ErgData app I downloaded it shows 1.45 stroke distance but 1.59 if I really stretch for it.

I'm also definitely including strength training at least once a week.

Dangerscouse
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Re: Happy with progress - how should I accelerate?

Post by Dangerscouse » May 14th, 2021, 1:13 am

PhillipR wrote:
May 13th, 2021, 4:37 pm
It ends up being a 2:30 pace, which is hard to mentally be OK with, but I keep telling myself it's for distance and overall aerobic capability.
That's just your ego talking when you don't like the pace. It won't be 2:30 forever: as you improve so will the pace, so focus on incremental gains.

I like to remind myself that I'm doing what I should, not what I could.
47 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:24; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,428m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

jamesg
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Location: Trentino Italy

Re: Happy with progress - how should I accelerate?

Post by jamesg » May 14th, 2021, 3:41 am

my 5000m in 20:42 was at Stroke Rate 26.
That's about 180W and not bad at all.

But 180/26 = 7 Watt-minutes per stroke, which means the stroke itself is weak for someone your size and age. This is due to a style that does not use the legs and hips effectively. Rowing like that is no good at all, if you want to go fast in a 2k.

You can pull a far bigger stroke than that, but need to learn how. For a 7 minute 2k, it will be worth about 11-12 Watt-minutes, used at ratings 26-27 in the TT or race.

Training for endurance will be at 18-20 and 200W or more, average at least 5k a day. This also trains the stroke itself. Do not use high ratings: this does not leave enough time to rest between the large strokes that high boat speed needs, so would block your training.

Strength is not a problem; using it is. This in rowing is mainly a question of recovery and pull sequences that let us use the legs at the catch:
Recovery: straight back, hands away, then swing forward, then slide with the weight forward on the feet.
Drive: legs first to engage and accelerate the flywheel, then swing, then shoulders and arms.

The usual clearly visible faults to be avoided are: lifting hands over the knees; slide too near the stretcher. Both lead to a slow weak catch, losing length and reducing handle force.

Low drag will let you move fast during the pull and so develop high power (which is speed x force); and low feet make it easier to swing forward and get our weight on the stretcher for a fast catch.
08-1940, 183cm, 84kg. Last seen MHR 158 in 2k = 220 - 77% of age.
2021-2: stroke 6 W-min. ½k 1:55.5; 1k 4:09.2; 2k 8:42.2; 5k 23:15; 30' 6247; 10k 49:36.

iain
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Re: Happy with progress - how should I accelerate?

Post by iain » May 14th, 2021, 4:51 am

Ideally you shouldn't be slowing much during your HR restricted workouts, better to start slower so the drift takes you up to the limit. Also I have never got close to maximum HR in 500m. In fact HR increases for 10-15S after a full on 500. You need to have been rowing 15 min and then push to see where your maximum is. That is why the tests require you to start slow and increase pace. Might be worth trying a 5k TT or similar as you may be underestimating your HR max and therefore the zones.

Finally when we talk about "big strokes" think more work done. This should not be confused with the length of the drive. Many people over extend the layback to artificially (and inefficiently) increase the stroke length. What you are trying to build is a faster acceleration on the drive. As for the numbers, they vary between people. Yes after you have fully adapted to rowing the numbers James quotes may well be readily achievable, but for now you just need to keep improving. The principle is right 'though, doing your sub-maximal workouts at lower ratings and concentrating on increasing the power in your stroke will yield dividends. Although people vary as to what is the optimum stroke rate to practice with some saying 18-20SPM and others 20-24.

Well done with the improvements so far. Unfortunately you will probably find the next 10S off your 2k is as hard as the last 20-30S, but any improvement is to be celebrated.
52, lightweight currently training 3 times a week after a long break. Free Spirit, come join us http://www.freespiritsrowing.com/forum/

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