A while back, I wrote an article about how to approach a 2k erg test and the strategy you should use to get your best score. The article focused on breaking down the 2k into 3 parts – the start, middle and finish – and showed a plan for each.

Usually it’s an excellent way of preparing for a 2k erg and executing it on race day but sometimes you need to use a different approach.

The standard 2k erg test strategy is for rowers who have a good training history and have a balanced type of fitness geared towards a fast 2k erg. This fitness is typical of a rower following a rowing training program over a long period of time.

But everyone’s different.

  • Not everyone racing a 2k erg has been training specifically for rowing for years.
  • You may have a short history of training and not have a well developed aerobic system.
  • Or you might come from another sport where aerobic endurance is key and you don’t have a well developed anaerobic sprint system.
  • Or you may have just started rowing within the last year and your fitness reflects your natural fitness (I’ll explain more about natural fitness in a moment)

Whatever your position, chances are that you have a pretty good picture about yourself and your current abilities. You might:

A. You love sprinting and you hate long distance or
B. You hate sprinting and you love long distance or
C. You love it all or
D. You hate it all (sorry about that!)

Either way, you should consider approaching your 2k erg tests depending on what you like.

Why?

Because what you like is usually what you are naturally good at.

Your Natural Fitness Type

Everyone is born with a certain type of muscle ratio between slow twitch and fast twitch. If you like (and are good at) long distance you probably have a higher proportion of slow twitch. On the other hand maybe you prefer pumping out a couple of 100 meter blasters in which case you probably have a higher percentage of fast twitch.

This first article looks at a 2k erg test strategy for Sprinters

Start

Go off hard – very hard. This is where you can get ahead and compensate for a slower middle section. But you need to know your limitations and ensure you sprint for only as long as you can without jeopardising the entire 2k. You are the best judge of this. It might for example be realistic for you to sprint for 200 and 400 meters.

Keep going until you feel like you need to settle into race pace and when you do settle – settle a lot. There is no point in trying to play the averages game with a big strong aerobic middle 1400 meters because you are not currently trained for this.

Middle

Here you should initially try to recover from your hard start. It might be that you settle to 1:45 after pulling 1:35 average for the start phase.

But you should still play to your strengths. Consider doing some power 10′s down the middle section making sure you spread them out well so you give yourself a chance to recover between bouts of power. A power 10 would for example go from 1:45 to 1:41 – 1:43 and you should aim to do no more than 3 -4.

But always ensure you pace yourself. Remember it is a 2k erg and you must budget your energy for this.

Finish

Towards the finish – do not go early. Leave it to a point where you can sprint again at maximum power until the last meter. Some sprinters can manage 20 seconds – around 100 meters. Others can do 30 – 45 seconds. The bottom line is that you are extracting the most from your natural ability – which is sprinting.

Finally

This type of approach to a 2k erg test is not the best way to get a good score. To get a good 2k erg time you must follow a good balanced rowing training program that trains all of your energy systems used in a 2k test.

This comes with time and patience, but if for the reasons I mentioned above you need to do a 2k erg test and know you are a good sprinter with a not so good aerobic base then this strategy could should for you.

The next article examines a 2k erg test plan for type B rowers – endurance.