Have you ever wondered about the rowingworkouts you are doing day in day out? Ever wonder if they are designed to help you actually win a race. Late in rowing races is often the time when the outcome is decided and it’s often down to the looser actually breaking, more than the winner actually winning.

But you can learn to win close races by preparing physically (and by implication, mentally) with specific workouts designed to get you familiar with severe pain tolerance – simulating the late stages of a race.

But you should treat the following workouts with caution. Because of the heavy demand physically and mentally they will place on you, they should only be attempted when you are feeling relatively fresh and rested. Use them once a week at most and treat them with the degree of seriousness that race winning knowledge deserves.

Here you go:

#1 Under Over Intervals

12 minutes total
(2 minutes at Threshold Power + 1 Minute Above Threshold Power) x 4

This is really tough training. Perfect for a controlled rowing environment like the erging. Your Threshold Power(TP)  is the power you could hold for 20 – 30 minutes all out.

So for example, if your TP is 1:45 average /500 meters, then you would pull (1:45 for 2 minutes +  1:44 – 1:43 for 1 minute) x 4 (which is 12 minutes total)

I first came across this type of training in the Lance Armstrong Performance Program. And the first time I tried it I was only able to do one 12 minute set. It was extremely difficult but after 3 – 4 weeks I was pulling 2 x 12 minutes with a 5 – 7 minute break between sets.

#2 Five minute boosters

(5 minutes at TP then 5 minutes easy rowing) x 5

Take it a little easier for the first couple (maybe 1:46 in the under over example). The accumulative interval will start to really hit home for the final 2 sets. This is race winning territory. You are burning, you’re tired and the 5 minute rest is not enough to recover. Dig deep and always finish hard to the line.

#3 Vo2 Max Intervals

I have mentioned elsewhere about vo2 max boosting rowing intervals. But here is a different erg workout which again tests you in race winning territory.

(1000 meters all out) x 3

Each set should be done with a proper racing start and a short sprint to the line. This is severe training and is as much mental as it is physical. This workout should only be attempted once per week for a few weeks before an important race or test. When done properly your lactate tolerance will go through the roof – and your ability to win close races  will rocket with it.

P.S. Thanks to Steve for pointing out the error in the Under-Over Workout – The correction is 4 times 3 minutes (12 minute workout).

Related Article:

1. Crash Your 2k Erg Score Test Strategy

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