Tag2k erg tips

How To Mentally Prepare For A 2k Erg Test

1. Begin early

To guarantee a good mental preparation for your 2k erg test or race make sure you begin early. You probably do it naturally anyway. But once you are notified by your rowing coach or you take a personal decision to race a 2k erg test you should immediately begin the process of internal preparation.

Because usually, the more time you have to prepare,  the better you can be mentally prepared for the 2k.

2. Plan every detail

You must plan everything. And be absolutely meticulous about everything. Attention to detail is key. Decide exactly how you are going to prepare. Decide exactly on what you will do on race day. Have a 2k erg strategy well planned in your mind and practice it if possible at lower intensities in training.

Knowing exactly what you you are going to do  will reassure you and give you a strong base to launch your race plan on race day. Don’t fulfill to prophesy of he who fails to plan, plans to fail.

3. Train hard

I am a big believer in preparing physically for a 2k erg. I believe that an excellent physical preparation will give you enormous confidence and mental strength in your approach to the race.

If you are well trained and have developed the necessary fitness and mental toughness for the 2k erg in your training, then the need to do other extra mental preparation should not be as strong.

4. Better to be under than over cooked.

Never, ever over train with erg rowing when you are preparing for a 2k erg test. When you are tired and over trained the chances are that you will be weak mentally. Or at best you will be in a vulnerable mental state for the 2k.

This balance between under and over training is up to you. And will come with experience. But when you’re are in doubt – more is less.

5. Attack.

When it comes to race day, within the confines of your 2k test plan you should aim to attack. Our primitive natural defence mechanisms instruct us to either fight of flight. Adrenalin can be a great strength for a rower. It can make our rowing perceived exertion seem easier.  So use it. Aim to attack the erg test (within your plan) and do not fear it.

6.Keep those promises.

Remember the last 2k erg test you did? What promises did you make yourself during or afterwards? Did you keep them? Maybe you promised yourself that you’d train harder, smarter, get more sleep or eat better. We’ve all done it. But the real difference comes in keeping those promises to yourself. It’s all about personal integrity. It’s just between you and me. Keep your promises – and when it comes to preparing for a 2k erg test, you will thank yourself.

7. Understand that It will be difficult

Aim high, under achieve and you’ll feel bad.

Aim low, over achieve and you’ll feel great.

Expect an ok erg test, it’ll be hard and you’ll suffer mentally.

Expect a very difficult erg test , it’ll be easy and you’ll score a PB.

(I’ve used this tactic successfully many times).

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Go Deep with the 2K Erg Book

Crash your 2K Erg Score - Shows Rowers how to Score Strong 2Ks

The book will show you how to start:

  • Finding the optimal Technical Rowing Excellence for your particular body size
  • Improving your Physical Fitness Engine
  • Attaining Rock Solid Mental Strength
  • Devising Proper Effective Race Strategies (for your fitness and body type)
  • Training Correctly and Recovering Faster
  • Avoiding Injury
  • Learning to Peak Properly for Major Races and Erg Tests

Advanced 2k Erg Test Indoor Rowing Strategy – Part 1

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.

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Go Deep with the 2K Erg Book

Crash your 2K Erg Score - Shows Rowers how to Score Strong 2Ks

The book will show you how to start:

  • Finding the optimal Technical Rowing Excellence for your particular body size
  • Improving your Physical Fitness Engine
  • Attaining Rock Solid Mental Strength
  • Devising Proper Effective Race Strategies (for your fitness and body type)
  • Training Correctly and Recovering Faster
  • Avoiding Injury
  • Learning to Peak Properly for Major Races and Erg Tests

Advanced 2k Erg Test Indoor Rowing Strategy – Part 2

This is part 2 of a series of articles about specific 2k erg test strategies for particular rowing athletes who are not suited to doing the standard 2k race plan.

The first 2k article looked at sprinters and how they should approach a 2k erging race differently from other types of rowers. This article looks at rowers who are more suited to (and prefer) long endurance type rowing and workouts. If you think that you are an endurance rower then this is a good way for you to approach a 2k and get the best erg score possible for you.

Start

Go off hard but settle down very early (after around 10 – 12 strokes). Like most endurance rowers the percentage difference between your sprinting power and average race power is probably not all that much.

So when you settle down into your race pace rhythm you should aim to set a power that is the maximum possible for you between 1900 meters and 100 meters to go.

It is better when you are an endurance rower to not vary your power or rate very much in the middle phase of the 2k. Endurance lends itself to a constant high, steady power output for most of the test.

Remember endurance rowers are very different to sprinters who are capable of varying their power a lot during the middle part of the race. Endurance rowers can tolerate an unbelievable amount of hardship for long periods of time.

Remember this.

And remember that you are not a sprinter so you should not do what they do.
 

Middle

This is 1800 meters of absolute endurance bliss.

And you must Red line it.

If you do it right you will suffer hard but it’s what endurance rowers like and enjoy – Long and Hard. Do not go for pushes or power 10’s because you are not genetically geared for it and you will probably have a physical and mental meltdown.

In fact, if you do it right you shouldn’t even want to do power 10’s because your rhythm should be so strong and deep that you would be in an unbreakable zone.
 

Finish

As you go through 500 meters to go, don’t even blink. Just keep working hard in your zone and in your rhythm. With 100 meters left on the monitor you should try and sprint.

But you may not be able to just like many extreme endurance ergers because you will have played the average power game and played to your strengths.

But timing and regulating your energy systems are crucial for the success of this approach for you. Knowing your body and mind well will help you arrive at the finish with just about enough to hold on.

Above all else, choose a middle base power that is sustainable for the entire 2k. 1900 meters will not cut it and you could end up loosing 1 second or more in the last 100 meters.

On the other hand if you are too conservative with your power and you decide to sprint, you will not get the most from your natural abilities.

In a word, it’s all about

Balance.
 

Finally

I mentioned at the end of the first article that both sprint and endurance type rowers should direct their their training so that they become better all rounder’s more suited to doing 2k ergs.

Remember rowing is around 70% aerobic and 30% anaerobic.

So if you feel like you are not in this area, adjust your training so that you become geared better towards the 2k erg.

I cannot emphasise this advice enough because if you want to get fast 2k erg times in the long run, sprinting and endurance alone won’t cut it.

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Rowing Workout for Serious Rowers

Is your Erg Rowing Workout file getting  a little old this rowing workoutsummer? Do You feel like you are not getting a return from your rowing workout sessions? Well, here’s a nice rowing workout blaster plan to blow out those summer cobwebs. (And help you discover more ideas for a new erg or rowing workout)

The Blaster Pyramid Rowing Workout

First – How to Warm Up

  • Begin with some easy rowing for 10 minutes.
  • Then do 1 minute at medium power rate 26 – 28.
  • Take a short break and do 15 strokes at high power rate 28 – 30
  • Row light for 20 strokes and then do another 15 stroke push at high power rate 30 – 32
  • Again row light for 20 strokes before doing a 10 stroke push high power rate 32 – 34.
  • Take a short break before rowing continuously for 5 – 7 minutes.
  • Next get ready for the blaster rowing workout proper.

Before you begin this particular rowing workout you need to remember a couple of things.

First: Row or erg efficiently.

Second: Focus on a good rowing workout rhythm

Third: Have a plan. Even though the rowing workout is not a 2k all out, you should still follow a good rowing workout strategy.

Fourthly: Set yourself up. That includes setting a correct drag factor setting and also adjusting your footplate to the correct position.

This rowing workout focuses on a pyramid system. Here it is:

  • 2 x 250m with 3 minute rest.
  • 2 x 500m with 5 minute rest
  • 1 x 750m with 7 minute rest
  • 2 x 500m with 5 minute rest
  • 2 x 250m.

So as you can see. Begin with a 250m and when you finish take a 3 minute rest. Repeat the 250m before moving on to the 2 x 500m. The long 750m in the middle of the rowing workout is the peak of the session. See below for an explanation on the rowing  intensities.

This rowing workout is a stinger and is best left for a time when you feel like you need a sharpening session. Also make sure that you are in good physical and mental shape before attempting this workout.

The Blaster Rowing Workout Intensity Guidelines

The first 250m rowing workout blasters should be done at close to maximum power and speed. This is an important step for the rest of the erg or rowing workout. Don’ t try to save yourself  because in a rowing workout like this one – every stroke counts.

The 500m sections should be done at a lesser intensity than the 250s. You could for example try to practice the 1st 500 of your race. In fact a rowing workout like this one is great for trying out different things. You get a number of chances to tweak your racing routines.

The 750m should not be done at maximum. Remember over longer distances you need to be smart. A good example of approaching this section of the rowing workout is to use it to practice the middle 750 of your race pace. Alternatively, if you are feeling tired you could aim to do race pace – 2 seconds per 500m on your split power.

Like all rowing workout (for the boat and the erg) you need to be personally aware and responsible to your own needs and requirements. This erg rowing workout is designed towards sharpening you up and getting you in peak physical condition for a 2k erg or rowing race.

And like all good erg rowers, you should aim to train and develop your physical and mental rowing skills towards a strong 2k erg score test strategy. And have this in mind when you approach any rowing workout.

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The 2k Erg Test Results, Findings and Recommendations

So we finally got the chance to do the 2k’s yesterday.

Here are the results including the January results and the PBs of the rowers:

Group A

Friday 2K January 2K PB
A1 21 YO Male 6:48.1 6:48 2k 6:44
A2 42 YO Male 6:54.2 6:54 2k 6:39
A3 18 YO Female 8:10.8 8:11 2k 8:06
A4 28 YO Female 7:22.4 7:24 2k 7:24

Group B

Friday 2k January 2K PB
B1 33 YO Female 8:52.1 2k 8:54 8:54
B2 28 YO Female 7:53.2 2k 7:57 7:45
B3 19 YO Male 6:27.8 2k 6:28 6:28
B4 56 YO Male 7:27.3 2k 7:25 7:23

 

Comments

Like all 2k erg tests, this was a hard test for all the rowers. Some suffered more than others. Some scored P.Bs. Some felt bulletproof, some felt empty.

But the glaring question is can we find anything from timing of the work sessions we did in the past couple of days?

Generally Group B (the group who did the 1000 meters at pace on Wednesday (2 days before the 2k test) and (3 days after the hard weekend) fared better. Here’s why…
Continue reading

Rowing Lightweight? Here’s a Race Day Weigh – In Strategy

Lightweight rowers often spend more time thinking and talking to each other about ‘making weight’ than rowing technique and training.

Believe me, I’ve been there.

It’s particularly difficult at the beginning when you are an inexperienced rower or erg rower and haven’t got a clue on how to do it right.

But even if you are an experienced rower you might pick up a tip or 2 from the following discussion.

Wake Up Weight

Wake up early and check your weight  immediately. But make sure your bladder etc is empty becacuse this can make a difference of 200 – 300 grams. You should wear your weigh – in uisuit to get an accurate picture of how much you need to lose. Ideally you should not have to lose more than 1kg because anything more than this will lead you into a struggle you do not need. Continue reading

Goals of the 2k Erg Experiment

I’ve been getting lots of questions and comments from people asking what the point of the 2k erg experiment is.

But first I want to show you what the group of rowers and ergers did in the run in to the 2k last weekend as their ‘taper’.

Here’s what they did:
• 6 days before: 3 x 1000 meters
• 5 days before: 4 x 500 meters
• 4 days – no training and rest (or for some a light swim)
• 3 days – erg 40 minutes easy
• 2 days – 30 minutes easy with some power 10’s (3 – 4)
• 1 day – 20 minutes erg easy
• Day 0 – 2k Race

Goal # 1

Anecdotally, over the years I’ve learned a lot (through trial and error and instruction from world class rowing coaches) about the timing of the run into an important 2k erg or mini – peak. This is very different from peaking once and once only each season which I have already written about.

The goal of the experiment is to confirm my beliefs that:

Doing 1 x 1000 meters just below pace and 1 x 500 at finishing pace a few days before the test can considerably improve the chances of scoring well.

This is no big deal as most rowers use this or a similar type of approach to their tests.

Goal # 2

But the second more specific goal is to find out when the best time to do it is.

• Normally I’ve done this workout 2 days before the 2k.

• But I’ve heard of rowers having good results doing it 3 days before.

Also

Almost all of the rowers I’ve worked with all performed better when they did the ‘pipe opener’. And I want to confirm this (because the group did not do it this in the run-in to the first test).

I want to confirm my belief on when the best time to do the pipe opener is (2 or 3 days).
I won’t reveal which day I feel is better until after the 2k erg in case the tests get psychologically skewed.

As I say it’s just a non scientific test to have some fun and try to confirm some ideas I have developed over the years with my involvement with world and Olympic teams.

Inexpensively in a club environment.

And I would like to share it with you.

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2k Erg Rowing Test – The January 2011 Experiment.

I was involved with a group of rowers and ergers doing a 2k erg test last weekend. I was standing there right behind the ergers, shouting, encouraging and supervising and – you know how it goes, just helping out.

But afterwards we got talking about the run- in to the test and how crucial the last week is in determining how well you score. We talked about the actual quality and timing of the rowing workouts in particular.

Because I had no input into the preparation for the 2k at the weekend I didn’t want to be too critical. But I offered my help for the next test.

Long story short – some of the group have agreed and are willing to participate in a non-scientific 2k erg test experiment. We will re-test in 10 days from now (Friday February 4 2011).

The goal of the experiment will be to discover if there is a difference in the rowers’ 2k erg test results with different 2k erg test preparation plans.

The rowers and ergers will be split into 2 groups – 4 in group A and 4 in group B.

Both groups will follow the same rowing program until 3 days before the test.

All are from the same rowing club and have been following the same general group program since October 2010.

Each group has a relatively broad cross section of age, gender, experience and erging fitness.

Here are the groups:

Group A

Male (21 y.o) 5 year erg and rowing training. P.B. 6.44.3 (April 2010)
Male (42 y.o) 26 year rowing and erging training history P.B 6.39.4 (Feb 2003)
Female (18 y.o) 5 years rowing and erg training. P.B 8:06.7 (Feb 2010)
Female (28 y.o) 13 years rowing and erging experience P.B 7:24.1 (Jan 2011)

Group B

Female 33 (y.o) no rowing history. Erging for 1 year. P.B 8:54 (January 2011)
Female (28 y.o) 10 year rowing and erging P.B 7:45.0 (Feb 2005)
Male (19 y.o) 6 year erg and rowing training history P.B 6:28.0 March 2010)
Male (56 y.o) 8 year erging history. P.B 7:32.3 (August 2010)

Both groups will follow the same daily erg training workouts for the first 7 days (until Monday January 31) .

After that, Group A will change the erg rowing workouts they did in the run-in to last weekend’s test. Group B will follow a different workout plan.

I will post the daily erg workout for each group including the scores for each rower.

Again it’s worth repeating that this is a non-scientific test and the goal is to discover if there is any difference in the 2k erg scores of the rowers and ergers with different training plans in the final days approaching the test.

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How To Make Every Session Count – Why You Should Sprint #2

I got an interesting email the other day from  Mike, shortly after I wrote about the sprint in rowing and why it can give you a competitive edge. He asked why I thought sprinting wouldn’t affect the general purpose of a particular erg workout. And gave an example of a session where you might be rowing long and steady on a lighter day before a harder quality day of erging.

Would sprinting on the lighter day tire you out so that the following day’s quality session would be affected?

He got me thinking.

Continue reading

2k Erg Mental Toughness – 2 Essential Tips Guaranteed To Prevent Choke

I’m worried.

I keep thinking about that 2k next week.

I keep thinking about the last 2k erg test when I just folded up.

And choked.

I like every other rower who chokes does so because of the pain. Or the expectancy of it  – even 4 minutes before it actually arrives.

But this time it’s different. I have a new plan. I leaned something very important from someone who’s been there before. Someone who overcame mental collapse at 2k erg tests. Many times before he discovered what to do about it.

Here’s what he told me
 

Tip #1. Harden into it

There are 2 main types of fitness. First is physical.

The second is mental fitness. Rowing on the erg trains this also. But not that much.

Ok I hear you say. But what about all those hard rowing sessions, hour long ergs, 10k ergs or the dreaded 3 x 20 minute erg? Yes I admit that those sessions do train you to be tough for that exact type of training.

But 2k erging is different.

You need to get acclimatised to taking pain. Dealing with it. Tolerating it.

So how do you do it?

In a word – Training. Both physically and mentally. Doing repeated hard short rowing physical intensity will train your body. Buy it will train your mind more and you will grow accustomed to hardship. And like all rowing training  you must time it perfectly. Only do it for 2 – 3 weeks max before the 2k test. Otherwise you will get tired and will break down.

I like doing 5 minutes all out. Or 1000 meters flat out. Repeats. A few times a week (2 max). Have a look at my 2k erg race winning plans article, where I describe exactly how to prepare physically (and mentally) for the 2k.

I guarantee you that a hardened mind will not give in easily on race day.
 

Tip # 2. Start Slowly In The 2k

Most mental rowing breakdowns happen because of a fear of what’s to come. Long before the really hard part arrives, you are thinking too far ahead and imagining how bad it’s going to feel. And it never really comes because you fold up.

The mind it a complex machine but by pushing the right buttons it can be manipulated.

If you can begin slower than usual (1 – 2 seconds per 500 split) for a few hundred meters (200 – 400) you will give your mind and body a chance to be fooled. Tricked into believing that it’s a good day at the office and that it will not hurt that much.

Then slowly allow your confidence to grow. Steadily and surely release your shackles. Break free an allow yourself to flow. And ultimately unleash hell on that erg. To the line.

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Go Deep with the 2K Erg Book

Crash your 2K Erg Score - Shows Rowers how to Score Strong 2Ks

The book will show you how to start:

  • Finding the optimal Technical Rowing Excellence for your particular body size
  • Improving your Physical Fitness Engine
  • Attaining Rock Solid Mental Strength
  • Devising Proper Effective Race Strategies (for your fitness and body type)
  • Training Correctly and Recovering Faster
  • Avoiding Injury
  • Learning to Peak Properly for Major Races and Erg Tests

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