How can I build endurance for rowing?

seniors rowing machine

I can row about 2k and then start failing.  How can I build my endurance?

seniors rowing machine
Seniors Rowing

This is normal – you need to gradually build up your endurance base. Also, you need to pace yourself with a stroke rate that is lower than you probably use. River rowers use a 2:1 or a 3:1 ratio of time in the power phase and time in the recovery phase of the rowing stroke. This gives you time to rest your muscles between each stroke of power and is the main thing you probably are doing wrong.

I recommend finding a training partner and agree to do this together. Each time you train, do a 10 minute warm up. This is what I suggest for the warm up.

Row 1 minute arms only; Row 1 minute arms and body swing only; Row 1 minute quarter slide; Row 1 minute half slide; Row 1 minute 3/4 slide; Row 5 minutes full slide gradually building power until you have a light sweat. Take 10 minutes rest and stretch particularly your ham strings and lower back. Hold each stretch for 20 seconds minimum.

Read these articles on how to warm up for rowing

Here are some suggestions for a training program for 4 weeks to improve.

  1. Day 1 Row 2k at a stroke rate no higher then 24 strokes per minute. Note your 500m split
  2. Day 3 Row 1k at a stroke rate no higher than 28 strokes per minute. have 10 minutes rest and do it again. Note your 500m split
  3. Day 5 Row 2k at a stroke rate no higher then 24 strokes per minute. Note your 500m split
  4. Day 7 Row 500m at any stroke rate you like. Rest 5 minutes. Repeat 4 times. Note your 500m split
  5. Day 9 Row 15 minutes continuously at a stroke rate no higher than 22 strokes per minute. Note your 500m split
  6. Day 11 Row 2k at a stroke rate no higher then 24 strokes per minute. Note your 500m split
  7. Day 13 Row 1k at a stroke rate no higher than 28 strokes per minute. have 10 minutes rest and do it again. Note your 500m split
  8. Day 15 Row 2k at a stroke rate no higher then 24 strokes per minute. Note your 500m split
  9. Day 17 Row 500m at any stroke rate you like. Rest 5 minutes. Repeat 4 times. Note your 500m split
  10. Day 19 Row 20 minutes continuously at a stroke rate no higher than 22 strokes per minute. Note your 500m split
  11. Day 21 Row short intervals at any stroke rate you choose. 5 strokes maximum pressure, 5 strokes ultra light pressure (do this 5 times). 10 strokes max, 10 strokes light (5 times); 15 strokes max, 15 strokes light (5 times), 20 strokes max, 20 strokes light (5 times)
  12. Day 23 Row 2k at a stroke rate no higher then 24 strokes per minute. Note your 500m split.
  13. Day 25 Row 20 minutes continuously at a stroke rate no higher than 22 strokes per minute. Note your 500m split
  14. Day 27 Row 1k at a stroke rate no higher than 28 strokes per minute. have 10 minutes rest and do it again. Note your 500m split
  15. Day 29 5 Row 20 minutes continuously at any stroke rate you choose. Note your 500m split.

This final day is your personal test. You should aim for a stroke rate and 500m split which you can sustain throughout – pick your target before you start and try to stick to it.

This was answered on Quora submitted question.

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