Rowing pace charts


I am reading Jack Daniels Running formula at the moment and I’m very a fan of this training philosophy for endurance work.

Do you now if there are comperable tables for rowing, corresponding racepace at different distances and corresponding training Intensities for I-pace, M-pace, E-pace a.s.o?? (Referring to Daniels’ VDOT-tables)

Here is an answer:

We are very familiar with running coach, Jack Daniel’s work, his pace chart were designed to give runner’s targted speeds and most importantly to prevent over training. He felt that many runners never reached their potential due to over-training and injury.

The closest we know of is the pace chart below for training intensities based on a the average pace from a 20:00 test, this was started in Germany developed by Wolfgang Fritsch and Volker Nolte. Below is a copy of the pace chart we use with athletes based on this.

Setting your Personal Rowing Training Pace

This is an explanation of how you should set your training paces for each training category used in your workouts as determined by the results of your 20-minute time trial.  You can download this as a pdf document at the bottom of the article.

    1. Each time you do a 20:00 time trial record your total meters rowed and calculate your average pace per 500 meters. Water times compare to water paces, erg times to erg paces.
    2. Use your 500-meter average pace as your reference pace.
    3. Go to the chart below and in column two; find your average split.
    4. Read across the row to see what your pace should be for each training category.
    5. Note that there are two levels of Cat. VI. If you cannot maintain the well-trained pace easily, meaning it is “conversational”, use the club-level paces until you have gained more base aerobic fitness. Take caution to not push this intensity too hard.
    6. If the paces begin to feel easy you should retest your 20:00 trial and adjust your paces accordingly based on the improvement in your performance. If you have been ill or have just recovered from an injury you should retest your 20:00 trial and set your new training pace based on where you are.
    7. Your training pace per 500 meters for Cat VI well trained is +13-18 seconds slower than your 500-meter average; Cat VI club-level is +18-23 seconds slower than your 500-meter average; Cat V is +8-12 seconds slower than your 500-meter average. Cat IV is +2 seconds slower than your 500-meter average pace; Cat III is -2 seconds faster than you 500-meter average pace. Cat II is 5% faster than your 500-meter average pace (Cat II is equivalent to your 2000-meter race pace).
    8. If your average 500-meters is not on the chart just apply the above (#7) to your average 500-meter pace to get your training paces.
    9. Example: If your average pace for 20:00 was 2:00 per 500m. Your Cat VI pace is 2:13-2:18 per 500m or 2:18-2:23 per 500m, your Cat V pace is 2:08-2:12 per 500m, your Cat IV pace is 2:02 per 500m, your Cat III pace is 1:58 per 500m, and your Cat II pace is 1:54 per 500m.

Rowperfect Pace Chart
Rowing training zones chart


Subscribe to our Newsletter for more information:

Our Rowing Network

Did you like this post? Support this blog and our network by donating

Feel like Rowing again? Visit the Shop at!

Accessories, equipment, boats, clothing

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Evers

    Thanks for writing this article. When you say ‘20-minute time trial’, is this an open rating all-out test – as fast as you can possibly row? Or are there some guidelines?

    1. Rebecca Caroe

      Yes, Evers – the 20 minute time trial is flat out as fast as you can go for 20 minutes. Record the Distance, Watts and average rating.

  2. Hartmut Dieterich

    I believe it should read “Wolfgang Fritsch” rather than “Wolfgang Fritz”

    1. Tom Wall

      Vielen Dank Hartmut für das Auffinden des Fehlerteufels. Wer kennt Sie nicht – die beiden “Ruderprofessoren”.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Whether it’s sports, nutrition or equipment, you’ll find what you’re looking for in one of these categories


Everything about rowing – browse through our large archive or search for articles of your choice


Search Blog


Rowing Network

Do you like our posts? Support this blog and our network by donating


Get all latest content and news!