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Setting a target 2k time for RP

How to train on RP using joules as a means of improving your 2k time on the water.

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Michael Hawkins has responded to the post about Juri Jaanson

Dear Rebecca,

Can you tell me how to do this calculation, please?

I’ve read the article and it was all superscripts, subscripts and Greek to me.

Michael Hawkins.
And so here is my reply.
Yes, here is how I would do the calculation:
1.  Set up the RP to your weight to the nearest kg (accurate) and boat class

Set the displays to show joules, time, rating and 500m split
Set the resistance to as close as possible the same feel as your boat rig gearing

Do a 2k test on the RP.  Record your session and all the data is in there.

2.  Take your target gold medal 2k time

Work out the 500m splits you need to achieve the 2k time

3.  Then you have to do a bit of experimentation.
Say you normally rate 34 in a race.  Do a short piece at race pace output of say 500m at rate 34.  Save the session and afterwards review it stroke by stroke and watch what the joules reading was for each stroke.  Take a view on what the average joules per stroke was.  [Joules is a very accurate measure and can change a lot stroke by stroke].

Let’s say you can do 600 joules per stroke average.  This is the amount of energy you put into a single stroke.  If at rate 34 your 600 joules gives you a 500m split reading that is on target for your 2k time then you know that as long as you can deliver this amount of energy, you will achieve your target.

If the 500m split you achieve is too slow to achieve your target time, you will need to make some changes.  Assuming 600 joules is the maximum energy per stroke output you can achieve right now (and with training you may be able to increase it), then your only option, if you want to achieve the gold target time, is to do more strokes.  When you rate higher, you put the same amount of energy into more strokes per minute.  And so if you can do more strokes, your total energy will be higher and will deliver a faster boat speed and you can reduce the 500m split.

If you can’t maintain the 600 joules target, you may need to reduce your gearing making it easier or accept that you cannot put this amount of energy in per stroke and so assume that you need to do more strokes.

4.  So re-do the 500m training piece and this tie rate 36.  See what the readings change to and whether you are closer to achieving the 500m splits you desire.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have a view on the approximate rating and target joules per stroke you can achieve.

5.  Integrate the joules display into every RP session you do, whether it is steady state or pieces.  Learn about your ability to deliver energy into each stroke.  When on the water, try to make a similar assessment and make the boat feel like you are delivering 600 Joules per stroke as if you were on RP.

As your skill improves and you learn what 600 joules feels like in the boat, start seeing whether you can increase the energy delivery without disrupting the run of the boat and creating wobbles.  When you can deliver 600 joules 230 times at race pace (i.e. the likely total number of strokes in a 2k race) then try and increase your target speed / split / joules and train to that new target.

About Rebecca Caroe
Rebecca is the host of RowingChat podcast and is a masters athlete and coach. Passionate about helping others enjoy the sport as much as she does. View all posts from Rebecca Caroe

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