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.



  1. Of course there is a difference; that’s why rowers taper leading into major competitions. However, you can only peak so many times a year (and the more times you attempt to peak, the shorter each peak becomes).

    We taper so that we can perform at our best when it matters. At other times of the year, the 2K test or race, whether on the erg or on the water, is merely a training day, with no specific preparation (other than general rules of being rested, well fed, and well hydrated).

    Not to sound critical, but I think the answer is pretty obvious. There is no doubting the importance of a good taper in optimal race/test performance. I also think there is no doubting that what you do leading up to a test will impact the score.

    It just seems obvious… that’s all. But, I assume that you are doing it to drive a point home, likely to an audience that really doesn’t get it. 🙂 In that case… carry on. 🙂

  2. Brandy Mulligan

    January 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Hey Andrea,

    Thank you for your comment. I get what you’re saying and understand that tapering will cause an increase in performance.

    But my goal is to find out if there is a difference in a 2k score with what you do and when you do it in the final days leading up to the test.

    I have my own ideas on what the best thing to do is (as I’m sure every other rower and coach does) but I’m just using the opportunity to check my ideas out and share them here.

    I’ve just clarified the goals and you can read them here in the article posted today January 26 2011.

    All the best!

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