CategoryErg

10x500m Erg Workout with (1min rest)

The 10x500m erg workout is a seriously hard workout to do any time of the rowing season. But it’s really effective in the Fall and early Spring so let’s take a look at some benefits:

  • Improving your 5K, 6K and 2K Erg Score
  • Lifting your Pain Threshold
  • Sharpening your Technique Efficiency at High Rates
  • Developing your Explosive Power
  • Strengthening your Mental Toughness

What 500m Pace should I Aim For?

For early Fall, you should aim for your 2k split + 5/6 seconds and aim to rate between 24 and 26 strokes per minute.

For early Spring sessions you should start with your 2k split + 5 seconds and aim to rate between 24 and 26 strokes per minute. And as you get faster over weeks, you should look to lifting your rate to 28-30 and aiming for your 2k split + 1-2 seconds.

Why should I do 10x500m in the Fall?

There are a couple of reasons. The main reason is to give your system an occasional lift into higher intensity to support you in 6k/5k tests. A second reason is to give your system a stimulus and stay in touch with what rowing is all about – high intensity hard rowing. A third reason is that it can be a welcome change for the boredom of longer workouts.

10x500m at lower rates is around a 20 – 25 minute session. You will be doing a lot of longer workouts (for example 3x20minutes or 2x 30minutes, 10ks etc.) which are like the cornerstone to the success of your rowing season. So a twice monthly or a weekly session of 500s for 3-6 weeks in October/November is a great addition to any training schedule.

How should I Approach 10x500s – What are the Best Tactics?

Doing the 10x500m correctly is crucial – lets bullet point these, just so there is nothing left unclear:

  • Take is easier in the first 5-6 500s and aim to build for the last 4-5.
  • Do not go too hard too early – this is a major mistake and you will pay for it later in the session.
  • Attack the first 5 strokes to get your average split down (use short strokes for 1-2 then lengthen)
  • Relax. Yes – work hard on the power phase, but relax on the recovery.
  • Take a drink of water between 500s and use a towel
  • Keep moving very slowly and pulling very light on the rest phase.

Can I take a longer rest?

Yes, you can start 10x500m with a 2 minute rest. Then aim to reduce your rest time by 10-15 seconds per week over 4-6 weeks.

Also, 1 minute rest is the lowest you should go, anything less and it becomes a trade off between quality and recovery.

Can I do 7x500m Instead?

You can do less 500s and keep the rest at 1 minute. That allows you to ramp up the intensity without going over the edge. As you get better, you can add one more each session.

Tell people what you've learned ...

Learn More Insights in the 2K Erg Book...

Crash Your 2k Erg Score Test Strategy

Note, this was written as part of a three part series, you can learn about Part 1, the advanced 2k erg here.

Attention…. Go!

Scoring good 2k erg times is all about doing what the good ergers do. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery and when it comes to a 2k erg test, imitation of the top Olympic rowers is definitely they way to go.

So what’s the 2k erg strategy of rowers who regularly score great 2k times? And more importantly what do you need to do to erg like them?

Most of the top ergers follow the same pattern and it can be easily analysed by breaking the 2k test into 3 parts.

How to Start The 2k Test

They go off very hard for the first few strokes and settle down into their average pace early (after about 20 seconds). They then hold their split at an even manageable pace which is been worked out before hand using an erg score calculator, or from memory.

For example, say you want to pull sub 7 minutes for your 2k. You calculate that you need to have an average split of 1:44.3 /500 for the entire 2k. This will give you a finish time of 6:57.0.

What to do in the Middle

Having gone off hard for 20 seconds your average split might be around 1:40 and as you settle down into pace the average will climb.

Maintain pace and do not go for power 10’s or pushes unless you are experienced and fit enough to be able to cope with the extra power. This is a common mistake made by many beginner rowers (and some not so beginner!). If you want to get the most out of yourself you need to be pulling hard – on the red line with high average power.

Red lining your pace means that you are in a position where you are flicking between grinding to a halt and just about able to hang on and manage.

How to Finish

With 500 meters to go slowly raise your power (drop your split by 1 – 2 seconds/500) and hold it until 300 meters to go. From this point on it is all about slowly winding your power and rating up to the last stroke.

Some rowers prefer to delay the beginning of the push for the line to between 400 and 300 meters to go. Decide for yourself on the timing of your sprint. Factors like how good you feel or how fit you are will weigh heavily on the timing of your sprint.

If you have trained well and are well prepared then you will have practiced your sprint to the line. This is what all the great Olympic rowers do. And because they have practiced sprinting (no matter how hard it feels or tired they are) they are able to sprint on auto pilot – no matter what.

So if you have gone off hard and lowered your average power over the first 20 seconds. AND rowed the middle part of your 2k test on the red line. AND you have practiced sprinting in training (no matter how tired you are) you can row yourself to a 2k best time faster than you imagined.

Tell people what you've learned ...

Learn More Insights in the 2K Erg Book...

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).

Tell people what you've learned ...

Learn More Insights in the 2K Erg Book...

2k Erg Test 7 Day Taper Plan

I do a 7 day run – in to the 2k erg, usually doing the following routine:

Day 7 (1 week before the test)

Hard workout. 1 Week out from the test is normally a time when I do my most intensive rowing workouts. I do repeats of pieces at or close to race intensity. I always make sure I do a long warm up and cool down on hard days like this.

Day 6

Moderate – Hard Workout. 6 days out I continue my test preparation with some more test power pieces and I really aim to be tired at the end of this day. I aim to cash in on the body’s natural ability to heal to a point stronger than when it was before the heavy training. It’s just like when someone breaks a bone – the bone knits together stronger than it was before the break.

Day 5

Moderate – easy workout. I use this as an active recovery day to help my body clear out any of the debris still lodged in there from my race preparation workouts on day 7 and day 6. I always erg for about 30 – 40 minutes and include some moderate power for about 5 – 10 minutes. I also use the opportunity to do some technical drills such as strapless erging.

Day 4

Rest. I do nothing on this day and try to recover from my race preparation workouts of day 7 and day 6. I make sure I nail my nutrition to ensure recovery and refuelling for the test.

Day 3

Hard – short Workout. I believe this day is an ‘open the pipes’ up day. I usually do 1 or 2 pieces at or close race power. Normally I do 1000 meters and 500 meters with a 5 – 10 minute break in between. I usually suffer a lot in these pieces because of the day of inactivity on Day 4. It’s also a good realty checker – it sharpens my mind as to how tough the test will be.

Day 2

Rest. I do absolutely nothing. I try to avoid all stress and energy sapping situations both mental and physical. I make sure my nutrition plan is helping me recover and build up a store of energy for the big one.

Day 1

Very easy workout. In this workout I normally do some light – moderate pulling for 20 – 25 minutes. I will pull some hard strokes during this time most around race power. I pull no more than 20-30 strokes 3-4 times. It’s important to work out if possible on this day because it keeps the body and energy systems flowing.

Day Zero

Test Day. This is a special day and your warm up is a key part. I will discuss my special warm up next time.

Tell people what you've learned ...

Learn More Insights in the 2K Erg Book...

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.

Tell people what you've learned ...

Learn More Insights in the 2K Erg Book...

© 2019 Erg Rowing

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑