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.

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