Find Your Perfect 10K Erg Strategy

If you're thinking of doing a 10,000-meter row or ski, it's best to go into it with a strategy.  We give you everything you need to know to nail your goal. ucanrow2.com #endurancetraining #10kergstrategy #indoorrowing #skierg

 

What’s your 10K erg strategy?  Do you have one?

 

If you’ve ever done one of these endurance workouts, you know that they’re a huge mental challenge, almost more than a physical one.  It’s best to go into them with some sort of goal, especially since simply gutting it out over the course of a long distance is HARD, and often unproductive.

 

It’s an interesting distance, 10,000 meters.  Less than a quarter of a marathon but 5 times longer than a 2K.  Among the endurance distances it’s relatively doable and a great place to get started with longer rows or skis.

 

But it’s not a distance you want to go into without a plan, even if your goal is simply to do it as quickly as possible.   For most people and depending which machine you’re on, you’re looking at spending something on the order of 45 minutes to an hour working in that “you can talk but you’d rather not” range.  Not everyone’s idea of fun.

 

If you just “jump on and go,” the machine will punish you.  Especially the Ski Erg.  Even more especially if you’re doing the Concept2 Tour de SkiErg, that crazy series that has people skiing a different distance every week throughout February.

 

Your 10K Erg Strategy

 

There are several ways to approach putting together your 10k plan. You can base it off existing online records, your own past times, or simply set a survival strategy of mind games to get through.  Whatever you do, approach this as a challenge, one that you will be proud of accomplishing.  Or at least saying it’s done!

 

Here’s how we approach the 10k erg strategy:

 

CHECK THE RECORDS

 

Start by heading to the Concept2 website and checking the 10,000-meter rankings for your age group and gender on either the rower or SkiErg.That will give you a sense of what to aim for if you have a big goal in mind.   You can also look there at the world and American records in case you want to go really big.

 

The Concept2 rowing and Ski Erg rankings are a great place to start to calculate your 10K time goal. More help and tips: ucanrow2.com #endurancetraining #indoorrowing #skierg #10Kergstrategy

 

 

Play the percentages

When you’re in the rankings you’ll be able to see what sort of times people are logging for the current ranking year.  So in the example below, the current average 10k row time for women in the 30-39 age group is 47:40.1.

 

Now look under the Percentiles header on the right.  You’ll see the range of times for people in this age group and below them the corresponding average split or pace.   10K times in this age group range from 50 minutes plus down to just over 36 minutes (the current leader in the rankings).

 

 

Use the Concept2 rankings search tool to find your target 10K row, ski, or bike range for your age group. #indoorrowing #skierg #10kerg #endurancetraining #10Kergstrategy ucanrow2.com

 

That gives you an excellent sense for how long it might take you to go the distance.   Think you ‘ll do it faster or slower?  Head over to the Concept2 PACE CALCULATOR to crunch the numbers on what that might look like.

 

Another option is to check your ONLINE LOGBOOK for your previous time(s) at this distance.  How are you feeling?  Ready to PR?

GET ON PACE

OK!  So now we know what target you’re trying to hit.  How to stay on pace?  One of our favorite 10K erg strategy tips is to use a pace rower, skier or rider.

 

Decide beforehand if you’ll be more motivated by trying to keep up with the pacer, stay ahead of it, or keep even.  Adjust your pacer’s split time accordingly.   Everybody’s different – Do you like to be ahead or do you like the chase?  For some of us, there’s nothing better than leaving that little guy in the dust.  For others, it’s all about the thrill of trying to catch him.

 

Use a pacer to row, ski or bike your best 10K. Set the pacer either at the target you want to hit, or use it to beat a past time. Many more tips at ucanrow2.com. #10kergstrategy #endurancerow #indoorrower

 

 

How to set your pacer:

 

  1. From the main menu hit Select Workout > New Workout.
  2. Set your distance, then set your pacer time under Optional Pace Boat (or Skier, etc.).
  3. Hit the check box on the right.4. If needed, hit the Change Display button until the pacer screen appears.

 

NOTE: You cannot reset the pacer during the workout, so think carefully about how you want to use it before you start.

HELP WITH THE HEAD GAME

In the final analysis, 10K erg strategy comes down to how you handle the mental challenge.  Here are our best tips for that:

 

  • Take it 1000 meters at a time
  • Once you get the flywheel going, lock in your pace and keep your breathing under control.  Don’t let adrenaline get the best of you.
  • Every 500-1000 meters take a hard 10 or so strokes to pick up the flywheel if you start to see your split drop or just need a mental pick-me-up
  • Have a best-case and worst-case split or finish time in mind.  Know what your goal is, but also have a bar below which you refuse to drop.
  • If you go out too hard or too fast, the machine will punish you.  If that happens, give yourself a few hundred to 1000 easier meters to recover, then get back in and readjust your finish goal accordingly if needed.
  • For some, the Zen of the flywheel is all they need in their ears to get the job done.  For others, a really good playlist is clutch.
  • When you hit the last 500-1000 meters, empty your tank.  Give it all you’ve got!

 

If your “10K erg strategy” or goal is simply to survive the distance, think about staying at a pace where you can talk but you’d rather not.  Never mind carefully calculating a target finish or split time.   For more ideas on how to “make a game of it,” head over to our post about 10 indoor rowing workouts to kill 10K

 

whew!  Glad that’s over

 

It’s a sweet feeling when that monitor ticks over to 0 meters left.  Once you’re done, make sure to hydrate right away with water or a diluted sports drink and stretch.

 

Depending on your usual workout length and whether this was a big effort for you, you might need a post-workout snack or protein shake.  We’re partial to easily digested whole foods like bananas and sweet potatoes with a good hit of protein to help rebuild all those muscles you just used.

 

Don’t forget to record your time in your logbook, and give yourself a high five for a job well done.  Or better yet, hop over to our RowStrong Facebook group and share your success!

 

Questions? Comments?  PRs?  Post ’em down below, we’re excited to see!

 

MORE RESOURCES

 

Tricks to Dominate Endurance Rowing Workouts

4 SkiErg Sprint Tips and a Race Strategy

5 Keys to Nailing the Half-Marathon Row

Monster Meter Endurance Rowing Workouts

 

Learn how to set a goal for a 10K row or ski.  We walk you through all the steps of a perfect 10K erg strategy.  ucanrow2.com #10Kergstrategy #indoorrowing #skierg

 

 

 

 

Tricks to Dominate Endurance Rowing Workouts

Updated April 14, 2018

Endurance rowing workout

 

 

Not gonna lie, when people walked into the Bodyshop and saw a version of the workout above, their faces dropped.  500m – 750m – 1000m – 2000m and back down the pyramid.  Seven total rounds and close to 10,000 meters when all is said and done.

 

Endurance rowing.  Character builder.  “Ugh,” (said some).

 

When you’re used to rowing intervals of 500m or just a couple of minutes that’s A LOT of work.  Some of us would rather stick hot needles in our eyes than row or SkiErg that much!

 

Endurance rowing workouts are both a physical AND mental challenge, they take a longer time to do and they can be suuuuper boring.  That’s IF you don’t have the tricks we’re about to give you.

whAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT ENDURANCE ROWING?

 

WE GET IT,  but there are a lot of good reasons to press on and do a workout like this.  Among them:

 

  • Endurance building: Monster-meter workouts like these help build cardio endurance that gives you a good base to work from, even when you’re more focused on shorter, high-intensity workouts.
  • Weight loss: When weight loss is your goal, some longer rowing workouts are in order (once you’ve built up enough cardio base to push yourself for lengthier intervals)
  • Cross training: Steady-state or interval rowing is great if you’re cross-training for another sport or working on your general fitness.
  • One-stop workout shopping: Rowing-only workouts are one-stop-shopping.  They work virtually every muscle on every stroke, without the need for any other equipment.
  • Meter munching: It’s the best way to grab lots of meters in a rowing competition like the Concept2 challenges.
  • Mental toughness: Having the ability to guts it out on a difficult workout (long OR short) builds mental muscle we can use when the going gets rough elsewhere.  There’s nothing like being able to tell yourself, “If I can get through 10K (or 2K) I can get through this, too.”

 

For some people, simply rowing the distances would be challenge enough.  Visit our RowStrong group on Facebook and you’ll find people who relish rowing 10K daily just for fun.

 

For the rest of us though, some additional distraction is in order.  Read on…

 

hacks to bring the magic to a long rowing workout

 

Endurance rowing workouts are as much a mental challenge as they are physical.  The key to making this kind of workout not just doable – but dare we say it, FUN – is to break up the meter pieces and do each one differently.  It’s also a great time to work your technique.  Be creative!

 

Here’s how we did this one at the Bodyshop.  As you’ll see, it was actually eight intervals, so if you do the workout in the photo you get a bit of a break.  Ha!

 

Monster Meter Pyramid Workout – Bodyshop Version

Start rowing, or set your monitor for the intervals below (intervals>variable on a Concept2 monitor), with 1:30 paddle rest in between each.  Keep your strokes per minute between 22 and 28.

Vary your effort throughout – as suggested below – but challenge yourself to stay within your split or pace goal for each distance.  For example, your 500m split should be faster than your 2000m split since the 500 is shorter and you can be more intense.

 

500m – Do a Pick Drill warmup if you’re rowing, or a straight warmup if you’re skiing the workout

1000mTechnique focus: Begin to build power and find your 70-80 percent effort level.  Focus on key technique elements like hip swing, cycling the hands quickly through the finish, keeping the handle straight through the stroke, etc.

1500m – Split focus: Divide the piece into three 500m sections and aim to lower your split every 500m piece

2000m – Interval focus: Row 30 seconds on at 26-28 spm, 30 seconds off at 20-22 spm

1500m – Stroke rate focus: Divide the piece into 3 500m sections (or six 250m sections) and increase your stroke rating every time

1000m – Interval focus: Rolling 100s.  100 meters hard, 100 meters easy

500m –   Finish with a target of your first 1000m split, or cool down

 

post-row recovery

 

Recovery is critical after a workout like this, particularly if higher-volume workouts aren’t a regular thing for you.

 

If you’re not already, develop and follow a good post-workout routine.  That way you’ll be sure to repair cells and tissues that were damaged during the workout, replace nutrients and remove wastes.

 

MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE:

 

  • HYDRATION – Drink water throughout the workout, but also be sure to replenish depleted stores afterwards

 

  • STRETCHING – We will often do a 10-15 minute round of yoga after a workout like this.  It helps us calm down, drop cortisol levels and generally hit the rest of the day refreshed and ready to go.  We love the Down Dog app for this.  It makes yoga easy, even for us non-yogis.  Failing that, it’s a must to do some general stretches that target the areas most taxed in rowing.

 

  • POST-WORKOUT SNACK – A well-balanced snack or a meal within 1-2 hours of a workout like this will help you recover, refuel and build muscle.  Unless you’re working out for more than 2 hours or have very specific nutrition needs, you don’t need special supplements

 

  • REST – Adequate recovery is essential to avoid overtraining.  That includes both leaving enough time between workouts and getting sufficient sleep (7-9 hours per night is best).

 

 

Do you have favorite endurance workouts?  Share them in the comments … please!  We all need a good workout.  Row on!!

 

Further information:

 

3 Rowing Machine Workouts to Get You Back on Track

If you've fallen off the pace with your rowing machine workouts lately, here are three new workouts to get you back in the swing.

 

We’ve all been there.  You’re going along fine with your rowing machine workouts.  Showing up for them according to your plan, feeling like you could conquer the world when you’re done.  Nothing’s going to stop you now!

And then life gets in the way.  You get sick, you go on vacation, you get an injury that requires you to lay off for a while. One day you wake up and you realize, “I’ve gotten way off track.”  Days or weeks have gone by without a real workout happening.

Now what?  First off, stop and take a deep breath.  Getting off track with your workouts is totally normal.  It doesn’t make you bad, wrong, or any kind of a failure.  It makes you human.

 

 

HOW TO GET BACK ON TRACK  

As soon as you realize you’ve fallen off your plan, don’t stew over it, and certainly don’t beat yourself up.  It happens to everyone at some point, and it’s completely fine.  The worst thing you can do is decide, “I’ll never be able to stay consistent with my rowing machine workouts no matter what I do.”  The worst thing you can do is decide to skip the gym or turn your rowing machine into a clothes hanger.

Rather than abandon all hope (totally unproductive and defeating), give yourself a clean slate to work from and and make a plan for how you’re going to get back on track.  Get started, TODAY.

If it’s been a while, make sure you ease into it.  Just because you USED to work out for 60 minutes a day, 6 days a week doesn’t mean you can or should after a long layoff.  Set yourself up to be successful: Aim to move 2-3 days a week for a few weeks, then build from there.

Then, once you have your plan in place, tell someone about it.  A real, live person you know where you live is great, but failing that Facebook or another social media platform is an excellent alternative.  Just be sure you declare it “out loud,” and ask people to check in with you from time to time.  Accountability is key, and it’s harder to hide when you announce your intentions to the world!

 

 

3 rowing Machine workouts to jump-start your restart

One of the great things about the rowing machine is it meets you where you are, regardless of your current fitness level.  Since the rowing machine is an ergometer, you are always in control of how hard it is to row.  The harder you push-pull, the harder it will be to do so, and vice versa.

A little variety doesn’t hurt to keep you consistent either.  So to start you back on the right track, here are three rowing workouts, 1 tried-and-true, and 2 brand new.  They showcase the three formats we typically use in our UCanRow2 Bodyshop classes: Erg (aka rowing machine) only, erg with bodyweight, and erg with equipment.

They’re all great and will give you a fantastic sweat.  You decide which one works best for you!

NOTE: Warm up well before each workout, keeping in mind the axiom: “The shorter the workout, the longer the warmup.”

 

 

ERG-ONLY ROWING INTERVALS

Row intervals of 1-2-3-3-2-1 mins. (total 6 rounds), with the same amount of rest on each round.  Total time for the workout (without warmup or cooldown) is 24 minutes.

Start each round with a few short strokes to get going and build to your rating.  Each piece (interval) should be done at 80 percent of your max.  How do you know what that is?  You’re rowing at a pace at which you can talk but you’d rather not.

Aim for a stroke rating between 24 and 30 strokes per minute.  Use how you feel to determine what stroke rating to hold.  Your goal is to maintain the same split within about 5 seconds on each round.  If you find you can’t talk, you’re going too hard!

Make it easier: Back off on the intensity, or lower your stroke rating
Make it harder: Work to take 5-10 seconds off your split on each round

ERG + BODYWEIGHT

AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) 20 mins of:
Row 500m
10 lunges
10 push-ups
10 burpees / step-ups
8 thrusters / squats
25 jumping jacks
3 broad jumps

Make it easier: Lower intensity on the row / reduce the number of off-erg moves or do the scaled options – the second choice when there are two listed
Make it harder: Increase intensity on the erg, up the workout time by 5-10 mins.

 

ERG + EQUIPMENT

4 Rounds, descending pyramid:

Row 1 minute
In between do 12-9-7-5 repetitions of:
Push-ups
TRX or weighted squats / air squats
Push press
Sit-ups
KB swings

Make it easier: Eliminate the exercises on the last round, instead ending with the 4th row as a sprint
Make it harder: Add a round of 15 repetitions at the beginning

 

Give them a try, and we would be truly be thrilled and honored if you would comment below and let us know how you liked them, and if anything especially worked or didn’t work.

If you want more rowing machine workouts like this be sure to join our email list; We send out new workouts every week, along with other great content you won’t see anywhere else.

One quick caution, because Safety First and Do No Harm are our guiding principles: The workouts we post here are intended for people with at least some rowing experience.  If you’re new to the rowing machine, we recommend you find a certified indoor rowing instructor to help with the basics.  Also hit up our YouTube channel and our blog post on rowing technique for videos and articles that will help you refresh and review.

Row on!

What do you do when you fall off your indoor rowing training horse? Don't despair, or feel bad! Instead, get re-started right away with these three rowing machine workouts. Want more like this? Visit our workouts page: https://ucanrow2.com/indoor-rowing-workouts/

Pin me!

 

Fight Melanoma Cancer – Work Out: Meters for Melanoma 2018 is Here!

Last updated March 31, 2018


Help us beat melanoma, one of the deadliest cancers! Join us on May 5 for Meters for Melanoma, supporting the Midwest Melanoma Partnership. Join us!

 

 

Fight melanoma cancer and get your row on at the same time!  METERS FOR MELANOMA, our annual fundraiser to support research and education by the Midwest Melanoma Partnership is back for a second year, bigger and better than ever.

 

We’ve added prizes – ERGS! – for top fundraisers and, thanks to a $20,000 challenge grant, your donations are worth even more this year.

 

row a little – row a lot

 

REGISTER NOW to either row as an individual, or get your small team (25 or fewer) or large team (26+) together and plan to raise funds and row meters together.  We’ve made the meter distances accessible for pretty much anyone.

 

You can row as few as 500 meters, or 5000 meters, or beyond.  Not into rowing?  Just want to support the cause?  No problem.  You can even donate to register as a Virtual Rower and your entry will count towards the prizes.

 

WIN A ROWING MACHINE, SKIERG or BIKEERG!

 

This year we’re sweetening the pot and giving one individual and one team their choice of a Concept2 rowing machine, SkiErg or BikeErg.  There are minimum fundraising levels to qualify for the erg giveaway, and the number of meters you get matters too.  Check the registration page for details.

 

Sign up before April 3, 2018 and you will have the opportunity to order an event shirt for delivery in time for race day.  People who register later can still order shirts, but they will arrive after May 5.

raise money to fund melanoma cancer research

 

Melanoma cancer is one of the deadliest forms of the disease.  One person dies from it EVERY HOUR.  Think about that: In the time it takes you to finish your workout at the gym, one person has died from melanoma cancer.  On-water rowers and outdoor athletes in general are at great risk for cutaneous melanoma due to their exposure to the sun.

 

 

Prevention is critical.  And much easier than treating this deadly disease, as we at UCanRow2 know all too well.  That makes Meters for Melanoma a labor of love for us.

 

 A very personal labor as you’ll see below if you watch the video from our own Terry Smythe, who was diagnosed with rare mucosal melanoma late in 2013.  [Did you know that melanoma actually has three forms – cutaneous, mucosal and ocular?]

 

 

Meters for Melanoma 2017 from UCanRow2 on Vimeo.

The Basics

WHEN: May 5th-6th, 2018

WHERE: Anywhere you can find a rowing machine, SkiErg or BikeErg!

WHY: To raise funds for melanoma research and awareness. Our goal is to raise at least $20,000 for these activities, which will then be matched by an anonymous donor.

HOW: Grab your team, or sign up as an individual at this link.

NOTE: While it is Terry’s hope that everyone will be active in some way during this weekend, you DO NOT need to row to participate.  Virtual rowers are welcome, too!

 

Questions? Post them in the comments.  Come row with us and help us fight melanoma!

Rowing Technique: Perfecting the Stroke

What rowing technique question do we get most often?  Right up there at least, it’s gotta be: “Can you just show me what a good rowing stroke looks like?”  You asked for it, we’re happy to provide.  Regardless of your effort level, your stroke should always look smooth.  Legs first, then body, then arms on the drive; Arms, body, legs on the recovery.  That’s your rowing mantra, stroke after stroke after stroke.

Watch Master Instructor Terry Smythe, one of the best in the business, as she rows below.  She’s had her butt on an erg or in a boat since the 1970s, so she’s pretty much got this down.  Spend 30 seconds watching the rowers at your local gym and you’re likely to see anything but this.  Just because people are doing it doesn’t make it right!

 

via GIPHY

 

keys to perfecting your rowing technique

Some things to notice in Terry’s rowing stroke:

  • The torso swings from an 11-o’clock angle at the finish to 1 o’clock at the catch – no more, no less
  • Knees stay down on the recovery until the handle has passed them
  • The hands never stop moving, BUT (see below)
  • There is a slight pause of her torso at the finish while her hands start moving away from her body, back towards the flywheel
  • The handle moves pretty much straight back and forth, in just a slight ellipsis (think of your fingertips running across the top of the table on the drive, and your knuckles scraping the bottom of the table on the recovery)
  • The shins come to vertical at the catch – no more, no less
  • There is a 1 X 2 ratio between the drive and recovery (Say “Woof!” on the drive, “Meow!” on the recovery)
  • Toes maintain contact with the foot stretcher throughout the stroke
  • The damper is set at 3 (Not 10!)

HOW TO get better at indoor rowing

If your rowing technique doesn’t look like this don’t worry!  Rowing is a lot like golf, the relentless pursuit of the perfect stroke.  Everybody’s always working to improve some element of it or another.  And we do mean EVERYBODY.  It’s just part of the deal.  Walk into the dining hall at Craftsbury Sculling Center (our favorite place to learn sculling).  You’ll hear everyone from newbie rowers on up to Olympic medalists chatting about the finer points of their strokes and how they’d like to improve them (“I’m not getting my hands away fast enough,” “I’m not pivoting enough at the hips.”)

So, if you’re stroke’s not where you want it, you’re in good company.  Start where you are, and keep working at it.  Get some help from a certified rowing instructor if you have one in your area.  If not, contact us, we can help you over email or Skype.

Don’t fall into the trap of comparing your stroke to Terry’s or anybody else’s.  We don’t start off knowing how to row, nor do we usually learn how to row at a young age the way we learn to ride a bike.  Good rowing technique comes in time though, and the results are well worth the effort!

Got a question about this?  Or just want to rant about the crazy technique you’re seeing at the gym (Handle pulled up over the head anybody?)?  We hear ya!  Rant away below in the comments.

Indoor Rowing Workout 11-9-2016

Indoor rowing interval workout

The indoor rowing workout with a little bit of everything:

it’s wicked

Row/Ski 4 mins
10 goblet squats
15 medball sit-ups
Row/Ski 3 mins
10 DB press
10 DB row
Row/Ski 2 mins
10 pull-ups
10 walking lunges
Row/Ski 1 min – ALL OUT
Done!

Workout 5-4-2016

 

Try this row/ski/mix alternating workout

This workout is designed to be done alternating between the rowing machine and the SkiErg.  If you don’t have access to a SkiErg you can row the whole workout. Or, if you want a bigger challenge, make it an all Ski Erg workout.  If you do that aim for the lower number of rounds.

 

 

Row for a Cause at Meters for Melanoma

Last updated April 5, 2018

Help us beat melanoma, one of the deadliest cancers! Join us every May 5 for Meters for Melanoma, supporting the Midwest Melanoma Partnership. Join us!

 

Melanoma is one of the deadliest cancers there is.  Someone dies every hour from the disease. Sun-baked on-water rowers are especially at risk for the cutaneous form of melanoma.  METERS FOR MELANOMA was created to support the Midwest Melanoma Partnership‘s work to support research to find a cure.

 

Often melanoma gets mistaken as being solely “skin cancer” that can largely be prevented by minimizing your exposure to the sun’s UV rays.  While melanoma certainly CAN and often does occur on the skin, it turns out that there are two other forms of the disease, mucosal and ocular.  You don’t have to have any sun exposure at all to come face to face with one of the disease’s most aggressive forms: mucosal melanoma.

 

We’ve learned that in spades at UCanRow2 as our own Terry Smythe has been very publicly riding the cancer rollercoaster since late 2013.  Never, EVER one to take things easily or lying down, Terry is taking cancer on with guns blazing, and using her fight as a platform to educate others about the disease.

 

Rowing to Find a Cure for Melanoma

 

Enter METERS FOR MELANOMA, our annual fundraiser to support melanoma research and the tremendous efforts of the Midwest Melanoma Partnership.  Join us each year on May 5 — Terry’s birthday — and row or SkiErg 500 or 5000 meters, you pick.  If you don’t have access to an erg or would prefer to do another fitness activity, feel free!  Do you need a place to row or ski?  Check the links below to find a rower or SkiErg near you.

FIND AN INDOOR ROWER

FIND A SKIERG

 

SIGN UP for meters for melanoma

 

Please join us for some fun on May 5 and make a difference for Terry and everyone else fighting melanoma.  You’ll get a cool t-shirt, and our eternal thanks for helping with a really important cause.  Email us your 500 or 5000 meter time and you might win a cool prize!  Register now and we’ll get you set up.

 

REGISTER NOW

 

 

METERS FOR MELANOMA MEDIA COVERAGE

We’ve been so fortunate to count on the support of our local news media in this effort.  Click below to see the story that TV6 Upper Michigan’s Source did on our effort in its first year.

 

 

Do you have a melanoma or cancer story to tell? Has rowing made a difference in your recovery? Please tell us about it in the comments below, you deserve a shout-out!!

SkiErg Strategy for a 2K Sprint

PR your next 2000 meter race on the SkiErg with this SkiErg strategy. http://ucanrow2.com

 

A 2000 meter race.  Just the thought strikes fear in the hearts of indoor rowers.  As sprinting on the SkiErg grows in popularity it’s likely to do the same for indoor skiers.  Fear not, intrepid athletes! With a good SkiErg strategy, hopefully paired with a strong training plan, the 2k ski is an entirely doable distance for most people.

As always, before attempting a sprint of this distance you will want to be sure you’re warmed up.  Give yourself 1000-2000 meters to warm up, either on the rowing machine or the SkiErg.  Once you’ve got a sweat starting to roll, switch to the SkiErg if you’re on the rowing machine and do 1-3 practice SkiErg racing starts.  Follow the 1/2, 1/2, 3/4, full stroke formula followed by 10 strokes at race pace, then ski easy for a minute.  Do this no more than three times.

Stretch and hydrate, and don’t forget to visit the restroom if you need to.

For the actual sprint, try this strategy.  Optimally you would practice it and see how it feels before you do your “official” race. But even if you’re doing this without the benefit of rehearsal, this is a solid plan that should get you through in fine fashion.

2k Skierg strategy

Here’s a SkiErg strategy to try: Set the monitor for a 2000 meter piece (Select Workout>Standard List>2000m).  Do a racing start followed by 10-20 hard strokes and then hold your pace.  Take a hard 10 strokes to stay focused every 500 meters. With 250 meters to go, give it all you’ve got!

Ski easy for at least 3 minutes when you’re done to give your heart rate a chance to come down.  Once you’ve caught your breath, get off and stretch.

Record your time in your Concept2 logbook and pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

If you need help on technique, Concept2 has what you need in their SkiErg technique video.

Questions on racing starts? Watch the video below, then post any questions in the comments.  Most important of all, HAVE FUN, and let us know how you did!

 

4 SkiErg Sprint Tips and a Race Strategy


The SkiErg sprint made so easy even a kid could do it!

Have you tried the Concept2 SkiErg yet? Maybe your first SkiErg sprint introduction is coming this weekend with Concept2’s annual event, the SkiErg Sprints?

 

Don’t let that scare you!  Short-distance pieces and sprints on the Ski Erg are some of the best ways to get comfortable on the machine.  It’s a great way to get your blood pumping, and a nice change of pace from a lot of the other equipment in the gym.

 

Given that gravity is in play and that the Ski Erg is a total-body machine (with an emphasis on the torso and arms), the SkiErg definitely gets your heart rate rolling quickly.

 

4 keys to a spectacular skierg sprint

  1. Warm up properly! As we say in our trainer tips, the shorter the workout, the longer the warmup needs to be.  To ski a 500-meter piece, for example, you should plan on at least a 10 to 15-minute warmup on the rowing machine, jogging, or on another piece of cardio equipment. Don’t be afraid to break a sweat before you start your sprint.
  2. Have a target split: Once you’re warmed up, jump on the SkiErg for 5 minutes or so to get comfortable before you do your actual sprint.  Easy rowing here, but throw in a couple of rounds of 10 hard strokes.  Watch your split on the hard strokes, that will give you a sense for what target you might try to hit during the actual sprint. Write your target split on a piece of paper taped where you can see it during the sprint, or set the pace skier on your monitor.
  3. Use a sprint start: Whenever you’ve got a dead flywheel to deal with, the best thing is to take a few short strokes to get it moving. It saves your back AND gets you to your target split faster.  Perfect.
  4. Have a race plan (See below): Even on a short sprint, it’s helpful to plan how you’re going to cover the distance to your best advantage.  Decide what you’re going to do for each segment of the piece, or have a split you’re determined to either reach or beat.  Whatever it takes for you to stay on target, especially once the going gets rough.  Once you have it in mind, write it out if it helps and tape it to your SkiErg.

Skierg tips for a fast 1000m

Beginners and Intermediates:

If this is your first attempt then keep that thought front and center!  Remember the beauty of the challenge and being a beginner (or even us old experienced dogs) is that if you’re not happy with your time you can do it again, after some rest.  The challenge takes place over 3 days.  Do it Friday, recover Saturday and repeat Sunday if need be.

A 1K blast is just that…a BLAST!  Cardio, strength and heart rate to the max once you find your technique and confidence to go hard.

The goal on your first one really should be just to get it done!  Learn from the experience.  With your monitor set for 1000 meters you can go back into the memory after and see where you felt you could have done better.  You can see your split/500, SPM and heart rate if you wear a HR monitor. All helpful to plan your strategy for the next one.

The best strategy is to train for this so that you are prepared.  It is a mental as well as physical challenge, and the only way to learn is to train and test yourself against your own time, and then your age group.  However, if you just want to do it this weekend there’s no reason not to just jump on and go.  The beauty of the erg is if you go out too hard you can always back off and hold or come back.

The start and strategy:

The flywheel is dead at the start so it’s always a good idea to take a few short strokes and gradually lengthen out from there. The first minute of any sprint is exciting and an adrenalin rush so breathe!  Short strokes to your pace then lengthen and hold.  Watch your split and end time.  If you’re on target stay there.  If you need mental pick-me-ups take a hard 5- 10 strokes every 250 -300m. HOLD ON!  Last 300m dial in your CAN-DO ATTITUDE to the finish!

Plant the poles about eye brow level, drive to your pockets, chest up, hip extension and flexion but not so you kiss the flywheel! And use your legs as shock absorbers. This is not just upper body and if you isolate just your upper body to do the work you will risk a best effort with poor technique and also potentially burnout too soon and not finish. You should feel this total body when done. Watch the technique skier in your monitor under information for a reminder.

When done do not fall off the machine gasping! Please stand up and take all intensity off for at least1 -2 min. Let that HR recover then slip out of the handles and walk around and get some water.

Bravo you did it!

We sometimes see people break out in a cold sweat when they think they have to do a 5k their first time out on the machine.  That’s not necessary!  You should ease into skiing the same way you work your way into rowing, a few minutes at a time.

Give the flywheel a chance to work its Zen magic, and use that time to get your technique right, too.  Concept2 has a great SkiErg technique video that will get you started.

Once you’ve got some skiing experience, short sprints are an excellent way to test yourself on the machine.  Concept2 also offers SkiErg challenges several times throughout the year, and this weekend’s Sprints are no exception.  They’re a great chance to set a goal to work toward, and compete against other skiers around the world.

If a sprint piece (like 100, 250, 500 or 1000 meters) is on your workout agenda, we’ve got some tips to help you nail it.  Read on.

 

If you’d like more ideas for rowing or SkiErging workouts, grab our Meter Monster (erg-only) or Flywheel Frenzy (erg intervals with other equipment) workouts sets.  29 workouts total in both programs, including a suggested calendar for how to use them.  Buy one or both, but they are available only until Sunday, Nov. 12 at midnight EST.

 

suggested 500m skierg sprint race plan

Here’s one way to attack a 500-meter piece.  You can modify it for longer distances, too.  Begin with your sprint start of a few short strokes, gradually building to the full stroke.  Follow that with 10-20 hard strokes, then settle in to your race pace.  Don’t “fly and die,” keep your adrenaline under control and stay steady through the middle of the piece.  Then, with 100-200 meters to go, fire the afterburners and empty the tank!

NOTE: Never stop completely after a hard effort like a SkiErg sprint! Keep moving slowly for a few minutes and let your heart rate come down.  Grab a big drink of water, stretch out, and log your meters and time in your Concept2 logbook.  Well done!!

watch how we do a Ski erg sprint start

 

Try this strategy and let us know in the comments how you did! Got questions?  We’ll answer those, too. SKI ON!

Want more rowing or skiing workouts?

Our Meter Monster and Flywheel Frenzy workout plans are designed to help you stay consistent with your workouts and give you a plan to follow, whether you row solo at home or the gym, or you teach rowing class.  Both plans are available for immediate download now, but only until Sunday, Nov. 10 at midnight EST.  After that they go away until next year.

Last update: Nov. 10, 2017