Head Games: Tips and Tricks for Endurance Rowing Workouts

Home > Blog > Head Games: Tips and Tricks for Endurance Rowing Workouts

Updated Nov. 8, 2021


Let’s face it, we all have days where we have to drag ourselves through a workout.  Training for rowers is no different than training for runners or cyclists or any other sport.  Sometimes you just need to find ways to make the meters tick off faster.


Concept2 has a blog post with rowing tips to help you keep the flywheel spinning.  Check that one out.


Here are some of our favorite endurance rowing tips and strategies:


– Count strokes to get through the tough periods of the workout (This is a favorite of Master Instructor Cassi Niemann)


– On a long row, do every third 500 meters faster to break things up


– If the thought of rowing 10k in one shot overwhelms you, break it into smaller pieces and add in off-erg work in between.  Our Workouts page has lots of ways to do that.  Ready to try it in one go? This post will show you 10 ways you can get it done!


– Take your mind off the monitor and focus on your indoor rowing technique – sitting up tall, swinging from 11:00-1:00, chest up coming into the catch, one count on the drive, two on the recovery, etc.


– Up the intensity – Working harder in short bursts makes the meters tick by faster and can stop you from focusing on them so much.


– Have a split range you’re going to keep through the workout and do whatever it takes to hold it (increase or decrease your intensity, stroke rating, etc.)


– Use the pace boat on the Concept2 Performance Monitor to help you hold your split. Set it on the pace you don’t want to go under. Beat that little guy!


– A favorite at the UCanRow2 Bodyshop studio is row-ling 100s, alternating 100 meters hard, 100 meters easy (or whatever variation of that sounds appealing)


– Hit the Units button on your monitor and vary what you’re rowing for – meters, calories, watts


– Play a numbers game – work towards “fun” meter numbers like 4444, 5678, 12345, etc.


Ok maybe we’re a little crazy, but these tricks have gotten us through MANY millions of meters. How do you get yourself through a tough workout? Tell us in the comments, we’ll add the best ones to the list!


For Further Reading and Learning



  1. Roy on January 6, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Set up in front of DVDs player and Rv. Put fav movie on

  2. shane on January 12, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    I did a 90 minute row, it help pass the time when I started swearing at myself for every trying that….

    • UCanRow2 on January 12, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      Nice one, Shane! There was a lot of that going on around UCanRow2 HQ the last time we got the bright idea to do a 24-hour row. And then there was the day we thought it would be fun to do a half marathon on the SkiErg… Good thing there weren’t any small children around!

  3. @ocr_dad on February 22, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Get a good movie.

    • UCanRow2 on February 22, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      Always! 🙂

  4. Jack on April 19, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    I will close my eyes and count strokes, then open them to see if I have stayed on my stroke rate and split. When I have
    a longer row with different stroke rates for, say three minutes, I will count up total strokes for one minute, up and then down the next, and then countdown for the last. The power graph is also a helpful distraction. Raise and sharpen your peak at each stroke, then maintain your optimum output.

    • UCanRow2 on April 19, 2016 at 5:37 pm

      Thanks Jack! That counting up and down trick is a good one. Row on!

Leave a Comment