Triathlon plan no pools got a rower

any ideas on what the best conversion swimming > rowing for the low volume 70.3 plan

outta shape z plodding through thd workouts bike ones are just achievable. running ones involve walking sometkmes. so breaking 45 minute runs into chunks of 3 x 15 with two minutes. its already been two weeks and its picking up nicely.

Ihave been rowing using the following:

Where it says swim and using a ratio of 2000m for every 500m in the plan.

Using a 500m max effort as a pace to prescribe the pace i row at. i think its 1:56 at the moment so 80% is 2:19/500m (Multiplication method).

its very achievable but dont wanna be slacking

Wow you’re approaching it in a very organised manner. I too am rowing instead of swimming at the moment but have gone for a little and often approach just to keep lats & arms remembering what it’s like to move.

Ha ha. It’s getting tougher I am working on the 500m Swim : 2000m row ratio. 7200m vase row was a tough ask then followed by tunnabora :-/

Just a quick note have a look at the “training tall” you tube channel

I would suggest investing a month or so into just doing technique work. use a mirror, and also video yourself. trying to do your swim workouts on a static erg right away is a really good recipe for injury.

your swimming fitness will come back just fine when you can return to the pool. rowing, like swimming is super technical, but working against a fixed point of resistance on every stroke makes good technique essential, otherwise you’re risking back, disk, and rib issues.

the Aram Training channel on YouTube is good to see his technique breakdowns, as is the Decent Rowing channel (tied in with the Australian Institute for Sport).

technique first, duration and speed second.

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Ditto on working on technique! It’s really important on the rowing ergometer. Learning to relax will help prevent injury and will also help you engage the back and arm “swimming muscles” that you’re targeting. You’ll get a lot of benefit from rowing at a lower stroke rate and learning to relax on the recovery between stroke / drive. A mirror can help a lot, as can following a video of someone rowing at a lower stroke rate of 18 to 22 strokes per minute.

  • The 500 - 2,000 meter ratio sounds ok, up to a point. Rowing involves so much leg work that if you keep adding and converting “swim distance” to “rower distance”, and then add on cycling trainer workouts (and running!), you’ll be putting more strain on your legs than swimming would. I would cap the rowing work at a certain point. It also not a great idea to “de-emphasize” the leg drive, since it helps set up the back and arm muscles to do their work with a manageable load. (You can lighten the drag factor to help a little, but it does not work like the weight setting on a weight machine.)
  • In place of some of the rowing erg distance, you might want to incorporate some swim-muscle weight training: lat pull downs, band work, shoulder exercises. You don’t even need to go to a “real” gym – doing pull-ups and using rubber bands, and some small dumbells can help you strengthen the swim-specific muscles that rowing will not use as much. Getting these muscles stronger now can help a lot when you are able to get back into a pool.
    (If it matters, I was a D1 rower, and a life-long pretty fast swimmer and have coached both sports.)

i am happy with my technique the belly is currently causing issues with knee position but its getting better.

i think i hit my limit the other day for base long swim replacement at about 7500m i really didnt enjoy that

so have adjusted todays sessions for a shorter slightly higher intensity.

I have been using the rower with a lower drag anyway 6-7 i can pull the 10 just i want light and consistant.

I use the erg app and focus on the drive length and my stroke rate is around 25-28.

As i get fitter i think i am going to adjust the ratio probably 500:1500 and work on the intensity but at the moment its about getting the lbs off.

Lower drag is better, imo. Most advice re: drag is for people who are training for racing in a boat. If you just work out for fitness, the lower drag is much kinder to your back. I endured a lot of pain and RSI before I realized it was OK to lower the drag to a reasonable setting.

Here is (indoor) rowing motivation: Eric Murray - KiwiPair Indoor Rowing - YouTube
and here is a (long-winded) video discussing drag factor HOW TO USE DRAG FACTOR and Damper Setting Effectively on the Concept 2 Indoor Rower - YouTube

  1. It’s not an arm thing. Don’t make it an arm thing. I know you want to use the rower to take the place of swimming, but although rowing does engage the lats and back, they’re only 30% of the stroke – it’s 60% legs. Cue – leave the arms and hand relaxed during the first 6 inches of so of the leg drive. It’s really tempting to start pulling with your arms at the catch, but don’t. The catch and the start of the drive are all about setting up your trunk and arm position while the legs do all the work.

Look up “hang on the handle” to help learn this.

  1. Damper on 3 or 4. Really. The higher the damper, the more the non-rower (meaning you’ve never been on the water – myself included) will want to start using the arms too early. College and Olympic women – VO2 between 60 and 70+ – will use the damper on 4. That tells you that 4 is enough for the Cat 3 cyclist or hobby triathlete.

  2. Slides. If you have the room, and you have plenty of patience, setting up your Concept 2 D on slides will force you to row with good technique – bad technique, you bang the slides. They will drive you absolutely nuts at first, and it will take longer to be able to do an endurance workout as a result, but, like riding the bike on rollers rather than a trainer, they will sort out a lot of technical errors.

(I was doing all right with the model D this last year, and cracked 7min for 2k, before straining a rhomboid due to overreaching at the catch and engaging the arms a bit too early. Slides have helped me fix both things, and they take a lot of load off your spine/back and ribs, as well)

Definitely a leg first rower and the only real pain I get is in my core, normally where I would have a six pack :wink: Bit like swimming, if you concentrate its nice smooth and easy. if you thrash around like you are escaping a alligator then its no fun at all.

I would like to re-assure you the effort is on the bike this more about keeping the other parts of the body moving and not just abusing my legs running and cycling

If you bought a Concept 2, I’d encourage you to keep moving closer to the dark side or erging.

2k competitions – whether live or virtual – are fun. It’s a whole different order of suffering than going really hard on the bike for 6-8min. :grinning: