Hey Yo Matt: Rowing Strategies
Hey, Yo, Matt,
Do you have any rowing strategies for Hobbits like us? I’d like to hear what you’ve figured out.
This is a yes and no answer for me. I have some strategies, but I don’t necessarily know how good they are.
Generally speaking, I think that the shorter distances are actually a little bit worse for shorter people. This may seem kind of backwards, but if you think about it the shorter the row is the shorter the work out generally is. This means that there’s less opportunities for us to make up time somewhere else
You can look at a work out like the one from regionals this year or even better Jackie:
Row 1,000 meters Thruster 45 pounds, 50 reps 30 Pull-ups
Short folks will always come off the rower fast enough, but we’ll catch up or pass in the light weight thrusters and the pull ups.
Most long piece rowing work outs are not won or lost on the erg. If you can stay within thirty seconds of your competition and leave the rower fresher then you will win.
There are countless stories of people PR’ing a row in a work out only to fail at everything else.
The best strategy is to keep a manageable pace. Rowing around five seconds slower then your 500m or 1000m PR pace (depending on the length of the WOD) will leave you feeling pretty fresh, keeping you pretty close to the competition, and allow you to make the most of the rest of the work out.
In shorter workouts, those five seconds can be make or break. A WOD that has rounds of a short row and then something else mixed in will leave the hobbit devastated. Those precious seconds start to matter a whole lot more and there is never really a chance to make up the lost ground elsewhere.
You need to keep a higher stroke rate while still not burning yourself out and while keeping as clean of technique as you can.
Its tough as hell.
The best thing I’ve found, is to try to stay comfortable in the WOD on the rower. This means like 90% effort and make my ground elsewhere. Planning on being one of the last ones off helps you keep your head about you and keep your pace. The worst thing you can do is try to keep pace with the big boys and unstrap looking like you just got your ass kicked and having your legs feel like they were turned into sausages.