Running and Rowing

Kim shares a plan of attack for everyone with the endurance training bug:

albany gymMost of my adult life I have tried to be a “Runner.” By this I mean, have the ability to run effortlessly for many miles, pain free, and just purely enjoy it. I have yet to experience that, but it doesn’t mean I’m ready to give up trying. Like so many of my fellow athletes, I joined the ACF Endurance Team and as well, I continue to work on my POSE technique.

A second suck of mine is rowing. Unlike running, it’s not painful, but it sets my legs and lungs on fire in short time, which is probably why my C2 is collecting dust in the basement.

Where am I going with this? –> Rowing is an invaluable tool for runners.

CrossFit Endurance guru Brian Mackenzie states that “when you learn how to do it right, it lights up weaknesses you didn’t know you had. It helps runners and cyclists find power in muscles they hadn’t used before.” Rowing is a powerful tool in an endurance athlete’s cross-training arsenal, or as a replacement for running when injuries surface. “It’s no joke,” he said. “It’s some serious, lung-searing stuff. When an athlete is dealing with a foot or Achilles tendon problem, I’ve never found issues in replacing running with work on the ergometer.”

Rowing works legs, core, back and arms. Proper rowing helps runners develop strong midline stability to help shift running from smaller, weaker muscles such as hip flexors to more powerful muscles in the posterior chain. This transfers to improved posture, an important piece of efficient running.

clifton park gymSo similar to the programming we’re being offered on the Endurance Team at ACF, there are programming methods that will help you become a better rower (assuming your technique is good):

Here are a few rowing workouts for injured runners or those just trying to work their sucks:

1. 500-meter Repeats:

Example – 4 x 500m, 2 minute rest between each. Similar in nature to the feel of running 800-meter intervals at a moderately high intensity.

2. Long Sprints:

Example – 8 x 45 seconds at hard pace. 15-second easy recovery between each

Tabata-ish feeling anyone?

3. The Time Ladder:

Ten minutes nonstop: four minutes, three minutes, two minutes, one minute, building up intensity in each transition between 4 to 3, 3 to 2, and into the final minute with no rest in between. The four minutes should be at a relative base tempo with the one-minute intervals at high intensity. Be sure to have enough in the tank to make moves at each time transition.

Can’t wait to try this one! :-/

4. The Stroke Ladder:

Example: 4 x 5 minutes. Each five-minute session is broken into five, one-minute segments with a focus on the number of strokes you take per minute (s/m), which the erg computer tallies in real time. First minute: 18 s/m, second minute: 22 s/m, third: 26 s/m, fourth: 22 s/m, fifth, 26 s/m.

Again, there will be no rest. The workout should last for 20 minutes total without stopping. Use the time spent at 18 s/m to recover. Each jump up in stroke rate will come with an increase in intensity and vice versa. This is a really good tempo piece that teaches people how to control their output and rate of recovery, which are two very crucial aspects of rowing.

I’d love to hear from those willing to give these a try!

“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” –Winston Churchill

Get the best in CrossFit performance gear at the CrossFit Store.

Previous PostNext Post