Training Plan for Rowing a Sub-7:00 2k

I’ve recently decided to get a bit more serious about my rowing. I’ve mostly been using our Concept2 rower for shorter, high-intensity conditioning routines to cap off my weightlifting. But I’ve been kicking around the idea of racing, and have decided to do some proper training.

I’ve identified a semi-local indoor erg regatta (ergatta?) during the winter, and have decided to follow a more rigorous training plan to improve my 2k time. I have no idea if I’ll make it in time for the race, but I’m hoping to go from somewhere in the 7:45-7:50 range to 7:00 or less.

To be honest, my current 2k time might be (a bit) better than stated above. I haven’t attempted one in quite awhile, and I’m stronger and in much better rowing shape than the last time I tried it. Thus, that 7:45-7:50 estimate might be a bit conservative. Then again, maybe it isn’t…

Why row 2k? Why seven minutes?

Why 2k instead of some other distance? Well, as it turns out, 2k is the standard length of an Olympic or World Championship rowing race. It’s a pretty brutal distance, requiring a balance of power, endurance, and sprint speed. It’s also the standard distance for most erg races.

As for the timing, seven minutes is an admittedly arbitrary goal. It corresponds to an average 500 m split time of 1:45. That’s not a world class time by any means, but it’s pretty darn challenging. And it’s emerged as a sort of standard benchmark for semi-serious rowers.

Why am I doing this? Well, I guess it’s mostly to see if I can. I enjoy rowing (as much as one can enjoy such a thing) and I’m always up for a challenge. My oldest son also just started rowing for a club team in college, so this gives us a little something extra to talk about.

Training for a sub-7:00 2k

So… How will I get myself into that sub-7:00 range? Well, I don’t want to back off on my weightlifting, so I’ll be adding in rowing workouts on top of my normal routine. Or at least that’s my current plan.

I should be able to manage the combination for awhile, at least. As the rowing sessions get longer, however, I may have to make some adjustments to accommodate my schedule, as well as my slower-than-it-used to be recovery rate. Have I mentioned that getting old sucks?

As for my training plan, I’ve decided to follow the beginner version of the so-called “Pete Plan.” This is a 24-week plan that includes three main sessions each week, along with two optional sessions.

There’s an “original” Pete Plan, too, but that’s a six-day-a-week plan, and I don’t currently have the time to commit to it. Thus, while I’m not technically a beginner, I’ll be following the simplified version of this training plan.

I’ll tackle the three main workouts each week alongside my normal workouts. And I’ll be doing them in addition to whatever other cardio I’d otherwise do at the end of my weight training sessions.

As for the optional workouts… Yes, I’ll do extra erg sessions as time (and recovery) allows. I may, however, deviate from the plan and make these longer, steady state pieces to help build that fitness base.

I’m starting this week, and will provide weekly updates of my progress.

Workouts & Training
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