Thursday 161208

Front Squat

Pre-WOD skill work = Free standing handstand holds

Post loads to comments and BTWB

My, oh my. Now that's what I call a lot of rowers.

My, oh my. Now that’s what I call a lot of rowers.


Speaking of rowers. . . (see what I did there?),

We have now had 2 days over the last several weeks, of 500m rowing intervals holding our 2k pace. We have had several questions about what the deal is with this interval work. What are we doing? Why are we doing it? Where is this going? It’s like we are all in a relationship with rowing intervals and we just need to know what our future holds together.

What are we doing?

Interval work, holding a set pace, with enough varied rest for recovery before repeating.

Where is this going?

I told this to the morning classes on Tuesday. . . it’s going in the direction of getting harder/ suckier. I know that for some right now this seems stupidly easy. And that’s okay. Feeling easy now is not the indicator that we should be changing our pace and trying to make it more difficult. . . because we already have the progression for more difficult coming at you. Next time, it’s going to be 10 x 500m. And the time after that, it’s going to be 6 x 500m with 2 minutes of rest. Yep, we add more work. Then we take away some of the work and take away some of the rest. If this were an IQ test I would ask you to use the pattern and make some guesses as to what the next time looks like. But since most of you don’t even read this blog, I’ll save my test questions for while you are mid workout. 😉

Why are we doing this?

Interval training has been shown to help:

  • Learn to compete with greater intensity.
  • Build the time that you can maintain a certain level of intensity.
  • Improve your speed of recovery.
  • Develop your body’s ability to switch between energy systems.

Interval training has also been shown to help boost one’s V02 max. VO2 max is a measure of your ability to use oxygen. The greater our ability to use oxygen, they greater the ability we have to work harder, longer. 

So that’s why interval training is good, but why are WE doing it?

Because our goal for you is to have the ability to work harder, longer. Ideally, this type of programming would go down best if done weekly, however we recognize that there are many of you that may not wish to sit on a rower for 30-50 minutes every week. So we have instead opted to do this kind of work every other week, varying up the days. . . you know, to keep you interested, cause that’s what you must do in a relationship. . . absence makes the heart grow fonder and stuff like that. 

What is this not?

These 500m intervals are not meant to be full on sprints. They are meant to be consistent pieces of work. We did a 2k test before starting this. From there we were able to take our 2k pace. Now, here is where there has been some confusion. Your 2k pace is not the fastest pace you saw pop up on the screen at some point in your 2k. And for those of you that missed the 2k test, your 2k pace is not your fastest 500m row pace. Our 2k pace is the average split we held across the 2k. For those of us that did not do the test but still know our 2,000m row time, it’s simple, divide that time by 4. If I row an 8:20 2k, my pace is approx 2:05 (which means, if you do not row an 8:00 2k or faster, then your pace should not be 2:00 or less).

So during the interval work, I will sprint start, get a couple big pulls in, and then settle down to 2:05. . . and stay there. I’ve done these intervals enough that I am firmly settled into my 2:05 pace at approx 100m in. So that means my only goal, for the next 400m, is to row at 2:05. That’s it. The goal is NOT to sprint, hold a 1:48 for 200m, then as I tire be somewhere around 1:58 for 200m, and then as I’m really tired, hit 2:10 for the last 100m, only to have the screen show me a time of 2:05 at the end. I’m not trying to average 2:05 because I sprinted and bombed, I just want to hold a 2:05. Again, Clancy and I already have in the game plan to make this more difficult, there is no need to add extra difficulty early. Right now is the time to get comfortable with the above mentioned idea. 

Let’s briefly go back to figuring out our pace. Because I’m still running into some folks that are not quite sure. Here are some “it’s probably my pace” vs “its probably not my pace” helpful hints:

  • It might be your 2k pace if you feel you are working at about 75% effort while doing a 500m row. 
  • It might not be your 2k pace if it is in fact your fastest 500m row time.
  • It might be your 2k pace if it is the approx pace you hold in the middle of a workout with multiple rounds of 500m rows. 
  • It might not be your 2k pace if you row 500m once and feel like you might die if you have to do it again. 
  • It might be your 2k pace if you take approx 15-20% of your fastest 500m time and add it back on, i.e. 500m= 1:48. 15-20% of that is approx 16-20 seconds. So 2k= 2:04-2:08. (2 thumbs up for math) *Note: there is a VERY big difference between holding a 2:04 split and holding a 2:08 split. Try them both to see how you feel and/ or split the difference.

Got more questions about the plan, Stan? Put them in the comments, we’ll hook you up with some answers. 




  1. Stan :

    Nope. I’m good.

  2. Chris Henry :

    ❤️ the rower.

  3. Linda K :

    I in fact do read the blog. I also have learned a great deal just now. Great explanation!

  4. Danielle :

    Even though my name is not Stan – I do understand and do not have any further questions. I also read the blog.

  5. Garret :

    Just please, for the love of Santa, tell me we aren’t doing another 2k row test when this is all said and done…

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