Fall Rowing Training – Learning To Pace Your 5000m Erg Test.

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5k row learning to pace fall rowing training

5K Training

One of my readers recently commented on one of my YouTube videos (the video discusses learning how to pace your 2k ergometer row and how to go about that kind of training), they wanted to know how they could go about 5k training in the same way.

As a result, I put together another training session that could be used to help you learn how to pace your 5km row. There are other ways to accomplish this, and this is just one possible solution.

Rowing Training Plan For A 5k Race

The workout consists of two 6000m pieces that are performed a sub 6k test pace. In the same way that I suggest to pace your 2k training, this training splits the 6k piece into 1000m segments. For each division, there are proposed splits (relative to your 5k test pace).

The protocol is as follows (see link below for download):

5k Erg Test Rowing Training Plan – Example Session – Download Click Here

Piece # 0-1000m 1000m-2000m 2000m-3000m 3000m-4000m 4000m-5000m 5000m-6000m
1 +14 secs of 5k split +12 secs of 5k split +10 secs of 5k split +8 secs of 5k split +6 secs of 5k split +4 secs of 5k split
2 +12 secs of 5k split +10 secs of 5k split +8 secs of 5k split +6 secs of 5k split +4 secs of 5k split +2 secs of 5k split

I would recommend a rest period of 10-12 minutes between efforts. You could also choose to do piece #1 before piece #2 if you would prefer.

The philosophy of this training session is very similar to my 2k training thinking, just scaled for a 5km.

Learning how to pace your longer row race piece is a critical skill to develop. In a head race, you have to row your own race. Rowing at a pace that allows you to sustain your power for the entire race (with a faster starting portion and ending portion) is essential.

There are many ways to approach 5k training. For example, If you are training five days a week, I would recommend three long rows (this workout could count as one) over a distance of 10km. If you are relatively further along with your training and experience then I would expect your volume to be much higher. At this stage of the season, figuring out your technique and doing much of your mileage in the 16-20spm range is best. You are trying to build your house on a rock, so take the time to develop your aerobic system rather than doing huge amounts of sprinting. Anaerobic can come later on in the winter and spring when the time and dosage is right. If you take the time to develop your aerobic base and make your physiology more efficient at clearing lactate, when you do work in the anaerobic zone, your body will be able to work harder because it has a more efficient system.

The two other sessions could be an anaerobic threshold session (3 x 10 minutes, 3 x 7 minutes, etc – hold the rate down and create torque!) and circuit training.

Update: I have put together a sample training plan for a week or training in preparation for improving your 5k row time. If you decide to use this training plan you are accepting the terms and conditions that can be found here and assuming all risk associated with any training plan.

>> 5K Row Training Plan <<

A Note Rowing Psychology When Racing Longer

The other factor to bear in mind is your mindset over the longer piece. You have to take things one stroke at a time. Some of your anxiety is rooted in a concern that you won’t be able to hold your split for the entire race. It is true that you get into the pain cave reasonably early on in the piece. However, it doesn’t usually get much worse as the piece progresses. You have to train and learn to accept the pain and stay present. It’s essential to combat the “Will I make it to the end?” thought by trusting your training and smirking at the anxiety swirling and label it for what it is. If you approach your piece one stroke at a time and avoid projecting where you might be 1000m from your present point, you will be much better off. Anxiety is your context and NOT your content.


I wish you the best with your head race season. My hope that what I have provided enables you to have a solid start in your preparation for your Fall racing.

If you found this post helpful, it would mean the world to me if you would pass it along to others and provide me with feedback to help me provide more value to you in the future. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Purchase Four Week Training Plan To Prepare For A 5k Ergometer Test

This plan features three workouts per week for four weeks and also features bonus circuit training and core conditioning to help prepare you for a 5k ergometer test. There is also a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied.

Price: $35

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