In this post, I am going to discuss a structured approach that you can take to improve your 5k row time. The plan at the bottom can be modified for a 6k row, so read this article and modify as appropriate for you. As a result, you should have a clear strategy for your long interval threshold work each week to help you row a new personal best.
Here is the basic idea behind preparing for a 5k row test. Generally speaking, the way I approach a long distance test is to start by dividing the length of the test piece by two.
For example, half of a 5k row is 2500m.
If you are a beginning rower, the start point of your training would be to go for 2 x 2500m and try to aim for your 5k test pace per 500m split + 5 seconds.
Take 1:1 rest. So if your first piece takes 10 minutes then your rest time is 10 minutes between each piece.
Try to aim for both pieces to be roughly the same speed. This might take some practice, but we want two equal efforts here because we want to learn how to pace ourselves and distribute energy as part of this exercise.
As the weeks progress you can work to improve your splits to be closer to 5k pace, or perhaps even exceed. It’s hard to put an exact number on this because I would imagine that many different levels of rowing experience might be reading this. The point is, that if this sequence is working, and that you are appropriately taking care of other aspects of your training, that your efforts should be improving over time.
This is roughly 30 to 35 minutes of hard work each week. I am also counting the rest time as high intensity minutes. I have come to understand that there is a finite number of truly hard strokes you can row each week. The rest of the time you should be developing aerobic base in the UT1, UT2 zones, and also working on strength/core strength, mobility/flexibility. If you do 30 – 35 minutes of hard work in this session, then your UT1, UT2 work should total 120 minutes per week. Try to keep the hard work to steady state work in the 20%:80% ratio. For more information, see the link that follows.
The sequence below basically follows a four week cycle. The volume of this AT work steps up each week for three weeks. The fourth week is a week where the volume of work is reduced so that the fitness you have built up the previous three weeks can be utilized in the fifth week test. work hard enough that fourth week to maintain fitness, but you also work on recovery.
The training outlined below would be perfect for a Wednesday day with the structure provided in the link below.
I find that my athletes like to gauge how they are doing as they go. This structure keeps things simple and we usually do this on the same day each week and it is preceded by a lighter day and certainly not a heavy lift.
If you are further along with your rowing, this sequence could easily be modified to be 3 x each piece rather than 2. But if you are just starting out, I would recommend you try two times per piece at first and see how you go.
Training schedules don’t have to be complex. The approach I take is to figure out what the goal is and then work back from there in a structured and ordered manner and develop a plan that solves for x. (in this case how to row a 5k as fast as possible)
Please ensure that you warm up thoroughly and carefully with some stretching before you try any of these training sessions. If you try this training plan you do so at your own risk per the terms and conditions of this website.
|Week #||AT Training Session||Rest|
|Week 1||2 x 2500m||1:1|
|Week 2||2 x 2500m||1:1|
|Week 3||2 x 3000m||1:1|
|Week 4||2 x 2750m||1:1|
|Week 5||5k Test||1:1|
|Week 6||2 x 3000m||1:1|
|Week 7||2 x 3250m||1:1|
|Week 8||2 x 3500m||1:1|
|Week 9||2 x 3250m||1:1|
|Week 10||5k Test||1:1|
In conclusion, this is one approach to improving your 5k times. It’s not overly complicated. You can scale as appropriate for your context.
If you decide to use this approach, drop me a line to let me know how things are moving along for you, I’d love to hear your feedback.