The Lexicon of Indoor Rowing Terminology

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plummy
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The Lexicon of Indoor Rowing Terminology

Post by plummy » Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:00 pm

For many of us old hands the use of terminology and jargon is second nature but can be daunting to someone new to either the team or this sport of ours. It has been requested a number of times that a reference list be put together so anyone baffled by phrases or combinations of numbers and letters can hopefully get an understanding of what it all means.
I'm putting this together as a work in progress (i.e. I will edit this post by adding more over the next few days as time allows). Please don't charge in with a load of extra posts as it will dilute the list if they are in separate post locations. If you want to add a suggestion, please PM me and if it wasn't already on my "to be added" list I will do.
(Remember - this list will grow so please don't assume I've missed it, I may just have not got round to typing it yet)

Equipment
C2/Erg/Ergo/Ergometer/Rower/Metal Mistress/Truth Machine:
All names for the Concept 2 indoor rowing machine. Concept 2 started in 1981 with the model "A" and currently offer the model "D" or "E" as the main choices. There are other choices such as the Dynamic and the Ski-erg which are based on the same principles but for Free Spirits use standard machine is the only choice.

PM
Performance Monitor - the screen you look at whilst rowing and displays/records your workout. The PM2 is still found on older machines (and many gym machines) but has limited functionality. Surpassed by the PM3, then the PM4 and very recently the PM5, the functionality has increased to allow complicated rows to be set up, use of heartrate recording and also rowing on-line (over the internet) using software like Rowpro (see Rowpro)

Slides/Sliders
A sliding metal frame with elasticated cords that the C2 sits on to accurately simulate the "feel" of rowing on water. Not allowed to be used for most events but is allowable for disabled rowers.
Edit: recently they have been part of a heated debate as they ARE allowed for world record times/distance with the exception of 2000m. As you do not have to move your body weight on slides like you do on an erg, it is estimated they give you a split advantage of 1~2s. That said, you need a tidy technique to use them.

Rowpro
A software program written specifically for allowing people to race in real time over the internet against anyone (or themselves). Information is taken directly from the PM via a USB cable (standard computer accessory interconnection cable) and all competitor's have an "avatar" type replica of themselves displayed on the computer screen with their pace along with the pace of other rowers and the distance ahead/behind of you. Standard information like heartrate and distance travelled are also displayed. You can set up rows off-line (just using it as a training program to record your own scores) or can set them up so others can join you. Alternatively, you can look at a schedule that others have set up and simply join their race if the time distance suits. You need to be aware of time differences as the rows are all set up using GMT.

Heart Rate Monitor
Available in many makes and types (e.g. Polar and Sunnto) these are designed for recording heart rate information. They are very useful for monitoring the risk over over-training and alerting that it may be time to reduce the training load. They can be wrist watch type or chest belt type.

Log Card
Credit card shape/size "memory stick" that can be inserted into the PM3/4/5 models. This allows you to record your training on any machine (if you travel and use different gyms etc). Up to 5 users can share the same card but still keeping their logs separate. Once full the information can be downloaded onto the C2 website into your own logbook and then it can be cleared and start to fill it up all over again.

Team/Individual Challenges
Free Spirits as a Virtual Team is very active on the various challenges set via either Concept 2 themselves or via the many other virtual teams around the world. Collectively there are a multitude of these - some run for a short period of time (a few days), some for up to a month and some run for the entire rowing season.

Concept 2 Challenges
The easiest way to find the list of challenges set by Concept 2 is to go to your logbook page at http://www.concept2.com and click on the "Challenges" tab. There are currently 12 listed and they all revolve around teams rowing as many collective metres as they can. Individual prizes are often given to the highest totals achieved (but unfortunately they tend only to be given to USA/Canada residents - I suspect owing to the postage costs ). As the highest totals will tend to go the the usual same dedicated few, there are often random names selected to receive prizes to give every entrant a chance.
Entry to some of the challenges is automatic but some have be to opted into. This is done by clicking a tab/link on the Concept 2 site. "Team Captain" Stan (Andrew Stanway) usually sends out a rallying cry via e-mail to try and get as many members to sign up to give us the best chance possible of winning. You don't have to change any of your normal training routine for your rowed metres to count - they all do, no matter how fast or slow.

Nonathlon
The Nonathlon is a very popular individual challenge. Similar in a way to an athletics Heptathlon or Decathlon, each ranking distance is allocated a "score" against a nominal "perfect" score where you would get 1000 points. If you can better the nominal best score you can actually exceed 1000 points being awarded.
The events included are: 500m, 1000m, 2000m, 5000m, 6000m, 10000m, Half Marathon, Full Marathon, 30 minutes and 60 minutes. The best nine (hence the Nonathlon title) count (discarding the lowest score) but you do get a bonus of 100 points for completing all 10 (so it's worth just completing a marathon no matter how slow you do it). Additionally, it is an AGE & WEIGHT handicapped event so your scores are only compared to a nominal best for age, sex and weight.
You can also filter your results per team so you can compare yourself against just Free Spirits if you prefer.
Accessing the event can be done via the main Free Spirits page and clicking the "Links" tab, the Nonathlon is the bottom link.
This challenge runs from May 1st to April 30th and your counting/entry age for the entire season is your age on May 1st

Indoor Rowers League
This event evolved when a previously popular event called the Challenge Series ended in 2014 when Concept 2 UK stopped supporting it and there was sufficient ongoing requests for it that it was re-invented by another organiser.
The events are slightly different to the Nonathlon and it runs from September to March with one event running per month.
The website is: http://www.indoorrowers.org/en/irwlmenu - or, click on the link under the "Links" tab on the main Free Spirits page.
Similar to the Nonathlon, your score is compared to others but in this case it is the best score by another competitor in your category THAT MONTH, not a notional pre-scored one - so the best score moves around according to who enters and is on/off form each month.

CTC (Cross Team Challenge)
Arguably the most popular challenge. This can also be accessed via "Links" tab on the main Free Spirits forum page.
Challenges are set by different indoor rowing teams and the ability to get to choose the actual "challenge" is dictated by the number of boats floated and their respective positions on the monthly league table.
Once a challenge has been set by a team (usually announced in the month before it is due to start) it is for the designating team and all the other teams to then float as many virtual boats as possible. A "boat" must consist of 5 people and at least one should be lightweight and one must be female. Given that this will always be achieved by many boats then the fastest time or furthest distance covered (depends on the challenge) will sit at the top of the league table.
The usual make up of the fastest boats is 3 x heavyweight males (as they will almost always be the fastest), 1 x Lightweight male and 1 x Heavyweight female.
The time or distance awarded to each boat is the AVERAGE of the 5 boat occupiers so if, for example our fastest boat was 4.9 seconds behind the boat in front, everyone in the boat could improve their time by 1.0s, or just one person could improve their own time by 5.0s to move the boat forward a place.
The choice of event is completely up the the team who's choice it is - so some "interesting" events are put forward. This month for example, it is 8 x 135m with 1 minute rest between each of the 135m rows. Next month it could be 10,000m at a restricted stroke rate.
Gaining the ability to choose the event CAN be dictated by the number of FULL boats floated (boats with only 1~4 occupants don't count and are sometimes called being "left ashore") - so it does NOT matter if you feel you are slow, your time/distance DOES count.

Terminology/Jargon

HM - Half Marathon (21097 metres)
FM - Full Marathon (42195 metres)
SPM - Strokes Per Minute (how many times you pull the handle per minute)
DPS - Distance per Stroke (good indicator of technique. Displayed on the Rowpro software)
LWT - Lightweight
HWT - Heavyweight
OTW - On The Water (for those that prefer the REAL stuff)
Interval - repetitive training set e.g. 4 x 1000 = 4 sets of 1000m rows successively with a short rest inbetween
TT - Time Trial. Something not many look forward to. Basically a 100% all out effort to see "where you are" re ability
SB - Season's Best. Best time or distance year to date starting May 1st (through to April 30th)
PB - Personal Best. The best time or distance you have ever achieved. (Sometimes referred to as a PR "Personal Record")
Hurt Box - mythical place you go to when a race or training piece becomes excruciatingly painful but you carry on.
Drag Factor - the number set by adjusting the slider (damper) on the side of the fan cage. This is the correct term for a C2 machine and not "resistance" as used by many newbies. This adjustment allows you to row with the same drag factor you choose no matter which machine you are on, clean or dirty (within limits), old or new, at sea level or higher altitude. The higher the number, the high the drag (more like a heavy rowing boat) and vice-versa for a low number (like a racing shell). It is entirely down to personal preference where you set this and it matters not where it is set whether used at home, in a gym or at a race venue. The only rule generally is that you can't change it mid race. You access the drag factor via the PM menus until you see "row to display drag factor" - pull a few strokes and the number will display.
There is lot of more detailed explanation regarding drag factor on the internet and Concept 2 forums.

30r20 - timed piece at a restricted stroke rate. This example means 30 minutes of rowing at no more than 20 strokes per minute (other examples would be 60r20, 10r22, 20r24). There are no fixed rules on these but only a few are "popular"
The "r" before the 20 means "rate" (or strokerate really)

8 x 500 3r - Interval set with a defined rest inbetween each set. This example is 8 sets of 500 metres with a 3 minute rest inbetween each 500m piece
The "r" after the 3 means "rest"
Depending on whether this is individual training or a challenge of some sort, you can either rest completely (don't touch the handle) or row lightly to ease off/rest between intervals. Check the rules if it's a challenge to see what's allowed or not.
There are many, many variants of this e.g. 8 x 500, 10 x 1min 1r, 4 x 2000 5r, 5 x 1500 5r etc etc

OCD Row - OCD in the UK stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and these types of rows (with no disrespect to anyone who genuinely suffers from OCD) can be described as follows - for example, if you were doing an 8 x 500m interval session, you might attempt to hit 1:50.0 for every single rep at a rate of exactly 26.
OCDs rows can be either continuous or interval based. For continuous rows, all the splits should be perfect.
There are variations, like a the negative split OCD, where you attempt to speed up by an exact amount for each rep or split.
Another term you will see quite often is "OCD fail". That's when you manage to miss a rep by a meter or a tenth and it destroys the beauty of your perfect splits.
(thanks to Greg Smith for the text on this one)

HRT - Heartrate (in BPM)
BPM - Beats Per Minute
HD - Handle Down (stop rowing mid piece because it's too hard or you went off too fast)
HD Demons - Horrible little buggers that get into your head when it gets really tough and try to convince you to quit to make the pain stop
Blow up - Similar to HD.
Negative Split - going faster on each split (whatever it is set at) throughout a workout. E.g 5000 metres set up as 1000m splits and doing them at 2:05, 2:04, 2:03, 2:02 and then 2:01 pace.

Meterboard - Table of all Free Spirits year to date metres rowed on a C2 machine. Updated hourly with information lifted from the Concept2 USA logbooks. Information available also includes icons for certain C2 challenges completed and distances (in metres) for the people above and below you on the table. Click on your own name and click on the "This is me" button to facilitate this.

Races
The most commonly referred to race acronyms are:
WIRC - World Indoor Rowing Championships - also known as the Crash-B's (Charles River All Star Has-beens) - held in Boston, USA.
BRIC - British Rowing Indoor Championships (was previously BIRC). Has moved around venues but now moving to London, UK
EIRC - English Indoor Rowing Championships - held at the National Cycling Centre, Manchester, UK
SIRC - Scottish Indoor Rowing Championships
IIRC - Irish Indoor Rowing Championships
There are many many of these around the world from small regional events to National and European events.
Entry fees vary from a few pounds to up to £32.50 for BRIC (ouch) but there are no pre-requisite qualifying times. You pay your money and you are welcome to race. Races are grouped for male/female, LWT/HWT and in 10 year age groups (5 for BRIC and WIRC) to allow for fairer competition. Smaller events usually have 10 year age bands.
The standard race distance for national and international events is 2000m. Some smaller events run over a mile (1609m) and events have been held for 2500m (e.g. Basingstoke, UK), 5000m (e.g. Farnborough, UK) or 20 minutes (Ergohead, The Netherlands) and 30 minutes (Starnberg, Germany).
Sprints are often held at the same event/venue for 100m/300m/500m and a VERY popular (to watch) event is the 3000m team relay:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95yxnELq1vg (sorry guys)
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36Mm metres rowed - so slowing down a bit now!
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Re: The Lexicon of Terminology (or what all that jargon mean

Post by dr3do » Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:50 pm

Great one! This helps at the beginning. Thanks for your work, Plummy. #thumbsup

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Re: The Lexicon of Terminology (or what all that jargon mean

Post by Recess » Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:50 pm

That's an amazing post Plummy. That would have saved me a lot of embarrassing posts when I first started (and will prevent some future ones!) Is it worthwhile naming the Scottish, Irish and Euro champs in the races section? It's the only thing I'd add to an amazingly helpful post. That must have taken ages!

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Re: The Lexicon of Terminology (or what all that jargon mean

Post by gregsmith01748 » Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:46 pm

Great post! Fantastic.

BTW: CRASH-Bs --> Charles River All Star Has-Beens.
Here is the definition: http://www.crash-b.org/web/faq/#first
And the history: http://www.crash-b.org/web/about/c-r-a-s-h-b-history/
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Re: The Lexicon of Terminology (or what all that jargon mean

Post by strider77 » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:44 am

Really fantastic job Dave well done :D =D>
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Re: The Lexicon of Terminology (or what all that jargon mean

Post by Jill » Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:56 pm

Thank you Plummy for taking the time and effort to compile this helpful, informative and comprehensive thread. :D =D>
I promise never to use the ' j ' word again but if I do, there's an easy solution. Jill :-#

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Re: The Lexicon of Terminology (or what all that jargon mean

Post by plummy » Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:28 pm

There's a few edits and editions now and if I've missed anything just PM me and I will continue to update the list. Hope no one minds me giving it my own spin :D
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Re: The Lexicon of Terminology (or what all that jargon mean

Post by Liefcat » Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:11 pm

Yes, fantastic job, Plummy :!: =D> =D>

Come to think of my own problems with the terms - I remember when the C2 Challenge Series started, the name being much to similar to the CTC - the C2 Cross Team Challenge, for me to really tell the difference. And also when the name and company of the Challenge Series was altered, I wasn´t aware of it, expecting a mail from them as I had gotten every year in the past... :oops: :oops: With this new tool it should be much, much easier to detect the challenges :!: :D :D
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Re: The Lexicon of Indoor Rowing Terminology

Post by Shang-Chi » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:15 am

Thank for this reminder, David, as usual a very nice work. :D
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Re: The Lexicon of Indoor Rowing Terminology

Post by jolo » Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:57 am

Great post David!!
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Re: The Lexicon of Indoor Rowing Terminology

Post by webberg » Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:30 pm

Really good piece of lexiconography.

Have I missed it or does

"Negative split"

appear?
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Re: The Lexicon of Indoor Rowing Terminology

Post by Recess » Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:31 pm

Only if you try reeeeeeeal hard... :-)
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Re: The Lexicon of Indoor Rowing Terminology

Post by plummy » Wed Nov 18, 2015 10:46 pm

webberg wrote:Really good piece of lexiconography.
Have I missed it or does
"Negative split"
appear?

Good spot sir! - inserted now.
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Re: The Lexicon of Indoor Rowing Terminology

Post by Dogma Dave » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:11 pm

Excellent summary Plummy. Wish I had read it earlier... :roll:
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Re: The Lexicon of Indoor Rowing Terminology

Post by Tako » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:52 am

Plummy, could you please add and explain the term OCD? Keeps showing up in the forum these days and I have no idea what it stands for.
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Re: The Lexicon of Indoor Rowing Terminology

Post by gregsmith01748 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:11 am

I'm not plummy, but I can explain OCD. It stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. As applied to rowing, it is trying to hit times , rates and distances exactly throughout a row.

An example. If you were doing an 8x500 interval session, you might attempt to hit 1:50.0 for every single rep at a rate of exactly 26.

OCDs rows can be either continuous or interval based. For continuous rows, all the splits should be perfect.

There are variations, like a the negative split OCD, where you attempt to speed up by an exact amount for each rep or split.

Another term you will see quite often is "OCD fail". That's when you manage to miss a rep by a meter or a tenth and it destroys the beauty of your perfect splits.
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