Drag factor /strokes per min

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Shaughnessy
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Drag factor /strokes per min

Post by Shaughnessy » Tue May 28, 2013 7:36 pm

Just joined the forum -seeking advice on damper setting and SPM.I have been working at 28-32SPM and damper set at 10 (drag 180-192). It has been suggested that I need to reduce stroke rate and damper setting. Any advice would be much appreciated. I row at 7.28 for a 2k but feel I am capable of better !!

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Richard Lindner
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Re: Drag factor /strokes per min

Post by Richard Lindner » Tue May 28, 2013 10:32 pm

Hi Shaughessy, Welcome to Free Spirits. As a relative newbie I'm not best qualified to advise but I'd say if you can pull 28-32spm at a DF of 180 your strength is already pretty impressive. =D>
There are lots of articles about drag factor on the web but I found this one helpful -
http://concept2.co.uk/training/guide/damper_lever

I think DF is a very personal thing and you could try some trial and error with different drag factors as the article suggests. I never used to alter the DF at all but I've found that I can get better times for the shorter distances by setting a higher DF whereas I prefer a slightly lower DF for longer rows. I was asking a similar question to yours last month.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11&p=112424#p112424

You'll find the Free Spirits are very helpful and full of encouragement so I'm sure you get some advice from others with far more experience than me. :fssmile:
Rich

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plummy
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Re: Drag factor /strokes per min

Post by plummy » Tue May 28, 2013 10:44 pm

Hi Shaughnessy - welcome to the forum.
As Richard says, it is a very personal thing but those that have the damper on a high drag factor tend to be those with a few million under their belts and have come to prefer it that way than many newbies who simply don't know any different or have never been told there is an option. When I started erging I was 29~32 SPM and damper set on 10 (I had no idea about drag factor) and thrashed about thinking I was doing OK.

Eventually I went for a coaching lesson and was told the error of my ways and to drop the spm to 24 (or lower) which I stated at the time would be impossible (for me) and I would try for 26. Within a year or so, 22 became quite natural (for training) and 24~26 actually feels fast now.
(Obviously for sprints/races/challenges, go at any SPM that gets the job done - I've seen 90SPM - seriously - but it was more hilarious than effective

I guess it depends (doesn't it always) on what training you are doing. If it is all short sprint intervals and 2k or less then the SPM could be expected to be at the higher end but if you are cranking out 10k's and 60 minute rows you really should be slowing that down and banking good solid high numbers of metres concentrating on good technique and delivering power in the correct manner to the flywheel. I would always advocate some longer slower SPM rows where technique is paramount over everything - i.e. don't look at the splits and race a time/distance.

Knowing your weight, age and training background may be useful too but there's no obligation to divulge anything you don't want to. Maybe drop onto the "Place to introduce yourself thread with a little bit about yourself?" It could be you are local to someone who can take a look at your technique etc.

Plummy
55 yrs old, 71kg, 5' 10"
36Mm metres rowed - so slowing down a bit now!
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zootMutant
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Re: Drag factor /strokes per min

Post by zootMutant » Tue May 28, 2013 11:11 pm

Hello Shaughnessy, welcome to the forum!

I agree with Dave and Richard - drag factor and spm are very personal. I think it is best to try different combinations and see what works best for you. I tend to like slower rates and a lower drag factor (18-20 at 125), but that's because my back is made of glass. :oops:

Here are a few more links:

Drag Factor - What's Yours? (Free Spirits - 2012)

I see that Erik selected 140-160 in this poll, but now he is experimenting with 'cross-training' at a lower drag factor:

Cross-training (Free Spirits - 2012)
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Shaughnessy
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Re: Drag factor /strokes per min

Post by Shaughnessy » Wed May 29, 2013 10:28 am

Many thanks for the feedback - There is always (for me) some distrust when reducing the damper setting and / or SPM and that could be contributed to innocence !! I try to combine the rowing with some weights so 2 sessions (over 8 days) are solely indoor rowing sessions , whilst 2 sessions take place after 60 - 70 mins weights with a maximum of 10 mins interval training (10 mins spent rowing eg. 5-2 mins -2 mins recovery) . Perhaps I need to increase my quantity of training !! I actually teach PE and having purchased 9 rowers from Concept 2 in February we have had over 280 Year 6 pupils (10 - 11 year olds) taking part in workshops and a virtual competition in prep for the School games at Warwick University in July. One of the girls rowed 365 metres in 90 secs which is quite impressive. It was great to see pupils who had allegedly never displayed any athletic prowess previously, being successful and clearly had positive implications for their self esteem. Apart from the British Champs and the Concept 2 on line comps are there any comps in the West Midlands ? Sorry to rabble !

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Re: Drag factor /strokes per min

Post by millie » Wed May 29, 2013 11:55 am

Hi Shaughnessy and welcome,

Here's a great technique video that shows how you get power at lower ratings:



In terms of drag factor, it's especially important for your pupils that they're using a lower rating so they don't do any damage given they are still developing physically.

Year 6 kids are probably a bit young for on the water rowing, but if there are any that show talent on the concept 2 and especially if they are tall, point them in the direction of your local on water rowing club! there is plenty on competition in 'real' rowing!!
Shaughnessy wrote:Perhaps I need to increase my quantity of training !!
I go for quality over quantity every time - have a look at the 'Pete Plan' which has a couple of tough interval sessions a week - will provide intensity and structure if you're looking to go to the next level in your training.

All the best, sure there is plenty of improvement if you haven't really done any work on technique or training program - and let us know how you're going. We love hearing about PBs on this forum !! :fsbgrin:
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Shaughnessy
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Re: Drag factor /strokes per min

Post by Shaughnessy » Wed May 29, 2013 1:26 pm

The competition stipulates that the pupils work with damper setting on 1 so it is not to demanding for them.

PB's 500m - 1.38.4 2K 7.28.2 Weight 83kg Height 5 ' 11"

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