First marathon

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First marathon

Post by Dodgyknees » Thu May 19, 2016 8:47 am

Allow me to introduce myself - I am an ex-runner, and have completed 16 marathons in the past, PB of 2:54, and 2:55 as a 50 year old.
So I know how to train for a running marathon.... but are the principles the same for indoor C2 rowing?
I plan to row a marathon around August September time, and would like some advice please.
For running, I would build to 70/80 miles per week, at least 5 20+mile long runs, and intersperse some 90minute runs with 70mins at around target marathon pace/heart rate.
Do I try and build top the same distances/paces?

Also some (probably numpty) questions that are arising for me, having built my weekly long row to 1h 15m:
1. Hydration - do I get off to drink? As the timer continues this doesn't fit well with my competitive edge!!! Or maybe use a bladder?
2. Botty - Do I use a cushion, or padded pants?
3. Hands - Are there gloves for rowing?
4. Sweat - I presume I'm gonna have to wear sweat bands or a cap?

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Re: First mara

Post by zootMutant » Fri May 20, 2016 4:55 am

Hello Dodgy,

Welcome to Free Spirits!

My browser just updated itself; now when I try to download anything it just crashes... so I can't check that the links I have are any good.

The two best guides are:

1. Indoor Rowing Training Guide, version 2 by Concept 2
2. The Indoor Rowing Marathon Plan by Eddie Fletcher

You should be able to search and find them online. If you can't, let me know and I'll post them on my website for you.

The Indoor Rowing Training Guide is 253 pages long and includes chapters on: warm ups and cool downs, technique, physiology, cross training, weight training, nutrition and weight management, and various training plans... including two marathon training plans. They are each 26 weeks long and assume a base fitness level of at least 4 weeks at 30,000-40,000 metres per week. One plan tops out at 80,000 metres per week, the other tops out at 110,000 meters per week.

If you are starting cold, this is the plan you want.

The Indoor Rowing Marathon Plan assumes a very high level of fitness. It is not for beginners (or the faint of heart). It is a heart-rate-based plan which will have you rowing about 1 million metres in 12 weeks... followed by a 2 week taper. Options include 3 days per week, 4 days per week, and 5 days per week.

If you search on this forum, you will be able to find several threads where Free Spirits have detailed their progress (and their ultimate success) under the Fletcher plan.

Good luck to you!



There are no hard and fast rules. Different people have different strategies. Again, if you search on this forum, you will be able to find many old threads where Free Spirits have chimed in their preferences. (This is the huge advantage that a 'bulletin board' has over the 'wall' of Facebook or Twitter.)

Hydration -- my preference is to have a bicycle water bottle on a stand next to my rower. I can snatch the bottle and get a mouthful of water in a few seconds. Hardly enough to affect my HM PB of over 90 minutes. If you are serious about not losing those precious seconds, however, then a camel back might be to your liking.

Botty -- try out different strategies during your training rows. Some people swear by bubble wrap. I have a gel pad on top of a neoprene pad. And sometimes I place a folded towel on top of it all. I've used bicycle pants, but I find that the chamois gets sweaty and creates more chaffing than simple rowing shorts. But you may have a different experience.

Hands -- I've tried many different types of gloves: weight lifting, bicycling, kayaking... but they all seem to create more problems (and blisters) than they solve. Keep in mind, if your hands can move inside the gloves, then you will get blisters even with the gloves. I prefer callouses. Sometimes, however, I will drape a towel over the rowing handle (especially if it is hot and humid).

Sweat -- ask Erik about sweat. :lol: When it is warm, I usually have 2 fans blowing right on me. Even then I sweat a lot. Sometimes I use a headband... and I often use wrist bands... but nothing seems to work as well as slowing for few seconds, taking a drink of water and wiping the sweat off my face with a towel.

Hope this helps!


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Re: First mara

Post by Dodgyknees » Mon May 23, 2016 9:32 am

Zoot, thats great thanks!
I will start to experiment with the answers you have supplied.... as soon as my shoulder stops aching (overdid it last week).

And I'll also have a look at the reading you suggest.

Thanks again..

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Re: First mara

Post by CamiCrew » Tue May 24, 2016 6:41 am

Good luck Dodgy. If you're starting now, sounds like it'll be a sensible build-up, so here's to your training going well!

It would be interesting to hear your progress along the way, and how the final achievement compares to running the same distance.

Hope you will check back in.

F Hwt 52 yrs 5'10"

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Re: First mara

Post by tonycotton » Sun Oct 02, 2016 5:12 pm

Hi Dodgy Knees, I have just seen your post on the board. How did it go?

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Re: First mara

Post by Carolhills » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:34 am

tonycotton wrote:
Sun Oct 02, 2016 5:12 pm
Hi Dodgy Knees, I have just seen your post on the board. How did it go?
I am also in high spirits after reading his back story and also very curious to know what happened after that. Obviously he is a tough guy, who trained a lot harder though in marathons but rowing is different.

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