Training to lower heart rate

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JonT
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Training to lower heart rate

Post by JonT »

I am looking for some advice and some pointers.

I am pleased with my recent training (mostly 30-45 minute sessions at r18-22) and the impact it is having on shorter and longer rows - a 1min, 1K and HM PB already this season after none for the last 5 years. But my HR rises very quickly when I row and so I end up doing almost all distances and the vast majority of my training in TR band, or AT if I am really lucky. This isn't enjoyable, certainly isn't sustainable and possibly isn't very wise. My current bands are:

Your UT2 band is a heart rate of 129 bpm to 149 bpm with a mean of 139 bpm.
Your UT1 band is a heart rate of 150 bpm to 162 bpm with a mean of 156 bpm.
Your AT band is a heart rate of 163 bpm to 169 bpm with a mean of 166 bpm.
Your TR band is a heart rate of 170 bpm to 182 bpm with a mean of 176 bpm.
Your AN band is a heart rate of 183 bpm to 189 bpm with a mean of 186 bpm.
Your 70% heart rate is 149 bpm.
Your 85% heart rate is 169 bpm.

So I am looking to increase my focus on maintaining performance while reducing heart rates. I imagine the solution is to row 30-60 minute pieces while trying to keep the HR in UT2/UT1 territory. But it is all a bit vague at the moment in terms of my plans. Any recommended approaches or websites or articles?

Thanks
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Wolfmiester
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Re: Training to lower heart rate

Post by Wolfmiester »

Hi Jon,
Just noticed your query ...
Not surprisingly you are spot on with regard to the training solution, longer rows in the lower categories.
I found this year that rowing in front of the tv helps for that!
In terms of articles, I have no idea I'm afraid.
But in terms of a plan, the Marathon plan wouldn't be a bad place to start?
Wolfie

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Re: Training to lower heart rate

Post by MaxMacLaren1 »

Hi Jon,

Great question. To add to Wolfie's reply I read a book last year "Heart rate training for the compleat idiot" by Parker. Unfortunately it isn't in print now and I gave my copy away. It was very much about polarised training but the main thing thing I remember is slow down. So stay in the band you want to be no matter how slow you feel you're going.

I think it was Author Lydiard who popularised this type of training. If you Google Lydiard training you'll see loads of ideas. It's running related but I assume the heart rate / fitness principles are the same.
Max

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JonT
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Re: Training to lower heart rate

Post by JonT »

Thanks for the replies guys. I'll have a dig around on the web. I've started on the training, doing 3x13min r2 @ 20spm. It's quite novel not to be copmpletely spent at the end of a session. Keeping the HR capped was a challenge though.

I can't do this in front of the tv because the ergo is in the garden at the moment while the builders decide whether to come back or not #-o

I came across this site last week and found an interesting extract (NB - the assumption is you are training 5-6 days each week!):
Steady State Training (3/4+ per week)

These workouts consist of long periods of training and provide the base for your high-performance efforts. I suggest three of four training sessions but it is generally best to make about 80% of your minutes each week this low-intensity UT1 and UT2 effort.

The ideal heart rate for these kinds of workouts falls in the 55% to 80% of max heart rate (or you can use the formula below which outputs a number higher than just (Max heart rate x 0.70, for 70% of max). It is also worth noting that where these zones begin and end are NOT hard lines. However, we use these zones so that the athlete has some kind of metric to watch to gauge how much effort they are putting for a given training piece.

I would recommend wearing a heart rate monitor to ensure that you are training in the correct zone. It is important that you hit these zones so that you don’t fall into the trap of overtraining. The actual target heart rate that you would need depends on your age.

When you are doing a steady-state workout, you should get your heart rate into the 55% to 80% of max and stay in that zone for 30-80 minutes. For example, If you are rowing a UT2 piece then your target heart rate should be in that zone and not go above the top limit (even if you feel like you can go harder). Building an aerobic base takes time and part of this approach allows a sustainable pace to a long term training place that goes a long way to avoiding burnout.

Long slow distance work can be tough to do completely on the ergometer. I would recommend that some work is done on the machine (at least one-two long rows per week). However, there are other options to complete this training such as swimming and cycling.

Another good tip is to break this time up into segments. This strategy allows you to get off the rowing machine, stretch out and hydrate. I would keep the breaks to a 90-120 second interval. Therefore, instead of doing 1 x 60-minute piece with no breaks, break the work into 4 x 15 mins or 3 x 20 minutes. You could also do 6 x 10 minutes if you see fit. I wouldn’t recommend rowing for less than 10 minutes in a stretch in this training zone because you won’t get the same training effect. Additionally, I wouldn’t recommend doing all of this work on the ergometer. This is especially true if you don’t have slides and you have a stationary Concept2 ergometer. A strain on the back and chronic injuries of the spine can occur with too much distance on the ergometer. Listen to your body and mix up the mode of exercise from time to time. This approach helps with both the physical and psychological aspects of training for a competitive event.

In the next section, I discuss the higher intensity training zones. The amount of minutes you should spend in these zones is about 20% of your overall time volume for the week of training. So for example, a week total volume training of 300 minutes (High and Low Intensity), should have 240 minutes of low-intensity work (UT1, UT2) and 60 minutes of high-intensity work (Anaerobic Threshold, Transportation and Anaerobic).
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Re: Training to lower heart rate

Post by Kevinhorne44 »

Hi Jon. (just seen this)
Big fan of polarised training (80/20). I've only taken to seriously training on the ergo/rower/concept2 since February this year ironically for my first race in March which I entered to give me some incentive. But unfortunately was cancelled due to Covid-19.
So I thought what the hell and started to train properly. I'm one of the nutters that train 6 times a week and even sometimes twice or more a day 😴😴
A HR monitor allows you to train specifically for you on any given day not just what the book or programmes are telling you 👍
Biggest thing you need is time and heaps of patience. Lock your ego in the bathroom before any session because the only number you look at is HR then possibly spm.

What other training do you do besides the Concept2 ??
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JonT
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Re: Training to lower heart rate

Post by JonT »

Kevinhorne44 wrote: Sun Nov 08, 2020 6:30 pm Biggest thing you need is time and heaps of patience. Lock your ego in the bathroom before any session because the only number you look at is HR then possibly spm.
See my comment only today in the Pete Plan thread!
JonT wrote: Sun Nov 08, 2020 5:46 pm My "easy" sessions are ones I try to row in UT2 with 70% HR max as the cap (not average). I try to row these at an 18-22 rating. I am getting far better at these, where better = not falling into the trap of setting a distance goal for a 30 minute row for example, and just accepting this is a HR capped, low-rating session.
Kevinhorne44 wrote: Sun Nov 08, 2020 6:30 pm What other training do you do besides the Concept2 ??
Right now I am exclusively on the ergo. Mainly doing Pete Plan with the odd IRC/CTC effort thrown in for good measure on one of the "hard" sessions.

I haven't been this focussed on rowing before, normally mixing things up with cycling (indoor and on the road) and fitness interval training as a Rugby Union referee, but there is no rugby to referee at the moment and for various reasons the cycling is not happening.
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Re: Training to lower heart rate

Post by Kevinhorne44 »

I like to do interval & core work too when I can. I've also been talked into doing compound lifts again recently 🙈 I hung up my belt years ago !!!
Most of my sessions on the Concept2 are UT2 R18 @75%MHR. I have some fun variations but all tend to stretch to an hour + with a good warm up and cool down with lots stretching.
At my age all my best times/lifts are behind me. So everything is based on maintaining strength to help me stay injury free when I'm on the Concept2.
I only "blow my doors off" in 2 sessions a week as a rule but the IRL & CTC has made that more complicated 🤣 Joining Free Spirits has added an element of fun & hopefully stop me being too OCD & serious.
Hopefully your new found focus Jon brings you injury free SBs 👍 I'm hoping for a few myself !!
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Re: Training to lower heart rate

Post by Iain »

JonT wrote: Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:03 pm
Steady State Training (3/4+ per week)

These workouts consist of long periods of training and provide the base for your high-performance efforts. I suggest three of four training sessions but it is generally best to make about 80% of your minutes each week this low-intensity UT1 and UT2 effort.

The ideal heart rate for these kinds of workouts falls in the 55% to 80% of max heart rate (or you can use the formula below which outputs a number higher than just (Max heart rate x 0.70, for 70% of max). It is also worth noting that where these zones begin and end are NOT hard lines. However, we use these zones so that the athlete has some kind of metric to watch to gauge how much effort they are putting for a given training piece.of low-intensity work (UT1, UT2) and 60 minutes of high-intensity work (Anaerobic Threshold, Transportation and Anaerobic).
JonT wrote: ↑Sun Nov 08, 2020 5:46 pm
My "easy" sessions are ones I try to row in UT2 with 70% HR max as the cap (not average). I try to row these at an 18-22 rating. I am getting far better at these, where better = not falling into the trap of setting a distance goal for a 30 minute row for example, and just accepting this is a HR capped, low-rating session.

Having no base to build on and only previously doing rows at UT1 (as per PP), My HR is high at very modest paces. Although interestingly my issue is not a rapid climbing HR, just that it keeps creeping upwards. So at the pace I currently do my steady state for 90 min at <75% max, I am around 66% HRmax after 20 mins. But even in fairly cool conditions, this will be at 72% an hour later with the occasional spike above that. This is at 2:26 R16. If I push to R18 I would be rapidly at 80% so R18-22 isn't for me. I typically row at about 7 SPI for these. Not very tiring, but enough force to make technique errors stand out. Rowing much lighter doesn't lower HR consistently due to the vigilance required to ensure straight arms and high hands at the catch and pull level and straight. If I am trying to adjust anything or concentrate hard, my HR increases markedly.

No answers for you, but hopefully knowing that others struggle with this helps.

- Iain
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Re: Training to lower heart rate

Post by alien878 »

I’m relatively new to rowing and just getting back into shape, but a couple of things I’ve discovered:

SS rows: Breaks really hurt a SS row. When I switched fron 2x5000/2:00r to a straight 10k with only a few seconds break to drink at 5k the difference was significant when the hr stayed in ut1 continually. I recently upped it to 1hr and am seeing an improvement in my SS hr.

SPI vs SPM: When I started adding harder intervals, it forced my to fully engage my legs, greatly improving my stroke. The problem was, I couldn’t keep the same stroke below a SPI of about 7. An SPI of 7 is too fast for me on a SS row unless I drop the SPM to an awkward level. I have been working on engaging my legs starting at 2:10r20 (shorter workout) and over time working down to 2:20r20 which is good for my SS. rows. My stroke isn’t perfect, but it is a lot better. The force curve looks more like a left leaning haystack.

Cheers,

Allen H
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Re: Training to lower heart rate

Post by Iain »

Allen, As I said above I have a similar issue. That said, I can row at 15SPM comfortably after years of concentrating on maintaining my stroke at lower paces. The trick is to really crawl up the slide. Making sure you have 2 full breaths per stroke (I know of 2 people who invert it, but generally) exhaling on the powerstroke, then inhale exhale and inhale again on the recovery. If you are relaxed fitting in that much breathing will naturally slow you. I feel my breathing is a bit rushed at 24SPM (although I am an asthmatic), 18SPM will soon become comfortable which would be a bit above 7 SPI. I would recommend that progression t a lower rating would be better than to a weaker stroke.

- Iain
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Re: Training to lower heart rate

Post by alien878 »

Hi Iain. My problem is endurance in the legs. I need to start engaging them on steady state rows to fix it. I was just pointing out that there are two ways of doing this, lowering the SPI or lowering the SPM from the faster paces where I can engage them. The goal isn’t for a weaker stroke, but to then bring the SPM/SPI back up on the steady state rows as my legs get better.

I chose the SPI route because I found <20 SPM awkward. I didn’t try breathing twice at r15 and will give it a try to mix things up.

Back to the original topic: I have noticed a continuous improvement in the heart rate creep and been slowly increasing the SPI/pace in response. I can now do a 10k at 6.6/r21 without leaving UT2. Still a long way to go, but I haven’t been doing this long.

Cheers,

Allen H (56M 183cm 75kg)
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Re: Training to lower heart rate

Post by Iain »

Hi Allen. Of course you should experiment to find out what works for you.

My point was that trying to row with fully engaged legs at a lower SPI would mean compromising the rest of my stroke and I would be concerned about grooving a worse stroke. Yesterday I did the Zoom Ergos SS session. I concentrated on starting and finishing every stroke in time with the Olympian Jess Eddie who was leading the session. This helped me to balance my stroke between the different phases and you might find that it helps in getting comfortable at lower rate rowing. There are similar sessions this morning a 10:30 and on Wednesday at 8AM.
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Re: Training to lower heart rate

Post by alien878 »

Hi Iain. ZoomErgos looks interesting. I assume all the times listed are UK? I’m in DE so the 1h difference means weekdays won’t work for me. I might try next weekend though.
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