Form and UT2 rowing

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JonT
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Form and UT2 rowing

Post by JonT »

This is a simple question, and I suspect a simple answer which I already know but am in denial about. #-o

I am determined to put in a lot of UT2 meters this year and have started doing various forms of sessions. I am typically rowing 30-90 minutes in a number of formats. All of these are rowed at a rating of 20spm, with a current pace of around 2:12 - 2:14 and HR max for me of 155.

The problem I have is if I really, really focus on form then even at 20spm my pace shoots up to 2:06-2:08. Typically this is as simple as a focus on contact at the start of the drive, not overreaching at the catch and a real focus on engaging the lats. I am not putting in any more perceived effort. Of course, what then happens is the HR goes up with the pace and my UT2 session is blown to bits unless I let the form slip, which doesn't strike me as a good plan.

Is the simple answer to drop the rating even further? Hours of 18spm doesn't thrill me to be honest.
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Ian Bee
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Re: Form and UT2 rowing

Post by Ian Bee »

I grapple with this constantly.

My version of the short answer is that properly UT2 rowing (at volume) is most effective if the rowers heart rate is in the UT2 range - it looses effectiveness quite easily outside it (I can't pretend to be knowledgeable, but I've attempted to understand Rod Chin when he explains it.....).

Slightly longer answer would be to consider the other variables involved:
1) how accurate is your HR monitor? - this is the one that vexes me most as (while not a finely tuned athlete), I'm pretty sure that mine over-reads regularly and most reasonable tests confirm this in technical literature.
2) Is a perceived effort scale more useful in thinking about this? I used to know an ultra marathon runner who (while knowing it) ignored his heart rate for the purposes of training intensity, and preferred to use a 1-10 scale (accounting for all the niggles we all feel) which apparently is quite common in those circles.

Invariably, that's why I tend to do very little true UT2 in favour of intervals mixed with weights.

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duffyoz
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Re: Form and UT2 rowing

Post by duffyoz »

You are very correct Jon. I do loads of T2 work. Most at 18 or 20 with various time from 12 min to 20min reps. Usually not more than 20min in each rep as coach says peoples core and form start to lapse after that. When I really concentrate on form my pace goes faster as well. I presume that means the form change im working on is going to be good. To keep hr under control I focus 100% on the form in bursts, and in the warmup and cool down. I try not to let it fall apart the rest of the time. Some sessions I try not to think about it at all, overthinking would make me worse. Bursts helps keep hr where I'm supposed to. Going above t2 range would negate the point of T2.
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JonT
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Re: Form and UT2 rowing

Post by JonT »

Thanks for the replies folks. I think I am just going to have to look at reducing the rating to 18 to see if that helps. Your point about 20 minute intervals is interesting Lesley. Historically I have done 15-20 minute intervals, but my latest half marathon gave me real issues and since then I have been switching to single long session try to to get used to extended periods sat on the erg. I'm sure it will help, but I am also sure your coach is absolutely right.

I like the perceived effort point Ian. I did toy with this a while back and found I enjoyed the sessions much more, but I also suspect I pushed just a little too hard and sat in the "I am comfortable and enjoying this" zone rather than the "this is very easy and definitely in UT2" zone.

At the end of the day perhaps I am taking this all a bit too seriously. The good news is, as Lesley points out, when I focus on form it makes a very positive difference. So, the form is there, it's just a case of keeping it engaged when I really need to.

Jon
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Claudius
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Re: Form and UT2 rowing

Post by Claudius »

well, you know opinion here, i say rate higher, focus on slow twitch, which is then, first a bit ironicly, rate faster, just a bit, say 24-28, i am often at 25-27 for ut1 and ~30-32 for ut2. lower drag required. focus despite the higher rating on correct form. If i write something about the slides, in the nutshell: for longer distances and low intensity, you won´t be faster if you are already a high rater, i.e. a slowtwitch rower. In cycling my threshold cadence is abour 105-108/min.
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JonT
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Re: Form and UT2 rowing

Post by JonT »

Claudius wrote: Sat May 21, 2022 10:15 am well, you know opinion here, i say rate higher, focus on slow twitch, which is then, first a bit ironicly, rate faster, just a bit, say 24-28, i am often at 25-27 for ut1 and ~30-32 for ut2. lower drag required. focus despite the higher rating on correct form. If i write something about the slides, in the nutshell: for longer distances and low intensity, you won´t be faster if you are already a high rater, i.e. a slowtwitch rower. In cycling my threshold cadence is abour 105-108/min.
Interesting Claudius. So in a nutshell you are suggesting I lower the DF, increase the rating and keep the focus on form?
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Re: Form and UT2 rowing

Post by Claudius »

It depends on your goals. i must admit i mischanged UT1 and UT2 in my stroke rate discription, today i did a workout on the edge UT2/1, in the end with a bit higher heartrate and strokerate 145 and 30. My goals: to stay fit in a high, or highest possible range within the given time, and i want to ride my bike in summer. And i want to stay fit on the Erg, our machine. So, this involves a lot of cycling fitness. Also longer endurance session then say a short 5k. Important is form, so technique, and drag. A fast catch, gently but fast, don´t waste energy in the catch, smooth but fast. Lower drag means here ~95-105. According to your feeling. This slow stroke rates, yes i do that to less. The one i pledge for is low force, high velocity, the slow strake rate version would have been, high force, slow velocity. In a timetrial it is high force and high velocity.
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