Why Runners Should be Rowers

Ever since I watched The Social Network, I’ve been interested in rowing because a few of the characters are on crew. I came across the article on active.com that shared why rowing is a great benefit to runners. Read on! I’m excited to give it a try on the rowing machine at my gym.

What benefits does rowing offer runners and triathletes?
Rowing machines allow runners to do a non-impact form of endurance training. Don’t get me wrong, if you want to be a better runner, your training should focus on running. However, cross-training during noncompetitive periods in the year and during recovery blocks throughout the season helps runners stay injury free and mentally fresh. Those are the key benefits of rowing for runners.

Suggested Workout
The workout should last about 20 minutes.
500-meter Repeats

4×500 meters, 2 minute rest between each. Similar in nature to the feel of running 800-meter intervals at a moderately high intensity. Use the memory function on the rowing computer to log your workout.

Long Sprints
8×45 seconds hard. 15-second easy recovery between each hard interval.

The Time Ladder
Ten minutes nonstop: four minutes, three minutes, two minutes, one minute, building up intensity in each transition with no rest in between. The four minutes should be at a relative base tempo with the one-minute intervals at high intensity. Be sure to have enough in the tank to make moves at each time transition.

The Stroke Ladder
4×5 minutes. Each five-minute session is broken into five, one-minute segments with a focus on the number of strokes you take per minute (s/m), which the erg computer tallies in real time. First minute: 18 s/m, second minute: 22 s/m, third: 26 s/m, fourth: 22 s/m, fifth, 26 s/m.

Rowing Technique: The Essentials

  1. Proper grip. Curl your fingers around the handle and keep the wrist joints cocked slightly.
  2. Secure the feet. Insert your feet into the footrests and adjust the toe strap so that it crosses over the top shoelace. Pull the straps snug around your feet.
  3. From “The catch” or start position into the early drive. Keep your shins vertical and the muscles tight, pulling your belly button up and in, and make a point to retain good posture. Slant the upper body forward, extending powerfully from the hips. Avoid hunching your shoulders. From this position, begin the “drive” phase by employing your leg muscles with a powerful push off. Retain the forward tilt of your upper body for the first half of the drive phase—approximately a foot of travel as the seat slides backward on the rail.
  4. The drive. Push through with your legs, and in a continuous motion, begin to use your back and abs as a lever, transferring the workload to a combination of your legs and the muscles surrounding your core. Resist the temptation to begin pulling with your arms until you’ve completely channeled the power from your abdominal and back muscles. With legs fully extended, begin using your arms to pull and finish the stroke. Keep the muscles of the core—the midline stability muscles—activated and tight.
  5. The finish into the recovery. Upon completing the drive and pulling the handle to a point just in front of your upper abdominals, you will transition into the recovery phase. While keeping a tight core, smoothly return to the starting position at half the speed used in the drive. Use this time to allow the muscles to recover. Reverse the sequence of the chain of movements—arms, back and core, and finally allow the legs to return to the spring-like position of the catch.

Wanna read the whole article? Click here.

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