Is anyone doing rowing in the triathlon off season?
I fancy swtiching off a bit on the SBR (will just keep it ticking over) and maybe trying to get some pr’s on the erg. Anyone tried this? will it help performance any?
Oddly enough, I decided to make this my "off-season" focus or experiment if you will. From now to maybe March just rowing except for workouts that involve running ie Murph, Helen, etc. I took some baselines on myself that I’m going to compare at the end, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens because I think I’m going to be better for it.
I’m actually a competitive rower, so I of course am inclined to encourage you to do give it a shot. The erg definitely provides a different sort of metabolic "hit" than running or cycling–consider that you’ll have considerably more repetitions per minute in each of those sports as compared to rowing, in which 36 strokes per minute is generally regarded as a "pretty high." So, given that, you’re relying more on strength throughout the whole body to maintain your pace. Lots of muscles have to fire in order to get it done.
Since getting into rowing competitively (and thus practicing it a lot on the water as well as the erg), I’ve noticed a few things:
first, I’m a lot leaner. Just overall, leaner and meaner (diet might contribute to the "attitude"). Second, before rowing it was hard for me to gut out more than 15-18 pullups, but now I can do a bar muscle-up without thinking about it. Like, seriously. It just happened. That has nothing to do with your chosen sport but I still thought I’d mention it. Third, hard WODs are still hard, but none of them hurt nearly as badly as a 2K erg test, so mentally I just shrug any inhibitions off.
My GUESS is that erging more will lead to greater strength and improved "capacity." I would advise nailing down your technique on the rower as much as possible, however–if you want some specific guidance on this, contact me directly and I’m happy to help! I realize that it doesn’t look that hard but there are several nuances that, if adhered to, will help greatly.