THUR: Tips for a Faster 1,000m Row
The thousand meter row sucks. There’s no way I am going to try and tell you otherwise because it would be an egregious lie. It’s also one of the best litmus tests that we have for your current level of fitness. It will tell you exactly where you stand and the best way to ensure that you perform to your highest current ability is to dial in your technique.
Here’s just three to help you focus:
1. Negative Splits – Paying attention to your 250m splits is a crucial component for pacing and to ensure that you don’t “fly and die” in the first 500m. You have four 250m chunks within the 1,000m, so think about it as four miniature pieces and aim to get progressively faster in each of them, even if it’s just by a second or two. For example, this could look like 1:58, 1:56, 1:53, 1:51 for each 250m chunk. You want to feel like you’re pushing across the finish line, not crawling.
2. Be Relaxed – Tension on the erg at the wrong time and in the wrong spots will slow you down. Think about having a relaxed grip, neck, and face. The smoother you are, the faster you’ll be. Don’t choke the handle and fry your forearm muscles. In addition, your recovery phase (where we return to the starting ‘catch’ position) should be relaxed to give your working muscles…recovery.
3. (FIRST TIMERS) “Legs, Hips, Arms” – Your only focus should be on the proper sequence of joint action. Legs, hips, arms on the drive and finish, and then the reverse order of that on the recovery: arms, hips, legs. Here is a very helpful video from Dark Horse Rowing.
There’s lots of mechanical awareness needed to truly be successful on the erg. While you can power and muscle your way through bad technique on a 500m row, you cannot for the 1,000.
Few things in the gym are more challenging, but few are more rewarding and telling. Try your best, and record your baseline. Cherry picking takes your fitness only so far.
For more on rowing, see our Guide to Better Erg Rowing.
First. 8’ EMOM
4 Hell Trots
3/s Single-Leg RDL
20”/s Low Side Plank
Then. For Time.
Recover on Bike.
PHASE 1: Optional ROW Test