Duration Rowing Workouts
You may think with all the science that now dominates sports and fitness training, that just sitting and rowing until you can't row no more is a waste of your time. But I would argue that while heart rate, time trial and interval sessions are unquestionably valuable - there is still a benefit to duration rowing.
The time will differ from rower to rower. For some, a long row could mean 30 minutes, for an elite rower the time could approach two hours, but regardless of your fitness, a 'just sit and row' session has its advantages. Just as a runner can get into The Zone (also known as The Flow) on a long run, so can a rower. Before we get onto the practical side of duration rowing, let's look at the mental benefits.
Of course you'll burn calories and give your cardio-vascular system a good workout, but there is also a great deal to be said for losing yourself in a physical repetitive activity. Many of us work in stressful jobs, or have plenty of distractions that keep us away from our training or other interests.
So being able to row continuous for maybe 30, 40 or 60 minutes and focus on nothing else can be liberating. We can't stop the world and get off, but we can take a time out and forget about the tough stuff once we get stuck into a good old physical workout.
I recommend you don't overdo the duration training - once a week is more than enough in my view. Once every two weeks is probably about right for most of us. A long row would be at least twice the time you'd row for any of your other workouts. But the difference is you'll not row for long periods at a high stroke rate - you may choose to lift your rate every 15 minutes for a few minutes at a time. But the benefit comes from the time you're on your machine and being able to focus entirely on rowing and nothing else.
I also don't bother to record the time or distance. This one is up to you, but I find a pre-occupation with my distance or how long I can last is not the objective. You may choose to record your performance, but for me it's just about the joy of rowing.
Preparing for a Long Row
Here's my tips for getting yourself into the right frame of mind for a long rowing session.
I row until I'm comfortably tired, but definitely not to the point of exhaustion. Following your session, do a few cool-down stretches and then have a good soak in the bath or a warm shower. I usually do mine in the morning and then rest for the remainder of the day before starting back with my usual program the following day.
So why not give it a go and enjoy rowing for rowing's sake and give yourself a break from training targets and all the other stuff that can get you down :0)