If you are still new to rowing but want to start working to improve your rowing performance, stroke rate and power output are two important variables to monitor during your workouts. Stroke rate is the number of times per minute you perform a full rowing stroke. Potentially the faster you can perform your rowing strokes, the faster you will be able to row. Unfortunately, there can be some issues with trying to increase your rowing stroke rate. As your stroke rate goes up the more challenging it will be to maintain your rowing technique.
The faster that your body moves, the more difficult it is to hold a good rowing body position. Faster stroke rates also require more energy. This means that you will experience more fatigue. Because of this, there is not a direct correlation between stroke rate and faster rowing. You will only be able to reach your maximum speed when your best technique is performed at the highest stroke rate. Ideal stroke rates will vary depending on individual goals. Lower stroke rates (15-20 spm) are great for working on technique and rhythm. Stroke rates in the 20’s are great for longer workouts where speed and stroke rate remain consistent. High stroke rates (30+ spm) are great for developing speed for distances 2000 meters or below.
If maintaining 30 plus strokes per minute is too difficult, use the remainder of this five-minute segment to focus on good rowing form while increasing your stroke rate to a more comfortable rate above 20 strokes per minute. Remember it is always better to decrease your stroke rate so you can maximize your rowing technique and power output. To extend your rowing pace workout, complete additional rounds of the 5 minute 20 strokes per minute and 5 minute 30+ strokes per minute rowing segments.
- 5 minute warm up
- 5 minutes at 20 strokes per minute pace
- 5 minutes at 30+ strokes per minute pace
Repeat 2-3 rounds
- 5 minute cool down at 15-20 strokes per minute pace