We've put together a long-distance indoor rowing training plan specifically designed for individuals taking on longer distance indoor rowing events. Our 12-week plan covers two different options, where you can work towards the goal of either one hour or four hours of continuous rowing!

The one hour training plan is aimed at those new to long-distance rowing, whilst the four hour training plan is aimed at those familiar with spending a fair amount of time on the rowing machine but who are looking to increase their time/distance covered.

Each week is split into cardio sessions and conditioning sessions.

Guide stroke rate

Whilst stroke rates have been specified for most of the sessions, these are only suggestions as stroke rate will vary slightly depending on your height/weight, etc. If you feel the suggested stroke rates are not quite right for you, consider varying them slightly to get the correct training benefit from the session. Use the RPE guidance to make sure you’re working at the correct effort level, and the stroke rate should settle accordingly.

A good rule of thumb is the longer the row, the lower the stroke rate you should sit at, to focus on your aerobic system in these sessions.

Long rows

For those taking on the four hour training plan, 5 minute rests have been included in the landmark row sessions to allow you time to stretch, rehydrate and eat. We recommend that anyone looking to do long distance row sessions breaks them up with short rest periods every 30 minutes or so, to reduce the pressure placed on the body throughout the session.

Those taking on the four hour training plan can consider doing multiple sets of session 2 to improve their endurance on the machine, but again we would highly recommend taking a 5 minute break between these for the same reasons as above.

Session 3 - cross training

The cross training session in each week of this training plan is aimed at improving your cardiovascular endurance. The modality of the session is up to you, but it should be something that keeps your heart rate slightly raised for the duration of the session, e.g. brisk walking, running, cycling – indoor or outdoor.

Mobility and conditioning

Included in these training plans are two off-machine sessions designed to support your on-machine training. They have been split into a 'Mobility and Core' session and a 'Shoulder and Hip Conditioning' session. These sessions are especially important if you’re taking on the four hour training plan as they will strengthen your body for the longer duration rows.

The Mobility and Core session requires only a broomstick/pole. If you have light dumbbells or a barbell, you can use this instead of the broomstick/pole for the relevant exercise but keep the load light and continue to focus on form.

The Shoulder and Hip Conditioning session requires a resistance band. If you don’t have one all the exercises can be done without, just focus on activating the appropriate muscle group when performing them.

For more advice about endurance or long distance training, check out Nick Baker's Endurance Training Insight article. 

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