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How much do ERG times improve?

MarkBassMarkBass 233 replies19 threads Junior Member
edited January 2012 in Athletic Recruits
Sorry, one more question I have not been able to find an answer for.

How much do ERG times improve over the years?

My D is a HS sophmore. Let's say her 2k ERG time is 8:00. Can I assume that with training and some work, her time next year will be 7:50? And that by her senior year she could be around 7:40?

Or, are rowers born and not made?

In other words, once a 8:00, always an 8:00.

edited January 2012
13 replies
Post edited by MarkBass on
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Replies to: How much do ERG times improve?

  • fishymomfishymom 1707 replies142 threads Senior Member
    There is no way to predict erg score improvement, but with time and training, your daughter should continue to improve. I do think that a lot of top rowers, and athletes in general, are "born and not made". There are Olympic level women who started rowing as college freshman and quickly developed into world class oarsmen. These women were successful in other sports, but really took off when they started rowing. For the athlete with the right body type, right combination of muscle fiber, mental toughness, motivation and excellent coaching, the sky is the limit. But if the genetics are not there, all the training in the world is not going to produce a world class athlete.
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  • MarkBassMarkBass 233 replies19 threads Junior Member
    Thanks very much. I think you're right. I think what you wrote -
    there are Olympic level women who started rowing as college freshman and quickly developed into world class oarsmen.

    Illustrates that point.

    Schools are literally taking tall and strong female students off the campus and they turn into top rowers.
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  • imafanimafan 231 replies21 threads Junior Member
    Here's a post from an athlete's berecruited website. She is a 2012 and will row at an ACC school next year. She's about 5'8 and competed nationally this year in Germany as part of the US National Team:

    Erging this year- 2011
    (1/29/2011) -7:25.8 2k
    (2/20/2011) -7:22.2 2k
    (3/19/2011) -7:19.4 2k
    (4/21/2011) -7:14.4 2k
    (6/21/2011) - 7:07.8 2k
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  • MarkBassMarkBass 233 replies19 threads Junior Member
    Thanks. Wow, she took off almost twenty seconds from her 2K time within five months. That's amazing. To 7:07. Yikes.
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  • beenthere2beenthere2 452 replies4 threads Member
    Accomplished athletes from other sports (swimming, running, cycling, skating, tennis) are usually already at a higher training level and therefore can post top erg times almost immediately. With appropriate training, especially girls can improve their erg time dramatically over a short time. So, the 20 second improvement is quite feasible for a good rower who has not trained that much before.
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  • hey_palhey_pal 94 replies7 threads Junior Member
    ^^note that the sort of improvements listed above are far from common. After a few initial drop offs as you become familiar with the erg, it becomes much harder to take time off a 2k. Experienced rowers are happy with a second off each time they 2k. Any PR is a good PR.
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  • tallgirltallgirl 153 replies17 threads Junior Member
    hey_pal!!!! Great to 'see' you in here. I am sure everything is GRrrrreat where you're at! I'll PM you later -- is your box still full?
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  • bluedevil06bluedevil06 27 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Erging is all about conditioning. While it depends a lot on your level of fitness when you start rowing, most people can improve their erg times dramatically if they're willing to put in the work. For whatever it's worth, my first 2k as a freshman novice was somewhere around 8:25, and I don't think I ever broke 8:00 as a freshman. By senior year, I was somewhere around a 7:15. I don't consider myself to be all that athletically talented, though, so I started off a little slower than most girls my size (I'm around 5'10").
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  • tallgirltallgirl 153 replies17 threads Junior Member
    Bluedevil06 wow, 7:15 is amazing! Are you an Openweight? I am almost your height and a Lightweight, trying to get my erg down this, my junior, year to recruitable times. I still need another 15 seconds off right now and I really hope I can make it happen by June/July to be recruitable the summer before my senior year. Any key tips? I'm not that educated on damper or drag factor setting options that might work better for me, a tall, narrow (albeit muscled and long limbed) lightweight. help?
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  • bluedevil06bluedevil06 27 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I'm very solidly an openweight. I'm around 160 and was probably closer to 170 when I pulled my PR. To risk stating the obvious, the best way to get better at erging is to erg. I started to see dramatic improvements when I started to add in a 30-minute erg workout around 5 days a week at a comfortably hard pace, which at the time was probably between a 2:05 and a 2:10, or about 10 splits slower than my 6k. And of course it's also important to take advantage of your team workouts and push yourself hard every day with those.

    With respect to the damper, I'm not sure. If you're someone who's really quick off the front and favors a higher stroke rate, than you might do well setting it at 1. If you're more of a lower stroke rate, pound it out kind of girl, maybe a little higher would be better. I would never try to do a 2k with the damper higher than about 3.5-4, though.
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  • bruno15bruno15 34 replies1 threads Junior Member
    tallgirl and bluedevil - 2k dampers are mostly a matter of personal preference... I'm not a lightweight so I can't speak from that perspective but unless you're injured I don't see a reason to have the damper set at 1 (also the lightweights I work out with at home work around the same setting that I do). It's just me, but I find the pickup at the catch to be so much weaker. You should aim to test with a drag factor of 100-110 - that's what a lot of people test at and is, in some places, considered to be at your best advantage. Because you're in your junior year and are probably speaking with coaches, you should ask them how they test their athletes on the erg. If you don't want to ask them, ask your coach. That's why they're there!

    Also, with picking up the stroke rate, you should work at whatever is best for you. Coaches aren't going to ask and won't really care how you get to the end as long as you get there fast. In college, they'll mold you into whatever they want to you to be.

    Finally - on getting faster. You just need to erg, as bluedevil said, and erg a lot. It's important to balance sprinting, sheer volume, and cross-training. Also remember that erging shape is different than other "shapes," so as much as we may want to, we can't just run ourselves to a fast 2k. Hope this helps!
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  • tallgirltallgirl 153 replies17 threads Junior Member
    bruno and bluedevil: Thank you so much for your replies and tips! I truly appreciate the time you took to share them!

    How exactly does one adjust the drag factor on the Concept 2 D model we train on? I think my coaches (foreign, hard to communicate with at times/on fine details) pre-set them for us before 2Ks, as they do the dampers which they put on 5 for us Lightweight Girls.

    I have got to get my 2K time down 15 seconds to be more recruitable this spring/summer, which will be the summer between my junior and senior year. thank you :)
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  • AnEducationAnEducation 20 replies8 threads New Member
    To adjust the drag factor: on the main menu press 'more options' and then 'display drag factor'. Take a few strokes and a number will appear on the screen - that's the drag factor. Move the damper to a lower number to lower the drag factor, move it up to increase the drag factor. (I second the advice to row at a drag factor around 110)
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