Indoor and Outdoor rowing comparison

Wednesday, Indoor

Changed clothes, descended to torture cellar, sat on Concept2 erg. Rowed. Showered


Fun factor: 2 (on a scale from 0-5) – the audio broadcast I listened to was slightly entertaining
Boredom factor: 3 (reach 5 and you fall asleep spontaneously) – Somehow rowing a 10k in 42 minutes is a lot less boring than rowing for 40 minutes
Training effect: 3 – good steady state. Should have rowed a bit longer but it became very sweaty and I was becoming bored
Learning effect: 0 – it was just a 10k OTE

Thursday, Outdoor

Changed to bike/row gear. Rode to rowing club. Launched my single. Rowed. Rode home. Showered.

The Strava status has a nice summary:


It would be fun to do a real mini-triathlon. Ride bike to rowing club, row, run home. Pick up bike another time. Will probably do this one day.

In the single, I did Steady State and used Rowing in Motion to track my strokes. I tried to work on the catch, to see how I could row to produce the famous double acceleration peak that is seen in Olympic crews and not in club crews. I guess I fall strongly in the club category. The pace variations are purely due to the wind strength and direction. I was rowing constant pressure, 19/20spm:




Not sure if I see a difference in the graphs between the first part of the row where I was really focusing on the catch and the second part, where I wasn’t. But catch efficiency and catch duration seem best in the first headwind part.

Apparently, according to this blog post, the so-called “sculler’s catch” is fashionable again, at least on Rowing Illustrated. (By the way, I have a problem with that site because I cannot sign up. Apparently, they think I am a spammer, or another life form that spoils discussions.)

I suspected I row a “sculler’s catch”, which is a catch where you square late and the blade hits the water with a slightly negative angle. You fully square while the blade enters the water. I have been coached this catch when I was 16 and never really got rid of it. I paid attention to what my hands and blade are doing. Yes, I do square late, my blades are very close to the water, and my handle rotates slightly in my hands while I apply pressure. It is a very subtle effect in my case. Not sure by the way how much speed is gained by doing this catch. At least it is a sign that I hold the handle lightly, like one should. (Another sign of that was on Tuesday morning in the sweaty hotel gym, when the Concept2 handle escaped from my sweaty hands during one pull.)

Fun factor: 5 – there was a slight chop. The colored leaves are still partly on the trees so the forests are beautifully gold, yellow and red colored. I passed Lodni Sporty rowing club when a lady in a single had just launched, so I got to pass a young, blonde sculler on a nice Filippi single. Romana and the girls were on the water in a quad. Lodni Sporty had their junior’s quad on the water
Boredom factor: 0  – I rowed the 12k and had the feeling I wanted to add another few kms. A group of about 15 swans have occupied the lake, so I had to be careful at Sirka. I don’t like these agressive birds. During the rides, it was hard to see the rocks during the forest segments, because the path was covered with leaves. A few climbs and descents and some “real” mountain biking

Training effect: 4 – good steady state.

Learning effect: 5 – good to work on the catch

The Verdict

Outdoor sporting wins hands down

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