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(RE)COMMIT #3: Slow Down to Speed Up! Training at low rates!

(RE)COMMIT #3: Slow Down to Speed Up! Training at low rates!

4 minute read

asensei is proud to be the title sponsor of the British Rowing Virtual Championships. 
To help you prepare for the event, Olympian Eric Murray, has created a series of videos to
improve your training and mindset for competition. So whether you’re an elite athlete,
chasing a new PB or just setting yourself a benchmark to improve upon –
sign up for the Virtual Championships here and be a proud member of Team asensei!

Training Eric Murray

It’s often thought that the only way to get fast is to train fast, that only anaerobic training builds speed.  Eric Murray debunks this in his latest in our video series with the Olympian and talks through the importance of training at low rates to improve your rowing.

He discusses how rating is linear, but speed is exploitational: if you viewed your increase in speed as you increase rate on a graph, that gap is slowly going to close.  That’s why it’s important to train at those lower rates, build strength and good technique first. A foundation to carry you through those higher rates.

Eric discussed the importance of getting good rhythm and flow before increasing the rate.

Muscle Memory

Rowing relies on muscle memory - slowing down the stroke can help teach your muscles better technique that can then be sustained at higher stroke rates.  Getting good technique at a low rate is much more important than flying up and down the slide unproductively.  You want to make every stroke count. By rowing some workouts at low stroke rates, you can practice good technique and your muscles will be more likely to reproduce these movements at higher rates as movements become ingrained.  Improving our form at those low rates allows us to put more pressure through the legs at higher rates and gain more meaningful and sustainable speed at higher rates.

Every workout, from pick drills to breaking down the movement’s into hands, body and legs plays an important role in eventually building up that race pace speed.  They reinforce good habits and technique! Eric experiments with rate in a lot of his RE(LIVE) workouts, giving the opportunity to practice taking that technique and drill practice with you into slightly higher rates.

Low Rate Training

Low-rate training also provides a great resistance strength workout, the lower rate you are at, the more control you need at the recovery.  You need to engage the core and glutes to allow you to not lose posture and form on while coming forward, and then have an explosive movement on the drive.  Aerobic training, aka longer distances at lower rates, improves your stamina and fitness.  When it comes to testing, racing or just doing some HIIT workouts, this training will help your body use the right type of energy and not ‘fly and die’ as your body is aware of its limits and strength.

As Eric says – we want to take all our technique and efficiency into our higher rates.

Happy Rowing!


#1 Connected Coaching with asensei

#2 Good Form Equals Free Speed

#3 Slow Down To Speed Up

#4 Baselines & Benchmarks

#5 Finding Flow

Check out the BRVC and get your free training plan: https://asensei.com/pages/brvc 


Eric Murray asensei Rowing Coaching

asensei is free to download and you can trial the first 3 workouts in the (RE)COMMIT program and let Eric calculate a 2k time that he can coach you to achieve in only 6 weeks.

All you need is an iPhone and access to an asensei Compatible rowing machine from Concept 2, WaterRower or FluidRower with a bluetooth capable monitor.

download asensei from the appstore


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