- The 2017/18 season has finished. Start logging now for the 2018/19 season!
Training plans on the internet go further than just information. Some also give you an option to connect with a community of like-minded Indoor Warriors, battling through the same plan. This can give you both motivation and accountability. Something that's hard to find unless you have a coach breathing down your neck while you're training.
What follows is a list of various plans found on the internet. Only plans which are available for all to take part in (sometimes for a fee) are included. If you need to be a team member to do their plan, I haven't included it (as I can't vouch for something I haven't experienced).
The Fitness Matters Training Plan is a rolling plan (it never stops, just gets moulded to prepare for common events and constantly improve your performance) currently costing £23.50 a month. Sam Blythe, the guy in charge at Fitness Matters is one of the few men under 6 foot who have managed to row a Sub-6 2K. So it's fair to say he knows his stuff! The plan is varied and ever evolving, with a community spirit based around a Facebook page where you post your efforts, and get feedback from Sam and others on the plan. They offer a "Kickstarter Plan" for free, which lasts 4 weeks. Check it out here.
The Pete Plan is a free online plan that has developed almost a legendary status. It may not be as varied as the Fitness Matters plan, but that doesn't make it any less effective. Here is the introductory paragraph. Check out the website for more information.
There are effectively two types of indoor rowing training plan, either periodic or continuous. A periodic training plan will take you through different phases of training to build up to a specific point in time where you will reach your peak ready to race. A continuous training plan will help you see improvement day after day, in such a way that you should always be faster during a race tomorrow than you are today. The correct type of training plan for you depends on your goals and motivations. If you enjoy taking part in challenges, setting new personal best times, or competing regularly, a continuous training plan will suit you better. If your focus is on one or two races each season, and the rest of the time is a training build up to those races, then a periodic training plan may be your best bet. Whichever method you choice, following a structured training plan will always be better than not doing.
The Pete Plan is a continuous training plan. It follows a three week cycle, with sessions being repeated every three week period. If you like to see the progress you are making, you will enjoy this plan.
If you're interesting at all in the people at Free Spirits, their forum has a great thread with people who have been training with the Pete Plan, either in the past, or currently.
British Rowing's "Go Row Indoor" plans are available to download on from their website. They are maybe not quite as prescriptive as other plans (there doesn't seem to be a pace guide, just a stroke rate - so it's up to you to put in the required effort level). The GoRowIndoor concept is quite new for British Rowing, with some great information, technique tips and workout videos which can be found HERE.
Zerg Training arrived in June 2018 with an aim to bring structured training with guidance from a coach for a lot less than you may pay elsewhere.
It's less dogmatic than some of the other training programmes, with pace and effort mostly up to your intensity expectation from the session. But with 5 sessions a week, and a discussion forum to share your experience, it's a well throught out plan and an idea which should appeal to many.
Blurb from their site: Who is Zerg for? The Zerg program is aimed at those who are either new to the world of indoor rowing, looking to improve their health and fitness or those with prior erg experience, looking to go further and improve their times.
Esprit offer a training programme for their members only, so no information or experience can be offered.
Rojabo on first glance, looks like it's for on the water rowers. But when you look a little deeper into it, the sessions and tests are ERG based. It's another one that you have to pay to sign up to, but they do have a trial period, and with the coaches that are running this, you're getting a lot of experience for your money.
The Wolverine Plan is another free Training Plan of the University of Michigan Women’s Rowing Team - and can best be described as the big daddy to the Pete Plan. This is because the Pete Plan was devised after the Wolverine Plan became too much.
Written as a University training plan, it may seem a little drier and less friendly than the Pete Plan or Fitness Matters plan - but if you really enjoy diving into the numbers, and have the time for all these sessions, the Wolverine plan may well be worth a try for you.
Rowing WOD has sprung out of the Cross-fit world by Dr Cam Nichols. But that doesn't mean it's not just as good for those of us who just want to row. It's worth checking out the website if only for the video of Cam talking his way through how he rows a 2K while rowing it! And he still manages a 6:28 time!!
Blurb from the site: "Be Fitter. Be a better athlete. Be the best in the world. Whatever your goal, RowingWOD™ training programmes are there for you. Improve your technique, build your aerobic capacity, boost your mental game and have the strategy you need to win."
Dark Horse Rowing are another Cross-Fit origin outfit who look to improve your rowing skills. A fantastic online presence with lots of video support for technique and training ideas. It's another paid-for training plan - where you can either become part of their 'Crew' for $29 a month - or pay a price (arond $50) for a specific plan.
Blurb from their website: "Choose the program that you need, when you need it. Ranging from 500m to 5k programs and everything in between. We’re here to support you and your efforts. Start anytime and anywhere, all you need is access to a rowing machine twice a week."
The Concept2 Workout of the Day isn't a training plan as such. Every day Concept 2 send out an email with a short, middle and long workout on it. Depending on how you like to row each day, one of these will suit - and eventually, they'll build you into a better rower.
Most plans set out a pattern of long, low rate rows, hard intervals and short sprints all mixed over each other - setting out a pattern like this, then using the matching row from the Workout of the Day may be an interesting (and certainly free) way to improve.
The Indoor Sport Services Interactive Programme has a few options for you to choose from. A 2K plan, a 'Fast Fitness' plan, and a Weight Loss programme. By 'Interactive' it means that you enter your age / weight and training frequency - then a little more info depending on what plan you're looking at, and it then generates a plan for you. It's not interactive in the same way that a Forum or Facebook community may be classed as interactive. The IndoorSportServices website is well worth looking at for more tips not just to do with training.
FISA's training program is incredibly comprehensive. It has been compiled as to run from October to October through a whole year. It may not be directly aimed at Indoor Rowing - especially as the off-season' bits in the plan are right in the middle of the indoor racing season, but it's certainly worth reading and migrating all the good bits into your own plan
Blurb from the plan: The program is made after requests from Clubs and individual rowers with ambitions to participate in international regattas and Championships. Most rowers are not able to follow the program due to limited time to their disposal, their school or study situation or work and family responsibility – and also less ambitions. The majority of rowers want to have rowing as a healthy and enjoyable free time activity, but the program can still be useful as a guideline for how to plan your own training.
Click the title above to go visit Doug Rathburn's Indoor Rowing Training Information page. So much infomarmation on there, there's no point trying to summarise it here. Tables with pace guides, a Training document with technique and plan suggestions and some resistance training examples.
RowPro is a piece of software designed with online rowing in mind. You can check out more on the Online Challenges page, but the power it unleashes here is a built in training plan designer.
Tell it what you want to do (get faster / fitter - 2K /5K/10 etc) and it'll devise a plan for you to follow. RowPro is a fantastic piece of software which can unlock hidden motivation (and competitive) aspects of your rowing. And this training plan idea is another gold star in the reasons to consider purchasing it.