Top 90th Percentile in 500m Concept2 Rower!

Last week I posted that I got a 1:29.1 for a 500m Concept2 Row at Crossfit Manchester.

Friday I beat it: 1:27.5 !! 😀

I don’t think I could move for about 10 minutes afterwards mind, my legs were killing me and I had an instant headache, but I am well chuffed with that. I put the difference down to that weird slider thing on the side of the Concept2’s: the damper setting. Always it’s set to 4, simple because it’s always set to 4! However, in theory (if I understand the theory correctly) a higher setting should suit me, as I have more strength than stamina, if you see what I mean.

So I experimented, and set it to 7. Well it seems to have worked, taking 1.6 seconds off my time is a significant step I think. And checking the Concept2 world wide rankings again, I’ve moved from the top 15% to the top 10%. Or looking at it the other way round as the Concept2 site does, I’m exactly on the 90th percentile for times in the 2008 season for my age group (*cough* 30-39 *cough*).

As before, I trailed off badly in the last quarter. Splits went something like this: 0-350m I bobbled around 1:23 – 1:24 pace. It all started to feel very hard about 370m, and I had dropped to 1:29 ish by 400m. By 450m I was struggling to do better than 1:32 and it was a desperate attempt at just hanging on in there till the end.

To be honest, my technique needs some work as I managed to nearly stand up over the starting 100m, and kept launching myself off the seat. (Note to Concept2: install seat belts!) The chain was flapping about rather too much, and I noticed I was ending the strokes on tip toes too. All brawn and no brain I guess, lol. Interestingly, whilst that 1:25 Athletics Skill Level 4 time is suddenly looking achievable, to get it would you would rank 13th out of 276 on the Concept2 fastest times this year, (or 29th out of 719 for last year) that’s pretty Elite!

Pssst, Davie, wadya think about that then? 😉

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Davie 17 September 2007, 11:45 am

    Fantastic mate, well done. I always use the damper at 4 as well so will hit it up today at 7 and see how that goes.

    The damper at the side allows more or less air in against the fan, more air( level 5 -10) means more air hitting the fan therefore more strength is need to get the fan to turn, It also means that the fan slows down more between strokes. So when you are recovering and sliding back to the start position the fan slows down more at the higher level

    Check out the rowing videos on the CrossFit main site FAQ for help with technique ( im sure there is something there regarding pushing yourself out of the seat)

  • Davie 17 September 2007, 12:04 pm

  • Colin McNulty 17 September 2007, 2:00 pm

    Ah nice video, thanks Davie. I normally have the foot slider on the 3rd notch from the top (so 2 empty notches are showing) with my size 11 feet. So I’ll try it with 3 showing.

    The other thing showing on that Vid, which Mark Beck also said to me after, was to start off driving with the balls of your feet, and finish with the heels. I think I was doing it the other way round, as I was ending the stroke on tip toe, in an attempt to get that extra inch of distance on the pull.

  • Davie 17 September 2007, 7:47 pm

    tried it at setting 7 – 1.27.5, then tried 10 – 1.29.9. The 10 setting is awful, the fan slows down sooo much

  • Colin McNulty 17 September 2007, 8:01 pm

    Hoho, exactly the same time and damper setting. I haven’t tried 10 yet.

    For the 127.5 run, what was your SPM? Mine was 33. And considering I normally row sub 20 SPM, that was shockingly fast. In fact Mark and Karl are usually beside themselves with how slowly I row, lol.

  • Davie 18 September 2007, 10:04 pm

    can’t remember what my SPM was . I’m doing the wod from tomorrow so will take notes of what it is at damper setting 4 and a bit

  • Colin McNulty 19 September 2007, 8:10 am

    I did 500m as part of my warm up yesterday, I tried adjusting the foot slider up 1 notch and I think it did help a bit. I still managed to bounce myself out of the seat, but only once. I also worked on pushing initially with the balls of my feet, and ending on the heels. I wasn’t going full pelt, but it was a fast warm up at 1:38.

    I might try another notch next time, but I think that might be pushing it as the strap gets closer to my ankle.

    Mark sent me an email this morning with this link in:

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