Crossfit Endurance workout baseline: 30/20 repeats

I’m starting to post baseline numbers for some of the Crossfit Endurance workouts on the Concept2 ergometer.  One thing I’ve noticed about the CFE WODs is that they offer simple guidance about keeping a consistent split time across intervals, but don’t offer guidance about what those splits should be if you are rowing with proper intensity.  This is obviously highly dependent on gender, size, and strength.   However, I have found that it pays to figure out “the numbers” and push myself to meet or exceed them on each successive interval, so I am posting some guidance here based on my own experience as a master heavyweight male rower.

This is for the 30/20 workout posted on April 18, which was 30 seconds on, 20 seconds off, 10 intervals, max intensity.  I did the workout fairly tired, and found that I fell between 150-156 meters per interval.  I believe a good baseline would be 155 assuming fresh legs for a heavyweight man.  These are short intervals, and you can gain or lose 5 meters easily depending on how quickly you can get the wheel spinning at the start of the interval.  If you time it right, the first split displayed will be in the low 1:40s, and you will be “on pace” for the interval.  Counter to conventional wisdom, I did better on intervals where I averaged 34 strokes per minute, pulling long and powerfully, than when I drove the stroke rating higher.

This was done at a damper setting of 6, approximate drag factor of 140.

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