10-20-30 Training

Aug 28, 2015

A recent story posted on the New York Times blog prompted us to try a 10-20-30 workout with rowing. This workout is a motivating way to include interval pieces in your training. The whole workout takes about 12 minutes! Intervals have been proven to improve health and cardiovascular fitness.

From A Way to Get Fit and Also Have Fun, New York Times blog, July 29, 2015:

The essentials of 10-20-30 training are simple. Run, ride or perhaps row on a rowing machine gently for 30 seconds, accelerate to a moderate pace for 20 seconds, then sprint as hard as you can for 10 seconds. (It should be called 30-20-10 training, obviously, but that is not as catchy.) Repeat.

Do five of the 10-20-30 intervals in a row without pause, then rest for two minutes by standing or very slowly walking about. Repeat the five consecutive intervals one more time, cool down, and you are done.

We had a lot of fun with this workout. Accelerating your pace throughout the workout is a perfect opportunity to challenge your technique at higher intensities. See our video for hints on how to do this, and keep in mind that the same technique should be maintained even when you row harder.

This workout is also fun because it is constantly changing, giving you a nice distraction. You need to keep an eye on the clock the whole time, varying your intensity as prescribed, and the focus helps make the time go by quickly. During the workout, you get to experience fast rowing at a full sprint, which is also a confidence booster. I enjoyed seeing a fast pace and tried to match my sprint speed in subsequent intervals.

The author of this post, Gretchen Reynolds, mentions that the 10-20-30 workout can be done with rowing! You just need to keep in mind that time intervals on the Performance Monitor need to be a minimum of 20 seconds. Given this, here are a few ways to give the 10-20-30 workout a try, whether rowing indoors, using the SkiErg, or rowing on water!

  1. You can use Just Row! You don’t need to set up anything on the Performance Monitor for this workout. Just start rowing, and the Performance Monitor will power up and begin recording your workout data after a few seconds. When the time hits 30 seconds, take the intensity up for 20 seconds, and then finish out the last 10 seconds of each minute at high intensity. You can also select a Just Row/Just Ski workout from the Main Menu.
  2. Alternatively, you can set your Performance Monitor to 12 minutes and count down the workout. This method means that the Performance Monitor will keep counting down during the rest period of the workout. (If you are interested in your average splits, you may not want to do this, as the rest period is included in the average.)
  3. You can still set up a time interval workout, but instead of programming intervals of 30 seconds, 20 seconds and 10 seconds, try intervals of 30 seconds. On the first interval, you’ll practice the 30 seconds of gentle rowing. In the second 30 seconds, you can start to accelerate, ending with your final sprint in the last 10 seconds. Repeat.
  4. If following the clock isn’t your thing, you can also try this workout by counting strokes. Start by counting out 30 easy strokes, then 20 moderate strokes, and end with a “Power Ten”—ten strokes done at a sprint. Repeat. Your whole workout may end up a little longer, but you’ll enjoy all the benefits of 10-20-30.

The stroke rating for your workout is up to you. Some people prefer the challenge of rowing harder but maintaining the same spm (strokes per minute) throughout the workout, while others will let their stroke rating increase with the intensity. Either way, your 30 seconds of rowing should be at a consistent or lower stroke rating than the sprint. Have fun!

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