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Prepare for the AIRC

What are the Benefits of Rowing?
Rowing works every muscle in the body.
Rowing uses more muscles than any other cardio activity. In the lower body, the calves, hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes are all used. In the upper body the abdominals, lower back, upper back, lats, arms and shoulder areas. Rowing is also great for the entire core of the body, making it the best piece of fitness equipment when it comes to results and reducing your waistline.

Stress free on the body.
Rowing is impact free and teaches the body to use a full range of movement. Due to the seated position; the ankles, knees, hips, lower and upper back are protected from impact resulting in an excellent workout for everyone; young to old, unfit to fit, and all abilities.

Time efficient.
In our busy lives it is often hard to find time to train. Due to the recruitment of many large muscle groups, rowing is time efficient in achieving results of fat loss, cardio respiratory fitness and anaerobic power performance.

Rowing produces superior results in less time giving it more “bang for your buck” than many other types of machines.

First Time Race Advice (adapted from Concept2)
If this is your first time racing, the more time you have to prepare, the better. Remember to start slow and build up. If you have been rowing for a while, this may just mean being a little more focused with your workouts.

  1. Know your drag factor.
    You can display drag factor by going to Main Menu, then selecting More Options and Display Drag Factor. If you are a competitor at an indoor rowing race where a computer is in control of the Performance Monitors on the race ergs, the drag factor will be shown during warmup—you do not need to press any buttons. At races, there is no prescribed damper setting so you are free to set the damper anywhere you want as long as you don’t change it during the race. Click here to learn about Damper Setting Overview
  2. Be rested for the race.
    In training this is called tapering. Do your last really hard workout about a week before the race so your body has time to recover. From then on, get plenty of sleep and do just enough hard rowing to keep yourself feeling sharp. A good pre-race workout is to split the 2000 metres into four pieces: a 1000m piece, a 500m piece, and two 250m pieces. Do each one at your race pace and allow plenty of rest in between. Do this workout three to five days before the race. Besides that, do some relaxed 30–40 minute rows. You should be itching to pull hard by the time race day arrives.
  3. Race Day:
    Get to the race location at least an hour before your race time. The time of your race will affect the timing and size of your pre-race meal. If you are racing as a lightweight, check the race rules to ensure you weigh in at the correct time.

a. Warm up:
There are usually a number of indoor rowers available for warming up before the races. Be sure to find these and row for 10–15 minutes (or your customary warm-up) before your event. Don’t be afraid of using up all your energy: it is important to be properly warmed up.
b. Set up your race machine the way you’re used to:
Adjust the damper setting and the foot straps and make sure the units displayed on the monitor are in the format you want. If you’re racing using the Venue Race system, make sure you’re familiar with how the PM Race Display works works. [Drop down to How the PM Race Display Works].
c. Row your own race.
There will be lots of noise and activity, but it is important for you to focus on your own race. Remember your pace and settle into it as soon as you are given the command to start. Resist the temptation to go out too fast in the first 500 metres. Better to finish strong than “fly and die.” You may want to write out your planned pace or cumulative time for each 500 metres of the race, to remind you of where you want to be.

Congratulations—you did it! Set some goals for next year, but don’t start training right away: you’ve earned a little time off!

How the PM Race Display Works:

For races using the Venue Race Application, the information below explains the start procedure and what is displayed on your Performance Monitor during your race.

Pre-Race Checks

  • Your race name or number is displayed beneath Next Race
  • Your name is displayed beneath Competitor
  • Your machine number is displayed beneath Erg
  • Adjust the drag factor to the setting you want to race on (it is displayed in the bottom right hand corner). Do this by adjusting the damper lever and rowing 2–3 strokes.
  • Set the monitor to the units you want to see during the race. PressUnits or Change Units to toggle between the following:
    1. Split time for 500m and time elapsed
    2. Split time for 500m and average split time for 500m
    3. Watts and average watts
    4. Calories per hour and expended calories

Race Start Procedure

  1. Shortly before your race starts the race controller will ask you to stop rowing. Put the handle in the handle hook.
  2. Your monitor display will change to show “Stop, prepare for start.” Once this screen appears, you will not be able to change the display.
  3. The race controller will announce that the race is going to start and tell the competitors to pick up their handles. When you pick up the handle do not pull on it as you may trigger a false start.
  4. WATCH YOUR MONITOR. It will display “Sit ready,” “Attention,” “ROW.” Once it displays “ROW” start racing.


  • The time between “Attention” and “ROW” is different for each race to prevent people from trying to predict the start and jump it.
  • If a false start occurs, the monitor will display “False Start” and will list the lanes responsible. Stop rowing and put the handle back in the handle hook. Steps 2–4 will be repeated.

Race Display

Above the Thick Black Line

  • Top left of screen: distance to go (or time to go for a timed race)
  • Top right of screen: stroke rate
  • Center of screen (large letters): pace/500m split
  • Bottom left of screen: average split /500m

The center of screen and bottom left will vary depending on what units you chose before the race.

Below the Thick Black Line

This section will show four lines of information:

  • Line 1: This will show the leader on your race system and the number of metres they are ahead of you.
  • Line 2: This will show the person immediately in front of you on your race system with the number of metres they are ahead.
  • Line 3: This will show your name.
  • Line 4: This will show the person immediately behind you and the number of metres they are behind.

If you are leading the race on your race system you will only see Lines 3 and 4.

At the end of the race, your final time and those just ahead/behind will show in the lower half of the screen.