A 2k test pits you against the clock. Alone on the erg you don’t have your boatmates for companionship or motivation. It’s up to you to get the fan moving, to execute your strategy and hit your pace for success.
Every rower has had the experience of flying and dying. You jump out of the gate fast and your adrenaline has you thinking things feel great. Depending on your fitness, somewhere along the way your legs start to burn and you’re not sure you’ve got control of your breathing. You start to doubt you can maintain your pace. Your split starts to slip so your bring your rating up. You finish gasping, eyes as big as saucers.
A recent analysis of 2k pacing strategies for the winners of some men’s age category races at the 2015 British Rowing Indoor Championships shows that rowers prefer a fast start and finish, with a dip of two to three seconds mid-race. (Check out this eye-opening pacing chart from britishrowing.org)
No matter your plan of attack, having benchmarks to hit throughout the piece can be extremely helpful. The table below shows steady pacing across a 2k, so use it as a rough guide for your target time and average 500m split.
Curious about 2k world records? Concept2 keeps a running tally here.