The Steady State: Hours not Meters

Elite endurance athletes often spend 20 hours per week, or more, training. Most of this time is relatively easy, or “steady state,” training, and is typically measured in hours, not meters, miles, splits, or pace. Steady state training occurs in the Zone 2 heart rate range, which is described as a “conversational” pace.

Image from Polar USA

Image from Polar USA

Over time, training in Zone 2 builds your broad aerobic capacity. This is the foundation of all subsequent event-specific and higher intensity training. Steady state also aids injury prevention by building muscle-skeletal durability. Whether your goals are on the water, on the erg, or in the gym such as CrossFit, you will benefit from steady state training.

A reasonable goal for building steady state work would be 6 – 8 hours per week. If you already have some fitness benchmarks, plan and execute a six week steady state plan, then re-test. If you use a heart rate monitor, you should notice that while your perceived effort remains conversational,  your average HR rate and pace are slowly increasing.

The EndureRow rowing machine seat eliminates the distractions of seat pain and discomfort that often limit erg time, and is beneficial for steady state rowing.

Seat Orientation 3