Master of Science
Dr. Glen Belfry
The purpose of this study was to determine whether an Even pacing strategy would be more optimal than the traditional fast-starting parabolic strategy in a 2000 m rowing race. 13 collegiate level rowers completed two 2000 m pacing strategies; one Evenly paced, and the other a traditional On Water strategy. Neither pacing strategy demonstrated differences in performance. This finding was consistent across sexes and experience levels. Males demonstrated significant correlations with an Even pacing strategy and 6000 m performance (EP p=0.001). Females showed significant correlation between both strategies and 6000 m performance, plus peak power and the On Water strategy (EP p=0.004, OW p=0.002 and PP p=0.043). Nationally identified rowers showed significant correlations with the On Water strategy and 6000 m performance (OW p=0.017). In conclusion it is recommended that either On Water and Even Pace strategies can be used during 2000 m rowing ergometer performances with similar results.
Summary for Lay Audience
Elite level rowers have consistently used a fast-starting parabolic pacing strategy when racing over 2000 m. However, the current literature is unclear on which pacing strategy is optimal for moderate duration races. An even pacing strategy is highly supported by the literature as being optimal for moderate duration racing events, but has not demonstrated to be utilized in rowing. The aim of this study is to understand if the traditional fast-starting parabolic pacing strategy, or an even pacing strategy, is more optimal for performance in a 2000 m rowing race. The implications of understanding the performance differences of both pacing strategies may offer a more optimal pacing strategy option for rowers, or challenge the current literature as to which pacing strategy is most optimal for moderate duration events. This study may also identify that exercise modality impacts pacing strategy as no current study to the author’s knowledge has compared pacing strategies in rowing in a quantitative manner. 13 collegiate level rowers (n=7 male, n=6 female) completed two 2000 m pacing strategies. One pacing strategy utilized a traditional on water pacing strategy, and the other with an even pacing strategy. Average power output for participants was calculated using their critical power, which is the maximal power output at steady state metabolic conditions, and anaerobic capacity that is the work capable to be done above the critical power threshold. Neither pacing strategy demonstrated differences in performance classified by power output. This finding was consistent across sexes and experience levels. However, different subgroups of participants demonstrated individual correlations to other physiological markers. Males demonstrated significant correlations with an even pacing strategy and 6000 m performance (EP p=0.001). Females showed significant correlation between both strategies and 6000 m performance, along with a significant correlation between peak power and the on water strategy (EP p=0.004, OW p=0.002 and PP p=0.043). Nationally identified rowers showed significant correlations with the on water strategy and 6000 m performance (OW p=0.017). To conclude, neither pacing strategy appears to be more optimal for a 2000 m rowing race. However, both pacing strategies appear to have individual correlations to physiological markers.
Clegg, Ryan A., "The effect of pacing strategy on 2000 m rowing ergometer performance in well-trained male and female rowers" (2020). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 7483.