What is Ultra Distance Rowing?
Ultra Distance is considered completing a marathon (42,195m), half century (50,000m), century (100,000m), 24hour row, million meter row, and longest continual row. I would also consider rowing across oceans ultra distance.
Are there world records for these races?
Heck yes, there are!
What do you eat and drink during this long race?
That is a personal choice for each rower. This important thing is to stay hydrated with more than just water because you will need to start replacing electrolytes after the first hour of racing. High energy foods are recommended, like dried fruit or nuts. Rowing and eating are not easy, so make sure food is in small bite-size pieces. For distances longer than a marathon or half century, a coxswain or coach is recommended to be there for support.
Is there a strategy for Ultra Distance races?
Pace yourself. When you are on the erg for multiple hours you do not want to waste energy going out too hard. Train specifically for that race and know what stroke rate and pace are sustainable. You can always empty the tank when you get closer to the finish.
Why would anyone do this?
I always laugh a little when someone asks me this. It makes me realize how a little insane it is. But I love it. It's the inexplicable challenge of it.
No one can just strap into an erg and row for 100k. It takes serious preparation and mental toughness to take on a race like this. However, as we have seen in events like CrossFit games, non-rowers can survive a half marathon without specifically training for it.
Personally, Ultra Distance racing is my Olympics. I wanted to represent my country and be a strong role model for female athletes. I was never the fastest girl on any of my teams, but I believed deep down that I wanted to be the fastest and toughest more than anyone else. That only got me so far. I wasn't good enough to ever race for our Olympic team. But I will always be able to do soul-crushing erg workouts!
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