Getting slower ergs with age

When I was racing 1X 10+ years ago, My best 1k boat times were 55-60 seconds slower than my best 1k erg times. This past weekend at Gold Rush regatta, my 1X 1k time was 102 seconds slower than my best recent 1k erg time. Limiting factor in the boat seemed to be endurance. Does this make sense

Faster Master Male single sculler

What affects us going slower?

You don’t tell me how old you are now, so that affects my response to your question. You sound like you are a regular trainer and have been rowing a single for many years – I assume you are fit, skillful and a competitive masters athlete.

No, I do not think endurance is likely to be the only significant factor.


Do you train much less now (volume and intensity) compared to 10 years ago?

Did you alter your program over the past winter? 

I think the second most likely factor affecting your results is your age. However, I’m not sure if this will affect erg score and boat times identically. ​​S​o we slow down with age and I’m guessing you can check your training diary about the weekly distance and training volume you were doing in the boat ten years ago compared to today.

Masters handicaps and age

Having said that, you might want to look at the Masters Age handicap times for your age today compared to your age 10 years ago – the increments grow fast especially when you’re over 50 years old.
Here is the Row2k masters mens handicaps for head racing charts – scroll down to the part where they discuss over 50 year linear regression – it’s a real thing.

​​Having said that, if you want to get a more robust estimate for YOUR on water time compared to your Concept2 erg time, I suggest rowing a time trial on the RP3 machine. It adjusts for boat class and weight (but not age) and your time on the machine is equivalent to your on-water time given perfect conditions and good rowing technique bladework.

So that may set your mind at rest.​

Further resources