Marathon Rowing | Concept2

Marathon Rowing

Marathon Pin
Marathon Pin

Completing the 42,195m marathon distance is a significant undertaking, but with a little planning, you’ll be ready and able to tackle it.


Before trying these suggestions, please read our liability disclaimer.

Begin training four months before your marathon attempt. If you plan to complete the Global Marathon Challenge (early May), refer to the months noted as a suggested timeline.

Training Schedule
Three–Four months out
Basic Groundwork
Complete at least ten 10,000 metre pieces over two months.
Two months out
Build Up
Over four weeks, complete four one-hour pieces, and then complete two 20,000 metre pieces. Use interval or repetition format:
  • Divide 60 minutes by going at a moderate pace for 2:30, then going easy for 30 seconds. Repeat.
  • Divide 20,000m by completing 500m @22spm, 300m @24spm, and 200m @26spm. Repeat 20 times.

When you are not doing one of the longer pieces, continue training with 30–45 minute pieces.

10–12 days out
(mid-late April)
Trial Run
Do one 30,000m piece. See how your body does and address any issues. Test out the food and drinks you plan to use during your marathon to make sure they agree with you.

Timing and Pace

Marathons generally take three to four hours to complete. If you can maintain an average pace of 2:05, you’ll complete the marathon in just less than three hours. Use our Pace Calculator to get an idea of how much time you’ll need.

On the day, resist starting out too hard; start at a pace you know you can maintain.

Tips for Success

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
  • Rest when your body needs it.
    • Increase the amount of rest between training sessions by varying when you work out each day (e.g. workout at 7 a.m. one day, and 5 p.m. the following).
    • Monitor your heart rate at rest and while training. If it increases from the norm over a three-day period, you need rest or may be fighting an illness.
  • Know how to be comfortable on the indoor rower and which damper setting works best for you.
  • Make sure you have fresh batteries in your Performance Monitor. If you’re using a PM3, PM4 or PM5, check the battery level before your attempt.
  • If you plan to use gloves, test them throughout your training.
  • Have water, snacks, towels, tissues and bubble wrap—it’s great for extra padding on the seat or handle if you get sore—within easy reach during your attempt.
  • Take short breaks. It’s okay to stop rowing for brief periods during your attempt so you can stretch and use the bathroom. Just remember that the Performance Monitor shuts down after a couple of minutes of inactivity. So, keep your breaks short or keep pressing Change Display or Display to keep the monitor on.