If you want an effective program: Develop a plan.
One of the most common mistake I see is people coming into their rowing workout with no particular plan of what they want to get out of the session. Because of that rowers tend to row without any real structure of their practice.
Start out with your goals for a three-month period. Break this down into monthly, then weekly and then sessional units. This way, you’ll be sure that you go in and build what you achieved in the previous session and build a platform for the next session. Each session should be a piece in the total rowing program.
Don’t spend too long in your rowing practice
I try to limit my training sessions to less than 2 hours. I’ve found that with anything more than this, I see a reduction in intensity and quality of the session. I’ve seen people stay in the water for 2 to 3 hours doing a session and there’s no way that you can maintain the intensity throughout this entire time. I pretty much draw the line at anything over 90 minutes.
Keep your body guessing
One of the biggest problems I see is a rowing programme that is the same for every session. The body adapts to the demands imposed upon it and it needs variety in order to keep improving. It needs a programme tweak (not necessarily an entire overall) every 3 to 4 weeks.
Don’t let all your hard work in your session go to waste by not consuming some protein and carbohydrates with 20-30 minutes the conclusion of the session. You don’t need to go too technical, a boiled egg and a chocolate milkshake will do the trick if you’re really struggling to get your hands on a commercial sports recovery drink.