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Here’s the Average 1000m Rowing Time, from Beginners to Advanced

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

The 1000-meter row event has become a popular distance thanks to its inclusion as a main event in the 2020 CrossFit Games. But it has some practical applications as well. If you know your 1000m row time, you can fairly accurately predict your time for longer distances.

While it’s more of an art than a science, understanding and getting familiar with this distance is an excellent idea! Beginners might not be able to row for a much longer distance at all without stopping for a break. And more experienced athletes can use the 1000m row distance as part of sprint training.

A people doing a 1000 m row time
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Wherever you are in your rowing journey, here are the average row times for 1000 meters. Knowing this will help you to see where you fall along the scale and can help you to set realistic goals to progress!

Average 1000m Row Time

There are many factors that contribute to your own row time. No two people are the same, even if they’ve been rowing for the same amount of time! Here’s the average 1000m row time based on experience level.

Across all ages and both genders, the average rowing time for an average athlete to row 1000 meters is 3:33.6. This is very general, but it’s a good starting point.

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Beginners who have little to no rowing experience will take a bit longer than the average. Most beginner rowers will be able to achieve 1000 meters in a time between 3:50 and 4:30.

It’s important to note that if you fall outside of this range, it’s not a bad thing! Everybody starts at a different point, and this just means you have a great goal to work towards.


Intermediate rowers (those who have been rowing for a little while and who are used to the cardio workout) can expect to row 1000 meters in a time between 3:30 and 3:50.

This might not seem like a huge improvement on the beginners’ average time, but 1000m is not a far distance! An improvement of 20 seconds or so is a big difference in such a short distance.


An advanced rower with plenty of experience should be able to row 1000m in around 3:10. To put that into perspective, the world record 1000m row time is 2:39.3, set by James Hall, a former rugby player and amazing athlete, despite not being an elite rower.

This was actually set very recently, at the end of October 2022. It beat the previous world record by just 2 milliseconds!

1000m Row Times for Men and Women

Men and women have naturally different physiques and power levels. This means that while they still fall into the average 1000m row times, men naturally have faster row times than women do.


On average, a man will take around 3:40 to row 1000 meters. Of course, this will vary depending on his age, level of fitness, body composition, and experience with rowing. Men tend to be about 30 seconds faster than women in the same age group.


On average, a woman will take around 4:35 to row 1000 meters. Like the men’s time, a woman’s physique, fitness, experience, and age make a difference. These numbers are based on the average 35-year-old woman’s row time.

It’s interesting to note that the women’s world record 1000m row time is 3:06.2, set by Swedish athlete Cissi Velin.

Tips for Rowing 1000m

If you’re aiming to improve your 1000m row time, here are the top tips to help you shave seconds off your current time.

Use 500m Splits

Rowing 500m is a normal split distance. If 1000m is intimidating to you, aim for two 500m splits. That means you won’t be focusing on the end goal all the way, but rather focusing on halfway first. You’ll also be able to get an idea of what your end time might be.

Get Your Form Right

It’s easy to lose form on the rower as you fatigue, which can hamper your performance but also increase your chance of getting injured. Rather than pushing through as fast as you can, take a quick rest if you feel your form slipping.

We highly recommend not pushing your way through to 1000m disregarding your form. The slightest mistake can lead to injury that keeps you off the rower for weeks! If you don’t want to take a break halfway through, row slower so that you can keep your form throughout the 1000m.

Build Up Slowly

The more you row, the better you’ll get! But leaping into it above your ability level can spell disaster. Start slowly until you find your rhythm and figure out what’s comfortable for you.

You may have heard that 1000m is just a little outside of sprinting distance. That’s true, but it doesn’t mean you have to sprint the distance. Don’t fall into this trap! It’s important to take it at your own pace.

Is Rowing 1000m Good for Beginners?

There’s nothing wrong with a beginner rowing 1000m and working on improving their time. But it’s important for you to know that the 1000m is designed to be close to sprinting distance. That means that in competitive terms, it’s made to be an intense, all-out distance for someone with a high skill level.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t include it in your own rowing practice. As a beginner, understanding your 1000m row time means you can effectively set goals for progressing.

If you’re a complete beginner who’s just getting onto a rowing machine for the first time, you might not be able to row 1000m without stopping to catch your breath. So your first goal could be to row 1000m without stopping.

Keep in mind that as a novice rower, you can row at whatever pace suits you. Don’t be goaded into rowing like a speed demon just because it’s “sprint distance”! Once you can row the distance without stopping for breath, you can work on improving your time.

Best Rower for Beginner
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Based on our testing, this is the best rower for beginners. For less than 500$, this silent water rower will last you for years. It also comes with a 12-year warranty.

  • Affordable
  • Quiet
  • Amazing warranty
See latest price See all Rowers below 500$

The 1000m row distance is suitable for anyone to include in their training, not just experienced rowers. The key lies in how intensely you row, so work your way up slowly and you can expect to gain strength and endurance after a few weeks of doing it consistently!

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