How Rowing Can Help Your Running with Caley Crawford

Rowing: Low Impact, High Results Cross Training

You love running, right? Today’s episode is about ROWING and how the two fit together.

Today we get some advice from an expert on how to add something new to our training regimen that might make a huge difference in our overall training.


Caley Crawford, Director of Education at Row House, a popular boutique fitness concept offering group indoor rowing workouts, and Certified Personal Trainer & Certified Indoor Rowing Instructor shares details on how to improve your running with rowing. We all know that cross training can be extremely beneficial. But, just like running, it needs to be done with proper form and technique to get the most out of it.

Caley takes us through her personal rowing journey and how it led her to work closely with the founders of ROWHouse, one of the fastest growing fitness boutique brands in the country establishing a new form of cardio and strength training.

Low impact, high results rowing

Many of the ROWHouse athletes are also runners who use rowing to vastly improve their performance. Caley also discusses the different types of outdoor rowing, how indoor rowing competitions work, and what classes are offered so rowers at all levels can reap the benefits of this training.

Dance, musical theater and rowing

From a young age, Caley dedicated her life to dance and musical theatre. From ballet and voice lessons to eventually earning her BFA in Musical Theatre from Boston Conservatory, she ultimately left her home and family in Texas to pursue her dreams in New York City. Since then, Caley has performed in Holiday Inn on Broadway and the National Tour of A Chorus Line, among a number of other theatre productions throughout her career.

Competitor in outdoor rowing

Today, she has hung up her mic and dancing shoes to focus on leading the pack as the ‘coxswain’ of a multi-million-dollar indoor rowing brand on its way to transforming the fitness industry as we know it. She is also a certified personal trainer and an expert in the rowing industry, competing in outdoor rowing events alongside her work in the studio.

Questions Caley is asked:

3:38 First Four:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Where were you born?
  3. Where do you live now?
  4. What is your favorite type of race or outdoor activity?

4:34 How did you get into rowing?

7:32 What is an ‘ERG’?

8:25 What caused you to switch fully from theatre to fitness?

11:54 How does indoor rowing help improve our running?

14:25 How do you program the ERG for resistance and effort?

16:22 What form and machine setup to help with running?

18:02 Do you have coaches who help people with form and technique?

20:19 What kind of training do coaches at ROWHouse have to show new rowers proper technique?

21:23 How do you specifically work with runners who want to improve their running performance?

23:37 Is ROWHouse in addition to, or in place of, a traditional gym?

25:54 How does rowing fit into injury recovery and prevention?

30:09 What about indoor rowing competitions?

35:13 Where can you find listings of indoor rowing competitions?

35:53 What about the intricacies of outdoor rowing?

39:32 Is it difficult to be a good competitive rower and a good competitive runner at the same time?

42:18 Do the different classes of rowing make it easier to see if team rowing is right for someone?

45:55 How do record keeping and music play into the ROWHouse experience?

47:36 Are the rowing stats compatible with Strava?

51:26 Final Kick Round:

  1. What is your favorite local training run or outing (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?
  2. Favorite book(s), video or resource?
  3. Who or what would you like to have featured on the Run To The Top podcast?


Quotes by Caley:

“One thing that’s pretty incredible about rowing is that it’s low impact and it’s non-weight bearing, but it still allows your body to be conditioned in a similar way that running does.”

“With the treadmill, you pick the speed and it goes to the speed and then you just follow it. With the rowing machine, it’s entirely up to the user to learn the form, generate the power, and then maintain that.”

“Our goal with our coaches as we expand nationally and grow very rapidly is to make our coaches the best indoor rowing coaches in the country. And I think that’s well under way.”

“Good form is going to help you generate intensity, it’s going to help you accomplish your goals outside of it whether it’s performance-based or weight loss. It’s also going to help with posture, alignment, all of that.”

“60-90% of our classes are on the machine and that means anywhere from 40-10% is on the floor, so that’s a lot of floor work that we do. Twice a week we have a class type that uses the dumbbells. The more cross training / anaerobic style class which is more of our traditional HIIT class is on Fridays and that one you spend a pretty solid chunk on the floor.”

“If you’re ever near a boat house I highly suggest calling them, they have all kinds of ‘learn-to-row days’. If you’re near a RowHouse, pop in for a class, give it a shot. If you’re just near an ERG or a rowing machine, hop on, watch some videos on YouTube and give it a try.”


Take a Listen on Your Next Run


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Mentioned in this podcast:

Run To The Top Winners Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

Dang Bars

Carbona Homepage

ROWHouse Homepage

Concept2 Indoor Rowers

Top Of The World Running Trail – Laguna Beach

Book: Mind Over Water: Lessons on Life from the Art of Rowing by Craig Lambert

Book: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Eric Froehlic: RowHouse Founder


Follow Caley on:



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