Kiwi rowers Julia Edward and Eric Murray record stunning times in 5km ergs

Julia Edward, left, set a new indoor rowing world mark over 5km.
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Julia Edward, left, set a new indoor rowing world mark over 5km.

Eric Murray's 5km indoor row details:

Time: 14 minutes 56.4 seconds

Split times       Strokes per minute  Heart-rate

1000m: 2:59.1         37                      185

2000m: 2:59.9         36                      187

3000m: 3:00.2         36                      189

4000m: 3:00.5         36                      189

5000m: 2:56.7         40                      190

New Zealand's world champion rowers are proving to be just as quick off the water.

Julia Edward and Eric Murray recorded staggering times over five kilometres on indoor rowing machines on Monday, with Edward's time of 18 minutes 15.2 seconds set to be a world age-group record on the Concept2 erg for a lightweight women.

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Murray's astonishing time of 14:56.4 for 5000 metres would also be a new world's best, but Murray said he was aided by the use of a slide, which allows the machine to move back and forth to greater replicate the feel of rowing on the water.

Using the standard machine, Edward - who has won the past two world championship lightweight women's double scull titles with crewmate Sophie MacKenzie - was 10 seconds faster than the previous record for a lightweight women aged 19-29, set by Australia's Sarah Perkins earlier this year.

"It's really reassuring heading into summer and I'm very happy with how I'm going at the moment," Edward said.

"They can take you out for days - they're just a little bit too long," she said of the compulsory Rowing NZ elite summer squad training exercise.

Despite being the two-time defending world champ, Edward isn't guaranteed a spot in the boat for the 2016 Rio Olympics with MacKenzie, with world champion lightweight women's single sculler Zoe McBride also a contender.

"I just want to be in the right position going into trials next year - so I want to tick all the boxes, 5k, 2k erg, nationals, trials," Edward said.

"No matter what, the double going to Rio is going to be a strong combination,"

Murray, half of the six-times world champion unbeaten men's pair with Hamish Bond, said he'd rather avoid the exercise.

"We've tried so hard to get out of them because we hate doing it," he said.

While a minor back niggle saw Bond excused, Murray saw it as a chance to chase the mark of 14:58.3 set by 2000 Olympic Games single scull gold medallist Rob Waddell in 2008.

"I thought there's no way I could beat that. My best is 15:12 - so I thought if I do this with sliders it might give me the 12-14 seconds I need to get under him.

"You've got to be another Rob Waddell - and I'm not another Rob Waddell."

Murray said the physical text was "thoroughly unenjoyable".

"But I have to have things to motivate me - it's a long way to Rio but you've got to knock these things off along the way."

He admitted while posting the results on Twitter did have a minor intent of showing their rivals what the pair were still capable of, it wasn't the major goal.

"Others do it - the Sinkovic brothers [world double sculls champs Valent and Martin from Croatia] often post their training times.

"We like showing our support to Concept2 and put times out as a challenge for people to do better."

 - Stuff

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