Rowing is unusual in the demands it places on competitors. The standard race distance of 2,000 m is long enough to have a large endurance element, but short enough (typically 5.5 to 7.5 minutes) to feel like a sprint.
Rowers have some of the highest power outputs of athletes in any sport. At the same time the motion involved in the sport compresses the rowers' lungs, limiting the amount of oxygen available to them. This requires rowers to tailor their breathing to the stroke, typically inhaling and exhaling twice per stroke, unlike most other sports such as cycling where competitors can breathe freely.