Hello From Another Newbie!

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Hello From Another Newbie!

Postby Rome » June 10th, 2016, 8:36 pm

I am a 49 year old 5 foot 11 inch tall male. Most of my life I was very active and supremely fit. I worked out utilizing primarily body weight exercises, e.g. push-ups, chin-ups, sit-ups, and running. As I aged, my workouts became inconsistent, and I began to gain quite a few pounds. My weight got as high as 248 pounds by March 2016.

In 2000, I began to use a stationary bike (Life Fitness Lifecycle) and a mountain bike for cardiovascular exercise and weight control. I rode the mountain bike on the local greenway trail system during the warmer months and road the stationary bike during inclement weather. Initially, this regimen worked for me, and I was able to easily maintain my weight below 220 pounds. However, during the past few years, I noticed my workouts on the stationary bike resulted in me feeling exhausted and fatigued. I tried drinking lots of water, along with sports drinks (Accelerade) thinking my fatigued was a result of all the water I lost through perspiration during exercise. This seemed to help a little but the fatigue was never eliminated completely. I had regular physical examinations, and I was certain the fatigue was not a result of any underlying health issues.

After 16 years of use, my Life Fitness stationary bike began to breakdown. I was going to replace it with a newer model. However, after watching "House of Cards" and seeing the character Frank Underwood working out on an indoor water rower, I thought I would try something different. After considerable research, I decided to purchase a Concept2 Model D indoor rower.

On March 23, 2016, my Model D rower was delivered. I unpacked it, assembled it, and rowed 5,017 meters in 30 minutes. After two days, I increased the duration of my workout on the Model D to 40 minutes. The distance rowed gradually increased with each workout. After 10 days, I decided to row 10,000 meters daily. On Saturdays, I would row for at least an hour. The time it takes for me to row 10,000 meters has gradually decreased over time. The first time I rowed 10,000 meters, it took me slightly longer than 50 minutes to complete. Now, after 70 workouts, I can complete 10,000 meters in about 43 minutes and 45 seconds. My goal is to be able to complete 10,000 meters in less than 40 minutes.

I don't feel exhausted and fatigued after my workouts on my Model D indoor rower. My breathing is rapid at the end of my workout, but it quickly returns to normal. I feel energized throughout the day. I love how the muscles in my thighs, arms, back, and abdomen have been toned from my workouts on the Model D.

My proudest achievement is my weight loss. On March 23, 2016, I weighed 248 pounds. I now weigh 215 pounds. I lost 33 pounds in 78 days! In addition to exercising on the Model D indoor rower, I have also altered my diet. For breakfast each morning, I drink a protein shake (Optimum Nutrition Hydro whey). I exercise portion control with my meals for lunch and dinner. I drink plenty of water throughout the day.

I welcome any advice to help me achieve my goal of rowing 10,000 meters in less than 40 minutes.
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Re: Hello From Another Newbie!

Postby mark88man » June 11th, 2016, 6:22 pm

Hi there

So I did much the same journey, and now 5 years later I am doing it again.

The answer is slowly - there are a number of training plans - I use the Pete Plan which is a blend of long distance, hard endurance, and sprints. It is based on a number of iterations of weekly sessions and occasional speed tests. I am not a sports scientist, but it seems common advice is lots of long rows at a low heart rate, with occasional (10%) High Intensity intervals - this builds an endurance base with some additional strength

The other advice is that rowing faster isnt so much about pulling each stroke harder, but having the stamina and physiology to do more of them per minute.

For me variety in sessions is important and I will occasionally put in a much longer row

Mark
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Re: Hello From Another Newbie!

Postby lindsayh » June 12th, 2016, 8:25 am

great progress and well done indeed.
First thing is that if you keep doing what you are doing then you will continue to improve and will likely be at 40 minutes this year I guess.
There are many good newbie threads here on the training forum to help you reach your goals.
Technique is hugely important so try to get that right - look at videos or get some experienced advice .
Add some faster/harder interval type pieces.
have a look at the Pete Plan beginners and 5kms plans.
Lindsay
66yo 91kg
Sydney Australia
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PBs 1 min 362m ('15), 500m 1:25.4 ('14), 2k 6:46.1 ('15), 5km 18:07.9 ('16) HM @1:59.2 ('16)
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Re: Hello From Another Newbie!

Postby jamesg » June 12th, 2016, 10:41 am

A 10 k in 40 minutes is 202W. There can be little doubt that in size/age/strength/fitness terms you can do that, so you only need to see how, in terms of technique.

Try using the back-stop drill for warm-up, it should be easy to see how it's done: http://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/t ... que-videos

What ratings and drag settings do you use normally?

Low feet and low drag can both help. If you can reach 200W at rate 20/22, you're already close to your 40' 10k.
77y, 188cm, 85kg, MHR 170. 3km/h in water, 10km/h on. Last 2k (1-16) 8.10@26
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Re: Hello From Another Newbie!

Postby Rome » June 27th, 2016, 4:29 pm

jamesg wrote:A 10 k in 40 minutes is 202W. There can be little doubt that in size/age/strength/fitness terms you can do that, so you only need to see how, in terms of technique.

Try using the back-stop drill for warm-up, it should be easy to see how it's done: http://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/t ... que-videos

What ratings and drag settings do you use normally?

Low feet and low drag can both help. If you can reach 200W at rate 20/22, you're already close to your 40' 10k.


I use a damper setting of 5 on my rower which is a drag factor of 137 and a stroke rate of 27 spm. Should I used a different setting?
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Re: Hello From Another Newbie!

Postby G-dub » June 27th, 2016, 7:39 pm

For the most part, drag and rate are best when they work best for you. I personally find it easier to work at lower ratings for most of the more "aerobic" rows and with a lower drag - for me the lower drag (107-110) helps me push faster away from the catch position and it seems to be easier on the back. The lower rate helps me keep my breathing and effort in check so it stays aerobic. It's OK to experiment a bit - it's all good.
Glenn Walters: 5'-8" X 205 lbs. Bday 01/09/1962
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Re: Hello From Another Newbie!

Postby jamesg » June 29th, 2016, 2:07 am

Your 43:45 10k at 27 says you are fit but that the stroke is a little weak (5.7 Watt minutes). This implies you'd need to rate 35 to do a 40' 10k. Not a good idea.

So suggest you improve your stroke, pulling say 160 W at 20 (so W-min ratio 8). You may need to adjust pull sequence, recovery sequence, feet height, drag. The aim is to get more net stroke length, so that you don't need to pull harder.

I'd start with low drag, not more than 100, low feet and a recovery with hands away, then swing, then knee lift; all done slow and relaxed to see how it works. It should get you to a posture at the catch with shins vertical and body weight well forward on your feet, so that the catch can be very quick, with the legs.

The low drag and low rating (20-23 for endurance work) force you to move fast at the catch, but it's the right sequence and posture that let you do so.

The back-stop drill will help you in this (first arms only, then arms and swing, then after 2-3 minutes add legs; after the swing). This is handy for warm-up too.
77y, 188cm, 85kg, MHR 170. 3km/h in water, 10km/h on. Last 2k (1-16) 8.10@26
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Re: Hello From Another Newbie!

Postby Anth_F » July 2nd, 2016, 8:46 am

jamesg wrote:
The back-stop drill will help you in this (first arms only, then arms and swing, then after 2-3 minutes add legs; after the swing). This is handy for warm-up too.


This is a great drill, i do this along to Shane Farmers drill videos, it has really helped me develop my technique & rhythm. Spending a little time doing this before each workout, will certainly be the key to success and good form.
"I don't have time" is the grown up version of "my dog ate my homework"

40yo male 5'10 76kg (Rowing since june 9th 2016) PB's 5k 19:22

My goals are simply to keep fit/get fitter and continue to enjoy rowing on the C2 :)
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Re: Hello From Another Newbie!

Postby Rome » July 2nd, 2016, 3:57 pm

Thanks for all of the advice! It has been very helpful! I've focused on using more efficient strokes ( pulling longer and harder) rather than increasing my strokes per minute. I've gone faster in the 10k and increased the amount of meters I row in one hour. I think I will be able to row 10,000 meters in 40 minutes or less by the end of the month.

I am about 100,000 meters from 1,000,000 meters!
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Re: Hello From Another Newbie!

Postby Rome » August 28th, 2016, 8:51 pm

My personal best in the 10k is now 41:38.4. My stroke rate remains at 27. I need to work on my technique to reduce my stroke rate.

It's been really hot and humid in my area for the past few weeks. I have been dealing with some issues related to hydration and nutrition. I have started consuming a recovery drink to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes. I have also adjusted my diet to ensure I am getting enough carbohydrates and protein.
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