Tenshuu's Trials

General discussion on Training. How to get better on your erg, how to use your erg to get better at another sport, or anything else about improving your abilities.
Tenshuu
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Location: Maine, USA

Tenshuu's Trials

Post by Tenshuu » March 4th, 2019, 4:10 pm

Hey everyone, the name is Anthony, 5'7", 190lbs, 29 until 3/29.

I'm not of Asian descent contrary to my username, it has kind of stuck with me from my early teenage years playing video games online, joining a clan paying tribute to the Chinese dragons... It was all young and harmless at the time (probably not so much in today's society)
To continue on what got me to beginning my enthusiasm for erging, and now interest in trying to learn OTW some day - I graduated highschool in 2007, went straight to University with no plan, did the party life more than the classwork life, withdrew and worked full time. During that period I went from 215lbs to 260lbs, spent my time working retail and then playing videogames at my computer for the remaining free time.
My sister, 7 years my elder, busy CPA career and 4 children, was ALSO deep into the Beachbody LLC pyramid marketing, she was pimping p90x all over her social media 2008-2009. I bought into it, got results dropping me to 190lbs. I did my run through the program again, but with all this new energy and self confidence I started to change as a person and needed to get out of the apartment for my fitness.

Fast forward 2010ish I try going back to University for nutrition, I wanted to be a dietitian. Started using the University fitness center to do a lifting program referred by a friend - Madcow 5x5. I loved the lifts, and was watching the CrossFit scene grow. I saw these guys moving heavy things AND still sprinting and flying through aerobic activities in other workouts.

I started warming up with jogs on the indoor track, then lifting, then jogging to cool down before stretching and leaving. Then I introduced myself to the c2.

Tuesdays and Thursdays were rest days for my lifts, and I noticed there were 2 concept2 machines there. I got lucky I suppose and watched a few guys rowing different times, both using similar form, I think I to myself I figured out the stroke method. I got on, felt that it was pretty hard to pull, found the damper and dropped it from 10 to 7, felt better. A bunch of numbers on the screen, I ignored them at first, trying to build a smooth feeling for a "rep" to move into the next rep. I used the sound of the flywheel, trying to literally catch and pull it by ear to the same previous sound. I quickly noticed I was running out of gas. I rested, played with menus, found the 2000m workout and decided I'd just try that. Didn't understand any numbers besides time and meters, but recognized more effort made the split time smaller. Went google crazy on erging shortly after this, learned proper form and how to interpret different data that the monitor can present. Continued rowing off-and-on as my cardio, generally just pulling 1 2k, sometimes hard, sometimes at cool down pace.
At this time i was down to 180lbs, doing great in school, I however ran into financial kinks that I didn't anticipate and could not return to school, losing my affordable membership at the recreation center there.

Started doing bodyweight strength training with olympic rings, and lots of jogging to keep myself in shape. Adjustable dumbbells were also an asset that I used occasionally. This started to fall through when I started working a new job on night shift. Diet fell apart, sleep fell apart, pretty much everything that wasn't my job, fell below a "healthy" standard. My job was very physically demanding, but I didn't get the rest, sun, or proper nutrition to reap the benefits. A position for day shift opened up and brought me back to a reasonable life schedule.

Bought my Concept 2 rower in March 2016, winter is cold here in Maine, and jogging in the winter was not high on my list of enjoyable fitness.
To shorten the remainder of the story, I'll leave you with photos depicting my progress from then to now.

Image

Image

Image

Welcome aboard! I will try to keep this thread updated with my trials...


My overall goal is to row more, lose a little extra baggage, improve my personal bests, and feel good.
30M 5'7" 190LBs

Tenshuu
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Location: Maine, USA

Re: Tenshuu's Trials

Post by Tenshuu » March 5th, 2019, 9:52 am

Starting to think maybe I should have built this thread in the "Health and Fitness" category, if a Mod sees this appropriate, feel free to switch it over.

Last night my significant other wanted to hop on the erg before me, so I decided to do a little strength work.

Started off with some air squats to get warmed up and limber for the workout. Did a set of 10 pushups, grabbed 50lb dumbbells in each hand and started walking around the house, did a few step-lunges with the weights. Decided to switch to very slow concentric pushups for sets of 5 instead. Literally just repeated the loaded carry/lunge/pushup routine until she finished her warmup/3000m/cooldown.

Hopped on the rower for a short 3 minute warmup to test my HRM, and adjust my drag factor to 100. Besides March 1st, I've kept up with the March Mud Madness 10k challenge so far. Last night was no exception, did 10k @ 20SPM 2:27.3 (49:08) AVG Heart Rate: 155bpm.

Baseline heart rate information:
Resting Heart Rate 52-54bpm
Maximum Heart Rate - 193

Is 10k at the above pace considered too fast for me as steady state/low intensity?

I was trying to stay around 151 BPM, but when I see 2:30 as my pace I feel a little underwhelmed and try to edge it up a little bit as the workout continues - much better than previously when I tried to race every "training" session at near-maximum effort.

At that heart rate I was breathing through my nose for the majority of the row (sometimes I would zone out and start pulling harder & faster and catch myself breathing heavier before dropping back).

I'm thinking I will avoid any PB tests this month (except for the sprint challenge starting tomorrow), just so I can keep up with the volume of completing the 10k challenge this month as steady state. Build my aerobic base with the challenge this month, and next month start tossing in 2 interval workouts with following rest days to get ready to test my 2k and 5k PBs before the end of the season.

Any thoughts/suggestions totally appreciated.
30M 5'7" 190LBs

Dangerscouse
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Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Tenshuu's Trials

Post by Dangerscouse » March 5th, 2019, 10:52 am

Yeah 151bpm is probably about right for your UT2.

These type of sessions should be slightly underwhelming, and as you get fitter they will get faster.

The 10k March Challenge will really help to get you fitter, and as it's quite a lot of metres, with very few days off, you need to make sure the pace is underwhelming otherwise you won't finish it.
45 HWT; 6' 4"; Liverpool 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:27; 6k= 21:23; 10k= 36:21 30mins= 8,356m 60mins= 16,317m HM= 1:18:40; FM= 2:49:39; 50k= 3:28:18; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you Row"

Instagram: stuwenman

Tenshuu
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Joined: May 9th, 2016, 12:25 am
Location: Maine, USA

Re: Tenshuu's Trials

Post by Tenshuu » March 5th, 2019, 11:04 am

Dangerscouse wrote:
March 5th, 2019, 10:52 am
Yeah 151bpm is probably about right for your UT2.

These type of sessions should be slightly underwhelming, and as you get fitter they will get faster.

The 10k March Challenge will really help to get you fitter, and as it's quite a lot of metres, with very few days off, you need to make sure the pace is underwhelming otherwise you won't finish it.
Yeah, getting used to "underwhelming" steady state is a difficult thing for me. I've been stuck in a mindset for years that if my workout doesn't feel like I'm exhausted or putting a lot of effort in, that I don't get anything out of the workout, or suboptimal results. I've been doing a ton of reading on suggestions from people to do low intensity steady state, and then use intervals to build the anaerobic pathways and mental stamina to attempt PBs shortly after training the AT.

My mental barrier tells me "Yeah you can do an hour of power below 2:20 pace, and you can do 30' rows at 2:05, WTF you doing at 2:30 you lazy bum"

It's hard to break through the ego to reap results sometimes - especially when you're the kind of person that gets deeply obsessed into different aspects of their life in order to get a skill set that puts them "above average" - you chase those fast results with fast approaches!

This thread is going to help me tame my ego and overzealous nature, and keep me motivated to continue my current health habit.
30M 5'7" 190LBs

MartinSH4321
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Posts: 418
Joined: October 10th, 2018, 6:43 am

Re: Tenshuu's Trials

Post by MartinSH4321 » March 5th, 2019, 1:16 pm

Dangerscouse wrote:
March 5th, 2019, 10:52 am
Yeah 151bpm is probably about right for your UT2.

These type of sessions should be slightly underwhelming, and as you get fitter they will get faster.

The 10k March Challenge will really help to get you fitter, and as it's quite a lot of metres, with very few days off, you need to make sure the pace is underwhelming otherwise you won't finish it.
Hi Stu, I've read that UT2 is at 60-70% of MHR, but 151bpm with MHR of 193 is at ~78%. As internet research is not very reliable I wanted to ask you if you train with a different UT2 range, or maybe a formula that considers the resting heart rate?
Most of my SS sessions were at HR 130-135 which is at around 75% of my MHR and I had the feeling that it was to hard for an "easy" SS session. Now I train at around 120bpm at rowing and around 110bpm on my ergobike (63% of my MHR) and it feels good. Do you think this is too easy?
Thanks in advance for your help! :-)
Martin, 36, Austria, 186cm / 100Kg (6ft1/220lb)
LP: 1:09,7, 100m: 15,1, 1': 375m, 500m: 1:23,1
1k: 3:09 2k: 6:46, 5k: 18:21, 30': 8.023m, 10k: 37:41,
60': 15.341m, HM: 1:25:40
rowing since 2018-06, 2nd mil meters in Jul19

Dangerscouse
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 2327
Joined: April 27th, 2014, 11:11 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Tenshuu's Trials

Post by Dangerscouse » March 5th, 2019, 1:37 pm

MartinSH4321 wrote:
March 5th, 2019, 1:16 pm
Dangerscouse wrote:
March 5th, 2019, 10:52 am
Yeah 151bpm is probably about right for your UT2.

These type of sessions should be slightly underwhelming, and as you get fitter they will get faster.

The 10k March Challenge will really help to get you fitter, and as it's quite a lot of metres, with very few days off, you need to make sure the pace is underwhelming otherwise you won't finish it.
Hi Stu, I've read that UT2 is at 60-70% of MHR, but 151bpm with MHR of 193 is at ~78%. As internet research is not very reliable I wanted to ask you if you train with a different UT2 range, or maybe a formula that considers the resting heart rate?
Most of my SS sessions were at HR 130-135 which is at around 75% of my MHR and I had the feeling that it was to hard for an "easy" SS session. Now I train at around 120bpm at rowing and around 110bpm on my ergobike (63% of my MHR) and it feels good. Do you think this is too easy?
Thanks in advance for your help! :-)
Yeah, in my experience I find 140ish is a great target for me and I think my MHR is 180ish. This may, for some, be junk metres in the grey zone, but I found my fitness improved at this range and more importantly I felt like I found a Goldilocks zone and I could row for hours, and not so long I literally did just that. There's nothing with varying your sessions a bit too. Variety is always good to stop you getting too used to what you are doing.

I think RPE is a good indicator, if it feels good then you are at the right intensity, if you are struggling a bit then it's probably too much. Just enjoying yourself on the erg shouldn't be under estimated too.
45 HWT; 6' 4"; Liverpool 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:27; 6k= 21:23; 10k= 36:21 30mins= 8,356m 60mins= 16,317m HM= 1:18:40; FM= 2:49:39; 50k= 3:28:18; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you Row"

Instagram: stuwenman

Dangerscouse
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 2327
Joined: April 27th, 2014, 11:11 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Tenshuu's Trials

Post by Dangerscouse » March 5th, 2019, 1:46 pm

Tenshuu wrote:
March 5th, 2019, 11:04 am
Dangerscouse wrote:
March 5th, 2019, 10:52 am
Yeah 151bpm is probably about right for your UT2.

These type of sessions should be slightly underwhelming, and as you get fitter they will get faster.

The 10k March Challenge will really help to get you fitter, and as it's quite a lot of metres, with very few days off, you need to make sure the pace is underwhelming otherwise you won't finish it.
Yeah, getting used to "underwhelming" steady state is a difficult thing for me. I've been stuck in a mindset for years that if my workout doesn't feel like I'm exhausted or putting a lot of effort in, that I don't get anything out of the workout, or suboptimal results. I've been doing a ton of reading on suggestions from people to do low intensity steady state, and then use intervals to build the anaerobic pathways and mental stamina to attempt PBs shortly after training the AT.

My mental barrier tells me "Yeah you can do an hour of power below 2:20 pace, and you can do 30' rows at 2:05, WTF you doing at 2:30 you lazy bum"

It's hard to break through the ego to reap results sometimes - especially when you're the kind of person that gets deeply obsessed into different aspects of their life in order to get a skill set that puts them "above average" - you chase those fast results with fast approaches!

This thread is going to help me tame my ego and overzealous nature, and keep me motivated to continue my current health habit.
Yeah, the ego can rule your decisions all too easily. Don't forget that HR can be affected by a number of issues e.g. dehydration, tiredness, stress etc. It's arguable that steady state should be done at 2k plus 20-25 regardless of HR. I don't use my HR monitor very much as I'm happier using RPE most of the time, unless I have intentionally programmed in a slower, gentler session.

The best way to control your ego is to have a fairly regular TT and weekly tough intervals. The slower steadier sessions do get easier to accept with repitition. I find doing longer distances helps compensate too
45 HWT; 6' 4"; Liverpool 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:27; 6k= 21:23; 10k= 36:21 30mins= 8,356m 60mins= 16,317m HM= 1:18:40; FM= 2:49:39; 50k= 3:28:18; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you Row"

Instagram: stuwenman

mitchel674
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Re: Tenshuu's Trials

Post by mitchel674 » March 5th, 2019, 2:42 pm

Your timeline looks a lot like mine. I also owned my rower for three years before using it seriously and averaged about 100km for each of those three years. Last year I passed 1 million meters for the season and now average over 150km each month.

Keep at it. You will lose weight but you will also get yourself into much better shape.
54yo male, 6ft, 162lbs

Tenshuu
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Joined: May 9th, 2016, 12:25 am
Location: Maine, USA

Re: Tenshuu's Trials

Post by Tenshuu » March 5th, 2019, 3:02 pm

mitchel674 wrote:
March 5th, 2019, 2:42 pm
Your timeline looks a lot like mine. I also owned my rower for three years before using it seriously and averaged about 100km for each of those three years. Last year I passed 1 million meters for the season and now average over 150km each month.

Keep at it. You will lose weight but you will also get yourself into much better shape.
For sure! I don't have my p90x/crossfit/5x5 lifting high volume daily training that I used to as a single dude who literally only worked and worked out when not in class.

Now I've got a 45-60 minute commute and a family. Cuts into "fun" time as I call my fitness routines. However, this summer/fall my fiance and I will be hitting a lot of different hiking trails in Baxter, might even convince her she can summit Katahdin this year, I've been up a couple of times. This will help improve my "fun" time in the coming future.

Now to just hit the lottery and quit my job.....
30M 5'7" 190LBs

Tenshuu
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Joined: May 9th, 2016, 12:25 am
Location: Maine, USA

Re: Tenshuu's Trials

Post by Tenshuu » March 5th, 2019, 10:39 pm

https://log.concept2.com/profile/1086130/log/37310964

Can't seem to get proper photo sizing when trying to upload some photos, so I'll just link the logbook entry, should be public.

10k finished again, heart rate funky near beginning because adjusting strap.... Went into the 10k cold, once heart rate leveled off I started adjusting my split down until floating below 151 became difficult and tried to hold steady there.
30M 5'7" 190LBs

MartinSH4321
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Joined: October 10th, 2018, 6:43 am

Re: Tenshuu's Trials

Post by MartinSH4321 » March 6th, 2019, 2:33 am

Dangerscouse wrote:
March 5th, 2019, 1:37 pm
Yeah, in my experience I find 140ish is a great target for me and I think my MHR is 180ish. This may, for some, be junk metres in the grey zone, but I found my fitness improved at this range and more importantly I felt like I found a Goldilocks zone and I could row for hours, and not so long I literally did just that. There's nothing with varying your sessions a bit too. Variety is always good to stop you getting too used to what you are doing.

I think RPE is a good indicator, if it feels good then you are at the right intensity, if you are struggling a bit then it's probably too much. Just enjoying yourself on the erg shouldn't be under estimated too.
Thanks stu! You're right, this "Golgilocks zone" may be different for every rower. As I neglected my aerobic fitness for almost a decade and primarly did weight training I have a lot to improve. I can't even imagine to row distances like you (FM, 100km, 12h), but I see some good improvements and 1 hour SS sessions (rower or bike) don't really hurt anymore. I think a HM is doable and my plan is to do one long SS session per week (>90min). Right now I split in two (like 10k row + 1h ergobike), but a HM in 1 piece would be great.
As you mentioned, the subjective feeling is very important. By now I have to stay at this low AHR to not overload myself and risk injuries, but I'm confident to improve here too :-)

@ Anthony:
Good luck to reach your goals, and stay motivated!
Martin, 36, Austria, 186cm / 100Kg (6ft1/220lb)
LP: 1:09,7, 100m: 15,1, 1': 375m, 500m: 1:23,1
1k: 3:09 2k: 6:46, 5k: 18:21, 30': 8.023m, 10k: 37:41,
60': 15.341m, HM: 1:25:40
rowing since 2018-06, 2nd mil meters in Jul19

Dangerscouse
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Posts: 2327
Joined: April 27th, 2014, 11:11 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Tenshuu's Trials

Post by Dangerscouse » March 6th, 2019, 6:35 am

MartinSH4321 wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 2:33 am

Thanks stu! You're right, this "Golgilocks zone" may be different for every rower. As I neglected my aerobic fitness for almost a decade and primarly did weight training I have a lot to improve. I can't even imagine to row distances like you (FM, 100km, 12h), but I see some good improvements and 1 hour SS sessions (rower or bike) don't really hurt anymore. I think a HM is doable and my plan is to do one long SS session per week (>90min). Right now I split in two (like 10k row + 1h ergobike), but a HM in 1 piece would be great.
As you mentioned, the subjective feeling is very important. By now I have to stay at this low AHR to not overload myself and risk injuries, but I'm confident to improve here too :-)
I may have had a decent base fitness before I decided to do my 12hr challenge but I had done about 6 or 7 HMs prior and a single 26km session years ago, and for about six months beforehand I was struggling a bit to finish a 10k.

The longer distances are very much a mental battle and getting your head in the right place, everything else slots into place when you start doing it esepcially if you have got a history of good aerobic fitness. I used to play basketball every day for quite a few years in my youth.

Stay patient, build it up slowly and don't think about it too much and you'll be where you want to be before you realise it. If a 60 min session is comfortable you are doing well already
45 HWT; 6' 4"; Liverpool 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:27; 6k= 21:23; 10k= 36:21 30mins= 8,356m 60mins= 16,317m HM= 1:18:40; FM= 2:49:39; 50k= 3:28:18; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you Row"

Instagram: stuwenman

Tenshuu
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Posts: 205
Joined: May 9th, 2016, 12:25 am
Location: Maine, USA

Re: Tenshuu's Trials

Post by Tenshuu » March 6th, 2019, 12:04 pm

MartinSH4321 wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 2:33 am
Dangerscouse wrote:
March 5th, 2019, 1:37 pm
Yeah, in my experience I find 140ish is a great target for me and I think my MHR is 180ish. This may, for some, be junk metres in the grey zone, but I found my fitness improved at this range and more importantly I felt like I found a Goldilocks zone and I could row for hours, and not so long I literally did just that. There's nothing with varying your sessions a bit too. Variety is always good to stop you getting too used to what you are doing.

I think RPE is a good indicator, if it feels good then you are at the right intensity, if you are struggling a bit then it's probably too much. Just enjoying yourself on the erg shouldn't be under estimated too.
Thanks stu! You're right, this "Golgilocks zone" may be different for every rower. As I neglected my aerobic fitness for almost a decade and primarly did weight training I have a lot to improve. I can't even imagine to row distances like you (FM, 100km, 12h), but I see some good improvements and 1 hour SS sessions (rower or bike) don't really hurt anymore. I think a HM is doable and my plan is to do one long SS session per week (>90min). Right now I split in two (like 10k row + 1h ergobike), but a HM in 1 piece would be great.
As you mentioned, the subjective feeling is very important. By now I have to stay at this low AHR to not overload myself and risk injuries, but I'm confident to improve here too :-)

@ Anthony:
Good luck to reach your goals, and stay motivated!
Thanks!

That Half Marathon goal is absolutely attainable. In my opening post, I showed my previous seasons meters.... In one of those 2015-2016 months, I sat down ON A WHIM one night to do a half marathon in one sitting, with no prior experience of long distance outside of 3-4 sessions at 30 minutes, and a single hour of power before that night.

I went in relaxed, with a mindset that was "Low, slow, and aim to finish". I rowed the entire piece at ~20spm, with short bursts to make up time for water breaks.

I am pretty sure I closed my eyes and listened to Futurama in the background for the first 30 minutes, occasionally checking my stroke.

The mental game kicks in after the first 10k, but quickly when those meters drop below 10k you get a little motivation to keep going again "Just gotta finish a 10k and I'm done!".

Hope you find the time and mental stamina to give one a shot soon Martin!
30M 5'7" 190LBs

Tenshuu
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Posts: 205
Joined: May 9th, 2016, 12:25 am
Location: Maine, USA

Re: Tenshuu's Trials

Post by Tenshuu » March 6th, 2019, 10:28 pm

Didn't have time to sit down for an hour straight, did 5k, took 15 minutes to put the little dude to bed, then another 5k. Was more UT1 than UT2. Figured with the shorter workouts and large rest I could Increase intensity a little bit.

Over 50km for March already trying to keep up with Mud Madness 10k.



Time Meters Pace Watts Cal/Hr S/M HR
22:22.6 5,000m 2:14.2 145 797 22 163
4:32.3 1,000m 2:16.1 139 777 23 154
4:28.1 2,000m 2:14.0 145 800 22 164
4:27.6 3,000m 2:13.8 146 802 21 167
4:28.3 4,000m 2:14.1 145 798 21 165
4:26.3 5,000m 2:13.1 148 810 22 169




Time Meters Pace Watts Cal/Hr S/M HR
22:54.5 5,000m 2:17.4 135 763 22 156
4:36.2 1,000m 2:18.1 133 757 23 152
4:33.0 2,000m 2:16.5 138 773 22 151
4:39.7 3,000m 2:19.8 128 740 22 155
4:35.4 4,000m 2:17.7 134 761 21 161
4:30.1 5,000m 2:15.0 142 789 22 165
30M 5'7" 190LBs

Tenshuu
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Posts: 205
Joined: May 9th, 2016, 12:25 am
Location: Maine, USA

Re: Tenshuu's Trials

Post by Tenshuu » March 8th, 2019, 10:13 pm

Sinuses are clogged. Gonna get my 10k in tonight..... Long slow warmup, then if sinuses open up I'm going to try the 1000m sprint, then take it easy to finish the 10k.

Took yesterday off because of schedule constraints and this has been a huge volume increase, so the rest was good.
30M 5'7" 190LBs

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