Introduce yourself

Amanda1127
Paddler
Posts: 6
Joined: March 5th, 2019, 10:32 pm

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by Amanda1127 » March 6th, 2019, 10:38 pm

Tenshuu wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 1:07 pm
Amanda1127 wrote:
March 5th, 2019, 10:52 pm
Hello all,

I am 35 and I am new to this forum and new to indoor rowing. I got myself a Concept2 at the end of last year, hoping to get in better shape and shed some pounds.

I grew up playing competitive hockey, so I am enjoying the challenge that comes with rowing. I am also a data nerd, so I enjoy all the different metrics; I just need to better understand each metric, and learn what goals I should be trying to achieve.

I have been looking up videos on proper form, and I started the Mud Season Madness challenge (5000m), but I welcome all suggestions for a beginner like myself.

How long / far should I be trying to row? What are good benchmark times to try to achieve as a complete newbie.

Thank you in advice, I appreciate all your suggestions!

Welcome Amanda!

If you're just starting out and doing the Mud Season Madness challenge, you're already setting a good goal for the month!

5k a day isn't easy to start off with for certain, completing the challenge barebones puts 125,000 meters in your logbook in a single month!

You should row as far as you can comfortably do and recover. I'm getting a vibe here that getting your aerobic base built up is a really important first step before trying to improve PBs in different distances. For reference on what all the difference "Ranked" distances are, here is a link:
https://log.concept2.com/help/#ranking

Starting out, maybe do a blind test for each of those workouts, maybe 1 test workout a week, until you get through the list. (Feel free to hold off on Half Marathon and above for starting out IMO, let your curiosity for the stamina required on those build up as you work through your other tests).

The most common raced distance is 2000m, extremely well trained folks are rowing 2000m under 7 minutes, and that's generally an easier number for men (Promise I'm not being sexist, just going off this season's women's ranking page here https://log.concept2.com/rankings/2019/ ... 0?gender=F) If you notice, the first page isn't completely filled with sub-7 times, so it's not an easy task by any means.

Using the ranking link I just gave, I would suggest that a good goal to shoot for on any given ranking piece is somewhere between the 50th and 25th percentile - as a starting point. If you decide you want to improve more, you'll have the ranking boards to give you prospective goals (You can filter the workouts by different age and weight groups as well to better match your comparisons to)

TL;DR Training that I've gathered reading around the forums:
1. To improve overall split times for distances - build volume with long 45+ minute steady state workouts(UT2 heart rate zone - calculator I used linked)
https://www.freespiritsrowing.com/forum ... calculator

2. Work in 1-2 high intensity interval sessions a week - and never do high intensity workouts on back-to-back days - take a rest day or use the following day to work on UT2 for distance so you can properly recover. -- These high intensity sessions improve your anaerobic capacity, and also build mental stamina for dealing with maximum effort stuff for long periods of time.

3. Don't race your non-interval workouts. Just because you are doing a workout similar to say, 5000m Rest 2:00 x 3 doesn't mean you have to go through those 5000m workouts at your 5k pace - especially since you've got 3 more to go after that. Definitely do steady state at a perceived effort of being able to breath calmly, or through your nose, or carry a conversation - Or in your UT2 heart rate band. Everything else gets faster if you improve your aerobic base in most cases - and you can't "race" through aerobic fitness.


Other folks here might have some good ideas for variations on different workouts to keep yourself from getting bored with the same old single-time or single-distance workout every day. Break up 10k into multiple 5x 2ks, or 2x 5k, etc.
Hi Tenshuu,

Wow, what a thorough response! I truly appreciate you taking the time to provide all these great resources - I will take some time to read through these links.

One question I am still unsure of is about pacing. I have seen some videos referencing the importance of keeping a steady pace. I am assuming this refers to the SPM and the time/500m - In your opinion, is this aim for a consistent pace recommended for ALL distances? I am finding that I usually have some extra energy left near the end, so I typically pick up the pace and force for the last 100-400m.

Thanks again!

Tenshuu
1k Poster
Posts: 186
Joined: May 9th, 2016, 12:25 am
Location: Maine, USA

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by Tenshuu » March 6th, 2019, 11:58 pm

Amanda1127 wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 10:38 pm
Tenshuu wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 1:07 pm
Amanda1127 wrote:
March 5th, 2019, 10:52 pm
Hello all,

I am 35 and I am new to this forum and new to indoor rowing. I got myself a Concept2 at the end of last year, hoping to get in better shape and shed some pounds.

I grew up playing competitive hockey, so I am enjoying the challenge that comes with rowing. I am also a data nerd, so I enjoy all the different metrics; I just need to better understand each metric, and learn what goals I should be trying to achieve.

I have been looking up videos on proper form, and I started the Mud Season Madness challenge (5000m), but I welcome all suggestions for a beginner like myself.

How long / far should I be trying to row? What are good benchmark times to try to achieve as a complete newbie.

Thank you in advice, I appreciate all your suggestions!

Welcome Amanda!

If you're just starting out and doing the Mud Season Madness challenge, you're already setting a good goal for the month!

5k a day isn't easy to start off with for certain, completing the challenge barebones puts 125,000 meters in your logbook in a single month!

You should row as far as you can comfortably do and recover. I'm getting a vibe here that getting your aerobic base built up is a really important first step before trying to improve PBs in different distances. For reference on what all the difference "Ranked" distances are, here is a link:
https://log.concept2.com/help/#ranking

Starting out, maybe do a blind test for each of those workouts, maybe 1 test workout a week, until you get through the list. (Feel free to hold off on Half Marathon and above for starting out IMO, let your curiosity for the stamina required on those build up as you work through your other tests).

The most common raced distance is 2000m, extremely well trained folks are rowing 2000m under 7 minutes, and that's generally an easier number for men (Promise I'm not being sexist, just going off this season's women's ranking page here https://log.concept2.com/rankings/2019/ ... 0?gender=F) If you notice, the first page isn't completely filled with sub-7 times, so it's not an easy task by any means.

Using the ranking link I just gave, I would suggest that a good goal to shoot for on any given ranking piece is somewhere between the 50th and 25th percentile - as a starting point. If you decide you want to improve more, you'll have the ranking boards to give you prospective goals (You can filter the workouts by different age and weight groups as well to better match your comparisons to)

TL;DR Training that I've gathered reading around the forums:
1. To improve overall split times for distances - build volume with long 45+ minute steady state workouts(UT2 heart rate zone - calculator I used linked)
https://www.freespiritsrowing.com/forum ... calculator

2. Work in 1-2 high intensity interval sessions a week - and never do high intensity workouts on back-to-back days - take a rest day or use the following day to work on UT2 for distance so you can properly recover. -- These high intensity sessions improve your anaerobic capacity, and also build mental stamina for dealing with maximum effort stuff for long periods of time.

3. Don't race your non-interval workouts. Just because you are doing a workout similar to say, 5000m Rest 2:00 x 3 doesn't mean you have to go through those 5000m workouts at your 5k pace - especially since you've got 3 more to go after that. Definitely do steady state at a perceived effort of being able to breath calmly, or through your nose, or carry a conversation - Or in your UT2 heart rate band. Everything else gets faster if you improve your aerobic base in most cases - and you can't "race" through aerobic fitness.


Other folks here might have some good ideas for variations on different workouts to keep yourself from getting bored with the same old single-time or single-distance workout every day. Break up 10k into multiple 5x 2ks, or 2x 5k, etc.
Hi Tenshuu,

Wow, what a thorough response! I truly appreciate you taking the time to provide all these great resources - I will take some time to read through these links.

One question I am still unsure of is about pacing. I have seen some videos referencing the importance of keeping a steady pace. I am assuming this refers to the SPM and the time/500m - In your opinion, is this aim for a consistent pace recommended for ALL distances? I am finding that I usually have some extra energy left near the end, so I typically pick up the pace and force for the last 100-400m.

Thanks again!
You've correctly identified pacing and stroke rate, and the suggestion is to try to find a consistent pace for an entire workout, but not the same pace for every distance you do - eventually that becomes completely unsustainable due to the volume of work and effects of stress on your body over longer periods of work -we eventually can't supply and convert enough energy to work at high intensity anymore.

Starting out, I learned a lot about the "dynamics" or physics of how the stroke works and how the flywheel reacts to the work you put in. I did this by rowing 5k pieces, finding a pace that only made my breathing just hard enough that it wouldn't have felt comfortable through my nose for example let's say 2:25/500m.

My first focus was to just get comfortable hitting 2:25 each stroke with +/- 1 second but I REALLY wanted to stay at 2:25 as my goal.
Then I glanced at the top right and see my SPM is around 24. I also notice the changes in the sound of the flywheel, particularly I mentally connect the sound of the flywheel as soon as I am finishing the stroke to the feel of resistance in the chain -i try to mimic that same wind up feel and sound on my next stroke to hit the same 2:25 rate.

With time doing 5ks and experimenting with stroke rates at the same pace, I realized you can go 2:25 whether your SPM is 36 or 16, but there's a caveat on each end.
At 36 SPM you do not really spend any time in the "recovery" phase of the stroke to amount to any actual tension relief on your muscles... You're spending more energy moving your body up and down the slide than you are into pulling the chain. You will eventually lock out, cramp up, or just gas out flying at that pace for long workouts, but will probably be okay on the short sessions.

At 16 SPM you're making an explosive push (drive) off the catch, but pausing after the finish with the handle while relaxing on the recovery forward into the catch. You're making more powerful strokes, less often, but still pacing the same, this is more sustainable on long rows, but can lead to muscle fatigue, making splits harder to hold at the low stroke rate.

18-22 is a great middle of the road training stroke rate, sometimes I'll go at 16 if I really feel like a low rate day - 16spm feels super relaxed to me for long 10k+ stuff
28+ is often race or sprint stuff, but they also are usually really hard pulls at those stroke rates

The longer workouts generally demand a slower pace in order to be sustainable (2000m at 2:00/500m pace for me is pretty tough but not my best effort, but on a 5000m my absolute best pace I've managed to record so far is 2:04.9/500m, and I'm pretty tired and happily done my workout).

You can sprint at the end of your workout if you reeeeally feel the urge, but I would save that sprint energy for the intervals or personal best attempts - sometimes it definitely just feels nice to get 15-20 really powerful and fast strokes in to see what you can really pull, fun and exhilarating, ego boosting even - so I don't blame you, I can't claim to be a willpower pro on controlling the intensity of my own sessions.
30M 5'7" 190LBs

djcc63
Paddler
Posts: 1
Joined: March 18th, 2019, 6:06 am

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by djcc63 » March 18th, 2019, 6:43 am

Hi everyone,

I'm a 56 year old female newbie to indoor rowing. My husband got a Concept 2 secondhand early in 2019 as a cross-training tool and I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm not going to break any records, but am looking to build fitness and strength. I've got a bit of a complicated physical back-story, that I thought I'd share to see if anyone else can relate, or share tips/insights.

I am missing my right patella - it was surgically removed when I was 20 following a kneecap fracture. What this means now is severe post-injury arthritis, poor quad strength, a complex meniscus tear, and I can't fully extend or flex my knee, among other limitations. Exercise has become increasingly challenging. To give you an idea... a 90 degree squat is a very distant memory from my teenage days, and my orthopedic surgeon said I was 1-2 years away from total knee failure ... that was about 4 years ago :lol: :lol: So my left leg is doing a lot of the work when I row.

Because it is non weight-bearing, I'm finding the rower great. I don't get swelling and stiffness post exercise like I do from walking, and the only pain when rowing is sometimes on the catch when I get a sharp pain behind my knee, particularly when I'm pushing harder/faster (I get the same thing on an exercise bike - but worse).

Anyway, I've rowed around 20 times now since Jan - usually a few times a week but I did have 10 days off when I got sick and travelling for work. I'm usually only rowing 20-30 minutes at a time. I've already had people comment that I look like I've lost weight, but really I've just toned up, which is great, and very motivating.

After my 10 days off, in the past week I tried 3 timed sessions - 1 minute for 259 m; 2000m in 9:30.9; and 5000m in 24:44.2 at 23 spm. I'm improving all the time, and for an unfit 'veteran' with a dicky knee, I'm pretty happy with my progress.

Anyway, that's me. Cheers, Deb

Tenshuu
1k Poster
Posts: 186
Joined: May 9th, 2016, 12:25 am
Location: Maine, USA

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by Tenshuu » March 18th, 2019, 12:01 pm

djcc63 wrote:
March 18th, 2019, 6:43 am
Hi everyone,

I'm a 56 year old female newbie to indoor rowing. My husband got a Concept 2 secondhand early in 2019 as a cross-training tool and I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm not going to break any records, but am looking to build fitness and strength. I've got a bit of a complicated physical back-story, that I thought I'd share to see if anyone else can relate, or share tips/insights.

I am missing my right patella - it was surgically removed when I was 20 following a kneecap fracture. What this means now is severe post-injury arthritis, poor quad strength, a complex meniscus tear, and I can't fully extend or flex my knee, among other limitations. Exercise has become increasingly challenging. To give you an idea... a 90 degree squat is a very distant memory from my teenage days, and my orthopedic surgeon said I was 1-2 years away from total knee failure ... that was about 4 years ago :lol: :lol: So my left leg is doing a lot of the work when I row.

Because it is non weight-bearing, I'm finding the rower great. I don't get swelling and stiffness post exercise like I do from walking, and the only pain when rowing is sometimes on the catch when I get a sharp pain behind my knee, particularly when I'm pushing harder/faster (I get the same thing on an exercise bike - but worse).

Anyway, I've rowed around 20 times now since Jan - usually a few times a week but I did have 10 days off when I got sick and travelling for work. I'm usually only rowing 20-30 minutes at a time. I've already had people comment that I look like I've lost weight, but really I've just toned up, which is great, and very motivating.

After my 10 days off, in the past week I tried 3 timed sessions - 1 minute for 259 m; 2000m in 9:30.9; and 5000m in 24:44.2 at 23 spm. I'm improving all the time, and for an unfit 'veteran' with a dicky knee, I'm pretty happy with my progress.

Anyway, that's me. Cheers, Deb
Those are some great numbers with a bum knee! Wow. Welcome to the forum.

It seems you already have a good feel for choosing a proper intensity without hurting yourself.

I have a clicky/easily aggravated knee, and for my situation I generally have to avoid doing POWERFUL full extensions of that knee or else directly below the center of the kneecap I have a horribly sharp pain. I usually end my drive just short of locking my knees out (which I believe is proper anyway?) but when my form falls apart, and I'm tired, but still pushing the bar I sometimes activate the click and regret it the next couple of days.

Do you feel the injured knee seems to be strengthening up in it's own way at all? Or do you try to avoid all pressure on that leg during rowing?

I hope someone else might have some tips/suggestions that you haven't thought of, I can't imagine rowing without my kneecap >.<.
30M 5'7" 190LBs

mjlawton
500m Poster
Posts: 73
Joined: October 7th, 2018, 10:11 pm

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by mjlawton » March 18th, 2019, 4:10 pm

Welcome, Deb!
I have had both ACL's replaced in my knees, but used hamstrings vs. patella for repairs. Fortunately I am able to row, run, ski, etc without any lingering effects other than wearing a brace on one knee when I ski. Good for you to keep looking for an exercise that works for your limitations. Welcome to the forum.
Janet (F, 59, 5ft 4, 142lb)
started rowing Oct 2018

Holly62
Paddler
Posts: 40
Joined: January 25th, 2019, 2:03 am

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by Holly62 » March 19th, 2019, 2:32 am

Hi Deb, welcome, I too suffer from arthritic pain from previous fractures, and I too find the concept 2 the most useful tool for low joint Impact cardio. I'm now 57 and a bit and I've been on the concept 2 for about 5 weeks.
If you're looking for a training partner on the erg app, please add me,

Holly :D

cfsmith6
Paddler
Posts: 1
Joined: March 23rd, 2019, 10:58 pm
Location: Silverdale, WA USA

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by cfsmith6 » March 23rd, 2019, 11:08 pm

Hi there, I'm CF. I'm almost 34, and I just picked up a Model D this morning. I'm fairly active, but I'm 6 months post-bunionectomy and I've been trying to find exercise that can be intense enough to improve my cardiorespiratory fitness, but easy on my foot and joints.

I had NO IDEA indoor rowing was such a big thing, and I'm excited to learn more.

Lancer21
Paddler
Posts: 4
Joined: November 28th, 2018, 5:08 am

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by Lancer21 » March 28th, 2019, 1:16 pm

Hello everyone!

I'm Lancer, a.k.a. Thierry, I'm 38, come from Belgium and have begun rowing because I usually hate sports in all of their forms, but I do somehow enjoy rowing (and swimming).
Since my country is way too good at doing beer, waffles and fries, I did need some sport at some point in my life ( :oops: ), and here I am!

Lala
Paddler
Posts: 1
Joined: March 29th, 2019, 7:15 am

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by Lala » March 29th, 2019, 7:27 am

Hi all,
I am 36 and am expecting my Concept 2 any day now. Need to get fitter and leaner and lose a little bit of weight. Would love ideas for some inspiration and to keep me motivated.
I love spin classes with someone shouting at me. Are there any apps for rowing? Maybe a rubbish beginner team I can join, so I could be accountable to others or track my progress against other rubbish beginners like myself.
Thank you all!

Tenshuu
1k Poster
Posts: 186
Joined: May 9th, 2016, 12:25 am
Location: Maine, USA

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by Tenshuu » March 29th, 2019, 1:29 pm

Lancer21 wrote:
March 28th, 2019, 1:16 pm
Hello everyone!

I'm Lancer, a.k.a. Thierry, I'm 38, come from Belgium and have begun rowing because I usually hate sports in all of their forms, but I do somehow enjoy rowing (and swimming).
Since my country is way too good at doing beer, waffles and fries, I did need some sport at some point in my life ( :oops: ), and here I am!
Welcome Lancer! Rowing definitely has a really great feeling to it - especially the feeling of accomplishment of hard work at the end of a session. You just know when you're done that you've taxed a lot of your body in a single cardiovascular workout. You can still celebrate accomplishments with beer, waffles, and fries too - as long as you're not celebrating EVERY session this way =P.

Welcome to the board, looking forward to seeing how your goals unfold bud!
Lala wrote:
March 29th, 2019, 7:27 am
Hi all,
I am 36 and am expecting my Concept 2 any day now. Need to get fitter and leaner and lose a little bit of weight. Would love ideas for some inspiration and to keep me motivated.
I love spin classes with someone shouting at me. Are there any apps for rowing? Maybe a rubbish beginner team I can join, so I could be accountable to others or track my progress against other rubbish beginners like myself.
Thank you all!
Sounds like you need a real Coxswain to tell you how it's done (I'm far from this title and knowledge, as I'm currently only an Indoor rower).
I'm surprised Carl Watts hasn't stopped by to inform you of the wonderful program called RowPro - they offer a free trial, and you need to have a laptop or PC to hook up to your PM5 while you use it, but it allows you to row with other people online if you would like, while the population isn't bursting at the seams like Zwift, there are definitely regulars on there. Carl can probably give some better advice on RowPro, my trial has expired and my workout schedule is too sporadically timed to enjoy rowing with others as much as I'd like.

For keeping track of your workouts, there is an application called Ergdata that many of us sync to our PM5 during sessions. This app keeps a logbook of your workouts on your phone, and uploads them to your Concept 2 logbook as well, and can show you some other data points that the PM5 does not show you.

cfsmith6 wrote:
March 23rd, 2019, 11:08 pm
Hi there, I'm CF. I'm almost 34, and I just picked up a Model D this morning. I'm fairly active, but I'm 6 months post-bunionectomy and I've been trying to find exercise that can be intense enough to improve my cardiorespiratory fitness, but easy on my foot and joints.

I had NO IDEA indoor rowing was such a big thing, and I'm excited to learn more.
Stick around! Start a thread in Training about your goals and progress! I'd love to see how all the new folks are getting on with their Ergs.
30M 5'7" 190LBs

jade77
Paddler
Posts: 2
Joined: April 1st, 2019, 12:10 pm

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by jade77 » April 1st, 2019, 12:33 pm

Hey everyone! I'm jade (Carla), 41, former ballet dancer/martial artist who is just getting into OTW rowing here in Denver. I'm enjoying reading everyone's intros and I'm glad there are other data nerds like me who obsessively stalk their erg feedback. :)

I recently got set up with a coach at our local rowing club, who got me started on the Concept2 at my gym while we were waiting for the docks to be put in and the water to get above freezing. Due to some unseasonably nice weather (hello, 70 in April!) I think we'll get on the water later this week, but I like the ability to work on technique and cardiovascular fitness on the erg and get instant feedback on my tweaks.

I've come off of four years of autoimmune disease and endocrine dysfunction that made me unable to even climb a flight of stairs without having to rest, which was pretty much hell for someone who really enjoys pushing her physical limits. I got into yoga to just learn to move again, then did a year of classical Pilates to build up the strength I'd lost, to finally being able to start rowing. So this is HUGE for me! I was really thrilled to find out this forum existed and I'm looking forward to getting to know you all.

(As an aside, any other ergers/OTW rowers from the Denver area?)

KSDeeDot
Paddler
Posts: 1
Joined: April 3rd, 2019, 12:50 pm

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by KSDeeDot » April 3rd, 2019, 1:02 pm

Hello - My name is Denise and it has been a little over 8 years since I sat on my rower. Excuses - Worked 60+ hours a week + Life. I recently retired and need to get back in shape. Joined my old fitness center and now 62 yo with fibro and arthritis and too much weight gain. It seems so much more difficult this time around. Three minutes today on the rower after attending a group power session at the gym. I cried as I headed to my car. I've been taking the aqua aerobic classes over the past month, but I learned today I have no balance anymore. Have to fixt that

jade77
Paddler
Posts: 2
Joined: April 1st, 2019, 12:10 pm

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by jade77 » April 13th, 2019, 11:18 pm

KSDeeDot wrote:
April 3rd, 2019, 1:02 pm
Hello - My name is Denise and it has been a little over 8 years since I sat on my rower. Excuses - Worked 60+ hours a week + Life. I recently retired and need to get back in shape. Joined my old fitness center and now 62 yo with fibro and arthritis and too much weight gain. It seems so much more difficult this time around. Three minutes today on the rower after attending a group power session at the gym. I cried as I headed to my car. I've been taking the aqua aerobic classes over the past month, but I learned today I have no balance anymore. Have to fixt that
Hi Denise. Looks like this thread has gone quiet... but welcome from another newbie and congratulations on your retirement. I can understand a bit of how you feel... for years, a ten-minute walk on the treadmill would put me in bed for two days. Hang in there, take it slow, and celebrate the small victories! You can do this.

mjlawton
500m Poster
Posts: 73
Joined: October 7th, 2018, 10:11 pm

Re: Introduce yourself

Post by mjlawton » April 14th, 2019, 11:22 pm

Welcome Jade and denise to the forum! I am also relatively new (bought rower in October). Hit the rower hard for first few months but have backed off recently from rower (and forum) due to travel and more focus on my triathlon training for summer races. There are some online contests such as concept 2 monthly contest which helps motivate me to do new things on the rower. You might want to check those out. I am going to try to add rowing back more often in my workout schedule starting with the new season (may 1). Take things slow, gradually improve and enjoy!
Janet (F, 59, 5ft 4, 142lb)
started rowing Oct 2018

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