My 3 year (5 million meter) story

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sticky
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My 3 year (5 million meter) story

Post by sticky » December 22nd, 2016, 1:12 pm

A friend of mine recently suggested I should "give something back" to the internet, after all, I use the web a lot (including these forums). So here's my post about my last 3 years on the Concept 2, including a few tips about how to make getting on the rower week after week a little easier.

Background
I bought my Model C Concept 2 in 2001, my plan (like most people who buy exercise equipment) was to use it every week. And, like most people,I failed. I used the rower sporadically for a while, and then I moved house, and it just sat there in my new home, gathering dust. I'd get the urge to start using it again (yes...January) and as usual, it didn't last. I've always done some form of exercise, either in the gym or running, and have had some long periods of running every week (maybe up to a year at a time), I've run about ten 1/2 Marathons and one full Marathon. But I don't think I've ever exercised consistently every week for a period longer than 1 year.

2014 New Year's day
Three years ago (when I hit 40) I decided enough was enough. I drive to work, sit at my desk for 8hrs, and then drive home, then after I've made dinner and picked up after the kids I sit in front of the tv with the wife for an hour or so before bed. Not exactly an active lifestyle. So I made a New Year's resolution to row at least 30km every week (4x5km, 1x10km). I used Excel and made a big table where each row was a week, and each column was 5km (it had 10 columns, so 50km). I printed the table on A3 paper, and stuck it up on the wall in the garage, right next to the rowing machine. The aim was simple, "don't break the streak", the longer I could hit 30km each week, the less likely I would be to miss a week, because I'd "break the streak". I had to start off slowly, but by week 3 I was up to 30km, and with the exception of a few weeks (house move, and trip to NYC) I hit my target. But the table was not the thing that kept me going, 30km per week on the rower meant about 2 1/4 hrs of my time, and just rowing can be boring. So I attached my old generation 1 iPad to the rower, got some sports headphones, and started watching Star Trek (original) from the very beginning. Exercise time was now also Star Trek time. When I got to the end of Star Trek, I watched Stargate SG1, all 10 seasons, and then Atlantis, and then.....you get the idea. I watched TV that I would look forward to. During September I hit 1'000'000 meters, and as I'd been logging my rows in the online log book, I qualified for my free 1million meter t-shirt and pin.

Here's my setup http://www.evernote.com/l/AAE_0dEFMrpDu ... hxtcTAes8/
Here's my 2014 table http://www.evernote.com/l/AAFy5VryoEdBY ... JigEH6I8I/

2015
2015 carried on much like 2014, 30km per week (this time I didn't miss any weeks). I hit 2million meters in May (you don't get any freebies for 2m) and I also rowed my first 20km. I did my first 1/2 Marathon in July, and then my 2nd in December, when I also hit 3million meters.

Her'e my 2015 table http://www.evernote.com/l/AAE96Zv1vZxDR ... n1Sqqpm60/

2016 - This is the year when I realised I had been lazy
There were three things that happened in 2016 that made me realise that I needed to up my game:
  1. I set a New Year's resolution to row a Marathon by the end of the year
  2. I read Row Daily, Breathe Deeper, Live Better: A Guide to Moderate Exercise
  3. A friend of mine (the same friend who said I should "give something back" to the internet) casually mentioned that she swims for an hour every day
2016 started well, with my 3rd 1/2 Marathon in January, but by week 6 my long running streak was broken, due to a case of flu that lasted more than 2 weeks. There followed another couple of 1/2 Marathons during the year. But, it was points 2) and 3) that eventually led me to reassess my rowing goal of 30km per week, and this happened in August. I was already doing a lot of what was discussed in "Row Daily, Breathe Deeper, Live Better: A Guide to Moderate Exercise", but it was only when I got to the chapter on case studies that it suddenly occurred to me that the book was targeted at old people (ok, I'm 43...I mean much older people, as in 60+). All the case studies were of people in their 60s and 70s. So, here was me thinking that my 30km per week was pretty good, and here's this book encouraging people in their 70s to row 70km per week! Combined with my friend doing an hour swim every day, I realised that it was time to up my game. So, during August I set a new goal of 70km per week (typically 7x10km), and since then I have been averaging around 55km per week (it's hard to fit in a 10km row every day). I rowed my first Marathon in November (3hr12m53.6s, 2:17/500m,), and am on target to hit 5million meters in the first week of January (finally...a new t-shirt and pin).

Summary
Rowing is now part of my lifestyle, it's fully integrated into my daily routine. I'm not trying to break records (obviously, I'm watching tv at the same time), but I am trying to make up for my 8hrs a day sitting at a desk, and to be honest, 10km per day is probably only just managing that. I'm still setting myself goals so I don't get too comfortable, so in 2017 I plan to row 10x10km in 24hrs.

My tips
  1. If you can, buy a rower, it holds its value well, and will last forever. There's nothing harder than getting home from work, and then dragging your arse back out again to go to a gym.
  2. Set a goal, print out a table/chart, and mark off each row, start a streak, and try to keep it going.
  3. Attach a tablet to the rower, or set up a TV and watch some sci-fi (other genres are acceptable), or listen to podcasts or audio books, but do something that will keep your mind occupied.
  4. Put some padding on the seat, those things are not meant for long rows!
  5. Log your rows with the Concept 2 Logbook, the rewards might not be much, but I wear my t-shirt with pride.
None of this is groundbreaking, obviously, but maybe it could help a few people dust off their Concept 2s :-)

griff
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Re: My 3 year (5 million meter) story

Post by griff » December 22nd, 2016, 2:47 pm

Great story - thanks for sharing! Having a set 'plan' definitely does make a huge difference in terms of motivation and commitment. Congrats on your upcoming 5MM.

Curious how you have attached your iPad?

sticky
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Re: My 3 year (5 million meter) story

Post by sticky » December 22nd, 2016, 2:55 pm

griff wrote: Curious how you have attached your iPad?
I used a wall plate hanger. It means it's easy to take on/off, and didn't involve any changes to the rower itself. It also means I can take it with me and use it in a gym (as I have done when on holiday)

Here's a photo from the back https://goo.gl/photos/ECNZNSpqE5wnMwaA8

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gregsmith01748
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Re: My 3 year (5 million meter) story

Post by gregsmith01748 » December 22nd, 2016, 3:35 pm

Great story! Similar to mine, but I caught the competitive fever and that kept me motivated. I agree with all your suggestions.
Greg
Age: 55 H: 182cm W: 90Kg
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griff
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Re: My 3 year (5 million meter) story

Post by griff » December 23rd, 2016, 3:03 am

I used a wall plate hanger. It means it's easy to take on/off, and didn't involve any changes to the rower itself. It also means I can take it with me and use it in a gym (as I have done when on holiday)
Terrific idea....I might give that a try. Thanks!

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jackarabit
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Re: My 3 year (5 million meter) story

Post by jackarabit » December 23rd, 2016, 2:57 pm

Great account of meeting and then transcending initial expectations. Credit to C2 for their incentivisation of indoor rowing from their home on the web!
There are two types of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data

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vk2gwk
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Re: My 3 year (5 million meter) story

Post by vk2gwk » January 12th, 2017, 7:06 pm

Good and inspiring story.
When you are working full time and want to have quality time with the family it can be hard to fit in physical exercise. Yes. Setting a goal and structuring your daily exercise as a routine helps a lot to find the necessary discipline.
I belong to the generation of "early retirees" and only then took up keeping fit after a life of high stress work, extensive travelling and lots of fine dining (and wining). First on a bike, cycling around 250 KM a week but after I moved to Australia that lapsed as cycling here is far more dangerous than in the old country (Netherlands). I gave it a try but recently saw so many accidents that I decided to stop.
Recently (September 2016) my wife and I bought a C2 model D and I now do a daily 12 - 14 km , 7 days a week. Listening to podcasts, streaming audio from local community radio or ABC Classic FM. I lost the 10 kg I gained after stopping cycling and feel a lot better than I did last year... :) The trick is: make it a daily routine and keep your mind occupied while pulling the chain.....

Cayenne
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Re: My 3 year (5 million meter) story

Post by Cayenne » January 23rd, 2017, 8:15 pm

You have given back to the internet :-) Thank you. Row well and live.

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Carl Watts
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Re: My 3 year (5 million meter) story

Post by Carl Watts » January 23rd, 2017, 11:46 pm

A similar story for many people I think. Purchased my Model C back about the same time, used it for a while and then it sat there for a few years until I discovered RowPro.

Tried the music and watching TV but it wasn't enough to keep rowing year after year, you also need to engage the brain and rowing online does that.
Carl Watts.
Age:51 Weight: 98kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

IMHester
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Re: My 3 year (5 million meter) story

Post by IMHester » August 21st, 2017, 11:20 pm

Great story!

I purchased my Model E in January and used it every day for the first month, had a slump and am back now at it! Following the Beginner Pete Plan and I'm on track for my first million by year end.

Thank you for giving back, quite inspirational :D
-Chris Hester
46 / 6'1" / 285 lbs
https://log.concept2.com/profile/1125178

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