New to rowing need suggestions

Rowing for weight loss or weight control? Start here.
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Alena987
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New to rowing need suggestions

Post by Alena987 » December 27th, 2019, 10:31 pm

Hello everyone,
This is my first post. I just received my ConceptD PM5 rower and rowed my first few 2K tries. I think that my form is ok because I trained with a coach for a few sessions before purchasing the tower. I’m a 56 year old female 5’7” and I weigh 145 lbs. I had purchased a Garmin vivosmart 4 to monitor my heart rate. I realize that wrist monitors aren’t great but it’s a start right? My Garmin told me that my V02 Max age is 65 so let’s just say I’m way out of shape! So here’s a few questions... it takes me 15 minutes to row 2K. Is that terrible? Also, how long should I row for in one session? I’d like to lose 20lbs and achieve a cardiovascular age that matches my actual age...
I do have an arrhythmia which the doctors can’t really explain, my resting heart rate is around 82, but I’ve been cleared for exercise. Your suggestions would be appreciated.
Thank you!

mitchel674
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Re: New to rowing need suggestions

Post by mitchel674 » December 28th, 2019, 3:53 pm

Welcome and congrats on your new rower!

15 minutes for a 2K? You won't win any medals with that time, but at least you were able to go the distance. What were your stroke rate and drag factor?

You mentioned training with a "coach". Did this person actually know about rowing? If so, what were their comments about your form? You likely have a very weak stroke. Take some time now early in your rowing efforts to watch the Concept2 online videos regarding the rowing stroke and form.
This will pay off for you in the end if you learn good technique early on.

Keep posting!
55yo male, 6ft, 154lbs

lindsayh
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Re: New to rowing need suggestions

Post by lindsayh » December 28th, 2019, 8:38 pm

welcome and well done to start
15' for 2k is very slow but is a start - need to start somewhere and you now have a line in the sand
if the coach is experienced with the erg then getting technique right is a great start - you need to work on a stronger drive I suspect as you stroke is very weak - spend some time on the training thread here and you will get an idea of what works best
This is a great thread about new erging and the learning curve:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=185257&hilit=newbie
Your good intermediate goal could be to get to 30'+ at gradually faster pace. It might take a year but is definitely achievable

Weight loss is help most by steady rather than hard pieces - there is a lot of information here about what works best both with exercise and food restriction (which is more important as you know)
The erg is a great tool - low impact and user friendly and very measurable

The C2 world rankings will give you an idea of what can be achieved for each distance - if you have a look at the rankings you will see where you sit but don't spend a lot of time comparing to others but simply work at improving your own times and distances
https://log.concept2.com/rankings/2020/ ... L&gender=F
Lindsay
69yo 93kg
Sydney Australia
Forum Flyer
PBs (65y+) 1 min 349m, 500m 1:29.8, 1k 3:11.7 2k 6:47.4, 5km 18:07.9, 30' 7928m, 10k 37:57.2, 60' 15368m

Alena987
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Re: New to rowing need suggestions

Post by Alena987 » December 29th, 2019, 10:22 am

Thank you for the welcome. Yes I am sure that I have a very weak row but it’s something I’ll strive to improve. I’m very much out of shape right now. Let’s just say that everything hurt that night... I tried to attach a photo of the PM5 display but not sure if it worked. I did another row yesterday. 5K in 36 minutes average stroke rate of 23 but I intermittently rowed at 27, the drag was 110. Resistance is set at 5, 3.18 per 500 m(not sure what that means). My heart rate was an average of 105 but it spiked past 125 and with the unexplained heart issues I didn’t want to push my luck. Thanks for the links, I’ll take a look.

mitchel674
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Re: New to rowing need suggestions

Post by mitchel674 » December 29th, 2019, 11:57 am

Alena987 wrote:
December 29th, 2019, 10:22 am
Thank you for the welcome. Yes I am sure that I have a very weak row but it’s something I’ll strive to improve. I’m very much out of shape right now. Let’s just say that everything hurt that night... I tried to attach a photo of the PM5 display but not sure if it worked. I did another row yesterday. 5K in 36 minutes average stroke rate of 23 but I intermittently rowed at 27, the drag was 110. Resistance is set at 5, 3.18 per 500 m(not sure what that means). My heart rate was an average of 105 but it spiked past 125 and with the unexplained heart issues I didn’t want to push my luck. Thanks for the links, I’ll take a look.
Kudos for staying on the erg for 36 minutes and completing your 5K. You're in better shape than you think. Most newbies couldn't finish that piece at any pace.

Your drag and stroke rate look good. Perhaps read about the force curve and pull that up on your PM5 while you row. Focus on using your legs and pushing off as you start your drive sequence. Find some examples of a good force curve and try to emulate that shape as you row. I found that quite informative and motivating.
55yo male, 6ft, 154lbs

Dangerscouse
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Re: New to rowing need suggestions

Post by Dangerscouse » December 29th, 2019, 12:13 pm

mitchel674 wrote:
December 29th, 2019, 11:57 am

Kudos for staying on the erg for 36 minutes and completing your 5K. You're in better shape than you think. Most newbies couldn't finish that piece at any pace.

Your drag and stroke rate look good. Perhaps read about the force curve and pull that up on your PM5 while you row. Focus on using your legs and pushing off as you start your drive sequence. Find some examples of a good force curve and try to emulate that shape as you row. I found that quite informative and motivating.
Very true, good advice

Keep chipping away and really focus on the improvements as you progress. Confidence and technique will develop along with your base fitness
46 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:24; 6k= 21:09; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,428m 60mins= 16,331m HM= 1:18:25; FM= 2:45:49; 50k= 3:21:14; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

Alena987
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Re: New to rowing need suggestions

Post by Alena987 » December 29th, 2019, 3:26 pm

Thanks everyone for your advice and encouragement! I did another few 2K rows today concentrating on the proper method. Happy to say I shaved 2 minutes off my last time. I know this will take time and I’m fully committed to finally doing something to improve my health.

Boomer
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Re: New to rowing need suggestions

Post by Boomer » December 30th, 2019, 9:27 pm

Firstly, you’re doing well as you now own the best bit of fitness equipment in the market for what you require. Compact, flexible and zero impact on your joints.

This forum is a great source of advice along with the concept 2 website so visit it regularly and watch the videos in the C2 website to guide your form.

if you’re rowing on an erg in any shape form or for any length of time you’re a lot better off than not doing it.

Calorie burn is best done by slower steady longer sessions (5k, 30mins etc), with an arrhythmia I would not go beyond this length of time until you are way down the track and maybe not ever if they don’t know what’s causing it.

Only suggestion from me is that a chest strap heart rate monitor is much more accurate (and cheaper) option, I use a Wahoo Tickr.

If you’re interested in finding your VO2 Max that will require some strenuous cardio so I would check if this is OK with your doctor as it’s not like steady state longer rowing. If your doctor thinks it is OK then after 2-3 months of longer sessions 2-3 times a week try a few intervals 4x750m at a faster pace with 2-3 minutes rest in between, after a few intervals days attempt a 2K distance at your fastest rate...there’s an accurate calculator on the C2 website that will tell you your VO2 max from this 2K time and your weight which will tell you how you are doing for your age.
48yrs, 189cm, 94kg, 2K 7:28, 5K 20:15, 30min 7396M
Rowing, the only solitary exercise I seem to get on with.

Slothful1
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Re: New to rowing need suggestions

Post by Slothful1 » December 31st, 2019, 6:42 am

Good start! The most important thing is to keep going, and taking on the new challenges as they emerge. The early gains should come quickly, which does help with motivation.

Some people find a virtual team helps keep things interesting. There are a few open ones on the forum, or involved in the monthly Cross Team Challenge. I'm here to pitch for the Forum Flyers, but we won't be offended if you look elsewhere :) .

Cheers
Dave

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Ombrax
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Re: New to rowing need suggestions

Post by Ombrax » December 31st, 2019, 10:27 pm

Alena987 wrote:
December 29th, 2019, 10:22 am
3.18 per 500 m(not sure what that means)
Hi Alena,

Don't worry too much about it this early, but that's the basic measure of your rowing pace. 3:18 means that if you were to stay at that pace it would take you 3 minutes and 18 seconds to row 500 meters, or, if you were to continue even longer, since 2000 / 500 = 4, then it would take 4 x 3:18 = 13 min 12 secs to go 2000 meters.

As I said, don't fixate too much on pace, but as someone just starting out you will find some satisfaction in noting how you improve over time, and avg pace over a given distance or time is the simplest way to track that. It's also useful if you want to plan a given workout - if you're pressed for time and are only going to row 2k, then you might choose to use a slightly faster pace (so in your case, say, 3:10 / 500m) and if you're going for a longer row then a slower average pace.

Good Luck.

Alena987
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Joined: December 27th, 2019, 9:43 pm

Re: New to rowing need suggestions

Post by Alena987 » January 22nd, 2020, 4:03 pm

Thank you everyone for your advice. I will try to gradually increase my speed and length of time rowing. So far, I can manage 5K in just a little over 30 minutes, and yesterday I rowed 8K in one hour. I realize that this isn't a great feat for most, but at 56 and out of shape, I am happy that I managed to row for one hour. :D I will look into the challenges but I don't quite know how to join one. For example, the Valentine's Day challenge looks manageable...

Dangerscouse
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Re: New to rowing need suggestions

Post by Dangerscouse » January 22nd, 2020, 4:16 pm

Alena987 wrote:
January 22nd, 2020, 4:03 pm
Thank you everyone for your advice. I will try to gradually increase my speed and length of time rowing. So far, I can manage 5K in just a little over 30 minutes, and yesterday I rowed 8K in one hour. I realize that this isn't a great feat for most, but at 56 and out of shape, I am happy that I managed to row for one hour. :D I will look into the challenges but I don't quite know how to join one. For example, the Valentine's Day challenge looks manageable...
Rowing for 60 mins at any pace is a feat in itself, and we are all at different stages of our journey. You should be happy with this.
46 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:24; 6k= 21:09; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,428m 60mins= 16,331m HM= 1:18:25; FM= 2:45:49; 50k= 3:21:14; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

estragon
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Re: New to rowing need suggestions

Post by estragon » January 28th, 2020, 3:27 pm

Alena987 wrote:
January 22nd, 2020, 4:03 pm
Thank you everyone for your advice. I will try to gradually increase my speed and length of time rowing. So far, I can manage 5K in just a little over 30 minutes, and yesterday I rowed 8K in one hour. I realize that this isn't a great feat for most, but at 56 and out of shape, I am happy that I managed to row for one hour. :D I will look into the challenges but I don't quite know how to join one. For example, the Valentine's Day challenge looks manageable...
Wow, you've made great progress in a short space of time. Well done. But can I add a cautious note? It's very, very common for a newbie, or someone coming back after a long layoff, to overdo it. It's easily done, especially when you see the time and distance improvements stacking up. Remember that you can't keep on knocking great chunks of time off your personal best, and if you try, you're on the fast track to injury and demotivation. Allow yourself the luxury of enjoying the plateau. Nothing wrong in aiming to repeat your most recent time or distance for a while -- at least a week or two -- before pushing on again.

The other advice I'd offer is to try to have a steady plan to give your training some structure. I'd really recommend you take a look at the Pete Beginner Plan -- https://thepeteplan.wordpress.com/beginner-training/. This isn't the same as the 'Pete Plan' which can be quite tough. The beginner plan is a 24 week schedule and gradually brings up your distances at a steady rate. Make sure you scroll down to the bottom of that page to read the notes and explanations. I've tried 3 times to get to the end of the plan, but haven't managed to get beyond Week 15 because of some disruption -- usually work or injury -- but I'm about to start it again, and am really determined to get there this time. One tip is that if you fail to do the three key workouts one week, just repeat that week the following week before moving onto the next. No one is standing over you with a stopwatch so don't kill yourself.

Keep it up!

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