Erging in the New Year!

Concept2 is running a new monthly challenge for January 2020 called January Revolutions Challenge. There are a few different options to choose from, but the goal I am going after is to: “The Big Stretch: Row, ski or ride every day in January”. So I need to row at least 500m a day for it to count!

This goal is great because it will motivate me to use my erg at home when I am not training at the rowing club. Sometimes a simple goal can help spark my interest and I am looking forward to seeing how the month progress. So far, it’s Friday, 1/3 and I have erged each day so far, including a erg session this morning before work which was great.

Looking further ahead, later this month and the beginning of next month there are two local erg races coming up:

The erg races are always a nice challenge and are a way to gauge how the winter is progressing.

In order to better prepare for the erg races, I am going to begin to post my weekly workouts again. Last winter I did this from November through March. It’s helpful for me to be able to follow a written plan and I enjoy figuring out how to structure the workouts for each week.

Week of 12/30/2019:

Monday, 12/30 OFF

Tuesday , 12/31 OFF

Wednesday, 1/1/2020 Happy New Year!

  • Warm-up:
    • 12’ Erg (6’ @ SR18, 6’ @ SR20)
    • 5’ Dynamic Stretching
  • Workout: 2 x 8000m / 2 min easy
    • Row two 8000 meter pieces. Row for two minutes at light pressure between each piece.
    • Do the 8000 meter pieces at Cat VI pace.
    • Cat VI pace is determined by comparing your 20′ average pace per 500-meters and your target pace is then 18-23 seconds slower per 500-meters
    • Pre-set the monitor for time intervals of 8000 meter work time, 2’ rest time.
  • Cooldown/Stretching:
    • 8’ Erg @ SR: 18-20 (First 4’ @ SR20, then 4’@ SR18)
    • 10’ Stretching

Thursday, 1/2

  • Warm-up:
    • 15’ Erg (6’ @ SR18, 5’ @ SR20, 4’ @ SR22)
    • 5’ Dynamic Stretching
  • Workout: 3 x 5’ @ SR26 / 3’ easy
    • Row three 5 minute pieces. Row for three minutes at light pressure between each piece.
    • Do the 5’ pieces at Cat IV pace @ SR26.
    • Cat IV pace is determined by comparing your 20′ average pace per 500-meters and your target pace is then 2 seconds per 500-meters slower.
    • Pre-set the monitor for distance intervals of 5’ work time, 3’ rest time.
  • Cooldown/Stretching:
    • 18’ Erg (6’ @ SR22, 6’ @ SR20, and 6’ @ SR18)
    • 10’ Stretching

Friday, 1/3 OFF

Saturday, 1/4

  • Warm-up:
    • 8’ Erg (4’ @ SR18, 4’ @ SR20)
    • 5’ Dynamic Stretching
  • Workout: 5 x 3000m / 3 min easy
    • Row five 3000 meter pieces. Row for three minutes at light pressure between each piece.
    • Do the 3000 meter pieces at Cat VI pace.
    • Cat VI pace is determined by comparing your 20′ average pace per 500-meters and your target pace is then 18-23 seconds slower per 500-meters
    • Pre-set the monitor for time intervals of 3000 meter work time, 3’ rest time.
  • Cooldown/Stretching:
    • 5’ Erg @ SR18
    • 10’ Stretching

Sunday, 1/5

  • Warm-up:
    • 5’ Erg @ (2’ @ SR18, 2’ @ SR20, and 1’ @ SR22)
    • 5’ Dynamic Stretching
  • Workout: 3 x 24′ with rate changes every 4′: 22-24-22-24-26-24 / 3′ easy
    • Row three 24′ pieces at a sustainable intensity, varying your stroke rate in each piece as follows:
      • 4′ @ SR22 / CatVI pace,
      • 4′ @ SR24 / CatV pace,
      • 4′ @ SR22 / CatVI pace,
      • 4′ @ SR24 / CatV pace,
      • 4′ @ SR26 / CatV pace,
      • and 4′ @ SR24 / CatV pace.
    • Row for three minutes at light pressure between each piece.
    • Do the 24’ pieces at Cat VI-Cat V pace. Increase the pressure as the stroke rate increases.
    • Cat VI pace is determined by comparing your 20′ average pace per 500-meters and your target pace is then 18-23 seconds slower per 500-meters
    • Cat V pace is determined by comparing your 20′ average pace per 500-meters and your target pace is then  8-12 seconds slower per 500-meters.
    • Pre-set the monitor for single distance of 24’ work time, 3’ rest time.
  • Cooldown/Stretching:
    • 4’ Erg @ SR18
    • 5’ Stretching

24 Hours of Erging 

The very first time I saw an erg (an indoor rowing machine) was as a freshman in college. It was in early November and I was walking out of the student center at Hofstra University. The crew program, which is a club sport on campus, had two ergs set up outside and they were doing a 24 hour erg-a-thon with athletes each taking one hour shifts.

The sound of an old Model B erg, with its metal cage around the spinning flywheel, it made such a distinctive sound. I wondered what this was all about so I wandered over to their table to check it out. I soon got the classic recruiting pitch of how I’d be perfect for the sport, standing 6’2” and weighing 180 pounds.

In early January I attended my first practice and got to try the erg for the very first time. It was a memorable experience.

Fast forward some 27 years later and I now find that I look forward to the transition between the fall and winter season each year. Taking time over the winter to exercise on the erg is an excellent way to stay active, but it’s also a great opportunity to make improvements in both fitness and technique.

This winter the adults at Sagamore will be exercising at our indoor facility at Hamilton Avenue four days a week. On Saturdays (11/10-2/16) from 8 to 9:30 a.m. I’ll be leading a group workout for our adult club members.

If you are new to using an indoor rowing machine we will certainly go over all of the basics. And, if you are already familiar with the erg, I certainly hope you will find our group workouts both challenging and fun.

What keeps me motivated each winter nowadays is the more active I am over the winter, then the easier it is to transition back onto the water come springtime. Sculling well is a lifelong pursuit.

As I sit down on the erg each winter reminded of that first day, hearing the erg’s flywheel spinning and how a brief chat with a rower convinced me to try something new.

Time on the erg is time well spent. I look forward to seeing you at Hamilton Avenue this winter. Go Sagamore!