On the water? Feeling good? Not interested in working out indoors anymore?
It’s the annual big tease that we all experience. We’ve survived the winter months and countless hours of steady state peppered with tests on the Concept2 Indoor Rower. And finally spring is here, the tulips are sprouting, you’ve been in the boat for a few weeks and managed to turn those blisters into callouses, the first race jitters are out, the San Diego Crew Classic has come and gone, life is good! And then either your coach or your nagging guilt tells you to hop on the erg for 60 minutes of steady state. But, why? Trust me, we’ve all been there. In fact, I was just asking myself the same question this sunny morning while sitting down to do a 30-minute erg test at stroke rate 22.
Here are a few reasons to hopefully help you justify giving the Concept2 Indoor Rower a spin, even on the most beautiful spring and summer days:
- Erging is the #1 most efficient way to fit in a quick workout and gauge fitness.
- In-boat technical changes are easier to make if rehearsed on the erg first, and in front of an angled mirror.
- By quitting the erg cold turkey come March, fitness will often be sacrificed, especially when transitioning back into big boats where technical drills often take priority.
- By gradually reacclimating to the water, hopefully smaller muscle injuries, such as forearm tendonitis, ribs, neck pain will be avoided.
- Continuing to “erg test” can be tremendously helpful for mental toughness during the summer.
- The weather can still be icky in the spring!
The US National Team does in fact stay familiar with the erg with weekly workouts year-round. We normally continue to erg test up until World Championships at a variety of different distances. In fact, I pulled my 2K PR on the erg about a month before the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Trust me, on that day I was happy to have the opportunity to test after a summer of tough training.
Keep strong and carry on!