The Concept2 Holiday Challenge is one where many of us get back to our ergs as winter sets in. For me, my goal was to navigate maximum ski touring time and Holiday Challenge erg meters in what began as a very snowy winter in Vermont. I often chase PRs during this challenge as I am building volume and endurance, but this year, I focused more on steady state zone 1 and zone 2 activities. And what were the side effects of this? I felt great and noticed I shed a few pounds in the process, even though I’m already quite active. By changing my goals and efforts in my erging, I found a lot of benefit compared to the frustrations of chasing elusive numbers and splits when I’m not in prime shape.
Sometimes it good to hit the reset button and make new goals based on where you’re at now, and work on progressing. If you’re brand new to the erg, start doing some benchmark distances like 1k, 2k and 5k, and build off what you learn from your times. Keep your goals based on your abilities, and not the abilities of your friend or training partner, or on that individual with the fast 2k on Instagram.
Concept2 Online Logbook and ErgData as Tools
The Concept2 Online Logbook is a great free tool that provides challenges to keep you going. If you’re not following a training plan but need some daily guidance, check out the Workout of the Day (WOD) on the free app ErgData. Send the WOD to your PM5 with the click of a button. If you’re feeling competitive, the daily honor board keeps you in the know on how you stack up, or it can keep you inspired to see the hundreds or thousands of people who joined you today.
Use the ErgData app for stroke rate work by setting up target rates to keep you on track. Focusing on rowing at 22 spm or skiing at 42 spm can really make the time fly by more than you may think. Working on consistency in your power and stroke rate is a great way to gain mastery on the RowErg. With ErgData’s custom workout feature you can easily program complicated or simple workouts to keep you engaged. The Share a Workout feature allows you to create an interval workout and send to your friends or training partners. If your fitness isn’t at a place to chase lifetime bests, use the online logbook to keep track of your season’s best 5000 meters, 30 minutes, 1 minute etc., and look to improve on those. The online logbook seasonal rankings allow you to track your progress during the year, and those lifetime bests can always be a target to aspire to.
If you’re looking for some camaraderie and motivation, the Facebook group Concept2 Community is a great place to share success stories, daily victories, and the occasional home gym mecca. This positive place can be a great way to find people in a similar boat and help push yourself.
There are great online trainers and programs like Dark Horse Rowing, UCanRow2 and Live2Row, to name a few, that have also created great communities around them. If you’re into social media give us a follow @concept2inc on Instagram and TikTok where we share technique, motivation, feel good stories and everything in between.
The January Revolutions Challenge lets you pick a target—total time, total calories burned, or total days spent on the erg. This challenge lets you choose a target that means something to you and can give you something to aim for. It’s important to remember when dusting the erg off that what once wasn’t a challenge, may now be one. That sub-20-minute 5k, rowing for an hour straight, rowing a 5k every day for a week—things that were once in your wheelhouse—may not be now. Pick smaller personal challenges and start creating bigger ones as you go. Chase that elusive Million Meter Club or, if you’re fortunate to have two or three ergs, try to chase down that distance club on each erg. Setting both short- and long-term goals can help you stay motivated and find ways to mix it up.
Fitness Apps and Entertainment
If you’re looking to really build endurance or spend extensive time on the RowErg, the Device Holder is going to be your best friend. Compatible back to the Model C, this fairly priced retrofit kit ($25 plus tax and shipping) can hold your tablet of choice (also available for the BikeErg and the SkiErg). Check out the Concept2 compatible apps that allow you to row down rivers, in classes, or get trained up depending on your choice of app. Let’s not forget, some of us just want to be entertained. Stream your favorite show or movie while doing that steady state work we love to hate. I found that the device holder retrofitted to my older Model D RowErg really helped me crank out the zone 2 workouts and hit that 200k mark for the Holiday Challenge.
So, if you’re looking for some motivation and push for kicking off the new year, make sure you set a goal that feels reachable, but will require work. There are a lot of great resources out there to take advantage of, and remember, it’s You vs. You. Your best effort and personal achievements are a big deal! We love sharing world records at Concept2, but we get just as excited when we see that someone rowed a 5k for the first time! If you want to share your journey, be sure to tag us #Concept2 and #MyConcept2