Spring Training Strategies
Seasonal transitions can be challenging for your fitness routine. The weather doesn’t always cooperate, new activities can cause sore muscles, and change isn’t always smooth. On the bright side, seasons provide an opportunity for positive change, a time to introduce new activities in your plan, and a chance to involve some new muscles.
With positive gains in mind, here are four approaches to consider.
Ramp up your meters with the April Fool’s Challenge
Our April Fool's Challenge is a streak challenge, meaning you're challenged to row, ski or ride every day for 15 days in a row—and each day, the distance you need to do rises. On April 1 you need to do at least 1000m. On April 2, you need to do at least 2000m, all the way up to 15,000m on April 15. (Remember that BikeErg meters count for half, however, so you'll need to do at least 2000m on the BikeErg on April 1.)
While we don’t generally recommend training every single day for the long haul, it can be a great fitness challenge for two weeks. You don't have to do the entire distance in one workout, so as the distances increase, you have the option of splitting it into two sessions—one morning, one afternoon.
If you have access to two different machines, you can split your sessions across activities. You can vary the intensity of these daily sessions—consider alternating days of harder and easier intensity.
Take on a half-marathon for the Global Marathon Challenge in May
Concept2’s Marathon & Century Challenge runs from May 1 to May 15. If a full marathon feels like it requires too much prep time, consider tackling the half. Row or ski a half marathon (exactly 21,097 meters) or row/ski/ride 50,000m (half-century).
You’ve got a solid month to build up your time and distance toward this goal. Take your longest workout distance now, subtract from the goal of 21k or 50k, and divide by four. That gives you a goal for your weekly increase in meters. Not every workout should be long—keep some short and keep some intervals in the mix, but gradually extend your longest session toward the goal.
Plan for comfort for long workouts. If you need a rowing seat pad, be sure to have one handy. (A piece of bubble wrap makes a great seat pad!) Get used to having a water bottle within reach.
Add some strength work to your RowErg, SkiErg or BikeErg intervals
Take advantage of the Undefined Rest Interval option on the PM5. This allows you to set a repeated work interval but leave the rest unspecified. This flexible rest time is when you will do your selection of strength exercises, for your desired number of seconds or reps.
- Choose your exercises. Suggestions: air squats, situps, pushups, squat jumps, pullups, stairs—or anything else you have the space and equipment to support.
- Decide on a number of reps of each you will do or set a time such as 40 seconds.
- Set up the PM5 for your work time—something in the range of 1-2 minutes, or 250-500m—and you’re off for a great combined aerobic and strength workout!
Plot a transition to your summer sport
If you’re a person who likes to switch to outdoor sports like running or biking in the summer, there’s a real temptation to overdo it on the first sunny, warm days. Lay out a plan for a smooth transition, ramping up the outdoor while ramping down the indoor.
We’ll use running as an example: in a month, where would you like to be for running mileage? Note where you are for your indoor meters. You can make a simple plot to guide you as you gradually build the running and cut back on the erging. The two lines will cross in the middle, where you’ll be doing roughly equal parts of both.
As you hit your stride with your running, it’s smart to keep a bit of indoor training time in the mix. If the weather is terrible, or you feel any overuse injuries coming on, the variety of rowing, skiing or riding can come to your rescue.