Rookie Pre-Program Start Questios

General discussion on Training. How to get better on your erg, how to use your erg to get better at another sport, or anything else about improving your abilities.
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Raptor
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Rookie Pre-Program Start Questios

Post by Raptor » April 29th, 2024, 3:09 pm

Newbie to row-erg. Male - 67yo - 6'1" - 195 lbs. My history includes being a member of a National sports team that
competed internationally...back in the 80's!
Looking to start the Beginners PetePlan next Monday, 6 May 2024.
Question I have is should I do a timed (not TT) such as a 2k or 5k up front to get a true starting baseline or do I just start in the program?
If I do a baseline distance to set a pre-workout program time, would I do a nice steady 18-20 spm for the distance?
Thank you for any input/direction.
67yo Male, 195lbs (88.4 kilo), 6'1" (186cm)

iain
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Re: Rookie Pre-Program Start Questios

Post by iain » April 30th, 2024, 5:56 am

NO TT is required, the initial 5k should be at a "comfortable" pace although you should be sweating by the end. The other sessions are based off the pace for that and you will gradually adjust as it progresses. If you are new to Row-erg and not just to serious training on it, I would recommend doing a few sessions getting used to the technique rather than diving into the plan. Rowing is not as straightforward as it seems and technique errors are best dealt with before you have engrained them. I recommend watching some of the technique videos and rowing on the "force-curve" PM setting to build a consistent left leaning haystack without any dips.

Congratulations to choosing a great piece of kit to exercise on and I hope you enjoy the journey.
55, lightweight in pace, trying to get back to Lwt by gravity. Currently training 3 times a week after a break to slowly regain the pitiful fitness I achieved a few years ago. Free Spirit, come join us http://www.freespiritsrowing.com/forum/

Dangerscouse
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Re: Rookie Pre-Program Start Questios

Post by Dangerscouse » April 30th, 2024, 9:35 am

I agree with Iain, especially as you're doing the BPP.

To start with use trial and error for the pace and err on the side of caution. Take time to get used to the effort, movement and technical aspects. Good luck
50 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:19; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,488m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

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Raptor
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Re: Rookie Pre-Program Start Questions

Post by Raptor » April 30th, 2024, 11:26 am

iain wrote:
April 30th, 2024, 5:56 am
NO TT is required, the initial 5k should be at a "comfortable" pace although you should be sweating by the end. The other sessions are based off the pace for that and you will gradually adjust as it progresses. If you are new to Row-erg and not just to serious training on it, I would recommend doing a few sessions getting used to the technique rather than diving into the plan. Rowing is not as straightforward as it seems and technique errors are best dealt with before you have engrained them. I recommend watching some of the technique videos and rowing on the "force-curve" PM setting to build a consistent left leaning haystack without any dips.

Congratulations to choosing a great piece of kit to exercise on and I hope you enjoy the journey.
Thank you, iain....I appreciate your time and input. I have had the unit a bit over a year now and have used it on and off.
It is a bit overwhelming all the info out here on the web about do's and don'ts. I have always wanted a 'Plan' to follow so that I could track and see progress. I feel that the Beginners PetePlan should do me well.
I am still trying to get a grasp on some of the numbers I see with the various short-cut letters with them,... but am slowly getting it I think.
Thanks again.......truly appreciate the response!
67yo Male, 195lbs (88.4 kilo), 6'1" (186cm)

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Re: Rookie Pre-Program Start Questios

Post by Raptor » April 30th, 2024, 11:30 am

Dangerscouse wrote:
April 30th, 2024, 9:35 am
I agree with Iain, especially as you're doing the BPP.

To start with use trial and error for the pace and err on the side of caution. Take time to get used to the effort, movement and technical aspects. Good luck
Thank you Dangerscouse. I do plan on taking it easy to get a feel for the initial long, 5K, sessions. I truly feel I can do it but do want to really pace and keep an eye on my physical reaction.
Thanks again!! I appreciate your time to respond. :)
67yo Male, 195lbs (88.4 kilo), 6'1" (186cm)

iain
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Re: Rookie Pre-Program Start Questions

Post by iain » April 30th, 2024, 12:20 pm

Raptor wrote:
April 30th, 2024, 11:26 am
I am still trying to get a grasp on some of the numbers I see with the various short-cut letters with them,... but am slowly getting it I think.
Happy to help with any confusion and sorry for any jargon I use. As for numbers, there are only 3 normally used while rowing:

Most people use the "pace" setting so the main read out as to how fast you are rowing is shown as the time to complete 500m at the average pace during your last complete stroke.

The "rating" is the number of strokes that you would pull in a minute (SPM) if every stroke was pulled in the same time as your last.

You can set up the "Drag Factor" before you row that determines how much air is expelled from the fan. The higher the setting the quicker the fan slows down and the slower you need to pull to achieve a given pace.

After each row the time is shown with the average rating and distance travelled both for the whole row and for each sub-interval. You can change the units to show the average power output (Watts) or (warning of limited accuracy) the estimated calories consumed. Dividing Watts by the rating gives the "Stroke Power Index" ("SPI") in the bizarre units WMin (Bizarre because that is Joules 8 Min / Seconds, so multiply by 60 to get average Work per stroke in Joules). THere is disagreement of the relevance of this, but it gives you a way to compare the credit given for each stroke. Some people maintain a similar work per stroke at different ratings (as I do), while others use different strength strokes in different situations and so have less use for SPI.

Best wishes

Iain
55, lightweight in pace, trying to get back to Lwt by gravity. Currently training 3 times a week after a break to slowly regain the pitiful fitness I achieved a few years ago. Free Spirit, come join us http://www.freespiritsrowing.com/forum/

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Re: Rookie Pre-Program Start Questions

Post by Raptor » April 30th, 2024, 12:40 pm

iain wrote:
April 30th, 2024, 12:20 pm
Raptor wrote:
April 30th, 2024, 11:26 am
I am still trying to get a grasp on some of the numbers I see with the various short-cut letters with them,... but am slowly getting it I think.
Happy to help with any confusion and sorry for any jargon I use.
Thank you Iain. I appreciate that info.
67yo Male, 195lbs (88.4 kilo), 6'1" (186cm)

jamesg
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Re: Rookie Pre-Program Start Questios

Post by jamesg » May 1st, 2024, 1:42 am

If I do a baseline distance to set a pre-workout program time, would I do a nice steady 18-20 spm for the distance?
If unfit and not yet learnt to row, the first thing is learn how:
https://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/ ... que-videos

If already proficient, a single 500m test is long enough to indicate current fitness, then training at around half the rating and Power of the test.

2k race programs (Interactive, Wolverine) start with a 2k test, requiring at least two years prior training.

The ratio Watts/Rating is the Work in each stroke and is an index of proficiency. Keep it high at all ratings by using the legs.
08-1940, 183cm, 83kg. Last seen MHR 140.
2024: stroke 6 W-min @ 20-21. No times yet, now using WODs.

estragon
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Re: Rookie Pre-Program Start Questios

Post by estragon » May 11th, 2024, 12:14 pm

Well done on starting rowing, @raptor. I'm sure you'll find benefit in it. And in particular, well done on starting the Pete Plan for Beginners (PPB) which is excellent. We're about the same age (I'm 67 next month) so perhaps some of my notes might be of use to you.

Confession: I've started the PPB countless times over the past 5 years and so far, have never managed to get past half way. This isn't the fault of the plan, it's me. Perhaps it's my ADHD-mindset but I find it difficult to stick with anything after initial bursts of enthusiasm. But after retiring recently I've decided to get back into rowing and have another go at the PPB.

I just started again on May 1 (the start of the rowing year) with the objective of rowing 1 million metres by the end of April 2025. This actually isn't as daunting as it sounds for a regular rower. It's an average of 2,740m per day or 19,180 per week. So far I'm comfortably on schedule and planning to start the PPB again soon, perhaps next Monday.

A couple of tips for the plan:
  • No one is watching or judging you. Do it for yourself, and no one else. Unless you've arrived at the rower in a very fit state, you may struggle to row 5,000m from the outset. A good idea is to work up to the PPB. I've been rowing (and/or SkiErging) for 20 mins each day for the last 10 days or so. For me, this is anything from 3,500 to 4,000 metres. Unlike the first few days, I'm now feeling very comfortable with this distance, and know I'm ready to push onto PPB Week 1.
  • If you get through Wk 1 but find it was quite tough, just repeat the week. I've done this several times when I've hit a tough week. Again, no one is standing there with a clipboard and a stopwatch. It's only yourself you have to answer to, and if you want to repeat a week or even miss a week, hey, it's no big deal. Just pick it up again.
  • If you feel able to row every day, go for it though I personally think it's wise to have at least one day of rest per week. With the PPB, I usually do the 2 optional sessions and then rest 2 days a week.
  • You asked about timing yourself etc. This entirely depends on how competitive you feel. For me, I aim to do the metres and am happy to slowly build the distances. I find that the times improve naturally as I get the metres in. If you retain your competitive instincts from your younger days then do what comes naturally. But I would ignore that aspect at the start.
  • Focus on form rather than times at the start. If you're new to rowing it's vital that your technique is correct. Learn about Drag Factor. Watch YouTube videos, especially Training Tall and Dark Horse Rowing. These guys offer a ton of user-friendly videos to encourage you and teach you the right way to row. There are also loads of videos to row along to. In fact, search for "Rowalong" on YT and you'll find a nice Scottish guy to help you.
  • You say that the mass of data is overwhelming. I agree totally. These stats are vital for competitive rowers and serious rowers. I'm neither of those things. I just want to get fitter, lose a few pounds, and feel better about myself. I take no notice at all of my stroke rate or 500m splits. For me, I just want to get the distances in and let the rest take care of itself.
  • That said, it's motivating to use the logbook to compare how your distances are lengthening and (usually) your times are improving. I also keep a spreadsheet to log my daily metres and see how I'm progressing compared to my daily and weekly targets. As I found when I was a runner, logging my activities in a spreadsheet keeps my enthusiasm levels high.
Above all, find what works for you. It's very easy to read posts on here from guys who've been rowing for years and are ultra-competitive, and you can end up feeling deflated. Don't. You're in a different place. Just find your groove at the start and get acquainted with it. Once you start getting into a routine and building your figures you may or may not want to move onto another stage by using some stats.

Good luck!

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Re: Rookie Pre-Program Start Questios

Post by Raptor » May 13th, 2024, 8:50 am

estragon wrote:
May 11th, 2024, 12:14 pm
Well done on starting rowing, @raptor. I'm sure you'll find benefit in it. And in particular, well done on starting the Pete Plan for Beginners (PPB) which is excellent. We're about the same age (I'm 67 next month) so perhaps some of my notes might be of use to you.
Hello estragon....
WOW....such a great response. I do appreciate all that you provided.
I will re-read this many times I am sure as I do like to take it all in and relate with it.
During my competitive days back in the 80's, I met an Olympian named Billy Mills (1983 Movie titled Running Brave).
He ran the 10K in the 1964 Olympics. Only male US runner to ever win that event. I asked him for some words of wisdom as I was in midst of pursuing U.S. Olympic Bobsled team. He wrote for me on the back of a picture I had: 'The true spirit of competition is against yourself." I learned that those words are so true.
I am going to start slow, monitor form and see where this leads. I too am doing this just for fitness with no aspirations (yet) of lofty goals or competition.

Thank you Estragon.....I so appreciate your input and thank you for the time you put into the response.
Earl
67yo Male, 195lbs (88.4 kilo), 6'1" (186cm)

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