Marathon Row

Way back when I organized a decathlon at HBO. One of the events we set up at the gym was a 2k row. This is about eight minutes of rowing on a Concept 2 rowing machine. Many people hate the erg, as it’s affectionately known, but I loved it. That year Katerina gave me one for Christmas, and I’ve been rowing off and on ever since.

The rowing machine is great exercise for several reasons:

  • It works a majority of your major muscle groups.
  • You can go anaerobic on it in about 2 minutes if you’re not careful.
  • Since you’re sitting and there’s no minimum effort required, almost literally anyone can do it.
  • The machine they sell is the same one they sell to the gyms. If you wear it out, it’s because you mistreated it.
  • It keeps track of every workout you do, and there’s an online log book as well, allowing you to track your progress over any length of time.
  • There are lots of different goals you can set, letting you do slow and steady one day and rip it up the next.

I’ve rowed several marathons so far. The first time I just decided one night to set the rower to 42,195 meters and see how far I got. Last night was my first marathon in about a year, and the first since I changed my diet. It was hard. It was my slowest time for a marathon on the erg, by far. I’m somewhat disappointed to have lost muscle/strength along with fat, but improving my HDL was the goal, and that succeeded, so I guess I just have to work on it.

In any case, I set up my iPhone to capture a time lapse movie of the row. It took me 3:58:53.2.

Here it is:


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