Fitness Magazine

Operation Ergo – Girl on the River Gets Serious

By Girlontheriver @girlontheriver

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERASAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERASAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERASince my resolution a few weeks ago to stop whingeing about the erg and make it part of my life, things have improved enormously. My splits have started to get better and I’ve stopped dreading the sessions in the way I used to.

There is still one problem, though – I’m just not good enough. Although I’m improving, my scores are still way off the mark. Having consulted the Mistress of Pain, also known as our coach, we concluded that the problem was quite simple. I’m just not erg-fit.

I have to concede that it’s true. I’ve spent the last few years heroically avoiding the rowing machine wherever possible. Now, it’s not that I’ve been idle. I’ve been busy doing all sorts of land training: bootcamp, cycling, circuit training, even running – anything, in short, but the one thing I ought to have been doing. That’s fine, I’ve told myself. Ergs don’t float, and I’ve persuaded myself that I’ve been getting marvellously strong doing all these other things.

Which is all very well – it’s good to cross-train. But here’s the thing. Cross-training isn’t a lot of use if you’re not doing the actual, y’know, training.

So from now on, as prescribed by the Mighty Jools, I am on a mission – hereafter known as Operation Ergo. I shall make the erg my principal form of land training. And… actually, there’s no ‘and’. That’s it. It’s alarmingly simple.

I started today with a kick-ass interval session (just, in fact, what was on the regular training plan, but I like to talk things up a bit). And from here on in there will be no more avoidance tactics.

I’m aware that this will stretch my dedication to the limits and I will welcome all advice from you seasoned erg-monsters about finding motivation. In the meantime, here are my five top tips so far for the ergometrically-challenged:

  1. Wear an all-in-one. It makes you feel like more of a rower, and if you’re prone to erg-induced nausea, which I am, it means you don’t have a waistband gripping your queasy stomach.
  2. Make yourself accountable. If you’ve told the whole of Twitter that you’re going on the erg, it’s harder to duck out of it.
  3. Do it in company. You’ll push yourself far harder if there are others to compete against / aspire to / not make a tit of yourself in front of.
  4. Find a coach. If you can persuade someone to coach your erg session, so much the better. You’ll get encouragement and a much-needed boot up the backside that will improve your performance no end.
  5. Just do it.


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