Rowing Progress – June 2023

June was a vast improvement over May’s abysmal effort. With a good effort, two challenge days under my belt, and an improved motivation coupled with some minor dietary changes meant that I’ve made some excellent progress.


Total Metres 156,024 Season Total 202,532
Total Time 13:27’12” Season Time* 17:28’54”

* Season runs from 1st May to 30th April.


My main highlight of the month was a 2000m row setting a new personal best in this category. I added a note to my entry with “First serious attempt at doing a 2k and not killing myself lol”.

My first 2,000m ranked row. Be nice, I’m short. And fat.

Performance wise it was a hard effort – maxing out my heart rate on a couple of moments, and really having to dig deep not only physically at times but also mentally.  It really started to ramp up in “I want it to stop…” by around the 700m mark.  However, I know I’m more than capable of rowing 2km pretty much without pausing so it became a battle of will.

Performance data for my 2,000m ranked row.

Other highlights include completing the Juneteenth challenge (with extra added challenge.  Juneteenth’s challenge is to row 1,900m in a single session on the 19th June.  From Concept2’s official blurb:

This Juneteenth Concept2 will be donating $19,000 to organizations that seek to make an impact on the systemic racism present in our society.

For every person who takes part in our Juneteenth Challenge and completes more than 1900m, we will donate an additional $2 up to a maximum total of $38,000.

Easily done.  So let’s make it more interesting – by adding a 0 on the end – making it a 19,000m row.  I intended to do this in a single session, although I permitted myself breaks and did it really on a steady state effort.

However, I only managed a paltry 6,732m. I wasn’t feeling that strong, and blistering on my hands cut the session short. I still qualified enough distance to succeed. I’d done the distance on the Realtime Loop, although a server failure meant I had to manually input my data from the PM5.

The other challenge was the Summer Solstice Challenge, a 21,000m row on the 21st June which I also wanted to test the distance and see how I lasted over the course of what is almost a half-marathon.  In fact I set myself the goal of a half-marathon as the workout and I’m really just learning about pacing myself.

However, injury issues meant I missed this one. Will have to wait until next year unfortunately.


It seems like from the above I’ve had a crap month. It wasn’t. In fact it was one of my best. A much more consistent approach to rowing, pretty much revolving around a 2 days on/1 rest day schedule, full warmup and cooldown rows. Having a flexible but mixed schedule of either steady state, time trial or interval sessions really helps.

Mentally it’s helped me a lot. I’m more focused off the machine (with things like hobbies, housework, etc), it’s reduced some of my hyperactivity symptoms with ADHD, and I am finding myself much more mentally aware of improving myself in other areas – for example making progressive changes to my diet to help remove body fat. Instead of focusing on weight as the primary motivator, I’m looking at body fat percentage – sure, the weight will drop, but I don’t mind what weight I stop at. Improving muscle strength through rowing and some supplementary exercises to reduce body fat for aesthetic goals is where I’m at now.

Another area is that I’ve started to notice muscle growth in areas – some of my upper leg muscles, my forearm and upper arm, as well as my shoulders have all seen some increased muscle definition. What really surprised me is the rate of growth of the triceps. Not sure why, but then again I’m not complaining!


In July my key goal is to attempt a more ‘serious’ half-marathon (21,097m). What I’ll aim to do is to either do less intense steady state runs and see where my distance gets me, or do a series of incrementally longer rows to work up to a higher effort half marathon. In fact, this guide is probably my resource to get the ideas of how to achieve this goal.  With lessons learned from the Solstice challenge above, I hope to make a much better dent in the overall time from that effort.

Things are getting more serious now I’m looking quite intently at marathon distances – something I would have balked at when I first got this torture device exercise machine.

I’m also looking to do a new 5000m and 2000m row seeing as my baseline fitness is improving a lot – I’m consistently able to pull out 2’15/500m pace now, with my steady state pace being around 2’20-2’25/500m. Heck I’ve managed to overtake some people on the realtime loop. Next stop – a 2’00/500m pace!

See you in a month for the next update 🙂

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