The Hal Higdon marathon plan includes one day of cross training every week. My fear of recurrent plantar fasciitis pain has made me determined to include at least one (preferably two) days of non-running activity in my weekly schedule for injury proofing purposes.
Settling on the cross training activity of choice has been a little tricky. I initially pencilled in a whole load of cycle commutes but the weather has been grim and I’ve turned a little soft and spoilt in my old age and they just haven’t happened.
I considered swimming but my swanky gym was burnt down during the riots and the ever expanding Tesco monster demolished the local municipal swimming pool for a car park.
With swimming and cycling knocked off the list of possibilities I turned to rowing which led me to a whole new world of gadgets – massive gadgets!
Having sought agreement for the acquisition of a smallish rowing machine I was very quick to fill out the hire agreement for a Concept 2 erg. Within 4 days of the initial idea I had installed the worlds largest rower in the middle of the bedroom.
It may be huge but it is a damn fine rowing machine. I have it wired up to an old PC running RowPro software which enables me to visualise my attempts on the water and race against my previous sessions – the equivalent of the Garmin Virtual Partner.
Rowing is satisfyingly technical, I have yet to explore the world of power curves and it’s relationship to stroke rate and pace but any sport with graphs has got to be one for me.
My first 2k attempt at 9:40 ranks me as a fairly useless rower, perhaps moderately better than my running rankings but unlike with running, I can actually visualise myself as a speedy rower. I’ve started the Pete Plan for beginners and will spend countless hours analysing my technique. Hopefully come April I’ll be able to record a respectable 2k rowing time as well as jog around a marathon course in central London.