Crunch the Numbers to Succeed
Ok CPMer’s, we all know this rowing challenge is fast approaching. I’ll bet most of you who’ve signed up haven’t really given it any more thought since putting your name on the board and just plan on beginning and getting it done when the time comes. You are not alone, because I too did this until yesterday when I had a revelation……..I’m going to be traveling to my sister’s graduation during the challenge and therefore will not be here to row at the gym!!!!! But, instead of freaking out and quitting the challenge, I’ve decided to sit down and effectively plan my attack. Here’s how I’ve gone about it.
Lets break down the numbers quickly first:
Challenge dates are: Nov 28 through Dec 24.
27 = # days in the challenge
I’ll use 26 conservatively because I probably won’t row on Thanksgiving. This works out to the following.
For 50k:
1,923 meters / day
For 100k:
3,846 meters / day
For 200k:
7,692 meters / day
I’m going to use a 2:15 min / 500 meter pace as an average to figure out how many minutes a day these lengths will take on average.
For 50k:
I get about 9 minutes or rowing per day
For 100k:
About 17 minutes of rowing per day
For 200k:
About 35 minutes of rowing per day
So that you can follow my math and adjust these times for your own pace, say perhaps a 2:30 / 500 meter pace you can use the following conversions:
For 50k:
2:30 = 2.5 minutes x 3.846 = 9.615 or about 10 minutes of rowing per day
For 100k:
2.5 minutes x 7.692 = 19.23 or about 20 minutes or rowing per day
For 200k:
2.5 minutes x 15.384 = 38.56 or 39 minutes or rowing per day
The conversion factors in red are constants, meaning they will not change. To get your daily average time spent on the rower:

Roughly estimate your pace. This number shows up on the rowers at the gym while you are rowing. Ask a coach if you don’t know and we’ll point it out. Roughly, I’d say that conservatively almost everyone will be in the 2.5 to 3 range. I’m being conservative here and I’m sure a great many of you will be under that 2.5 range meaning you’ll actually spend less time on the rower than you calculate.

Pull the red number from this blog post for the challenge length you’ve committed to.

Multiply the pace by the red number and you’ve got how many minutes a day on average you’ll be spending becoming acquainted with our favorite torture device.
So, we have clearly defined a target number of meters we must row per day and have estimated about how much time this is going to take us. Now, that’s great if you’ve got a pretty clear calendar for end of November through Christmas. But it’s the holidays and I’m betting most of us don’t!
In my case, I know that I’m going to be out of town December 6th – December 10th. That is 5 days away from CPM!!!! I’ve committed to 200k, so that means if I didn’t row at all I’d have to make up 39,810 meters when I returned and this would take me around 160 minutes or around 2.5 hours! Luckily, here is my solution 🙂
I headed over to the rower makers’ website:
Moused over “Indoor Rowers” and clicked “Indoor Rower Finder” from the list. Then I filled in my travel destination and found out that a gym where I’m traveling has two Model D rowers! I’m saved! I can keep up on my rowing while I’m away. Here’s a direct link to the “Indoor Rower Finder” page in case you’ll be out of town too and need a rower:
http://www.concept2.com/indoorrowers/finder
If I didn’t row at all while I was out of town, I’d just spread those almost 40,000 meters I’d missed over a week so I wasn’t killing myself. It’d be an extra 23 minutes a day over 7 days approximately.
I’ll be honest, when Chris told me we were rowing 200,000 meters over a month I thought ahhhhhhhhhh……….what? It’s a daunting number! But, that’s just our fear of something unclearly defined getting in our way. Break down the sum into it’s integral parts and all of a sudden the 200,000 meter row gets a lot less scary. I know I can row a 2.5 min / 500 meter pace comfortably and honestly, sitting on the rower for 40 minutes for 26 days is not a bad use of my time. Maybe I’ll get some of my lungs back by the new year!
If you need a hand making a similar plan for your row, get at me in the gym. Break it down, plan it out, happy rowing, lets do this!
The OBoard Says…
A. Find a heavy 5 rep Back Squat
B. 30 Back Squats
75 Burpees
Post By Stets.