As one challenge ends, another begins. I finished the Squat ’til You Puke Challenge (150,000# of squats in the month of November) and many of you are kicking off the Concept2 Holiday Challenge (rowing 100,000 meters between Thanksgiving and Christmas). For those who are about to join in, here are a few things I learned from my Challenge experience.
- Make a plan. It takes a little bit more planning to lift x pounds rather than row, just because of the logistics. Even if you know you’re going to lift 3000 pounds in one day, you’ve got to figure out how you’re going to break that up. If you’re rowing 3000 meters, you hop on the rower and go. Regardless, you’ll still need a plan – there’s nothing worse than trying to row 25,000 meters on 12/24. First, count up the days you have left. Then take at least three off of that ’cause things will probably happen in the next near-month that will keep you from rowing. Divide the meters by that number and you’ve got your daily goal. Also, don’t try to include meters rowed in regular WODs/warm-ups, since there’s no guarantee how many or how often you’ll get them.
- Follow your plan. It’s easier to get in a consistent rhythm than it is to work in fits and starts. If your plan says you row a 10k on Wednesday, you do whatever you have to to row a 10k on Wednesday. It’s easy to think “I can just double-up on the next day,” but that’s a slippery slope. Stick to your guns to make sure you don’t have an obscene amount of rowing on the last day.
- Keep on rowing. There are going to be days you just don’t want to see that rower any more. Those are the very days you need to get in your car and get to the gym. These are the days that make a challenge a Challenge.
- Document it all. Sure, part of the rules of the Challenge are to log your meters every time, but do a little more. Take a picture of the monitor, the calendar, the weather outside, the blisters on your body. Something extra that can put it all in perspective once all of this is through. A photograph is worth a thousand words – just think how many words a collage is worth.