Every month, the C2CTC website posts a different indoor rowing (erg) challenge. Virtual rowing teams then compete with each other throughout the month in an attempt to assert their (virtual) dominance.
This month’s challenge is called “Four Cubed.” Jump on an erg and pull for four rounds of four minutes with four minutes of rest — i.e., 4×4:00/4:00r. Simple enough, but definitely not easy.
I tackled it tonight, on behalf of BW Rowing, for the second time this month. This was supposed to be a recovery day after a heavy leg session the night before, but I decided to give it a go. I’m heading out of town later in the week and wanted to squeeze in another session.
Anyway, as you can see from the screenshot below, it didn’t go well. It was pretty much a textbook “fly and die” performance.
I decided to target 1:48/500 because I mis-remembered my performance on my previous attempt. I always like to drop my splits a bit when I repeat a piece, and thought that I had previously averaged 1:48.8/500. In reality my prior average was 1:49.8/500, so I went out too fast.
And yes, when it comes to things like this, seconds matter. A lot. To be fair, the first two intervals were pretty solid. I felt a pretty good burn by the end of each, but I got through them without too much trouble. In the 3rd interval, however, I charged headlong into the pain cave.
It’s been awhile since I felt like puking due to effort in the gym, but that’s exactly how I felt by the end of the 3rd interval. Despite the pain, I held onto that coveted 1:48 split for dear life. And I made it.
Next came that pitiful 4th (and final) interval… I knew I wouldn’t be able to hit 1:48 again, but I was hoping to at least keep it close. Instead, I hit the wall and limped across the finish line with an average of 1:52.4/500.
It wasn’t until I was done and comparing my results to my earlier attempt that I realized my mistake. On the bright side, I ended up averaging 1:49.0/500 for a total of 4,402 meters. That’s 0.8 splits faster and 32 meters further than my first attempt. Faster is always better, so I’ll take it.
Based on the above, it looks like my (intended) goal of 1:49/500 would’ve been just about right. Unfortunately, I wound up getting there in the most painful way possible. Oh well, lesson learned…