Getting Back on the Horse for the C2 Holiday Challenge

Day 1 | This 5k shouldn’t have been so hard

But man, this year has been a fitness rollercoaster.

In March, I was mentally and physically prepped to get back in sweep boats, and then the season was cancelled before we could even have one practice.

In the early months of the pandemic I relied on the erg to maintain my morning routine and some semblance of fitness. I took advantage of early, scrappy virtual events for motivation.

The peak came in June when I racked up 120,000m in eight days for DC Strokes Rowing Club‘s Stonewall Regatta.

Most recently I’ve been off the erg for a couple of weeks pampering a bottom-of-the-foot tendon issue that is exacerbated by rowing at full-compression.

100k & 200k Challenge Training Plans

To keep motivated towards my Concept2 Holiday Challenge 100k goal, I’ll be mixing and matching workouts from two different training plans:

Concept2’s Holiday Challenge Training Calendar [DOWNLOAD]
Use this calendar to help you complete the Holiday Challenge 100k or 200k meters between Nov. 26 and Dec. 24 (29 days total). For the 100k challenge, aim for 4,000m daily. For the 200k challenge, aim for 7,500m daily.

PRO: It’s FREE! This plan offers a really wide array of workouts, with something scheduled for every day of the month. Stroke count ladders, interval workouts, steady state pieces, timed work, pyramids … lots of variety to keep things interesting.

CON: Some workouts are “triathlons,” with suggested distances to complete on the SkiErg, RowErg, then BikeErg. Seriously though, who has access to all three? Not me!


Rower’s Dream Holliday Challenge 100k Training Plan [DOWNLOAD]
This plan is from husband and wife team Matt and Lisa Wiese, the owners of Rower’s Dream. Matt has 30 years of coaching experience in sweep and sculling; 3 Big Ten Conference titles; 3 Big Ten Coach of the Year Honors; 7 National Team Members and 14 NCAA appearances. Lisa has been rowing for 30 years.

PRO: It’s FREE (until 11/28). This training plan includes a speed chart, detailed workout information, and printable training log and workout cards. The plan builds meters week over week. If you want rest days, this plan packs more meters into 3-5 workouts per week, vs C2’s 7-day/wk plan.

CON: All the workout are a variation of 2k, 3k, or 4k intervals, with some notations for rating builds or pyramids. Call me crazy, but I really like to mix in a short-burst interval workout like 2 x (10 x 100m) with 15″ rest.

Got other training ideas or plans? Drop me a message at