Monday, October 27, 2014

Am I cheating on running ... ?

Thanks to one of those unexpected coincidences, I recently came across a used Concept2 Model D indoor ergometer (rowing machine) for sale on Craig's List. If you know anything about Concept2 rowers, they are very hard to find used, because they tend to get snatched up quickly. They are durable, reliable, and awesome!

Rowing is my preferred cross-training exercise. I can swim enough so that I won't drown in a pool, but I don't particularly like it (even though I recognize it's a great no-impact workout). I have my bike set up on a trainer so that I can ride in the garage, but cycling is just okay for me. As I'm optimized as a runner, I don't seem to have the leg strength to drive the bike hard enough to get a good cardio workout. Of course, as a rower, I'm mediocre; the times that dedicated rowers post on Fitocracy are well beyond me. But I like that the cross-training is no-impact and an all-around body workout.

So when I saw the used Concept2, I pounced on it. Some Fitocracy members gave me advice about what to check out in a used rower, and this one tested as close to new. I was so excited that when I paid for it, I actually waved it toward me and said, "Come to Daddy...."

Why do I want a rowing machine of my own when the gym has one? Well, the gym isn't open as late as I would like, and its weekend hours are even stingier. Plus, there are occasions when I can't leave the house (the very rare snow-in; more frequently, Mr. Mom duties) and would like to get in a good workout.

Still, I wouldn't have felt anywhere near as excited about a used treadmill, for which I feel like I'm maybe "cheating" on running.

Yeah, I know it's a silly analogy. But there are very real reasons I much prefer to have my own rowing machine than my own treadmill. I'd use a treadmill a lot more than I plan to use this rower, which means I'd need to do more frequent maintenance of the treadmill. I'd much rather leave the treadmill maintenance to the gym, and deal with the (lower) maintenance requirements of the rower.

In addition, unless I'm stuck at home, or the outside weather is too foul, I can run on the roads or at the track. If I had a treadmill, I could run at home anytime I wanted to, but my cross-training options would be more limited.

The question now is, do I look for a cheaper gym membership just for access to treadmills?

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