In this episode of the First 99 Gear Review, co-host Mike Turner sits down with our very own Greg Larkin to chat about winter cross training activities. It’s the New Year, and the time to start planning our race and training schedules. But many of us have found over the years it’s essential to take time off and let the body heal. Balancing staying fit, letting the body heal, and staying sane is the key to years of healthy adventures.
In this two-part series we discuss off-season activities and related gear. During part 1 we dig into indoor activities and during part 2 we focus on outdoor winter activities.
Greg’s dad started racing bikes in NH in his 40s and Greg, as a teenager, jumped right in. As a kid he also took up cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. He raced bikes for over 15 years, incorporating skiing in the winter when the roads were too icy to ride.
His dad exposed him to his first indoor bike trainer called “rollers”. These required superb balance as both wheels were moving in sync and there was nothing holding up the bike. In the mid 80s, Greg acquired a RacerMate. This was a major upgrade and attached to the bike and generated resistance from a fan unit that rotated against the rear wheel while riding on a stand.
After college in the late 80s, Greg moved to Boston and met a buddy who rowed crew for Tufts University. The crew team used an ergometer (erg for short) Concept2 rowing machine when not on the water to train.
Typical Greg, it was not long before he signed up for the CRASH-B World Indoor Rowing Championships held in Boston. He ended up buying a Concept2 Model C that day and still pushes his limits on it. He’s never rowed on water, but the rowing machine provides a solid workout once some basic techniques have been learned.
Then came that fateful summer day when the Dartmouth University Ski Team blew by him on a trail run, charging up some monster peak in the NH White Mountains. He was bit by the trail running bug. Greg moved to Auburn CA in 2014 and fell in love with the Endurance Capital of the World.
Greg is currently cross training with the Concept2 Model C hooked up through the ErgData app on his iPhone and tethered to Strava. For indoor cycling, he is using a Saris M2 smart trainer for virtual group rides via the Zwift app. Greg currently rows and rides 2 to 3 times a week in his “off-season”.
Tune into this episode of the First 99 Gear Review to get all the details on what to get, where to get it, and how little it will actually set you back. Please let us know your indoor setup is like, what is working, and what is not.
Saris Smart Trainer: https://www.saris.com/catalog/smart-trainers
Tacx Smart Trainer: https://tacx.com/smart-bike-trainers/
Concept2 Training Guides: https://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/training/plans-and-resources