The goal of the Summer Solstice Challenge is to celebrate the Solstice on June 21, the longest (or shortest*) day of the year, with a long workout—maybe your longest of the year! This 21,000 metre challenge is designed to be an adventure and an accomplishment, not a race.
The Summer Solstice Challenge doesn’t have to be done non-stop or on one machine type, so it’s a great opportunity to get creative in your workout planning. You can even include on water rowing or on snow skiing metres if either of those are available to you.
Here are five ways to make it a fun and successful challenge:
1. Break It Up. 21,000 metres is a daunting total for those of us who rarely cover more than 10k in a workout. But, broken into shorter segments, it’s much more reasonable. You can simply split it into two 10k+ sessions—one in the morning and one in the afternoon—or you can break it down further and spread it out across your day. Here are some options:
- 2 sessions: 11k morning and 10k late afternoon
- 3 sessions: 7k morning, 7k midday and 7k late afternoon
- 4 sessions, frontloaded: 7k early morning, 6k late morning, 5k mid-afternoon and 3k late afternoon
2. Invite a friend—or several! Having company for this adventure will add camaraderie and fun. It will help to have multiple workout options as well, but if you only have one, you can just take turns doing 1000m pieces. While one of you is rowing (or skiing or riding) the other can stretch and provide snacks and entertainment.
3. Mix your Modes. If you have access to more than one kind of Concept2 machine, the variety can be very helpful in accomplishing the 21k metres. Perhaps you have a RowErg at home, and there’s a SkiErg or BikeErg at your local club or gym. You can use all three for this challenge. Similarly, if you have the outdoor options of on water rowing or on snow skiing, you can mix these modalities in as well. If your club has all three ergs, you can do the 21k as an Ergathlon: 7k RowErg, 7k SkiErg and 14k BikeErg. Or, split it up any way you like. (Remember that BikeErg metres count at half value, so you’ll need to do 14k on the BikeErg to count as 7k for the challenge.)
4. Change your Location. A change of scenery or perspective can be remarkably refreshing. Luckily, all Concept2 machines have caster wheels that make them easy to move. The RowErg can be separated at the front end and monorail, making it even easier to roll to a new location. Simply spin your machine in place for a new view, move it to a different room in your home, or take it outside if the weather is good. Making a change like this every 3-5k will give you something new to look forward to.
5. Structure It. Interval workouts add structure to your workout time and make it go by faster. Maintain a conversational pace for the work intervals, and then continue to row, ski, or ride easily for the rest portion.
Here’s an example of using intervals to structure your 21k—break it up into separate workouts, or move from one length interval to the next. The intervals get shorter as you go:
- Interval 1. 6 x 500m work/2:00 rest
- Interval 2. 8 x 1:30 work/1:00 rest
- Interval 3. 8 x 250m work/1:00 rest
- Interval 4. 10 x 1:00 work/1:00 rest
- Interval 5. 10 x :40 work/:20 rest
Now, add up all your metres, and see how many you have left to complete. Finish your 21k at a steady, easy pace until you meet the challenge! Note: The PM displays your workout total metres during the rest time. You can get your total workout metres for each set of intervals from the Online LogBook. (Reminder for BikeErg metres: Distance intervals will need to be twice as long to count toward the challenge.)
However you accomplish your Summer Solstice Challenge, we hope it will become an annual tradition for you. Let us know if you come up with other great ways to complete it!
*Acknowledging our readers in the southern hemisphere, where it will be the shortest day—but still a solstice to celebrate!