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My doctor told me every hour. I forget now how long he said to hold them but it was around 5-10 seconds I think (and ten times, I think?). Holding longer, or doing more of them, will, like in any other muscle, lead to fatigue but will ultimately lead to better endurance. Fatigue towards evening is inevitable at first but I found that went away within a fwe months after surgery.
Never do kegels with the catheter in - it's a recipe for bladder spasms. I did one once, without thinking about it, and never made that mistake again.
I'm a bit surprised by how many men here don't seem to have started them before surgery. My uro had me start the day he told me I was positive and did them irregularly but daily until my surgery 3 months later. Initially, I found I had trouble finding the right musle group but with practice I got that right. Like you, I had trouble remembering to do them so would just do as many as I could until I needed a break. I also would occassionally let my bladder fill up (very full) and then do kegels - figured it was adding weight/difficulty (my own personal take on things - never mentioned it to a doctor to see if they thought it was helpful).
I also started doing them as soon as I was diagnosed. At first I did them while actually going to the bathroom. This helped find the right muscles. I was doing them this way until I ready somewhere on the internet that this could harm the bladder. I then did them as Dan, as often as I could remember during the day. The progress seemd to be much faster once I started doing them this way. I had the daVinci surgery on January 25th, and as of last week, only wear a pad while bicycling and dirt bike riding. Jogging is not even a problem although sprinting does cause a small leak.