The wind from yesterday was gone. The water was perfect. It was a bit cold (around 40F), but it warmed up as I was rowing. Another beautiful morning to be on the river.
Today’s mission was to mimic the workout that Sander had done yesterday. He did a 4x1K. Since mine would no doubt be slower, I decided to add a punishment rep. Actually, the way things worked out, the end of my fourth rep put me at the far end of the 1K course, so I decided that another rep would be a good idea.
- Pace faster than 2:15
- Stroke rate 26 to 28
- Try to row clean, blades off the water, etc
I did a superlative 6×1000 last August and finished with an average pace of 2:07.0. That was my best ever 1K interval session. This was my third session of the season, so I had pretty modest expectations.
Side note: Water temp this morning was probably around 2C. In August water tem is around 20C. From Biorow Vol 9, No 105, the impact of the water temp would be 1.5%. In other words, a 2:05 split today would be a 2:03 split in 20C water. I like this side note, it makes me feel faster!
Back to the story. I started with a long warmup. I did the OTW warmup that I got to like last season all the way to the dam, and then turned and did reasonable pressure steady state back to the start of the 1K course, another 2.5K or so.
Then into the intervals. I tried to keep myself under control. I tend to push so hard that I blow up in OTW interval sessions, so I purposely aimed a bit low. Nevertheless, I was really working hard in the last third of each interval and even had to ease up a bit in the last couple. In terms of technique, I found that a winter of erging on slides had had two effects, one positive, one negative.
The positive effect was on the recovery. I was much better maintaining my balance and fully extending my arms and swing my back before breaking my knees. This allowed me to maintain balance and control as I went back up the slide to the catch. I need to take some video, but I didn’t feel like I was bouncing into the catch like last year.
The negative effect was on layback. On the erg, putting a bit more layback and really pulling the handle all the way to your chest helps your splits a fair amount. Basically anything that gets more chain out of the machine helps increase your power per stroke. In the boat, the 2.5M meters that I did on the erg were causing me to wait to long to tap down. This meant that I had too much layback, my hands would bump my ribs, and that made my finishes sloppy. I figured this out somewhere in interval number 2, and from there I consciously worked on less layback, earlier tapdown and crisper finishes. When I got it right, it gave me 2 seconds on my split. It was hard to consistently get right. I want to get this on tape too.
So, at the end of the day, I ended up with a 2:08.1 avg, so a second slower than last august. If I grade it on the tempurature curve, I did better! I see this as a positive sign for the season. My fitness is getting better, and my technique needs work.
Tomorrow: 15K steady state OTW, HR limit 155.