Today’s original plan was to do 250m pieces with standing starts.
I did the Rojabo warmup. It’s a really good warmup for hard sessions. I recommend to anyone who is looking for a structured warmup. Here it is.
- First 1000m or so.
- Pick drill
- Legs only
- steady state
- 10 strokes at r20 / 10 paddle
- 20 strokes at r22 / 20 paddle
- 30 strokes at r24 / 30 paddle
- 20 strokes at r26 / 20 paddle
- 20 strokes at r28 / 20 paddle
- 20 strokes at r30 / 20 paddle
- 20 strokes at max stroke rate / 20 paddle
When you’re done with that, you are completely warmed up and you’ve rowed at a higher rate than you are likely to row during the rest of the session, so it’s a good confidence builder.
After the warmup, I attempted my first start. It was terrible. No balance, ugly finishes, just terrible blade work. I decided to change my plan from 250m reps to just doing as many starts as I could stand. I would pull out of the start if I really blew a stroke, or take it out to 10,15 or 20 strokes depending on how much room I had and how the piece was feeling. I ended up doing 44 starts. Some were “slomo” starts where I purposely slowed down every stroke to try to get some muscle memory going around the initial short slide strokes. Some were less than full pressure. Some were all out.
The key take aways from the whole thing were:
- First stroke: Think of it as prying the boat away from the start. Apply leg pressure smoothly. Don’t yank the handles. Finish “too early”. Basically tap down as soon as my arms start to break with a straight back.
- Second stroke: recover up the slide until my hands have just started to come apart as I am half way up the slide. Very important: Take a split second as I square the blades and place them in the water before I start the leg drive. This is my major fault. I am missing water and mis aligning my blades my starting the leg drive before my blades are well set.
- Beyond the second stroke: Get out to full slide over the next couple of strokes and keep layback to a minimum. Keep the finishes clean and don’t rush the catches. That’s what kills me.
There was a pretty good wind blowing today, a tailwind going down stream. So the first set of starts were into a head wind. The second set were with a tail wind (they were fun!), and the third slogging back into the headwind. By the third set, my legs were shot.
After the third set, I deliberated an decided to row another 8K steady state. I’ll be missing 3 days on the water because of my son’s graduation, so I thought I should get the strokes in. It ended up being about 4K too far. I was really tired for the last row upriver into the head wind.
Here’s the whole row. The warmup to 4K. Three sets of about 15 starts each. 2 with head wind, 1 with tail wind. Then another 8K of steady state, slow roll ups and square blade rowing. The wind built through the session.
The last two 20 stroke bits of the warm up were tail wind assisted and a real blast. It might be the first time I’ve ever seen a 1:39 on the speedcoach.
Then the starts. First set, with head wind. You can see where I aborted the bad ones and extended the good ones.
Second set. Tail wind. Fast splits. Still screwing up a lot of them. The longer paddles are getting past things like the turns and bridges to a clear shot.
Third set. Getting a bit weary. Into the head wind, which was worst for the first 5 or so. Concentration was waning a bit.
So, tomorrow morning it’s off to New Jersey. I might have time for an erg session before we depart. If I do, it will likely be a 3×20′ steady state session.