Monday: Steady State – 14km

Weather:  Overcast, no wind, 57-60F.  Drizzle when I launched, but it cleared up quickly.


  1. Steady State
  2. r18-20
  3. HR cap of 155
  4. Work on getting full extension at the catch and try to keep my catch depth from going too deep.  Also work on applying pressure more smoothly at the catch.  Keep working on clean finishes.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 9.42.12 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 9.28.16 AM

00878_|_3040_|_14:46_|_2:25.7_|_277___|_18.8_|_11.0_|_142___|_down stream
03918_|_2997_|_14:33_|_2:25.6_|_276___|_19.0_|_10.9_|_148___|_up stream
06915_|_2927_|_14:06_|_2:24.5_|_268___|_19.0_|_10.9_|_148___|_down stream
09842_|_3032_|_14:51_|_2:26.9_|_286___|_19.3_|_10.6_|_149___|_up stream
12874_|_1288_|_07:06_|_2:45.5_|_133___|_18.7_|_09.7_|_147___|_cool down

11996_|_58:15_|_2:25.7_|_1107___|_19.0_|_10.8_|_147___|_Main set
01288_|_07:06_|_2:45.5_|_133___|_18.7_|_09.7_|_147___|_cool down

I felt pretty awful when I first launched.  A bit sick to my stomach and I felt like I was out of breath before I even got going.  But over the first 5 minutes or so, I relaxed, kept the pressure light and started to feel better.  By the time I was through the cut and into the “real” rowing, I was ready to apply some more pressure and focus on technique.

I was working on really getting a feeling for what a good catch felt like.  There are so many aspects to it.  I want to be fully compressed.  My heels should be lifted about 1″ off the foot plate.  My knees should be slightly spread.  My back should be straight.  My hips should be rocked forward.  My arms and hands should be relaxed, but fully extended.  After I square the oars, my fingers should be hooked around the grips with my hands nice and flat with my forearms.  Of course, I should be perfectly balanced as the blades are dropped into the water.

After the blades are buried, I should smoothly apply power with my legs by dropping my heels first and then pushing with flat feet and a forward body angle.  As my leg drive continues, I should start to open my back and then finish with my arms.  I need to remember to keep my elbows out.  If I do, then I finish cleanly and avoid touching water as I feather the blades on recovery.  Then sequence on the recovery with arms, then body, then once I am in a body forward position with my arms extended, slowly and smoothly up the slide to the catch.

The water was glassy smooth and I felt very good.  Nice fast splits too.

Tomorrow:  8×500/500 rest – aim to get the rate above 30 on all of them.

Saturday: 3x2K rate ladders (24,26,28,30)

The weather was beautiful.  65F, light 0-5 mph wind from the east (basically a cross wind).  Partly cloudy.

I was out on Lake Quinsigamond with the Worcester Boat Club folks.  We had 10 people today, so we had a women’s quad, men’s quad and 2 singles.  I was in one of the singles.


  1. 4x2K
  2. rate increasing through piece.  500m at 24, 500m at 26, 500m at 28, 500m at 30.
  3. 5 minutes paddle between pieces
  4. work on rowing lighter at high rates.  Get tired before rowing at r30 and just try to ride it out at that rate.

My HR monitor didn’t work today, so I was working off of just how I felt during the row, and I felt like it was pretty hard work.  I was not happy with the pace that I was rowing or the setup in the single.  I felt like I couldn’t get as much reach as I really wanted.  I guess I was a bit too far into the bow with my foot position.  I am also a bit higher off the water in this boat.  The oars hit my chest about 2 inches above the bottom of my sternum.  Definitely higher than in my boat.  But it was good to row with other people and probably a good thing to row in a different boat for a change.

No HR data, but since I was using CrewNerd, here’s all the check and bounce data along with pace and rate.

2015-06-27 12.57.50

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 12.48.01 PM


6000_____|_26:41_|_2:13.4_|_728_____|_27.3_|_08.2_|_main set
0260_____|_03:02_|_5:50.1_|_031_____|_10.2_|_08.4_|_Cool down
1900_____|_12:49_|_3:22.4_|_233_____|_18.2_|_08.2_|_rest meters

I was pretty worn out after the first 2 intervals, so I decided to only do 3x2K today.  I felt like I was getting some good strokes in at r28 and r30.  I am feeling less rushed at these rates and able to get more reach and hit the catch a bit more gently.

I am troubled by some niggling pains right now.  My right elbow is still bothering me, but has not gotten worse.  I am wearing a brace when I am not rowing and it seems to have kept the problem from getting any worse.  I am also suffering mightily from butt pain right now.  I’m not sure why it’s happening because I was pain free until a few weeks ago when I went on a outing in a double and was practically paralyzed when we got back to the dock.  Ever since then, I am really uncomfortable in the seat by the time I’ve done about 8K.

But, hopefully these will heal over time.

Tomorrow:  Rest Day.  If the rain holds off, I think I will go for a gentle bike ride.

Friday: 4×20′ L4 on the erg

I decided give myself a bit of a break today.  I slept in, worked from home and decided to do a purposely easy, UT2 session on the erg.

To keep it interesting I decided to do a Wolverine plan “L4” workout.

  • 4 x 20′
  • 1′ rests
  • in each 20′ piece 2 x (4’@16, 3’@18, 2’@20, 1’@22)
  • Power
    • r16: 160W
    • r18: 180W
    • r20: 200W
    • r22: 220W
  • Try to work on stroke sequence.  Stay forward during the initial drive.  keep hands moving through the finish and get arms and body over before bending knees.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 2.57.30 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 2.57.46 PM

Workout Summary – Jun 26, 2015
–_|_19853_|_84:00.0_|_02:06.9_|_171.1_|_17.8_|_137.6_|_ 66.4% _|_13.3_|_09.6
Workout Details

01_|_02419_|_10:00.0_|_02:04.0_|_183.5_|_18.1_|_122.9_|_ 56.0% _|_13.4_|_10.1
02_|_02429_|_10:00.0_|_02:03.5_|_185.7_|_18.1_|_136.1_|_ 65.3% _|_13.4_|_10.3
03_|_00052_|_01:00.0_|_09:39.2_|_001.8_|_04.0_|_137.8_|_ 66.5% _|_12.9_|_00.5
04_|_02425_|_10:00.0_|_02:03.7_|_184.9_|_18.1_|_137.1_|_ 66.0% _|_13.4_|_10.2
05_|_02433_|_10:00.0_|_02:03.3_|_186.6_|_18.1_|_142.8_|_ 70.0% _|_13.4_|_10.3
06_|_00072_|_01:00.0_|_06:57.7_|_004.8_|_07.0_|_135.9_|_ 65.1% _|_10.3_|_00.7
07_|_02417_|_10:00.0_|_02:04.1_|_183.1_|_18.2_|_137.9_|_ 66.6% _|_13.3_|_10.1
08_|_02423_|_10:00.0_|_02:03.8_|_184.4_|_18.3_|_141.8_|_ 69.4% _|_13.2_|_10.1
09_|_00072_|_01:00.0_|_06:57.3_|_004.8_|_07.0_|_136.1_|_ 65.3% _|_10.3_|_00.7
10_|_02421_|_10:00.0_|_02:03.9_|_184.0_|_18.2_|_138.0_|_ 66.6% _|_13.3_|_10.1
11_|_02421_|_10:00.0_|_02:03.9_|_184.0_|_18.3_|_142.2_|_ 69.6% _|_13.2_|_10.1
12_|_00269_|_01:00.0_|_01:51.6_|_251.6_|_24.0_|_152.7_|_ 77.1% _|_11.2_|_10.5

What a delightful session.  HR was nice and low.  It was a very sweaty, but the weather wasn’t too hot, and I had the fan running.

Tomorrow:  4x2K on Quinsig.

Thursday: 3 x ( 6 x 1′ on / 1′ off) 4′ rest

I got home late on Wednesday night and I decided to sleep in and skip my usual row in the morning.  I paid for my sins by getting stuck in traffic and taking 90 minutes to get to work.

My meetings were finished by about 3pm, so I decided to go do the session I had planned for the morning.  This is a sprint session, and the intent is to increase efficiency at higher stroke rates.  One of my many problems is that my form starts to get pretty shaky at or above r30, and I row with too much pressure, so I burn out very quickly at these rates.  It would be better if I were able to row with good form, and with lighter pressure at t his kind of rate.  This would serve me better in both sprint and head races.

When I planned the session, I underestimated how hard it would be.  A minute of rowing is long enough to really start feeling the bite.  As I limped back to the dock during my cool down, I started comparing it to my typical 8×500 erg based workout.  In that workout there are 8 reps (obviously).  Each rep takes about 1:35-1:40 to do and I take 3:30 rests.  So, a total of about 13:00 of rowing and 24:30 of rests.  Today was a total of 18 reps, so 18:00 of rowing and 23:00 or rests.  No wonder I was pretty tapped out by the 6 rep of each set.

Conditions:  Partly cloudy, nearly 80F, a bit humid too.  Generally light wind <5mph from the west.  It was only a noticable factor in a couple of the reps.


  1. 3 sets of 6 1′ intervals with 1′ paddling between
  2. 4 minutes rest between sets
  3. Standing start into the first rep of each set, rolling starts for the other reps
  4. Rate >30 (I was originally thinking 32, but I didn’t feel up to it)
  5. Work on keeping my catches shallow and keeping pressure light in the first part of the stroke. Also work on limiting the amount of layback at the finish.

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 7.50.48 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 7.51.05 PM

09380_|_0240_|_00:59_|_2:02.5_|_030___|_30.6_|_08.0_|_160___|_3.1 – head wind
10900_|_0240_|_00:58_|_2:00.6_|_028___|_29.0_|_08.6_|_169___|_3.5 – s-turn

04500_|_17:42_|_1:58.0_|_537___|_30.3_|_08.4_|_167___|_Main set
03240_|_22:17_|_3:26.4_|_413___|_18.5_|_07.8_|_157___|_rest meters
01620_|_09:41_|_2:59.2_|_187___|_19.3_|_08.7_|_143___|_cool down

There were a couple times that I stopped paddling which stops the clock on the speedcoach and took a bit of extra rest, either because I was not in a good place to start a rep, or because I needed more recovery time.  You can tell those reps in the HR charts because the next rep starts down in the green (between the last two reps in the second and third set).

I took a quick look at the stroke acceleration in RIM.  It looks as if my initial drive hump is less pronounced, which is good.  But the biggest change looks like I am doing a better job with a steady recovery.  There is less of a pronounced rise in acceleration as I approach the catch.  The other thing is that my r30 stroke is much more consistent than it was.  Here are 1 or 2 stroke snapshots from each of the first 6 reps superimposed.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 8.59.31 AM

I was pretty happy with the workout.  r30 felt much slower and more controlled atthe end than at the beginning.  But it was a very severely taxing session.  My butt was very sore by the time I finished and rowing back to the dock was very uncomfortable.  I was zombie through the whole process of putting my boat away, and I was out of it for the rest of the day.

I still need to keep working on accelerating with my legs and keeping my body forward at the start of the drive.

I woke up this morning very congested.  I am still fighting off a head cold.  I think I will either do an easy erg session today, or maybe go for a bike ride.

Wednesday: r20 steady state – tired with cross wind

Conditions:  Sunny, 65F, less humid.  Wind W  7-10 mph.  This was mainly a cross wind, but seemed like a head wind no matter which way I was rowing.


I went and looked at the appropriate biorow newsletter which covers the impact of wind on boat speed and I was surprised by how much cross wind effected speed as soon as it wasn’t a perfect cross wind.

Here are the relevant plots.  (Reference: Volume 9 No 105 Rowing Biomechanics Newsletter December 2009)

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 1.49.20 PM

So, with a wind 60 degrees off the bow at 4m/s (9 mph), the speed impact will be about 7% or maybe 8 seconds on pace.  As a pure headwind, it is a 13% impact (18 seconds on pace).

In any case, I was certainly not happy with how hard I had to work to make the boat go very slowly today, so I am looking for reasons why.

Plan for today:

  1. Steady State, r20
  2. HR cap at 155
  3. Posture, reach at the catch, delay opening my back, clean finishes.
  4. No pace target

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 11.41.48 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 11.41.35 AM

09760_|_2740_|_14:22_|_2:37.2_|_287___|_20.0_|_09.5_|_151___|_cross/head – slow roll ups
12500_|_1360_|_08:22_|_3:04.6_|_166___|_19.8_|_08.2_|_136___|_square blades

11260_|_56:47_|_2:31.3_|_1133___|_20.0_|_09.9_|_152___|_Main set
01360_|_08:22_|_3:04.6_|_166___|_19.8_|_08.2_|_136___|_cool down

As I said above,even though I was trying to focus more on technique and not on pace, I could not drive those thoughts out of my head since the numbers were so very, very slow.  I did notice that when I concentrated on long reach and crisp early finishes, that my pace did improve, but it was hard to stay focused on it for long periods.

I might need to break up these sessions and focus on something for a certain number of strokes and then focus on something else instead of trying to do everything, always.

Tomorrow:  High Rate (for me) training.  3 x (8 x 1′ @ r32/ 1′ paddle) / 3′ rest

Tuesday: 7x1K / 500m rest (rates: 24,26,28,30,28,26,24)

Weather:  Started sunny, but clouded up while I was rowing.  Warm, around 70F.  Wind S to SE building from 3 to 6 mph during the session.


  1. Drills, short warmup
  2. 7 x 1000 intervals
  3. Rate: r24 –> r26 –> r28 –> r30 –> r28 –> r26 –> r24
  4. Pace:  No real target.
  5. Technique: I wanted to hit the rates as closely as possible and if possible increase pace with increased rate, but the focus was on trying to maintain form at higher rates, especially getting further out to the catch and maintaining clean finishes.  Standing start for each, but not a full racing start.  Essentially half pressure, but the same stroke rate and sequence.
  6. ~500m rests, plus a quick drink.


Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 12.06.57 PM


Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 12.07.13 PM

01000_|_1000_|_04:22_|_2:11.1_|_106___|_24.3_|_09.4_|_159___|_r24 tail wind
02500_|_1000_|_04:16_|_2:08.0_|_114___|_26.7_|_08.8_|_166___|_r26 head wind
03900_|_1000_|_04:10_|_2:04.9_|_118___|_28.4_|_08.5_|_171___|_r28 tail wind
05500_|_1000_|_04:15_|_2:07.7_|_129___|_30.3_|_07.8_|_175___|_r30 head wind
06900_|_1000_|_04:14_|_2:06.9_|_120___|_28.4_|_08.3_|_172___|_r28 tail wind
08500_|_1000_|_04:26_|_2:13.2_|_119___|_26.8_|_08.4_|_173___|_r26 head wind
09900_|_1000_|_04:24_|_2:12.2_|_111___|_25.2_|_09.0_|_172___|_r24 tail wind
10900_|_2420_|_13:49_|_2:51.3_|_280___|_20.3_|_08.6_|_147___|_feet out

07000_|_30:08_|_2:09.1_|_817___|_27.1_|_08.6_|_170___|_Main set
02900_|_19:57_|_3:26.4_|_350___|_17.5_|_08.3_|_139___|_rest meters
02420_|_13:49_|_2:51.3_|_280___|_20.3_|_08.6_|_147___|_cool down

This was a good workout.  I worked very hard in the 28,30,and 28 reps but kept it together technique wise.  My HR responded very differently today compared to Sunday.  Today, it just glided upwards during each rep and I never felt that awful drowning feeling, even though I was pushing quite hard in the middle reps.

I quite enjoyed the first two reps and focused very closely on technique.

The first r28 was proportionately harder but still I was able to hold it together.  The last 250m of that rep felt very good.  I lightened up at the catch, but kept the strokes long.  You can see the pace increase by couple seconds at that point with the rate staying right on.  I think this is similar to what Ben commented on from my race videos.  This was the point where I started to count down strokes to the end and really worked on keeping my form together.

The r30 was hard.  The wind was slowly building and I really noticed it in this rep.  The boat felt very heavy and the paces were slow.  I focused on sticking to the rate and keeping my reach at the catch, and let the pace do whatever it was going to do.  In the last 200m or so, I came into the wind shadow of a headland and I sped up a little, but this rep was very taxing, even though it was slow.

The next r28 was with the wind and with the damage that I had done to my legs with the prior rep, I stuck to the plan of working on hitting the rate and not worrying about the pace. The rep started poorly.  I started right after one of the huge weed harvesters went by in the opposite direction and I hit the wake on my 3rd stroke after the start.  It took me a couple of stroke to get myself back into the groove, but after that it was just a matter of keeping my eye on the rate and the river and making sure that I kept getting forward for the catch.

Now the fatigue was really setting in, and I knew that the r26 rep was going to be going into the wind.  Again, I stuck to the plan.  Focus on rate.  Don’t fret the pace.  It was over reasonably quickly.  The r24 with the tail wind was just the period on the end of the sentence.  It was difficult  to get my rate down to 24.  It wanted to creep up and I ended up averaging r25 for this one.

Having finished the reps, I now noticed how sore my legs were and my butt was really hurting.  I took my feet out of the shoes and rowed with feet out back to the dock, and literally crawled out of the boat.

This was a good session.  I can build on this.

Tomorrow:  Steady State

Back to it: 14K steady state

Weather:  Foggy when I launched, but it lifted over the first 15 minutes that I was rowing and turned into a beautiful, sunny morning.  Basically no wind and warm, in the high 60s.  It would have been great if we had this weather yesterday!

When I went to go get my boat, I saw this guy on the path.

2015-06-22 06.20.28

I see him almost every morning, but today he sat still long enough for me to take his portrait.

But I digress…back to the rowing!

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 9.35.53 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 9.35.30 AM

06900_|_2800_|_13:58_|_2:29.6_|_261___|_18.7_|_10.7_|_146___|_Quick stop to deweed impeller
09700_|_2980_|_14:43_|_2:28.2_|_279___|_18.9_|_10.7_|_151___|_up stream
12680_|_1240_|_07:46_|_3:08.1_|_145___|_18.7_|_08.6_|_139___|_cool down

11580_|_57:01_|_2:27.7_|_1071___|_18.8_|_10.8_|_147___|_Main set
01240_|_07:46_|_3:08.1_|_145___|_18.7_|_08.6_|_139___|_cool down

Not much to say about that.  I noticed in the video from yesterday that I was not getting as much reach as I should have been, so today, I tried to really get to full extension of my arms.  I was also working on trying to keep my blades from going up right before the catch so that I miss less water.

I am wondering if the Concept2 fat2s are the wrong blades for me.  I have them about as short as they can go, and even with a lot of inboard, they still feel quite heavy at the catch.  Also, with the amount of inboard that I have, I suspect that I am not getting as good of a catch angle as I should.  Those Croker Arrows sure look like nice blades.

Tomorrow:  4×1000.  Target pace: 2:10.  I want to work on form at higher stroke rates, but not push myself to the brink.

Next race is in 3 weeks, so I want to do 2 hard weeks and then another quick taper.

Festival Regatta: Better rower, worse fitness?

Weather:  Lousy.  Rain, heavy at times (like during my 1K).  Wind East 5-7 mph (head wind).

There were two events.  Men’s Master 1x E (50-59) at 8:54 and Open Men’s 1x at 10:15.

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 2.58.06 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 2.57.49 PM

02388_|_0929_|_03:51_|_2:04.4_|_123___|_31.9_|_07.6_|_164___|_1K Race
03317_|_1074_|_06:49_|_3:10.3_|_127___|_18.6_|_08.5_|_133___|_cool down
04391_|_1702_|_10:31_|_3:05.3_|_174___|_16.5_|_09.8_|_136___|_warm up
06093_|_1917_|_08:39_|_2:15.5_|_245___|_28.3_|_07.8_|_164___|_2K Race
08010_|_0996_|_06:10_|_3:05.9_|_107___|_17.3_|_09.3_|_133___|_cool down

I launched in driving rain about 30 minutes before my first start.  I did my usual Rojabo type warmup, but I cut back the 28, 30 and max pieces to only 10 strokes.  I then did a set of 4 starts.  No issues there, but I was very unnerved.  The river was choppy and the I had about 3 inches of rainwater in the bottom of my boat.

1K Race

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 4.20.54 PM

I got in line and we drifted up to the start.  The got us aligned and called a very quick start.  I got off the line slowly, but without any real troubles and settled reasonably well to 32 spm and waited for the inevitable feeling of distress.  Today it came very early, right around the 30 stroke and it seemed as if I must have gone off too hard.  There was a bit of head wind and chop and maybe I was fighting it too hard.  Anyway, around the 40 stroke or so, I got waked by a launch heading back up to the start.  It was disruptive enough that I actually missed a couple strokes and lost count of where I was in the race.  I settle back in and saw that the guy in lane 4, to my port side was about a boat length ahead.  I just started to try to get a bit more length to see if I could move on him.  I could.  This was a good pick me up.  I continued to push and continued to gain on him, and ultimately got about half a boat length up on him, around 20 strokes from the end.  I rowed through what I thought was the finish, and coasted, but it was a good couple seconds before I heard the horn.  My bad.  I know I should always row until the horn sounds.  That cost me a second over the next guy, but I didn’t lose the place.

Here is the video of the race:

I was 3rd out of 5 in my event, beating the fourth place finisher by 2.2 seconds.  This year, my finish was the same on both uncorrected and handicapped time.

There was another flight of Master E 1x after ours.  One guy in that flight beat my raw time, and two guys beat my corrected time, so I ended up 4th overall on raw time (+2.9% off winner) and 5th on corrected (+4.9% off winner) across all 9 boats.  Last year, I was 3rd of 7 on raw time (+1.7% off winner) and 4th of 7 (+7.6% off winner) on corrected time.  So, all in all about the same performance as last year.  I was hoping for a bit of improvement, so I’m a little disappointed.


I rowed back to the dock, pulled my boat, and got out of the rain for about 45 minutes.

2k Race

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 4.21.04 PM

Then I launched and did an abbreviated warmup and a couple more starts.  Again, my start was just fine.  And I settled quickly to around 28 to 30 spm.  Just like the 1K, distress came early and viciously and I sagged pretty badly in the middle.  I was just off the stern of the guy in lane 2 and I made multiple pushes to see if he would break, but he managed to stay just ahead of me through the 1000 to 1800m.  I was very confused about my HR.  I felt like I was pushing as hard as I possibly could, but my HR was only in the upper 160s.  It was a very weird feeling and I’m a little spooked by it.

Anyway, after jousting with the dude in lane 2 and nearly giving up a few times, I finally got up the nerve to really press him with about 150m left to go and I was making up ground quickly.  But I ran out of race course before I could seal the deal.  I ended up finishing 1.8 seconds behind him.

Here’s the video of the 2K Race.

I ended up 5th of 6 in my heat of the 1x.   2 boats in the second heat were faster than I was, so out of 11 boats, I was 7th.  This is a slight improvement over last year (8 of 11).  I was also 0.1% closer to the winner.  Last year I was 9.5% behind, this year 9.4% behind.  Not a lot of progress for a full year of training.


Friday: Afternoon Taper – 3×250

I got back to Boston at about 3PM and I was on the water about 4:15.  The weather was warm (mid-70s), sunny and there was a breeze from the North at about 7-10mph.


  1. Drills (king of the mountain, top quarter, arms only, arms and body, legs only, legs and body)
  2. Rojabo warmup
  3. 5 starts
  4. 3 x 250 (practice start, hard out to 10 strokes, fast settle to r30 and 2:00 for 20 strokes, then a 5 stroke sprint.
  5. cool down

Screen Shot 2015-06-20 at 5.23.04 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-20 at 5.22.50 PM

00020_|_3669_|_18:42_|_2:32.9_|_391___|_20.9_|_09.4_|_153___|_drills and warmup
04385_|_0215_|_01:30_|_3:28.4_|_026___|_17.4_|_08.3_|_152___|_paddle to start point
04600_|_0250_|_00:57_|_1:53.2_|_032___|_33.9_|_07.8_|_168___|_250m #1
05510_|_0256_|_00:58_|_1:52.5_|_031___|_32.3_|_08.3_|_164___|_250m #2
05986_|_0264_|_00:59_|_1:51.2_|_032___|_32.7_|_08.3_|_166___|_250m #3
06250_|_1555_|_08:54_|_2:51.8_|_170___|_19.1_|_09.1_|_146___|_cool down feet out

00770_|_02:53_|_1:52.3_|_095___|_33.0_|_08.1_|_166___|_Main set
00432_|_02:21_|_2:42.8_|_041___|_17.5_|_10.5_|_156___|_Steady State
02914_|_17:49_|_3:03.5_|_324___|_18.2_|_09.0_|_148___|_rest meters

The drills went OK.  I seem to finally be getting better at arms only rowing.  It has taken for ever, but I am much more able to finish cleanly and get back to the catch without bobbling around.  Same thing with arms and body.  I tried to be very strict when I did legs only to keep my body position forward and not open my back at all.

The warm up was hard.  My HR was higher than normal.  I assume from dehydration after a 5 hour flight.  But, I felt pretty good rowing into the headwind.

The starts were OK.  I had one where I didn’t realize that one of my oars was not fully squared at the catch and almost flipped myself as I started the first stroke.  High pucker factor on that one.  And an important thing to add to my start check list!

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Other than that, I was quite consistent in the starts.  Not fast out of the blocks, but reliably below 2:00 by the 4th or 5th stroke, and an ability to adjust to less than perfect strokes during the first couple without having a disaster.

Then in to the quick reps.  I just wanted a good start out toe 10 strokes, then settle to race pace for 20 strokes, then sprint for 5.  I had trouble getting the pace as slow as I wanted because of the tail wind and also because I knew deep inside it was only going to last 35 strokes.  But there was no real drama.

In the first rep, I lower my stroke rate but increased pressure so the pace stayed right around the 1:50 neighborhood.

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In the second, I shifted as abrubtly as I could and really took some pressure off.  This is what I really need to do in the race if I am going to survive through the mid section of the race.  And I cranked back up at the end.

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Last rep, same thing,  Hard shift down.  Pound out 20 strokes, then a quick sprint.  This one was somewhat effected by knowing that there were some kayaks behind me and knowing that I needed to make a turn.   But, all in all I did the things I wanted to do.

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Then I took my feet out and paddled back to the dock working on finishes.

I had originally planned to go for a quick row today, a warmup and some starts, but this morning, my elbow was quite sore, so I decided that a total rest day plus ibuprofen would be better race prep than a quick row.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is now a 60% chance of rain during the period of the morning when I race.  The wind forecast is lower now, 5 mph SSE, which is a cross wind.

Wednesday: 4×500 – taper

Weather:  Sunny, dry, comfortable around 60F.  Wind brisk 10mph from the North.  This was a tail wind coming up river and a head wind down river.  It was gusty at times.  There was enough wind that there was considerable chop at the south end of straight sections of the river.  Nothing like Quinsig, but enough to make you notice it.


  1. Drills: King of the mountain, top quarter, arms only, arms and legs, half slide
  2. Rojabo warmup
  3. Practice Starts
  4. 4×500 with lots of rest at race pace.  Race start, settle to race pace after 10 strokes and grind out the rest of the piece.

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 9.40.36 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 9.40.19 AM

04232_|_0318_|_02:02_|_3:11.4_|_039___|_19.2_|_08.2_|_141___|_paddle to start point
04550_|_0500_|_01:52_|_1:52.0_|_062___|_33.2_|_08.1_|_167___|_500m #1 (tailwind)
05372_|_0528_|_01:58_|_1:52.1_|_065___|_32.9_|_08.1_|_164___|_500m #2 (tailwind)
05900_|_0744_|_04:40_|_3:07.9_|_090___|_19.3_|_08.3_|_141___|_paddle and abort
06644_|_0490_|_02:05_|_2:07.7_|_067___|_32.1_|_07.3_|_167___|_500m #3 (headwind)
07134_|_1179_|_07:12_|_3:03.3_|_137___|_19.0_|_08.6_|_137___|_paddle and abort
08313_|_0545_|_02:09_|_1:58.2_|_069___|_32.1_|_07.9_|_166___|_500m #4 (tail wind)
08858_|_1306_|_07:18_|_2:47.8_|_146___|_20.0_|_08.9_|_142___|_Cool down

02063_|_08:04_|_1:57.4_|_263___|_32.6_|_07.8_|_166___|_Main set
02711_|_16:59_|_3:07.8_|_323___|_19.0_|_08.4_|_139___|_rest meters
01306_|_07:18_|_2:47.8_|_146___|_20.0_|_08.9_|_142___|_cool down

Warmup was uneventful, but the paces were slower into the headwind.

Starts went much better today.  No really horrible ones, and a few of these actually felt pretty good.

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Then a quick paddle under the bridge and setup for the first 500m.  I did this one in front of the watch factory with a nice swirly tail wind.  The water was flat at the start and got choppy by the end because the wind had some fetch over the water to allow it to build up.  Pace was delightfully fast because of the tail wind.

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Then I paddled around the s-turn to the start of the 1K straight section and setup for another one.  Another reasonable start and a blistering 1:52 pace.  I had to steer a bit around the 300m mark to get back on a good line.  This one really stung over the last 10 strokes though.  Looking at the stroke rate, I think I’m going to have to focus on keeping my rate around 30 during the race.  It is creeping up steadily during these pieces.

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I then paddled to the other end of the 1K straight and steup quickly for a start.  The weed harvester was bearing down on me from behind and I didn’t want to let him pass and then steer around him.

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Anyway, I took off like a rocket and settled down by the 20th stroke, and then I came out of the sheltered cut into the broader stretch and was hit by a big headwind gust.  It slowed me way down and I lost the will to continue. I coasted to a stop and tried to figure out what to do.

Part of me wanted to just pack it in.  Hell, its a taper week, I should keep it brief and not dig deep.  But, then the other part of me came back with a well crafted argument.  It had a number of points.  First, I was flying out right after this workout and would miss tomorrow on the water.  Second, I really should get the feel for rowing hard into the headwind since that could very well be the race conditions on Sunday.  Third, It would be shame to finish the workout on a low note.  And finally, man up you whiny little princess and row the damn piece.

The last point got me.

I set up again with the headwind whistling past me (it was actually just a 10mph wind, but poetry).  I managed a clean start into the hurricane (more poetry).  As science would suggest, my splits into the headwind were significantly slower.  And there was enough chop that I needed to be a bit more careful about recovery and placing the blades for the catch.  I tried to ignore the splits and focus on rowing to a consistent rate and level of misery.  Looking at the HR plot, I think I nailed that.  I managed to smack a wavetop as I was squaring my oars in my 5th to last stroke and I ended up with the oar not squared when buried for the catch and I crabbed hard.  I took this as another teachable moment and got my oar out and accelerated the boat with 5 more good crisp strokes.  Slow as hell for the interval, but hard!

I paddled a little bit extra to get some more recovery time.  I thought I saw a sculler coming down river and I wanted to try to avoid doing my last piece heading right for him, so I paddled a bit further through the turn.  But when I came back he was no where to be seen.  Most curious.  Anyway, I set up for my last one.

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My legs and lungs were both fried.  I started cleanly and executed a nice settle after 10 strokes, but I bailed out again after 20.  No good reason, I just felt like stopping.  A much briefer internal negotiation commenced and once again, the hard ass bully won.  I set up again and executed yet another good start.  I felt it again in the legs, but this time, I just let the pace stay a bit slow through the middle 30 strokes of the piece and my sprint was nothing to write home about.  I desperately want it to be true that the tailwind was much lighter during this rep, but I suspect that is just wishful thinking.

That wrapped it up for the day.  I paddled back to the dock.  In the way, I passed the sculler I had seen before.  He is the new coach for LaSalle College.  This is cool because they have not had a program for the past couple years and they are getting it going again for the fall head racing season.  It will be good to have some more boats on the river.

I stashed my boat on the rack and drove straight to th airport changing out of my workout clothes in the car.  I showered at the airline club and took off for LA.  I am there for a dinner tonight.  Then tomorrow I fly up to San Jose for a couple more meetings.  I fly home during the day on Friday, landing around 3:30PM.

My plan is to hit the hotel gym for a very quick treadmill session tomorrow morning.  Basically a warmup plus 2 – 2 minute sprint intervals and a cool down.  On Friday, I plan to stop on my way home from the airport for a quick row.  Just a warmup, some starts, and the 3x250m workout that Sander suggested in his blog.  Then on Saturday, I will just do a few starts and pack up my boat.

Sunday is race day.  I have the Masters (50-59) 1K at 8:30. There are 10 entries, so that will likely be 2 heats of 5 boats each.  Based on my intelligence gathering, I will either win the slow heat or lose the fast heat, depending on which one I am placed in.  Then at 10:20 I have the Open 2K.  This one has 12 entries, so probably 3 heats.  I would probably be seeded in the bottom third of this event since I am neither your nor a stud.  But it will be nice to get beaten by former national team members and other worthy conquerers.