Friday: 5×500 – Still not my usual self


  1. 8×500
  2. rate > 30
  3. Pace <2:00

It did not work out that way.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 9.57.29 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 9.56.55 AM

04500_|_0500_|_01:57_|_1:57.0_|_062___|_31.8_|_08.1_|_166___|_Interval #1
05500_|_0500_|_01:57_|_1:56.8_|_062___|_31.8_|_08.1_|_165___|_Interval #2
06500_|_0500_|_01:57_|_1:57.2_|_061___|_31.2_|_08.2_|_165___|_Interval #3
07500_|_0500_|_01:59_|_1:59.4_|_063___|_31.7_|_07.9_|_162___|_Interval #4
08500_|_0500_|_01:58_|_1:58.2_|_062___|_31.5_|_08.1_|_165___|_Interval #5
09000_|_2640_|_14:54_|_2:49.2_|_298___|_20.0_|_08.9_|_144___|_cool down

02500_|_09:49_|_1:57.7_|_310___|_31.6_|_08.1_|_165___|_Main set
02000_|_14:52_|_3:43.1_|_231___|_15.5_|_08.7_|_134___|_rest meters
02640_|_14:54_|_2:49.2_|_298___|_20.0_|_08.9_|_144___|_cool down

Warmup:  King of the mountain, Top quarter, arms only, arms and body, half slide, legs only (about 30 strokes of that).  Then into the Rojabo style warmup 10 at 20, 10 off, 20 at 22, 20 off, 30 at 24, 30 off, 20 at 26, 20 off, 20 at 28, 30 off (to get under the bridge), 20 at 30, 20 off, 20 at max rate (34 ish).

Then I turned around, had a drink and tried to get myself psyched up.  I did all the intervals with standing starts to get more start practice.  I had in my mind that I would look at each interval as a 10 stroke start, 2 sets of 20 strokes at race pace, then 10 strokes of sprint at the end.  The first attempted interval, I nailed the start and the first 10 strokes.  Then I pushed into the first 20 stroke set. At the end of that set, the interval had started to bite, and I wimped out.  I wasn’t in distress.  It was more of a decision that I didn’t want enough to push hard.  So, I coasted to a stop.  I tried again, with the same result.

I paddled about 500m to get me past the Prospect street bridge, and decided on a new plan.  I would do the start ad settle to my race pace faster, after only 5 strokes.  Then I would focus on keeping my rate above 30 and trying to take nice clean strokes.  I would do my very best to ignore the pace and let it happen.  I would count up to 60 strokes and then look to see how much distance I had left. I would not try to sprint the end.  The training objective was to focus on improving my technique while rowing above 30 SPM.

This seemed to work pretty well.  I counted out the strokes of the interval and I seemed to be able to maintain a pace between 1:57 and 1:59 at r31 with reasonably good form.  I did not feel rushed and my catches were pretty clean.  The RIM analytics show some real issues to be worked out though.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 10.17.15 AM

I’m OK with the profile of the drive.  At that rate, it seems most folks show some degree of the two bump phenomenon.  But you can see the bump at the finish.  I should try to clean that up.  And you can see that I am accelerating the boat as I recover up the slide.  That means that when I hit the end of the slide, I am checking the boat at the catch.  More stuff to work on.

After that happy interval, I paddled around the s-turn and set up for #2.  Basically the same deal.  Here are two strokes, one at the beginning and one at the end of the interval.  See how the first drive hump is more pronounced at the end?  I assume that is fatigue hurting my technique.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 10.28.08 AM

Interval #3 was fine.  Basically the same as #2.  But I could feel the fatigue settling into my legs.

Interval #4 was a struggle.  I eased up after the start and cruised through it not pushing quite as hard.  This shows in the acceleration curves.  More consistent from beginning and end of this one.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 10.32.36 AM

Interval #5 was awful.  I wanted to keep the pace somewhat reasonable, but my legs were starting to feel really tired.  I tightened up and started rowing pretty badly.  I was feeling like I was going to blow up around the 40th stroke, and I looked at the speedcoach and saw that my HR was only around 172.  I know that I can row for about 15 minutes with my HR that high, so I basically told myself to harden the F**K up and row twenty more strokes and row them clean.  You can see it in the strokes.  This plot has a stroke from the beginning, one when I was panicking (stroke rate 34, but going slower), and then one in the last 10, where I got myself back in line.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 10.38.23 AM

I was gassed at the end of interval #5, but I tried to get myself pumped up for #6.  I made it about 20 strokes before I bailed.  That was basically it for me.  I was toast.  I did 5 practice starts, and then rowed with feet out back to the dock.

I like the pace of the intervals.  1:57.7 is pretty fast for me, even if it was only 5.  I don’t like my mental state.  I have to get myself to a place where I slow down instead of quitting.  It’s a hard thing to do when I need to work on technique at high rates.

Tomorrow:  Quick, easy row on Quinsig and then hosting Learn to Row day at the club.

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