So a 10 mph tail wind when heading down river. Guess which way I rowed my hard pieces?
The plan was for a long warmup, a few starts, then an all out 1K piece, then after that a couple of hard 2Ks. It didn’t end up working out that way.
04855_|_1634_|_09:27_|_2:53.4_|_186___|_19.7_|_08.8_|_138___|_slow roll ups
06489_|_0289_|_01:07_|_1:55.7_|_036___|_32.3_|_08.0_|_158___|_Bailed at 300m
06778_|_0377_|_02:17_|_3:02.2_|_042___|_18.3_|_09.0_|_130___|_back to the start
07155_|_0515_|_02:01_|_1:57.3_|_061___|_30.3_|_08.4_|_161___|_Bailed at 500m
07670_|_0686_|_03:54_|_2:50.6_|_076___|_19.5_|_09.0_|_138___|_back to the start
08356_|_1003_|_03:57_|_1:58.2_|_120___|_30.4_|_08.4_|_167___|_made it to 1K
09359_|_2460_|_13:27_|_2:43.9_|_285___|_21.2_|_08.6_|_145___|_trying to row clean
I started with the rojabo warmup. Here are the last 4 20 stroke pieces from that at 26, 28, 30 and maximum stroke rate. Notice the delightfully fast, tail wind assisted paces. It was nice to be able to accelerate to a 1:45 pace and hold it in the last piece. Over the past month, I’ve been able to slowly push up the max rate from around 33 to around 35 with reasonable control.
Then I paddled back past the prospect street bridge to the straight bit in front of the watch factory and settled myself for some starts. No disasters today, but into the headwind, the boat felt heavy and I had more time to think through what was going on.
From there I worked on technique stuff all the way back to the start of the 1K course. Along the way I passed 2 weed harvesters.
I’m sure glad they are out working, but I’d hate to run into one! Knowing they were behind me on the hard pieces made a bit more watchful than normal. Probably a good thing.
So, I got myself turned around in front of the small island and tried to get relaxed for the start. I pretty much nailed the start and the first 10 strokes, but I didn’t bring the pace down very quickly. I was deceived by how the fast pace felt pretty easy at first. But by the time I got out to twenty strokes, I was already really blowing hard. I tried to settle in, but got discouraged and quit at 300m. F**K! The next three plots are all using the same scale on the x-axis so that it’s easier to compare the start and initial thirty strokes. In the first one, you can see that I “settled” to around 1:55. Well. I learn that is not sustainable.
I almost just quit right there and rowed back to the dock, but it didn’t seem to be the right thing to do. So I rowed back to the start, had a quick drink, got myself settled and started another attempt. Again, I was happy with the start and I settled a bit better to around a 1:57 pace and counted strokes. This time, I got out to 60 strokes, just about exactly halfway and it was really starting to bite. I should have taken 10 strokes for length and let the pace slide up a bit, but again, I got discouraged and pulled the plug. Double F**k. This is getting ridiculous. But, I can only do what I can do, and there is no point feeling bad about it. I decided to just be very conservative and try it again.
The plan for this one was clear and detailed. 10 stroke start sequence. Immediately settle to 30 spm and 2:00 pace after that for 20 more strokes. After the 30th stroke, take 10 for length to try to force myself to settle in. Count out 20 more to get to the halfway point. At that point try to keep the rate at or around 30 and start to push a bit more pace. If I started to feel like I was blowing up, back off. After 90 strokes, take 10 strokes to start pushing up the pace and then a 20 stroke sprint.
Sounds good on the screen, sounded good in my head. I wondered if it would work.
It did. Again, I was happy with the start. I was happy with the settle. I tried to ignore the pace as much as I could and just focused on the rate and trying to keep my finishes clean as I counted out the strokes. I had to do some steering to hit the right line between a point of land and a little island around the 600m mark. Once I got to 90 strokes, I knew I was not going to blow up and I started to push. With 10 left I rated up as much as I could. Well, at least I finished it. Now I now what I can do.
Just for comparison, at the Festival regatta last year my pace was a about 0.5 sec slower and my stroke rate was 33.6 versus 30.4 today. Both were in tail wind conditions. I also had the first two attempts lurking in my legs for the final 1K I did today.
Trying to be objective about it. I think my technique is better and my fitness is worse than the same time last year. Between work travel, graduations, and my elbow issues, I am not anywhere near where I want to be in terms of preparation. But, I’m not looking at that as an excuse. I’m more thinking that there is a lot more improvement to be gained if I can get both my technique and fitness where I want them at the same time.
After the 1K, I called it a day, and just tried to row clean back to the dock.
Tomorrow: Steady State plus a few starts.