Friday: Hard 3K, Hard 1K, Square Blade Rowing and Steady State

Weather: Sunny, warm, mid 60s.  Light WNW wind, 4mph, mainly a cross/head wind going down river.

Plan:  Drills, then Steady State, plus a few starts and a hard 1K.  Work on finishes and balance.

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 10.13.58 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 10.14.15 AM

00940_|_2900_|_13:04_|_2:15.2_|_288___|_22.0_|_10.1_|_164___|_Hard 22
03900_|_2900_|_14:21_|_2:28.4_|_298___|_20.8_|_09.7_|_157___|_Slow roll ups
06960_|_0900_|_03:39_|_2:01.8_|_112___|_30.6_|_08.0_|_172___|_1K Hard
08600_|_1080_|_05:31_|_2:33.1_|_119___|_21.6_|_09.1_|_150___|_500SQ / 500SS
13180_|_0540_|_03:41_|_3:24.7_|_072___|_19.5_|_07.5_|_135___|_cool down
00900_|_03:39_|_2:01.8_|_112___|_30.6_|_08.0_|_172___|_Main set
10380_|_51:42_|_2:29.4_|_1103___|_21.3_|_09.4_|_155___|_Steady State
00960_|_06:21_|_3:18.4_|_124___|_19.5_|_07.7_|_137___|_rest meters
00540_|_03:41_|_3:24.7_|_072___|_19.5_|_07.5_|_135___|_cool down

That was the plan, but it didn’t quite work out that way.  I was going to stick to r20 and steady state going down river and come halfway back and then do my 1K.  But as I came out of the small section of river that intersects with the cove, I saw another single sculler up ahead.  I felt a familiar feeling and I knew that there would be no HR cap on the trip down river.  I started about 100m behind him and over the first 500m or so, I caught up and passed him.  From that point, I just concentrated on putting a much distance between me and him as possible and to keep my rate lower than his.  It looked like he was rowing about a r24.  By end of the 2900m piece, I was about 800m ahead.  I was pleased with the pace for r22, right about 2:15.

I turned and did a few more drills and had a drink and we set off in the other direction at about the same time.  I was rowing with slow roll ups and focusing on technique, but I also put enough energy into it to put a little distance between us.  I basically did this all the way back to the beginning of the 1K course.  Beautiful flat water today, so I had no excuses for rowing badly.

I turned at the start of the 1K course, took a few deep breaths and then did my start.

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 11.09.49 AM

The graph looks different because I was logging every 20 meters instead of every stroke like yesterday. My objective was to keep the pace between 2:00 and 2:05, which I guessed would be about 95% intensity.  I now think it was a bit closer to 98%, looking at the HR.  I really felt the bite at the 500m mark and pushed through it.  I started to feel like I might puke or lose control of other bodily functions.  At that point, I tried my “take 10 for length” idea, and dropped the rate just a little bit.  It seemed to do the trick.  I got through the crisis and continued to count up the strokes.  But something went wrong with my counting somewhere in the piece.

My 1K is basically 120 strokes.  This splits up into the first 30 which is the start and the settle and then 10 strokes.  Then the next 30 strokes are where you start to feel the bite.  By the 60th stroke, I’m in distress, so the next 30 is 10 for length and then either rate up or stay long for the next 20.  I know that if I can get to 90 strokes, that I can make it.  Somehow today, between the 60 and 90 mark, I managed to lose track of 10 strokes.  That meant that I thought I was on the 90th stroke, but I was actually on the 80th stroke.  I started pushing for the finish hard.  I also though that I had enough room before a headland so I didn’t need to cut back to the main channel.  When I got to what I thought was 10 strokes to go, I looked at the elapsed distance and it said 7700m.  In the fog of lactate, I seemed to remember that I had started at 6950m.  What the hell?  I was now too far over to fit in another 20 strokes without crashing into the headland, and I had started my push to the end too soon.  I decided quickly to just push hard through 7850 and then jam on the brakes to stop my boat.  So, I had to settle for 900m today.  Here is the map view.  The 1K starts at the bottom and there is a broad gentle curve to get onto the line between a point (with submerged log sticking out from it) and the island.  Past the island, you need to pick a new aim point to start to turn towards the entry of the s-turn.  Today, I got lazy and didn’t transition to this new aim point quickly enough after the island, so I ended up aiming at the headland.

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 10.13.20 AM

I’m not all that happy with the pace, 2:01.8, and I’d like to see the rate a bit higher.  But I battled the demons and won this round in the middle of the piece.  I am now a confirmed convert to Sander’s philosophy of 1K racing.  Which I take the liberty of paraphrasing here:  You need to do a lot of 1K time trials to get used to awful you feel in the middle of the race.  Especially true because conditions vary enough that you can’t really use pace as a guide.

After that, the rest of the workout was an anticlimax.  I basically just did 500m of square blade rowing and then 500m of steady state alternating the rest of the way down to the dam.  When I was rowing square, I tried to work on getting my elbows out at the finish and extracting the blades as quickly and quietly as I could.  Then transitioning to steady state, I tried to use exactly the same tap down, and then feather.  I was working on trying to separate the two actions to clean up my finishes.  I had a magical stretch where I got ten full strokes where I didn’t touch water from finish to catch at all.  In general I would be able to go one or two strokes and then I would lightly skim one side or the other.  But I have to say, that my hands are working better at the finish now.

After the dam, I turned and did 6 practice starts.  I took each one out to 10 strokes.  Then I continued with my 500 square / 500 steady all the way back to the dock.

Tomorrow:  Probably out on Lake Quinsigamond, but I may face transportation challenges.   In any case, I think a reasonable easy session might be in order.

Then next week, I taper for the race on next Sunday, the 21st.  Unfortunately I have a business trip mid week, so I am already starting to plan my excuses based on that.

2 thoughts on “Friday: Hard 3K, Hard 1K, Square Blade Rowing and Steady State

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