Wednesday – Short Intervals – On the water and on the erg!

I had an unintended rest day yesterday.  On Monday, I heard on the radio that there were still tickets available for a concert Monday night (Bare Naked Ladies, Violent Femmes, and Colin Hay (Of Men at Work fame).  Now this line up was well aligned to this fifty something music fan and my wife is a BNL fan, so we decided to go.  We had a blast, but got home around 11:30 and I made an executive decision that 8 hours of sleep and no workout would be more beneficial than 5 hours of sleep and a workout.  I entertained the notion that I might sneak off and do the June CTC on the erg sometime during the day, but I never had a window.  So, I set my sights on Wednesday morning.

This morning, the weather report was for showers, turning into rain, then around 9AM there was a 50% chance of a thunderstorm.  So, I felt like I was OK launching around 6:30.  It wasn’t raining at all when I pulled into the parking lot.  But by the time I launched, it had started to sprinkle.  I still figured that I would just get a bit wet and be off the water before any pyrotechnics started.

Wrong.  I was half way through my workout when I heard the first serious rumbles of thunder.  At that point I was about 3K away from the dock, so I squeezed in one more interval and cooled down the rest of the way back home.


  1. 8 x 500m
  2. 500m rest
  3. rate: >30
  4. pace: ~ 2:00 (more important to hit the rate and work on technique than hit the pace)
  5. Technique:  Work on smoothing myself out at higher rates.  Good reach, clean catch, smooth application of power, crisp finish, blades off the water on recovery.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 2.15.10 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 2.15.00 PM

03995_|_0511_|_02:00_|_1:57.6_|_061___|_30.4_|_08.4_|_164___|_int #1
04748_|_0502_|_02:00_|_1:59.0_|_062___|_31.1_|_08.1_|_167___|_int #2
05653_|_0497_|_01:58_|_1:58.9_|_061___|_31.0_|_08.1_|_165___|_int #3
06492_|_0504_|_02:00_|_1:59.4_|_062___|_30.9_|_08.1_|_168___|_int #4
07198_|_0504_|_02:05_|_2:03.7_|_062___|_29.8_|_08.1_|_169___|_Int #5
07702_|_1397_|_08:14_|_2:56.8_|_163___|_19.8_|_08.6_|_139___|_cool down

02518_|_10:03_|_1:59.7_|_308___|_30.6_|_08.2_|_167___|_Main set
01189_|_08:31_|_3:34.8_|_145___|_17.0_|_08.2_|_144___|_rest meters
01397_|_08:14_|_2:56.8_|_163___|_19.8_|_08.6_|_139___|_cool down

For a warmup today, I decided to do something a little bit different.  I did 10 strokes ON / 10 strokes off, increasing the rate starting at r18 all the way up r34.  This was less taxing that the rojabo style warmup I’d been doing and a I enjoyed the change.

I then rowed (with firm pressure) to the dam and turned around to start my first interval. It was uneventful and I felt comfortable at r30 and 1:58.  I finished this interval about 150m before the prospect street bridge, so I paddled through it and started the second interval right in front of the watch factory.  This one felt pretty good too.

Then it was a paddle around the s-turn, and I started the 3rd interval on the straight 1K section.  Now they were starting to bite pretty good and I also had to do a bit of steering toward the end of this one that impacted the pace.  As I was gasping for breath, I noticed that the sky was looking a bit more ominous and the rain was now somewhere between “steady” and “hard”.  I paddled to the point at the beginning of the cove and turned for interval #4.

Interval #4 was tough work, but I nailed it.  I steered well and I maintained the rate.  I was disrupted for a stroke or two by a wind gust near the end, but I got right back in the groove.

As I coasted to a stop after the fourth interval, I heard a loud, low rumble.  Thunder.  I’m not a genius, but I know enough to get off the water during a thunder storm.  So, I cut the rest a bit short and did one last interval in the direction of the dock.  This one was more effected by the breeze that was building.  I worked harder and went slower in this rep than in the other reps.

I got back to the dock as quick as my fried legs would carry me and got my boat put away.  I’m pretty happy with the way the intervals went.  I was in control and rowing reasonably well.  I am starting to be able to modulate pace at r30 a bit better.  Hopefully, I am also getting a bit more efficient at it.

Session #2

I got to work and had a couple meetings.  I saw that I had hole in my schedule for about an hour at mid-day.  I decided to do a bonus session to get in the intervals that I missed.  Since these were on the erg, I did them a 2 minute pieces, not 500m, so that they would more closely resemble what I was doing on the water.  I also had the erg on slides, and did them strapless to try to keep the focus on technique at higher rates.

I ended up duplicating my morning workout.

5 x 2′ / 3’30” rest

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 2.19.08 PM 5x2

I was happy with how this went.  I originally targeted 1:45, but the first rep was not too bad at 1:43.1 pace, so I thought I would try to negative split from there.  I brought it down to 1:40.0 for the last rep and averaged 1:41.9 for the set of 5.  I’m really happy with that.  I think that means that I am probably ~6:50 for a 2K on the erg currently.

One interesting side note:  Since I did essentially the same session OTW and OTE, I have an interesting benchmark to compare my erg speed to my OTW speed.  My pace difference today was

1:59.7 – 1:41.9 = 17.8 seconds

According to the biorow rowing speed calculator, my erg to boat pace delta should be 13.6 seconds.  This calculator uses height, weight, age and erg score to come up with a “prognostic 2K time” for OTW.   So, if my erg score is a 6:48, the Biorow calculator predicts a OTW 2K for me of 7:42.3. I am actually much closer to 8:00.  The way I look at it, I have about 4 seconds or so of technique improvement to do in the boat to take advantage of what I can do on the erg. The number could be even bigger, since I did the boat session first and the erg session second.  Improvements beyond those 4 seconds will have to come along with a faster erg score.

Now my legs are really trashed.  Tomorrow is steady state.


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