Sunday: Hard Distance on Quinsig

Cloudy, cool (60F), very light breeze from the east.  This was a light cross wind and not a factor.


  1.  Long warmup, keep HR reasonable low
  2. Head race simulation, 5K from bottom of lake to the QRA docks (rate target: 26, Pace target: faster than 2:15)
  3. feet out cool down

Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 11.08.23 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 11.08.37 AM

03880_|_4940_|_21:51_|_2:12.7_|_561___|_25.7_|_08.8_|_176___|_4.9km hard
08820_|_2640_|_14:12_|_2:41.3_|_271___|_19.1_|_09.7_|_140___|_cool down feet out

04940_|_21:51_|_2:12.7_|_561___|_25.7_|_08.8_|_176___|_Main set
00180_|_01:01_|_2:49.4_|_015___|_14.8_|_12.0_|_123___|_rest meters
02640_|_14:12_|_2:41.3_|_271___|_19.1_|_09.7_|_140___|_cool down

I was lucky today in so many ways.  First, the water was perfect.  Second, the temperature was perfect.  Third, I was training with a mixed double.  They said that they were going to be aiming at 2:20 splits, so I gave the 40 second head start and then gave chase.  I caught up with them a bit north of the route 9 bridge, and we were side by side for about 1000m.  I pushed really hard in the first 2000m and I was pretty gassed, but I didn’t want to let them go.  With about 1000m left, I started pushing harder again and got a couple of boatlengths ahead of them by the end.

It was really good that I was chasing them.  If I was on my own, I think I would have bailed at the bridge.  The last 2000m were a real challenge.   My HR was above 95% HRR the whole second half of the row.

After we finished, we rowed up to the top of the lake, and did a few drills and had a drink.  Then we had a nice gentle row with feet out back to the docks at Regatta Point.

I’m very happy with the time, a 2:12.7 pace.  I don’t think I’ve come anywhere near that before, even in times with a tail wind.  Flat water makes a huge difference.

Tomorrow:  Back on my little stretch of the Charles River.  The plan calls for

Rate Ladder 4 x (1000 @ 18, 1000 @ 20, 500 @ 22, 250 @ 24) / 2′ rest

I think I might shift the rates down by 2 and row with a hard cap at 150, based on the lactate results from Saturday.

Saturday: 90′ Lactate Experiment

I was really tired on Friday night, so I decided to sleep in instead of rowing on Saturday morning.  I needed the sleep, all 12 hours of it!

After running around, doing errands, I decided to do an erg session in the late afternoon.  I had not eaten since 9AM, and I started around 4PM, so I was reasonably fasted.  I wanted to duplicate my situation rowing in the mornings as closely as I could.

I wanted to get a better feeling for what my lactate and HR did in a longer session at constant power.  I’ve been doing steady state sessions around 190W and I thought that was reasonably close to a 2.0 mmol/l intensity.  So, the experiment design was simple.

Row a sequence of 9 – 10 minute pieces at 190W, and measure lactate after each during a 1:30 rest.  Here is the RowPro view of the experiment

Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 11.38.39 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 11.38.52 AM

And the split data:

Workout Summary – Sep 13, 2015
–_|_19862_|_90:24.0_|_02:16.5_|_137.5_|_17.9_|_145.8_|_ 72.2% _|_12.2_|_07.7
Workout Details

01_|_02450_|_10:00.0_|_02:02.4_|_190.7_|_19.5_|_129.2_|_ 60.5% _|_12.6_|_09.8
02_|_00049_|_01:30.0_|_15:22.2_|_000.4_|_02.7_|_116.3_|_ 51.2% _|_12.2_|_00.2
03_|_02453_|_10:00.0_|_02:02.3_|_191.4_|_20.0_|_135.2_|_ 64.7% _|_12.3_|_09.6
04_|_00038_|_01:30.0_|_19:59.2_|_000.2_|_02.0_|_130.0_|_ 61.0% _|_12.5_|_00.1
05_|_02451_|_10:00.0_|_02:02.4_|_190.9_|_19.9_|_141.6_|_ 69.2% _|_12.3_|_09.6
06_|_00057_|_01:30.0_|_13:03.5_|_000.7_|_03.3_|_125.2_|_ 57.6% _|_11.5_|_00.2
07_|_02450_|_10:00.0_|_02:02.4_|_190.7_|_19.8_|_144.9_|_ 71.5% _|_12.4_|_09.6
08_|_00055_|_01:30.0_|_13:33.1_|_000.7_|_04.0_|_125.2_|_ 57.6% _|_09.2_|_00.2
09_|_02451_|_10:00.0_|_02:02.4_|_191.0_|_20.0_|_147.7_|_ 73.6% _|_12.3_|_09.5
10_|_00043_|_01:30.0_|_17:23.5_|_000.3_|_02.7_|_135.3_|_ 64.7% _|_10.8_|_00.1
11_|_02453_|_10:00.0_|_02:02.3_|_191.3_|_20.3_|_152.0_|_ 76.6% _|_12.1_|_09.4
12_|_00038_|_01:33.0_|_20:28.0_|_000.2_|_01.9_|_147.3_|_ 73.3% _|_12.6_|_00.1
13_|_02458_|_10:00.0_|_02:02.1_|_192.5_|_20.2_|_157.3_|_ 80.4% _|_12.2_|_09.5
14_|_00032_|_01:33.0_|_24:08.3_|_000.1_|_01.3_|_146.0_|_ 72.3% _|_16.1_|_00.1
15_|_02383_|_09:48.0_|_02:03.4_|_186.3_|_20.2_|_160.3_|_ 82.5% _|_12.0_|_09.2

This resulted in the following data:

lactate table

Which, when graphed, looks like:

Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 11.37.52 AM

So, what does this mean?

  1. 190W is too high of a power level for me right now.
  2. My HR takes a while to work it’s way up, but the lactate tracks effort pretty quickly
  3. My endurance is suspect.  The plateau from 20 to 30 is interesting.  I was able to hold that for that period, but I guess I fatigued and started to rely on more fast twitch muscles, which started to generate more lactate.  That’s also the point in the row where it started to feel like work.
  4. I was still in my UT1 band until after 60 minutes of rowing, but my lactates were way above the 2.0mmol/l target.  My rule of thumb of keeping it below the top end of UT1 is NOT a good guideline.

This was valuable enough that I think I will try it again next weekend at 185W.  I suspect that the plateau will be lower and longer, but will break free again and start to climb.