Monday: 15K steady state

Sunny, cool (low 50s), wind N 6-8mph. This was a head wind heading down river.


  1. 4x3K with short rests
  2. rate: ~20 spm
  3. pace: no target
  4. HR:  Keep it under 150, well under 150 if possible.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.17.18 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.17.05 PM


11720_|_56:07_|_2:23.6_|_1158___|_20.6_|_10.1_|_141___|_Main set
01660_|_08:06_|_2:26.4_|_175___|_21.6_|_09.5_|_141___|_cool down

Very comfortable row.  Felt better when I finished than when I started.

Tomorrow:  4 x 2500 / 5′ rest r24.  Target pace: 2:15.

Sunday: Head Race Simulation – Hard 5K on Quinsig

Cloudy, wind NE at 7-10mph.  This was a cross/head wind for the 5K piece.  It also kicked up some nasty chop for most of the row.  On the plus side, I wasn’t waked during the piece, only during the warmup.  Very sporting of them really.


  1.  5K hard
  2. rate: r28
  3. pace: better than last weekend’s 2:12.7
  4. HR:  There is no cap on race simulations.
  5. Technique:  Work on really reaching for the catch and keeping my finishes clean and avoid too much layback.

As I got my boat in the water, a couple guys from the club at the north end of the lake came by and asked  me if I wanted to do a race piece with them.  Damn right I did!  We rowed steady state down to the south end of the lake.  I tried to keep my HR basically in UT2 the whole way down, but finished with about 500m of head race pace just to get comfortable with the rate.

Then we turned, and futzed around a bit.  I asked the guy I was going to row with what his target pace was.  He said 2:15 in flat water, which seemed about right to me. I didn’t want the pressure of starting off side by side, so he let me go and he started right behind me.  It seemed like we were pretty even in pace, but over the first 1000m I started to put a little distance between us.  The wind was gusty and flukey, and the except in the lee of the islands, annoyingly choppy.

By the 2K mark, I was up about 30 seconds or so, and the row was basically pushing a bit faster when I got some flat water and slogging along when it was choppy or I got a bit gust of wind.  I was a lot slower than last weekend, but I think with the conditions, and the lower HR, this was actually a better row.

I ended up about a minute ahead of the guy I was rowing with.  It sure is easier to keep pushing hard when someone is chasing you!  I really wanted to stop or slow down around the rt 9 bridge, but pride kept me going.

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04000_|_5000_|_22:45_|_2:16.5_|_585___|_25.7_|_08.5_|_169___|_5K piece

1000m splits for the 5K.  Pretty flat paced.


After that, I did some square blades, some feet out and rowed with a quad from my club back to the dock.  Very good outing.

Saturday: 4×20′ Steady State with lactate tests

Based on feedback from Boris and Tom, I dialed back the steady state power from th 190W that I targeted last week to 180W this weekend.  The goal was to get some meters in the bank and do another experiment to see what my lactate levels do over long pieces.


  1. 4×20′ / 1′ rest (actually about 1:15 or so by the time I did the lactate test and had a slug of water)
  2. Target rate: 18 to 19 spm
  3. Target power: 180W
  4. No HR cap, training to target power
  5. Lactate tests after each 20′ piece.

Very interesting results.  Kind of depressing really.  I backed off power by 10W and the saw very close to the same picture for HR and lactate.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 9.37.04 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 9.36.49 AM

Workout Summary – Sep 21, 2015
–_|_19268_|_80:00.0_|_02:04.6_|_181.1_|_18.3_|_142.2_|_ 69.6% _|_13.2_|_09.9
Workout Details

01_|_04821_|_20:00.0_|_02:04.4_|_181.6_|_18.2_|_125.3_|_ 57.7% _|_13.3_|_10.0_|_1.7
02_|_04818_|_20:00.0_|_02:04.5_|_181.2_|_18.1_|_138.7_|_ 67.2% _|_13.3_|_10.0_|_3.3
03_|_04816_|_20:00.0_|_02:04.6_|_180.9_|_18.1_|_149.2_|_ 74.6% _|_13.3_|_10.0_|_4.1
04_|_04813_|_20:00.0_|_02:04.7_|_180.7_|_18.9_|_155.0_|_ 78.7% _|_12.8_|_09.6_|_5.2

Compared to last week, my HR took a little longer to hit each band.  And my lactate at 20 minutes was lower than last week (1.7 vs 2.3), by after 20 minutes, my HR and lactate just kept on rising and rising.


Now, this is really intriguing.  Based on what I was doing the past couple of years, I would have enthusiastically embraced the 1.7 reading and kept my training power at 180W, because I wouldn’t have taken any more readings.

So, this these results are a bit counterintuitive because it is generally thought that a lactate reading below 2.0 after 20 minutes indicates that the power level is low enough that it will stay there for the duration of the training session.  I am not sure what is going on, but I have a few ideas.  Lactate accumulation can result from two causes.

  1.  The ability to metabolize fat is low, therefore the transition from fat metabolism to glycogen metabolism occurs at a lower power than the training power.  This causes the over production of pyruvate, which leads directly to lactate levels rising
  2. The ability to metabolize lactate is low, therefore lactate accumulation happens at a lower power level than expected.

Of these, the more plausible is number 1.  If I have been habitually training at too high an intensity, then I have been bathing my muscles in lactate and that would provide plenty of stimulus to improve lactate metabolism.  But, the same hypothesis, too high a training power, would definitely cause fat metabolism to shut down and not be developed and improved.  I’ve become an anaerobe by doing my steady state at too high an intensity.

I did some digging and found a thread over on Rowing Illustrated which is on point.

A rower with a 380W 2K (roughly 6:30) did a 20′ lactate test at 185W and got a lactate reading of 11.1mmol/l.  He finally ended up down at 155W with a 1.85 reading after 20 minutes.

Anyway, I think another shot at this with the power down at 170W next weekend is my next step.