Forecast for the weekend is for a brisk headwind, so today, I decided to take advantage of the elements to prepare. It was a blustery fall day today. Temps were in the low 50s and the there was a gusty NNW wind around 10mph gusting up to 15-20 at times. This wind direction is a head wind on the widest, straightest part of the river, so I did my 2 little intervals right into the teeth of it. I also started right at the downwind end of the stretch to get the worst possible chop. Because the river is so shetlered, it wasn;t so bad, but it was noticeably unpleasant to row in.
- Race style warmup with bursts at increasing stroke rates
- 2 x 500m with a 5′ or longer rest
- pace target: 2K race pace or better .. 2:00 (without wind or waves)
- rate target: 30
That was a challenge. Trying to get the rate up and row cleanly at full pressure was challenge, especially during the gusts. I improved a bit over the 2 intervals getting a bit more clearance and smacking fewer wavetops, but I am still not all that comfortable rowing in chop.
In the first interval, I had to do some abrupt steering to thread the needle between a couple of Brandeis crews and a protruding headland. I think it was more a case of information overload. I was trying to judge where they were, and where the headland was (by the way, this is the place where I nearly ripped the skeg off my boat by cutting it too close once), maintain full pressure, and deal with the wind trying to take my blades and the chop making the catch tricky. I don’t see a solution to that other than more practice in lousy conditions.
I paddled back to the same place to start the next interval. This one was way more controlled and I rowed much better. It was still slow, but for the conditions it was the best that I think I could do. If I have this much headwind, I’ll be lucky to break a 2:20 average split for the race.
Tomorrow: Warmup only then load the boat.