Wednesday: 1 Minute Power Test

So, I know that I was supposed to do a light day today, but looking at my work schedule, it didn’t look so good for a power test tomorrow.  I also felt pretty fresh.  I didn’t need to dig all that terribly deep for the 2 speed test.  Finally, thinking about the 2K test, the idea of keeping up the intensity seemed to more closely mimic the kind of taper I like to do.

The challenge was the PM on the erg.  I was doing this at work and it is a older model C with an old style PM.  The kind that you can’t hook up to rowpro.  So, I pulled my PM3 off of my erg at home with the idea of swapping it onto the erg at work for the day.  I was stymied by the fact that the mounting bracket has been changed between PM models and the new one would not fit on the old bracket.  Bummer.

So, I ended up setting my iphone on a upturned trashcan, leaning against a small dumbell and aiming at the PM.  Then I laboriously transcribed the power reading from each stroke into excel.  If you want to watch some really boring videos, I posted them to youtube.

Why are there two, you ask?  Well, there’s a story behind that.  Not much of a story, but a story nonetheless.

I did a nice gentle 20 minute warmup, and then got myself psyched up for the test.  Apparently I did not get myself psyched up nearly enough, because I blew up big time 32 seconds into the test.  I took the go all out advice to heart and I just totally lost it round the 30 second mark.  I was on slides, so I was cranking at close to 50 SPM.  I was rowing mostly with my eyes closed, and then opened them after about 25 strokes.  When I saw I had only made it halfway, I suffered a bout of acute despondency and dropped the handle.  Pity, it would have been a good test if I had the guts to keep going.  As it was, I set a new PR for peak power.  770W vs my old mark of 701W.  I also maintained with 10% of that value for 25 seconds, which shows that my “Anaerobic alactic critical duration” is reasonable.  “Rowing Faster” says you want to be able to hold that for longer than 20 seconds.  Of course for the other measures, average power and “Anaerobic lactic critical duration” were not measurable from this failed test.

I took a few minutes to get my head together and tried again.  This time, I made it less than 20 seconds into the test and I didn’t bother to transcribe the results.

I had a chat with myself, and decided to make yet another attempt, even though I knew that the test results would not be fully valid.  At least I would be able to get a completed test to score.  Maybe I’ll loop back to this in a week or so.

The last attempt was fine.  I definitely paced myself too much.  I certainly had a lot less power in the initial burst.  This one peaked at 726W.  AACD was 18 seconds.  ALCD was 60 seconds.  Average Power for the minute was 606W.  Maybe I was dogging it, but I was fairly shattered after I finished and the long 20 minute cool down was a struggle even at a 2:10 pace.

To summarize:

  • Peak Power: Target – 837W to 1023W, Actual: 770W
  • Average Power: Target – 674W to 814W, Actual: 606W

So, basically horrible compared to the benchmarks.  By the way, I don’t know too many guys my age with a low pull of 1:12.  Frankly, I don’t that many guys with a low pull of 1:12, so I am not sure how realistic these targets are.

The important thing is that it gives me something to compare against in future tests.  I will feel better if I redo the test in a week and get a complete first shot test done.

Here are my curves

power test

Here’s the HR plot for the whole disaster.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 8.54.40 AM

Tomorrow:  40 minute steady state sometime during the day.  Then 2K trial on Friday.

7 thoughts on “Wednesday: 1 Minute Power Test

  1. sanderroosendaal says:

    When I upgraded my model C I had to buy the PM3 upgrade, which is apparently different to the PM3. I guess you found out. Good testing. I am contemplating doing the 6k this evening but I will decide after the warming up.
    The 2k will have to wait to next week. I need a real low intensity day prior to that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Richard says:

    Makes the legs pump doesn’t it!!

    Like I said 2 out of the 3 of us were apprehensive enough going in to the test that much that we messed it up. Knowing you should blow up on the last stoke and really struggle to keep the pace is really hard to get your head around.


  3. Dan J says:

    Here’s a datapoint from me, a recreational club sculler with decent technique and national trials results (top-10 sculler for several years) but atrocious training habits and discipline. I sit at about 6:30 2K most of the year…

    I was actually inspired by your blogpost to do the test, even though I’ve owned the book since forever. This was my first attempt ever and I flew off the seat midway through, which slightly ruined the results.

    My all time lowest split is 1:04, so I think I can do better next time I try this. It must have a pretty large learning effect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gregsmith01748 says:

      That’s a lot of watts! 6:30 is only a dream for me. 6 huge seconds out of reach. I’m glad you did the test and shared the results. It’s an unusual enough test that seeing different plots is really helpful.


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