Friday: 4 x 20′ / 1′ rest

It’s difficult to describe how hard it is for me to back off on steady state power.  Basically, everything I do on the erg, I am pushing hard to go faster.  On top of that, there is a clear correlation between the power you can maintain at 2.0 mmol/l lactate and 2K time.  So, slowing down the steady state stuff feels like moving farther away from my goals.

However,  there is also clear evidence that the efficacy of endurance training is not significantly diminished by lower intensity, and the recovery time is significantly faster.  By going slower in endurance training, you are able to both do more endurance meters, and attack high intensity training with more oomph.

Just because the evidence is clear, doesn’t mean that it is easy to do.  If it wasn’t clear already, I’ll say it now.  I’m a stubborn and competitive person.  The trick is trying to figure out how to channel that into the most productive training regime.

I think one way to do this is to use “L4” format sessions for my endurance training.  That way, I have the rate and pace changes to keep me occupied, and I can experiment with technique at a number of different stroke rates to try to improve.  I am not going to use the L4s as precisely defined by the Wolverine Plan.  The paces are far too fast for me to be able to maintain a <2.0mmol/l lactate level.  And the rate and pace variations are a bit too broad for my taste in endurance training.  Finally, since I am working on slides and I perceive that my problems are related to rowing efficiently at higher rates, I am shifting the rates up from the original definitions.

I guess that leaves the question, how is that like L4 workouts at all?  I am retaining the idea of 6 or 10 minute sequences, broken up into distinct chucks that are executed at specific stroke rates and powers.  Here are my power targets


Looking at it, they seem incredibly slow.  On a static machine, doing L4s, I was pushing about 12 seconds faster at each rate (16 at 2:07).  Of course, I was rowing way down at 16 spm most of the time.

If I think about it as a 4 SPM change in baseline.  So, on slides, 20 SPM is basically like 16 SPM on a static machine, then it kind of works out.  Today, I did the following power sequences.


The average power was around 180 for the whole workout, but it gave me some variety.  The actual powers were a bit higher (because I’m an overachiever)


Heart rate response was right on.  Ranging from sub UT2 up to UT1 for the 190W and 200W stuff. Stroke rates were above target.  I should have been averaging about 21 SPM for all segments.

I did a lactate test at 60 minutes.  –> 1.8mol/l (perfect)

I think I will do more of my steady state stuff this way.  It’s more entertaining and the stroke rate and power targets are good constraints for me to focus on instead of just obsessing over getting faster.

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 10.10.04 AM

At the end of the workout, you can see a little extra.  I took some video to analyze.  More on that later.

Tomorrow:  Plan is for a HM.  I think I’ll do an hour instead.  I’d really like to see how close I can get to 16K.




2 thoughts on “Friday: 4 x 20′ / 1′ rest

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