Losing Fitness

Things are hectic right now.  I haven’t had a spare minute over the past week so just a quick recap.

Saturday:  A lovely (but cold), first on the water row for the season.  I was in a double with Angela.  Angela a a wonderful, happy woman who was in my learn to row class, I guess it must be 5 years ago.  (I just checked and it was Spring of 2011, so it has been 5 years!)

She has gone to Craftsbury a couple times  and she seems to enjoy working on technique, so that’s what we did.  We were trying to stay with 2 quads that we filled with a mixture of new and experienced rowers, and a launch.  The water is still brutally cold and for safety we wanted to all stay within hailing distance of each other.  We did tons of pause drills, we cut the cake.  We took turns rowing by ourselves (good power practice!).  We were quite well set in the boat by the middle of the outing so we did some starts, which were slow, but reasonably well synchronized.  All together we did about 10K of rowing over about 80 minutes or so.  For some reason, I was having trouble getting RIM or Crewnerd to work for me on Saturday, but the exported TCX from RIM seems to be reasonably intact, so I could plunk that into Google Earth.

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After the row, I rushed home and my wife and I drove down to Cape Cod to look at a vacation house we are thinking of buying.  I started feeling a bit under the weather on the way down, and by the time we were on our way back, I was sure that I coming down with something.  I even fell asleep in the car (she was driving!) for a while on the return ride.

The good news is that we loved the place that we looked at and we bought it.  It’s right on the water, and I guess that means that I am now in the market for a good used open water boat!

The bad news is that I went downhill fast.  By bedtime I had a fully fledged head cold.

Sunday: Sick. No training.

Monday:  Early morning flight to San Francisco.  Still sick. No training.

Tuesday:   Feeling a little better, but still congested and a bit wobbly.  No Training.  On the red eye home from San Francisco.

Wednesday:  Busy day, including a late dinner with customers.  No Training.

Thursday:  Basically done with the cold.  Still a bit congested, but otherwise fine.  Decided to not get up at 5:15 to do a morning workout.  I think when recovering from an illness, sleep is more important than exercise.  Toward the end of the day, I had a time window open so I could sneak down to the gym.

In an effort to distract myself from how much my fitness has declined from the illness and layoff, I put the erg on slides.  It’s OTW season, I should really be working on slides as much as I can anyway.  I had a bit of a struggle with the slides.  They seem to be binding a bit at one end (near the catch), so I can get into this cycle of hitting the front stops, breaking free and rowing some weird strokes to get things back centered.

I did 30 minutes.  I was fine through the first 15, but my stamina was shot.  My HR went up and stayed up even when I backed off the power.  On slides, I am about 10W lower than static for equivalent effort, so 170W at r18, 190W at r20, etc.

Friday:  Back to the routine!  Up at 5:15.  Into the gym around 7.  I was going to do a 3 x 20′ session, but I was rudely interrupted by the sticky slides after about 10 minutes, so I stopped and tightened up the shock cords a bit and that seemed to help a bit.  But still if you just push the rower to the catch, it will hang there and not return to the neutral position.

First bit.

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2016-04-01 08.04.20

It took about 2 minutes to do the adjustments then I started again.  I decided to just do 4′ at 18, and 1′ at 22.  I then let myself go to r19 for the slow bits.  It was still a bit too intense for my diminished capacity.  So, I rowed the second 20 minute piece as an easy 160W at a constant r19.  Even that was pushing the upper end of the UT1 band.

Friday PM:  I had a very frustrating day.  Lot’s of challenges to overcome and “opportunities” to confront.  By the time 5PM rolled around, I decided that I needed a little bit of stress relief.  So I headed back to the gym to do another 30 minutes.  This one was just 30 minutes at r19 and 180W.  I felt like I was finally getting some rhythm on slides.

Saturday:  Slept in late.  Still trying to bank as much sleep as I can.  Then I brought my boat to it’s home on the Charles in Newton.  I didn’t have the time or inclination to go for a row though because it was rainy and I had a lot of errands to do.  I had largely finished these tasks by around 5pm, and then settled in for a 3 x 20’/1′ rest session.  This one on a my static erg at home.

This started fine, but again, after about 20 minutes or so, my stamina failed me and my HR started to creep up beyond the UT1 limits.  I made each successive 20′ piece easier, but still, I was unable to get my HR back under control.

And that brings us to today.  My plan for today is an afternoon 4 x 20′ session at very low intensity.  Basically a 150 BPM cap.

Tomorrow:  Back on the road again.  Back to San Diego for Monday and Tuesday, then to Munich for Thursday and Friday.  I am staying over in Munich for the weekend for another meeting on Monday.  Then I fly home on Tuesday.  It will be interesting to see how well I can get training worked into that!

Needless to say, I will have to rethink the training plan.


slept a lot on Sunday, and

6 thoughts on “Losing Fitness

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