Monday: Easy Rate Ladders

Weather:  Sunny, upper 50s, Windy!  Sustained winds around 10mph, with gusts to 20.  Shifting around between the west and the north.

Rowing on  the upper charles from newton down to Waltham.  In my wonderful Fluid.


  • Rate Ladders (3’/2’/1′)
  • Rate: 17 / 19 / 21
  • Pace:  Completely useless with the shifty wind
  • Technique:  Work on getting way out at the catch and slowly squaring the oars at the catch.

I used Crewnerd with the Dual Skypro XGPS160

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This unit provides a 10Hz update rate for GPS information to the iPhone over bluetooth.  This is 10x faster than the internal GPS of the iPhone.  This is a good thing because pace changes should be reflected more quickly and accurately in CrewNerd.  If you are getting updates that quickly, you can turn down the smoothing from ~100m to ~20m and the annoying lag is a lot better and with the fast update rate, the pace does not hunt around.  When it works it works great, unfortunately I have never been able to complete an entire workout without the unit hanging up.  When that happens, the pace and distance on Crewnerd stop updating.  It happened to me today.  You can see it in the map below where the course goes from yellow to red.

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The updates actually stopped about 1km before that, at the little blue flag.  Here’s a zoom in.

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 11.53.24 AM

The updates stopped coming out of the s-curve.  It seemed like the display was live for at least another 2 minutes, and then froze, about 100m before the “lap001” flag.

I experimented to try to figure out what was going on.  I quit crewnerd and restarted it.  It was still not updating pace and distance.  I started up the XGPS utility app.  It took a while to open, and then finally failed, and crashed.  Next, I cycled power on the XGPS unit, and that seemed to do the trick.  But I am not sure that the iphone was actually using the XGPS anymore because the pace was madly misbehaving.  It was misbehaving just like it does when you don’t use enough smoothing and the internal GPS.

Anyway, I am not sure if it is the worth the hassle to use the XGPS.  I like the crisper pace display, but it really pisses me off when technology does not work reliably.  I’ll be glad when I get my impeller back.

So, back to the workout.  My pace was terrible and all over the place because of the wind.  I focused on trying to hit my rates and keep my HR below 155.  I also focused on the technique notes.  Even though it was windy, I really enjoyed the session.

The first plots are for the bulk of the session, up to the hang.  The second is for the last 2 minutes of the last ladder and the paddle back to the dock.  Looks like I did 12 complete 6′ ladders.

Tomorrow:  Time to start working on starts!  The plan will be to do a long warmup (Rojabo style) to the Moody Street dam, and then do starts, lots of them.  Basically 20 strokes from a standing start, paddle 20 strokes, stop the boat, repeat.  Focus is on cleanly building speed and hitting stroke rates in the mid 30s during the second 10 strokes.