Tuesday: Starting to work on Starts

Weather:  Basically like yesterday.  Sunny, cool and blustery.  Generally WNW, 5 mph with gusts to 15 mph.


  • Rojabo style warmup to the moody street dam
  • Do as many starts as I can stand
  • 15 strokes each start, 10 stroke paddle, then stop the boat, reset and do it again
  • In each start work on:
    • Get set comfortably at the catch.
    • Do NOT go to full compression, stop when it feels like my heels are beginning to lift.  The key is to be rock solid at the start of the first stroke.
    • First stroke:  Smooth, powerful acceleration, very early finish, get the blades way off the water, barely feather.
    • Second Stroke:  get back to 1/2 slide fast!  get the blades in, keep it smooth, finish early, get the blades clear
    • Third through fifth:  keep taking short strokes and focus on balance and finishes
    • fifth through tenth: extend out to full slide.  Keep stroke rate up above 38, but keep recovery smooth.
    • 10 to 15:  full pressure, good strokes
  • Long cool down focusing on technique

Here is the whole session in google earth.  I paddled to the lap02 flag, then did the Rojabo warmup.  That took me to the end of the basin in Waltham.  Then I turned and did 14 starts going up river and generally with a cross/tail wind.  That took me back to the beginning, I had a drink, turned again, and did another 14 starts going back down river, now with a bit of a head wind.  A few of them, especially #’s 22 to 25 were definitely impacted by a reasonable strong headwind at the time.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 2.00.23 PM

Here’s the whole session as interpreted by Rowsandall

myimage (17)

This is time based, so it gives you a better picture of the gap between intervals.  There is something fishy about the pace display.  The graph from google earth is in km/h.  Here is a closer view of the speed.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 2.20.57 PM

The top speed is 18.7 km/h.  This is a foreign unit to me, so here’s the translation

  • 15 km/h = 2:00.0/500
  • 17 km/h = 1:45.9/500
  • 19 km/h = 1:34.7/500

This intrigued me enough that I exported the CSV file from crewnerd and plotted it in Excel.

That matches Google earth.

Next time, I will set it up as a predefined workout in Crewnerd.  15 strokes on and about 1:30 rest would be about the same thing.  I’ll have to pause it sometimes to get to a fortuitous starting point, but it should workout OK.

Other than the interesting pace discrepancies, it was a useful and interesting workout.  The key really is the first stroke.  Being a little conservative and finishing clean is the biggest thing.  Once the boat starts to build a little momentum, it gets easier.

I’ve registered for the Cromwell Cup.  This is a 1km sprint race on July 10th.  So, that should provide some motivation to do some more start practices.

I also had a useful live demonstration of the value of magik oarlocks.  Right now, one of the tension bands, the one on my port oarlock, is busted.  So that oarlock acts just like a normal C2 oarlock.  The tension band on the starboard oarlock is intact, so the little lever applies pressure to the stern side of the oar.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 2.35.06 PM

In normal rowing, I can detected no difference between port and starboard, but sitting at the catch with blades buried, I sure could.  With the wind today, there was a bit of chop, and I could feel my port oar rattling around at the catch, my starboard oar was just solid.  No movement at all.  I don’t know if it was coincidence, or self fulfilling prophesy, but most of the problems that I had with imperfect first strokes were on the port side.

I enjoyed the cool down.  I did two repetitions of 500m SBR, 500m of alternating SBR and normal, and 500m of slow roll ups.  That took me back to the cut.  From there it was just a paddle back to the dock.

Tomorrow:  Another session of easy rate ladders.  HR cap at 155.

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