Tuesday: Rate Ladders in a 2x

I had an appointment to have my car serviced this morning and the dealership is out near Lake Quinsigamond in Shrewsbury.  I dropped my friend Joe a note yesterday to find out if he would be interested in taking out a double this morning for a row before I dropped off my car.  He was.  So we met at the lake around 5:45 and took out a nice Vespoli double that we have.

Joe is recovering from a surgical repair of a torn biceps tendon.  He missed all of last season, but this season he is starting to get back to his old form.  We put our names in the draw for the masters double event at the HOCR.  Today was the first time we’ve been out in a double for about 2 years.  We decided to do some rate ladders to work on our timing and try to match up our techniques a bit.


  • Rate Ladders: 4′ @ 18, 3′ @ 20, 2′ @ 22, 1′ @ 24
  • Short rests at the south and north ends of the lake.

Weather:  Cloudy, some light rain, warm around 70F.  Wind was from the south at 3 to 5 mph. (1.8 to 2.2 m/s)  The boat felt a lot heavier rowing south than it did rowing north.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 8.06.12 AM

We started out from just north of the rt 9 bridge and headed south.  The first ladder started at 2 minutes.  We hit the south end of the lake at the end of the r20 section of the second ladder and turned around to finish the r22 and r24 sections.  Rowing north was a treat.  The boat felt light and I felt like our timing was working better.  One challenge we have to work on is that Joe and I seem to want the boat to lean in slightly different directions.  I always feel like the boat is leaning a bit to port.  Another thing to work on is finishes.  I noticed that my finishes were sloppier in a double than in the single, I imagine because the stroke is a bit quicker.

We finished the 3rd ladder about 1000m south of the route 9 bridge and continued into the fourth.  By the time we got to the r24 part of the fourth interval, I felt like we were rowing pretty well together and I called that we would go keep pushing the rate up.  I heard the reaction, I was hoping for from Joe in the bow…”Alright!”.  So, a minute at 26 felt great.  Then up to 28.  This started to be a bit more ragged, but still good fun.  Then finally to 30.  This was pretty nasty rowing, and not really any faster than the r28 bit.  I don’t know about Joe, but I was feeling pretty winded by the time we were into the r30.  We finished the r30 section right before we got to the I290 bridge and paddled it out to the north end of the lake.

There is just about 3K from the north end of the lake to the boathouse.  We decided to do 20 strokes on / 20 strokes off until we had about 500m to go and then finish hard…just in case there was anyone at the boathouse to impress :-).

With about 700m to go, I brought up the rate and with 500m to go we went to full pressure at r28 and I started counting strokes to the finish.

I really enjoyed that.  From a pure training effectiveness perspective, I probably should have kept the intensity a little lower, but I think it was good to work on technique at higher rates, and it was fun.

Looking at the biorow data, the wind would have slowed the pace down about 9 seconds going south and sped us up about 7 seconds going north.

Tomorrow:  Back in the single.  Race prep.  Standing starts, 15 strokes, 1′ rests over and over.




2 thoughts on “Tuesday: Rate Ladders in a 2x

  1. sanderroosendaal says:

    Wind correction will come very soon to rowsandall.com.

    Did you row on bow or on stroke?

    Regarding the different “boat lean”, it could be that your singles are rigged with a different height difference between starboard and port side. You could experiment with moving one or two rings up or down on the oarlock pins for one of the rowers. Lousy explanation but you get what I mean.


    • gregsmith01748 says:

      I was at stroke. Joe spends all of his time on this lake, he can steer it with his eyes closed.

      I think we will need to experiment a bit with rigging to try to figure out the lean. moving the rings is a good idea, I hadn’t thought of that.


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