Weather: Sunny. Beautiful. Building wind from the WNW. I launched at 6:30, and started the first interval about 10 minutes later. I was back on the dock at 8:00. So you can see the wind increasing in the chart below.
- 4 x 2800
- 4′ rest
- rate: 24-26
- pace: <2:20
- HR: No cap, objective is to maximize time in TR
- Technique: early and clean finishes, good reach at the catch.
This was a good workout.
The reason that this workout is 2800m intervals is because that is how much river I have to row on. I row out of a place called Boating in Boston, at the bottom of this map.
I row across the lagoon, which is chock full of weeds, then around a reasonably tight corner. Then there is about 300m of straight water. This is good for a few power strokes and warmup type drills. Then a sharp turn into “the cut”. That is a short cut that cuts out a big, long, annoying oxbow in the river. Coming out of the cut, there is about 100m of weedy channel to get to a little island on the south side of the river. That island is the start point of the “good rowing” and the start of the 2800m interval. This map shows the course of the rowable water.
Starting at the island, you row down a narrow channel for about 100m, and then things open up on both sides. On the south/east side, there is a long cove which is good rowing early in the season, but gets all weedy. On the north/west side, there is a broad area of wetlands. This is a nice broad channel.
About 600m from the start you pass between a point on the east side and little island on the west side. There is a sunken log off the point that I mashed a fin on two seasons ago. I tend to give it a wide berth.
After you pass this point, you turn a bit to take the ideal line through the s-curve. The traffic pattern on the river is defined as downriver on the south/east side and up river on the north/west side. But in the curve, on a high intensity workout, I will go for the best line and keep a sharp eye out for boats. The river is usually pretty deserted. The perfect line for the curve is to cut the south shore close going in, then turn as little as possible to get past the north corner, then gradually get back to the east side coming out of the turn. The turn is tight enough to cost me me about 5 seconds on pace in the two turns.
Coming out the turn, there is beautiful stretch in front of an old watch works. It has been converted to condos and offices, but it still looks like a classic New England factory. There is about 600m of nearly straight rowing before you need to think about the bridge.
The bridge. What can I say about the bridge. It’s very pretty, but a challenge for rowers. Here is a view of it from the downstream side on the north/west bank of the river. The nearest arch is unusable because it is too shallow. The middle arch is for going uyp river. The far arch is for downstream traffic. Each arch is about twice as wide as the span of a sculling boats oars, and the bridge carries two lanes of traffic and two sidewalks, so it’s about two boat lengths through.
The challenge is the approach. Coming downstream (at the bottom of the next photo), you need to cut close to the dock, and turn toward the east bank for a few strokes. Then you need to cut back to line yourself up with the center of the arch since the road is not at right angles to the river. Then coming out of the bridge, you should steer a bit back to the east bank to be in the right traffic lane. You can see I didn’t do a good job with that today.
Coming upstream, you can’t just aim at the middle arch because the is a outflow pipe which has made a little sand bar that juts out a bit, so you need to aim at the downstream arch, then turn to the middle, then turn back to get the right angle through the arch. Then there is a bit more adjustment to get out to the upstream lane.
All of this is actually easier than it sounds, but it is a challenge to do it right after 2200m of hard rowing. It’s even trickier at 30spm.
After the bridge is about 600m in a long arc to the Moody Street Dam. This is straightforward but tends to have the worst wind for some reason.
Anyway, not sure why I felt the need to do that, but I did. Back to the workout.
The first rep was magic, I was flying. I was rowing well and moving fast. If only it was always like that. 2:11.8 pace over 2800m including all the shananigans.
After I finished it. I had an “Oh dear” moment, realizing that I had 3 more to do. I decided to hold myself back a bit from then on. I aimed at keeping the pace on the right side of 2:20. That worked out fine. The second interval was trouble free. 2:18.4 pace.
OK, half done. Time to go again. I was tired but ready to give it a go. No problems to report. 2:17.6, with a little bit of help from the WNW breeze.
After three I was smoked. And the breeze seemed to be building. I gave myself permission to suck. And at first I really did. The head wind was not debilitating, but it sure slowed me down across the basin at the start, then it was more of a cross wind, until the S-turn, when I was back into the teeth of it. I was lots of 2:25s and higher in the worst of it. Then when I got back to about the point with the sunken log, I started to push a lot harder, I got a little faster and my level of effort went a lot higher. I charged back up the channel at about 2:10 pace and declared victory. 2:20.3 pace for the last interval, fair enough with the head wind and tired legs.
Here’s the data from the Speedcoach
01536_|_2801_|_12:18_|_2:11.8_|_309___|_25.1_|_09.1_|_163___|_light tail wind
Tomorrow: Completely the same and totally different. Again 4 x 2800, but with 1′ rests, at r20 and with a HR cap at 150. Steady State endurance training.