Wednesday: Steady State (and more accuracy fun)

Weather:  Yawn…Another perfect day.


  • 4 x ~14min
  • rate 20
  • pace target < 2:30
  • HR cap < 155


So, here is the pace plotted for GPS (on the left) and speedcoach (on the right)

Here is the rate data

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 7.25.02 PM

Tabular comparison of impeller and GPS

Impeller Data
01044_|_2825_|_13:46_|_2:26.2_|_282___|_20.5_|_10.0_|_145___|_rep #1
03995_|_2833_|_14:00_|_2:28.2_|_288___|_20.6_|_09.8_|_148___|_rep #2
06886_|_2846_|_14:05_|_2:28.4_|_284___|_20.2_|_10.0_|_150___|_rep #3
09871_|_2826_|_14:23_|_2:32.6_|_294___|_20.4_|_09.6_|_153___|_rep #4
12697_|_1041_|_06:35_|_3:09.6_|_127___|_19.3_|_08.2_|_133___|_cool down

11330_|_56:13_|_2:28.9_|_1148___|_20.4_|_09.9_|_149___|_Main set
00323_|_02:45_|_4:15.9_|_036___|_13.1_|_09.0_|_125___|_rest meters
01041_|_06:35_|_3:09.6_|_127___|_19.3_|_08.2_|_133___|_cool down
TCX Data
|Start|Dist_|Time_|_Pace__|_SPM__|avg HR|DPS_|Remarks
|00019|01081|05:44|02:39.1| 20.0 | 122 |09.4|warmup
|01100|02898|13:48|02:22.9| 20.6 | 145 |10.2|rep #4
|03998|00222|04:07|09:16.3| 08.8 | 110 |06.1|cool down
|04220|02898|13:58|02:24.6| 20.7 | 148 |10.0|rep #2
|07118|00082|01:36|09:45.4| 14.0 | 133 |03.7|rest
|07200|02898|14:03|02:25.4| 20.2 | 150 |10.2|Rep #3
|10098|00213|02:09|05:02.8| 16.3 | 133 |06.1|rest
|10311|02886|14:21|02:29.2| 20.5 | 153 |09.8|Rep #4
|13197|01095|07:07|03:15.0| 19.3 | 133 |08.0|cool down

|00000|01081|05:44|02:39.1| 20.0 | 122
|00000|11580|56:10|02:25.5| 20.5 | 149
|00000|01095|07:07|03:15.0| 19.3 | 133

2:26.2 vs 2:22.9 –> 3.3 – down stream
2:28.2 vs 2:24.6 –> 3.6 – up stream
2:28.4 vs 2:25.4 –> 3.0 – down stream
2:32.6 vs 2:29.2 –> 3.4 – up stream

current effect ~ 3.5 – 3.15 (avg of 2 ups – 2 downs) = 0.35

So, the downstream pieces GPS will read .2 faster than impeller, up stream .2 slower
Average difference between speedcoach and GPS –> 3.4 seconds (impeller is slower)

Yesterday the difference was around 2.5 seconds difference.  I think I need to recalibrate my speedcoach.

Tomorrow:  My first outing doing short rest intervals in this mesocycle.

4 x (5 x 2′ on / 30″ paddle) / 2′ rest

The 2′ on is supposed to be at head race pace.  I’ll target 2:15.

Tuesday: 4 x 2500 / 5′ rest

Weather:  Amazing!  Cool and dry, very little wind.  I launched just after 6:30.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 1.49.03 PM


  • 4 x 2500
  • 5′ active rests
  • rate target: 26
  • pace target: 2:15

I am pretty darn happy with this workout.  I would have been happier if it was faster, but I executed this workout to the best of my ability.  No theatrics, no bailing out.

There was one weird thing with today’s workout.  I was seeing a persistent difference in pace between the speedcoach and the GPS.  Now, over a short span, I don’t expect them to read the same, but for basically the whole row downriver, I was seeing the GPS based numbers giving a pace 2 to 5 seconds faster than the impeller.  Must be flow, you might be thinking.  At least that was what I was thinking, but right now, there is essentially no flow.  The water level is so low that basically nothing is going over the dam.  And when I saw the same thing going up river, I decided that something was fishy with the speedcoach impeller.  Either the cal was off, or there was something fouling the impeller.

Here is a comparison of the paces for the four pieces.

GPS — Imp –> Delta
2:12.0 — 2:14.6 –> 2.6
2:14.9 — 2:17.4 –> 2.5
2:16.1 — 2:18.7 –> 2.6
2:16.7 — 2:19.5 –> 2.8

I saw nothing on the impeller when I pulled the boat, so I will do the comparison again tomorrow and update the cal if there is still a difference.

Here’s the (slow) speedcoach data.

For comparison, here are the first 3 intervals based on TCX data from RIM.  The pace data is a lot noisier, but the eyeball average is about 3 seconds faster.  I had a glitch with the phone and the data for the 4th interval ended up in a different file.

Here’s the TCX data for the fourth interval.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 2.31.31 PM

Here are the tabulated results.

TCX Data from RIM
|Start|Dist_|Time_|_Pace__|_SPM__|avg HR|DPS_|Remarks
|00019|01203|07:11|02:59.1| 18.7 | 117 |09.0|Warming up
|01250|02496|10:59|02:12.0| 26.2 | 159 |08.7|rep #1 – downstream
|03746|00474|04:59|05:15.4| 16.1 | 125 |05.9|rest
|04269|02498|11:14|02:14.9| 26.2 | 167 |08.5|rep #2 – upstream
|06767|00424|03:53|04:34.8| 19.9 | 135 |05.5|rest
|07219|02501|11:21|02:16.1| 26.2 | 170 |08.4|Rep #3 – downstream
|00020|00280|03:22|06:00.7| 13.1 | 128 |06.4|rest
|00300|02498|11:23|02:16.7| 26.5 | 170 |08.3|rep #4 – upstream
|02798|01492|09:50|03:17.7| 19.7 | 139 |07.7|cool down
|—–|09993|44:57|02:14.9| 26.3 | 167 |08.5|Main Set

Impeller Data from Speedcoach
01220_|_2501_|_11:13_|_2:14.6_|_292___|_26.0_|_08.6_|_159___|_rep #1
04093_|_2508_|_11:29_|_2:17.4_|_300___|_26.1_|_08.4_|_166___|_rep #2
06900_|_2512_|_11:37_|_2:18.7_|_304___|_26.2_|_08.3_|_169___|_rep #3
09700_|_2493_|_11:35_|_2:19.5_|_306___|_26.4_|_08.1_|_170___|_rep #4
12210_|_1364_|_08:20_|_3:03.2_|_166___|_19.9_|_08.2_|_136___|_cool down

10014_|_45:54_|_2:17.5_|_1202___|_26.2_|_08.3_|_166___|_Main set

Tomorrow:  75′ Steady State, 20 spm, HR cap at 155.

Training Review – August

It’s been a wild ride since the end of July.  Here’s a summary of the past 4 weeks, compared to the plan.

Executive Summary:

  • 87% of target for LIT minutes over the four weeks.
    • Excluding week 6, I was right on target.
  • Only 36% of planned HIT minutes.  So, way below plan.
    • I was at 60% of plan for the first 2 weeks, which basically meant that I was hitting 2 out of three planned sessions.
    • In the last two weeks, I was under 10% of plan.  The cause was just not doing high intensity sessions much.  During the first week in the house at the cape, I had other priorities beyond training.  I was trying to get the house set up, and have a vacation with my family.
  • Take aways:
    • Planning regular 2 hour sessions on the water is not practical.  I can;t devote that time, plus the time to launch and recover to training.  I might be able to do it once a week or so.
    • I need to be more flexible about open water rowing.  The conditions did not permit much in the way of HIT, and some days were not rowable at all for someone with as little open water experience as I have.  I need to freely substitute bike training when I’m on the cape.
  • Conclusion:  I think I did enough to maintain the level of fitness I had at the beginning of August.  I have probably lost some lactate tolerance and top end speed.  But all in all, I had a blast this month.
Date Day Work-out Type mode Planned Workout Actual Workout
Meso Cycle #1 – Endurance (From beginning of July)
8/1/16 Mon Rest  rest  OTW: 80′ Steady State (LIT)
8/2/16 Tue Hard Distance otw 4 x 2900 / 1′ rest r24 (HR limit 170)
50′ HIT, 20′ LIT
 OTW: 4×2700 Threshold
50′ HIT, 20′ LIT
8/3/16 Wed Steady State otw 4 x 2900 / 1′ rest r20 (HR limit 150)
75′ LIT
 OTW: Technique
75′ LIT
8/4/16 Thu Hard Distance otw 4 x 2900 / 1′ rest r24 (HR limit 170)
50′ HIT, 20′ LIT
 OTW: technique
50′ LIT
8/5/16 Fri Technique UT2/UT1 otw Square Blades / Slow Roll Up / r20 2 minutes each, repeated
75′ LIT
OTW: Steady State r20
100′ LIT
8/6/16 Sat Hard Distance otw 2 x 5.5K r26
50′ HIT, 30′ LIT
OTW: 2 x 5.5K
45′ HIT, 30′ LIT
8/7/16 Sun long and easy erg 4 x 30′ / 1.5′ rest (lactate)
120′ LIT
 rest day
Week 4 summary       150′ HIT
340′ LIT
 95′ HIT
355′ LIT
8/8/16 Mon Technique UT2/UT1  otw Bungee Row first half, Steady state r20 second half
75′ LIT
OTW: steady state r20
75′ LIT
8/9/16 Tue Hard Distance otw 4 x 2900 / 1′ rest r24 (HR limit 170)
50′ HIT, 30′ LIT
OTW: 4 x 2700
45′ HIT, 40′ LIT
8/10/16 Wed Steady State otw 4 x 2900 / 1′ rest r20 (HR limit 150)
75′ LIT
OTW: steady state r20
71′ LIT
8/11/16 Thu Hard Distance otw 4 x 2900 / 1′ rest r24 (HR limit 170)
50′ HIT, 30′ LIT
 OTW: Aborted session
12′ HIT, 25′ LIT
8/12/16 Fri rest  rest  rest (bought a house!)
8/13/16 Sat long and easy owr 120′ open water (HR Cap at 150)
120′ LIT
rest (moved into a house)
8/14/16 Sun Hard Distance owr 60′ open water (HR cap 177)

40′ HIT, 20′ LIT

erg: 10K push
20′ HIT, 20′ LIT
Week 5 summary        140′ HIT
350′ LIT
 77′ HIT
226′ LIT
8/15/16 Mon long and easy owr 120′ open water (HR Cap at 150)
120′ LIT
8/16/16 Tue Hard Distance owr 60′ open water (HR cap 177)
40′ HIT, 20′ LIT
8/17/16 Wed long and easy owr 120′ open water (HR Cap at 150)
120′ LIT
8/18/16 Thu Hard Distance owr 60′ open water (HR cap 177)
40′ HIT, 20′ LIT
OWR: 90′ steady state
90′ LIT
8/19/16 Fri long and easy owr 120′ open water (HR Cap at 150)
120′ LIT
OWR: 90′ Steady State
90′ LIT
8/20/16 Sat Hard Distance owr 60′ open water (HR cap 177)
40′ HIT, 20′ LIT
8/21/16 Sun rest  rest rest
Week 6 summary        120′ HIT
420′ LIT
 0′ HIT
180′ LIT
8/22/16 Mon Hard Distance owr 60′ open water (HR cap 177)
40′ HIT, 20′ LIT
Bike: 40km
100′ LIT
8/23/16 Tue long and easy owr 120′ open water (HR Cap at 150)
120′ LIT
OTW: 2 x 1K plus 15K SS
8′ HIT, 80′ LIT
8/24/16 Wed Hard Distance owr 60′ open water (HR cap 177)
40′ HIT, 20′ LIT
erg: August CTC
14′ HIT, 25′ LIT
8/25/16 Thu long and easy owr 120′ open water (HR Cap at 150)
120′ LIT
OTW: r20 SS
75′ LIT
8/26/16 Fri Hard Distance owr 60′ open water (HR cap 177)
40′ HIT, 20′ LIT
8/27/16 Sat long and easy owr 120′ open water (HR Cap at 150)
120′ LIT
90′ LIT
8/28/16 Sun Hard Distance owr 60′ open water (HR cap 177)
40′ HIT, 20′ LIT
erg: 60′ easy rate push
60′ LIT
Week 7 summary        120′ HIT
420′ LIT
 22′ HIT
430′ LIT

Monday: Steady State Rate Ladders

Weather: broken overcast.  Warm and humid.  Light wind from the W.  This was a headwind going up river, but not much of a factor, maybe 4 seconds on pace.

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 11.31.23 AM


  • Rate ladders
    • 4′ at 18
    • 3′ at 20
    • 2′ at 22
    • 1′ at 24
  • Pace targets:  2:30 for r18, and faster with higher rate, maybe 3 sec for each step.
  • HR:  Cap at 155

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 11.32.16 AM.png

Tabulated pace and rate data from the Speedcoach.  This let’s me break it down by rate.  I blocked the 1 minute chunks around each turn around to get a better estimate of actual pace.  I finished with the ladders at 1:01, and then rowed with square blades back to the dock as my cool down.


00553_|_03:03_|_2:45.8_|_052___|_17.0_|_10.6_|_134___|_rest meters
01357_|_08:28_|_3:07.2_|_169___|_20.0_|_08.0_|_132___|_cool down

10327_|_50:57_|_2:28.0_|_1032___|_20.3_|_10.0_|_147___|_main set

So, a bit slower for the r18 than I would have liked.  About 3 seconds faster for r20.  3.8 seconds going from r20 to r22 and 6.4 seconds faster going from R22 to R24!  Interesting to see the HR following the rates too.

Here’s the view of the workout from the TCX data collected by RIM and process by

Tomorrow:  Long Intervals – 4 x 2500 / 5′ rest.  rate target r26.



Sunday: Easy hour.

Got home around midnight last night, so I slept in instead of heading off to the lake this morning.  Around 3 in the afternoon I was ready for an erg session.

I wasn’t sure what to do today, so I decided to do an hour.  I would start slow, around 2:05, and speed up by a second every six minutes until I got to the top of the UT band.  Then I would slow down by a second to the end.

It ended up being an enjoyable session.  A bit warm, in the mid 80s and very sweaty, but I was happy that it took until the last 12 minutes before I hit the top of my UT band.

Data was saved using ergdata and then processed by

Tomorrow:  14k steady state OTW

Saturday: 14K open water in Wellfleet

Sunny warm and beautiful.  Brisk wind from the NNW between 10 and 15 mph with gusts to about 20.  This kicked up a fair amount of chop away from the windward shore, so I tried to stay close to shore where I could

I launched at 8:40am.  Here’s the weather data.

Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 1.24.27 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 3.51.36 PM.png

I launched from the small beach near my house, and rowed along the shore of Lt Island.  Then I cut over toward indian neck.  On the water, the wind felt like it was more NNE than NNW, and once I got over to the indian neck shoreline, there was nice smooth water and a bit less wind.

I went into Wellfleet inner harbor and I wanted to explore up into Duck Creek.  It was a good thing I did, because as soon as I turned around the end of the breakwater that forms the entrance to the creek, my boat was surrounded by a school of fish, they looked to be between 6″ and 12″ long and they were swimming so fast that they were stirring up the surface of the water.  I wasn’t sure why they were so agitated, but when I looked around there were a couple of seals peeking out the water at me.  They soon went back to hunting these fish, there were thousands of them.  A most amazing site.

Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 6.34.30 PM.png

I turned at the end of the marina and then rowed all the way out of the harbor and along the Wellfleet town beach to the west until I got to great island.  By then I had done about 9km and I needed to turn for home.  I didn’t stay as close to the beach on the way back and there was a lot more chop, which was basically on my beam.  I needed to ease up a bit and work on balance and timing to get both oars engaged at the catch with the boat rocking around.

I wanted to get over to the eastern shore a bit before I turned for home to avoid a bit of the chop, but time was growing short so I decided to just turn and row with the waves.  This was a blast.  Sometimes I was surging down the fronts of waves, but I needed to be really aware to avoid catching my oars on them on recovery.  In this case catching an oar is not the kind of slap that I am used to in flat water rowing, but burying the whole damn blade in the back of a wave.  I don’t want to give the wrong impression.  I would be surprised if many of the waves were over 12″ tall (except when they merged with a passing wake).  But it was enough to really change the way that I could row.

I surfed all the way back in front of my house to the little beach.  Then I had to carry my boat over the dunes back to my car.  One issue with the boat.  Every time I row, I get a good liter of water in the boat that drains out when I open the plug in the bow.  I suspect that the seam between the hull and the deck is cracked.  I’ll have to try to fix it this winter.

Edit:  Adding graphs from

Here is the pace data leaned up and scaled so you can see the slow bits that were going into the wind and waves.  The worst was the bit from about 5 minutes to 10 minutes.  The bit from just after 20 minutes to 30 minutes was tooling around wellfleet harbor.  I struggled with the waves from about 55 minutes all the way to about 1:10.  The big slow downs were huge wakes combined with the waves that pretty much swamped me.

resized plot.png



Thursday: 14K steady state (r18/r20)

Weather:  Sunny, beautiful.  light wind, building from the west.  This was a head wind going up river.

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 11.58.05 AM


  • 70 minutes of steady state
  • r20
  • pace target: around 2:30
  • HR cap: 155

myimage (73)

A very nice row.  No complaints.  Getting way out for the catch sure makes a big difference to boat speed.

Tonight my wife and I are heading back to the cape.  If the weather is nice, I’ll do an open water row tomorrow morning.  If not, I’ll go for a bike ride.


Wednesday: August CTC

I was out late on Tuesday night for a work related dinner, so I decided to sleep in on Wednesday instead of rowing in the morning.  When I got home, I had a little time, so I decided  to give the August CTC a try.  This one is a sprinter’s dream.

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 11.30.42 AM

I started with a 2K warmup, including some 10 stroke blasts.

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 11.32.05 AM

Then I took a bit of time, got some water and setup the challenge as a variable interval workout.  I separated each piece with 5 minutes of rest, starting with the longest and going shorter in each successive piece.  In the rests, I did about 3 minutes of this paddling, and the last 2 minutes, I toweled off, grabbed a drink of water and let the flywheel come to a complete stop.

It was a fun session. It was challenge to get the start right and I didn’t get it right on the 300 and 200 and was staring at a very slow AVG split that took a while to get down to where I wanted it.  The 400 and the 100 were much better.  I knew I needed to rate up to make this work, but I haven’t practiced at high rates at all, so that felt a bit weird.

Despite those excuses, I had a blast doing it.  The 5 minute rests were plenty long and the pieces were short enough that I felt like I could go all out.

I used ergdata for the session.  This was sync’ed to the concept2 site, and then I exported the CSV data and massaged it with excel.

I like the power chart.  It makes me happy to see over 600W, even if it’s only for about 10 strokes.  The rate chart shows how my rate was tending to trail off during the pieces.  The pace chart is at the bottom.

I was using the wahoo tckr which let me hook up to the PM5 with ANT+ and to my phone with BTLE.  I used my phone to record HR through the warmup, the whole CTC session and a 2K cooldown.  This was done using the wahoo fitness app, and exported as a CSV file and analyzed with Excel to get time in HR zone data.


The sprint times were  plugged into the little online calculator and that spit out 5:50.6, which puts me currently in 91st place.  Looking at the names and times in the list, I really should be aiming at 10 to 15 seconds faster, but that seems like a lot of work!  So I think I stick with this score.




Tuesday: Speedcoach Calibration and 14K of steady state

Weather:  Crystal clear.  Very Sunny.  Cool and breezy.  Wind NW 2 to 5 mph.

The main objective today was to get the new impeller mounted for my speedcoach.  Once it was mounted, it needed to be calibrated.  So, I popped it in the water and headed out.  I usually row in the early morning, but today, I had some things to do at home in the morning.  So, I launched around 1:00 in the afternoon.  Since it was such a nice day there were a lot of kayaks, pedal boats, canoes and various other water craft out enjoying the day as well.  Even though I was looking around constantly, I still had to back down hard a few times when a boat zigged instead of zagging, or I missed them in my scans.  Despite this, it was a glorious day to be out rowing.


  • Do 2x 1000m at r24 in opposite directions to calibrate the speedcoach.
  • 80 minutes of steady state

Leaving the dock, I started RIM and reset the speedcoach.  After I warmed up and got to the start of the straight part of the river, I realized that I really should be using Crewnerd for a autostart 1000m piece for speedcoach cal.  So, I flipped over and started up crewnerd, losing the first 1200m of rowing.

The 1000s went fine.  The first one was with the light wind and was done at an average pace of 2:11.4.  The second was upwind and the pace was 2:13.3.  I was winded but I didn’t push them all that hard.  After that, I did the river twice from the start to the moody street dam.  At first I was feeling like I was really struggling to hit any reasonable split.  But eventually, I started to row a bit better and sped up.  The main difference was focusing on getting way into compression at the catch.

Tomorrow:  Some more steady state.  80′ at r20.

Monday: 40km Bike Ride

Monday morning the tide was too low to launch.  I would have had to carry my boat across 500 meters of sand to get it in the water.  It was also windy (15-20mph with gusts t0 30 from the SW).  So I needed another plan.  I decided to give biking a try.

I have my old mountain bike down on the Cape.  I decided that navigating the sand and gravel roads on the island on a road bike with skinny tires and clip-in pedals was a bit much.  I might give it a try sometime, but for now, the old mountain bike is the pick.

This bike handled the sand and gravel without any trouble.  It’s 3.6km from my house to the major road.  1.3km is sand road.  The other 2.6 is paved.  The transition from sand to paved is right at the boundary between the island and a long causeway across the salt marsh.  There is a little bridge across a tidal channel, right where between the “e” and the “u” are in the word Lieutenant on the map below.  The approaches to this bridge actually are covered by the highest of high tides and cut off the island for a couple of hours.  When I went out biking it was much closed to low tide.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 9.39.29 AM.png

Right across Route six is the Cape Cod Rail Trail.  A lovely, straight, flat bike trail along the path of railroad right of way.  It stretches for about 23 miles.  I got on at about mile 22, and I rode south 15 km.  I decided to just ride out 50 minutes and then turn around to go home for a total workout length of 100 minutes.

When I turned around, I realized that I had a work phone call to do at 11am, so I pushed the pace and cut off a few minutes.  It also actually got my heart rate up into some reasonable zone for training.

Very nice.  I think biking is a great alternative if the tides of wind are not favorable.