Weather: Sunny, hot – in the 80s, light wind around 4 mph from the west, generally a head wind when going up river.
I was out late for dinner with a customer on Wednesday night, so I decided to sleep in, and maybe catch a row in the late afternoon after work. I was able to get out around 4:30PM and I was on the water by about 5:15.
I was originally planning to do a hard threshold session, but I’m still feeling a bit worn down. I’m also working through some lower back pain. I was dreading the session enough that I found myself trying to come up with reasons to not row. Once I figured that out, I decided that it was too nice a day to miss getting out on the water to enjoy it, and reset my plans. I would do a low intensity technique session.
I didn’t have a ton of time, so I decided to just do one lap of river, about 9km. It’s been a while since I did a bungee row, so I opted to row from the dock to the end of the river with the bungee and then take it off for the row back. The main thing I try to do when I row with a bungee is to work on my form during the drive. I want to accelerate smoothly while maintaining a body forward position, with my shoulders relaxed and my arms not bent at all, then swing my body through, and finish smooth and early and get my blades out of the water cleanly. The big thing is avoiding opening up my back early. Paradoxically, doing this session with a bit of lower bak pain was helpful. Essentially, my back would remind me with a twinge anytime I opened early.
I was surprised by the pace I was getting with the bungee. I usually lose about 15 seconds or more off pace, but today it was less than 10. Once I turned the boat around and took the bungee off, I understood why. I was rowing with a gentle tail wind. Now I was rowing into the wind and frankly, it felt a lot like rowing with the bungee. I tried to just stick at an easy 18 spm, and ignore the pace as much as I could to focus on getting the drive right and enjoying the sunshine.