Thursday: Aborted Threshold Session

Weather:  Hot and muggy.  Mid 70s, and 97% relative humidity.  Humid enough that there was a thick hazy.  There were some light shifty winds when I launched, but it seemed completely calm by the time I was really rowing.   It was like rowing in a steam bath.


  • 4 x 2700 / 4′ rest
  • pace: 2:15
  • rate: 24-26
  • HR cap: none.  Intent if to maximize time in threshold zone (>164)

I had a sneaking suspicion that this session was going to be too big of an ask.  I have been thinking that 2 high intensity threshold sessions per week with 3 LIT days between might be a better schedule for this aging athlete.  But knowing that I was going to miss at least one day on Friday and maybe more pushed me to try to do it.

Even warming up, the boat felt heavy and my HR shot up quickly.  Due in equal parts to the humidity and being under recovered.  I took a couple minutes to try to get myself psyched up and then started the first piece.  It took a tremendous effort to try to hit my pace target and my HR climbed quickly.  Before I even got to 1000m, I bailed out.  I had just dug myself in too deep and couldn’t back it off.  I paddled a bit and then decided to try to finish the downstream piece at r24 or so, and not worry too much about the pace.

That lasted for a about 500m, and then the irresistible urge to hit my targets came back and I pushed a lot harder.  The results was a pace that was slower and heart rate that was much higher than what I saw on Tuesday.  I was so hot that I felt like I was glowing.  I paddled through the 4 minute rest and then started the upstream piece.  Again, it was a huge effort to try to get anywhere near my target pace, and I bailed out after about 100m.

This was not productive at all, so I decided to just row home, nice and easy.  This was discouraging too.  I was just trying to hold around a 2:30 pace and I couldn’t do it without my HR really climbing.  I was really wondering if I had picked up some weeds on the fin or something, or maybe the speedcoach was reading wrong.  But I doubt it.  I wondered if I had forgotten how to row.  I thought I was doing exactly the same thing as on Monday and Tuesday and going 10 seconds slower on pace.

Everyone has a bad session sometimes.  Today was my day.  To top it off, as I was turning around at upstream end of the river, I passed through a patch of lily pads, and my speedcoach stopped reading pace.  This happens every once in a while.  A weed will get entangled with the impeller and keep it from spinning.  So, I reach under the boat to clean it off, and discover that the impeller is not fouled, but entirely missing.  Perhaps it was ashamed of the slow readings it was showing and bailed out on me.  A replacement is now on order..

00020_|_1184_|_06:44_|_2:50.8_|_126___|_18.7_|_09.4_|_121___|_dock to island
02025_|_1911_|_08:45_|_2:17.3_|_213___|_24.4_|_09.0_|_163___|_rest of way down stream
04500_|_2647_|_14:13_|_2:41.1_|_255___|_17.9_|_10.4_|_147___|_just paddled home

02812_|_12:44_|_2:15.9_|_310___|_24.3_|_09.1_|_160___|_Main set
00480_|_03:18_|_3:26.5_|_064___|_19.4_|_07.5_|_133___|_rest meters
02647_|_14:13_|_2:41.1_|_255___|_17.9_|_10.4_|_147___|_cool down

Here is the full row from RIM data, uploaded to






2 thoughts on “Thursday: Aborted Threshold Session

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s