Monday: Head Race Piece on Quinsig in a 2x

Weather:  A bit chilly, around 50F.  Clear skies, but a low mist was rising from the lake.  This effected Joe a lot more than me because he had to make sure we didn’t hit anything or any body.  There was a very light breeze which seemed to mostly come out of the north, which was a slight tail wind.  Looking at weather stations near the lake, they show no wind at all.


  • Warmup to the north end of the lake
  • Hard 5.5km from the north end of the lake to the south end.
    • rate: 26
    • pace: better than 2:15
  • Cool down and a few power pieces back to the dock.

We launched around 5:40 and the sky was just starting to lighten up in the east.  We headed north at an easy 18 spm and got warmed up.  We were in the club’s Vespoli 2x, which I think is a better boat for us.  My foot position was also a bit better.  I had more room at the finish and I like my catch position.  I was still coming down hard on the track ends, so I need to remember by bite guards.

We spun up at the north end and then started the piece.  The intent was to simulate a head race at our target rate and race pressure.  I wanted to make sure that we had some time trying to row hard while carrying a lot of fatigue before we raced next weekend.

I liked this boat a lot more.  I felt like I was getting good strokes in, and there were sections where the boat really felt like it was moving very well.  Probably the best section was during the last third of the piece.  When we passed the first island past the narrows, the boat just seemed to get a lot lighter and we were in very good synchronization.

Here is a comparison of our strokes in the first 1000, when we were fresh, but the boat felt a bit heavier and the “magic” section.

I specifically tried to pick out single strokes to avoid any averaging.  The thing that jumps out at me is that we had better finishes in the magic section.  The hump between 0.8 and 1.0 sec is lower.  The acceleration is still sloping up to a peak right before the finish, and I’ve changed my mind to say that it’s probably OK.  In the boat, when we are running well, I can feel the surge late in the leg drive and through the body swing.  It makes sense that it takes more of the stroke to accelerate a heavier boat and two rowers than a single.  The thing that we have to work on is consistency.  Hopefully a couple of rows per week between now and the HOCR, we can lock it in.

This was a much better piece that the one we did on Friday.   The avg pace was 2:14.4, and a fair amount of the time, we were hovering around 2:10.  We would have done even better, if we hadn’t been waked about 500m from the end.  That slowed us down a bit and we struggled to get back up to speed for the last bit of the piece.

On the way back up lake, we took it easy all the way up through the narrows and then did 4 sets of 20 on/10 off.  Then to cap it off we did a 30 stroke piece after we got past the rt9 bridge.

|Start|Dist_|Time_|_Pace__|_SPM__|avg HR|DPS_|Remarks
|00020|02330|13:16|02:50.8| 18.2 | 129 |09.6|warmup
|02350|05502|24:39|02:14.4| 26.2 | 164 |08.5|hard 5.5k
|07852|02046|12:52|03:08.7| 24.1 | 136 |06.6|rowing light
|09898|01349|06:27|02:23.4| 25.7 | 154 |08.1|20 on 10 off
|11247|00239|00:57|01:59.2| 28.9 | 160 |08.7|last 30
|11486|00251|03:08|06:14.5| 24.4 | 122 |03.3|back to dock

|Start|Dist_|Time_|_Pace__|_SPM__|avg HR|DPS_|Remarks
|00000|02330|13:16|02:50.8| 18.2 | 129 |09.6|warmup
|00000|06851|31:06|02:16.2| 26.1 | 162 |08.4|main set
|00000|02046|12:52|03:08.7| 24.1 | 136 |06.6|rests
|00000|00490|04:05|04:10.0| 25.5 | 131 |04.7|cool down

It was so pretty this morning when we landed I could resist taking a few pictures.

Tomorrow:  Back in my single on the Charles for a long and slow endurance session.  r20 and HR cap at 155.



2 thoughts on “Monday: Head Race Piece on Quinsig in a 2x

    • gregsmith01748 says:

      Some of that might be the specific strokes that I happened to grab. There was one stroke in the first set that had a lightning fast catch and really nice acceleration curve, the others not so much.

      One thing that I think would be an interesting metric is a way to measure stroke to stroke variability. I think a good rower (you) would have much lower variation than a “less skilled” rower (me).


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