Tuesday: 4 x 20′ L4

It was pouring rain this morning.  I decided to do an erg session instead of heading out to the river.  It’s funny.  I think last year, I probably would have scoffed at the elements and gone out anyway, but this year, I seem to feel a little different.  Less driven perhaps.  More normal perhaps.  Who knows.

So, I got to the gym at work around 7AM and settled in for an endurance workout.


  • 4 x 20′
  • 1′ rests
  • L4 format
  • ramp power up from 160W during the first 10 minutes
  • Target power 185W avg
  • HR cap: 155


After the sublime 40′ session last night, I was wondering what it would feel like today.  I started even more conservatively than yesterday, with 4′ at 16, then 3′ at 17, etc up to 1′ at 19.  Then I went into 10 minutes of flipping between 18 and 19.  Despite the fact that I was rowing about 12W lower power through the first 20 minutes, my HR response was almost the same as yesterday.  During the second 20 minutes, my session yesterday was 6W higher, but had a marginally lower HR.  My RPE definitely matched the HR data.  I felt like I was working a lot harder for it today.

Here is a graphical comparison (courtesy of rowsandall.com).  The red trace was yesterday, and the blue trace today.


I am intrigued by the difference.  I would love to tease apart the causes.  Potential contributors:

  • Incomplete recovery (about 14 hours from yesterday’s session to today’s)
  • Closed to fasted state this morning (just a coffee with some skim milk) vs 3 hours after lunch yesterday
  • Time of day (I always seem to do better in afternoon sessions)
  • Humidity (it was about the same temp, but higher humidity this morning)
  • Socks yesterday, sneakers today

It would take a while to really exercise all of these variables.  But I think this points to a potential issue in many training approaches.  At least for me, I don’t think it is valid to use a power @ 2mmol/l guideline that was measured in the afternoon for morning sessions or visa versa.  Unless I can explain the causes for the difference.

Tomorrow:  Back on Quinsig for another 4 x ( 5 x 2′ / 30″ paddle) / 3′ rest


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