Wednesday: 8 x 750 buried in a half marathon

First thing in the morning, fasted.  It was the only time I had to get any training in today.  All my kids are coming home (with a couple of significant others) for Thanksgiving and the rest of the day is a blur of driving, baking and talking.  It might be one of my favorite days of the year.

Today’s challenge was to massage a sprint workout into a half marathon.  I want to stick to a polarized workout plan, and I also want to keep working on the Crazy Bear Challenge.  So here is today’s workout plan:

  • Fletcher warmup.  20 minutes, usually comes in just over 5000m.  This gets me to ~16070m.
  • paddle until I get to 15750
  • 8 x 750m/750m rest.  so, 15×750 is 11250 (leaving off the last rest), which takes me down to 4500m
  • paddle down to 4000m
  • happy ending cool down.  1000m at 2:00, then 2:05, then 2:10, then 2:15

It worked out fine.  I didn’t lose any intervals or miss any transitions.  The cool down was a bit long, but I was entertained by the fact that I could aim for exactly 1:30:00 by a coincidence.  This kept me very focused as I tried to keep the projected finish 10 seconds ahead during the 2:10 and right on 1:30:00 during the 2:15 bit.

The intervals themselves were perfectly miserable.  I would have expected to be able to do these below 1:45.  But my legs were completely trashed from my strength session last night.  They felt empty at the beginning and were burning in the second half of each interval.  I really felt like I was working with a lot less power today.

But, I’m pretty happy that I stuck it out.  I experimented with different stroke rates and ended up feeling most comfortable at 26/27 and I worked to lengthen my stroke after the first three intervals.  You can see that in the drive length plot.


Heart rate was not that high, but I was pushing about as hard as I could.  The rests were nice and long.

A few metrics.  First the drive length.  On the left, showing it versus time, on the right versus stroke rate.  You can see the change in the fourth interval when I settled into a longer stroke at r26.  You can also see that the drive length is definitely getting shorter with higher stroke rates.  Interesting because it gets longer from 18 up to about 24spm.

Here is the work per stroke.  The notable thing here is the increased stroke power in the fourth interval when I consciously pulled down the rate.  It’s also interesting (at least to me) that the work per stroke is pretty constant versus stroke rate through this range of rates.

Finally, here is a view of peak and average force, and the ratio of these values.  It seems logical that the higher the ratio, the more efficient the stroke.  But I gotta say, there is really no trend in the intervals or relationship with stroke rate across this workout.

And finally, just because I like the way it looks.  Here’s the power versus stroke rate.


Here are the splits:

Workout Summary - media/20161123-205340-sled_2016-11-23T08-50-06ZEST.strokes.csv
Workout Details

Tomorrow:  Thanksgiving.  I’m giving thanks by taking a rest day!

6 thoughts on “Wednesday: 8 x 750 buried in a half marathon

  1. stelph82 says:

    This workout reminds me of one of the questions I was going to investigate with regards to cycling – they are significantly more advanced with regards to planning training plans than rowing, and many embrace the polarised training plan, but often in workouts they tend to have “mixed” workouts like this, i.e. long and slow with intermittent bursts, I wonder why this is?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gregsmith01748 says:

      I can think of a couple of reasons. The main one is just numbers. There are so many people who ride bikes and are willing to plop down money for turbos, and sufferfest workouts. I think that drives a lot of it. The other is the nature of riding a bike. You generally do not want to stop since you’re clipped in and once your stopped, it’s pretty awkward. (If you’re like me, you have trouble getting unclipped and end up sprawled on the pavement!😮. Rowing, especially on an erg, it’s easy to break up a workout and wander around during the breaks. Even in the boat, I love just floating, having a drink and enjoying the morning sunshine.

      But when I row on the water, I organize all of my workouts basically like this. Set the speedcoach for just row, warmup until I get to an even number, then do intervals and rests that divide evenly into the short 3k stretch of river I have, and then cool down back to the dock.

      It’s one reason I really like the tools that sander has built on rowsandall, it makes it easy to define intervals and track results.


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