3 x 5K at r20 (155 cap)

It’s time to get serious about marathon training.  To do that, I need to rebuild my base aerobic fitness, and do some of the initial tests to set a baseline for paces.

I strongly believe that aerobic work is most effective when you limit the intensity and build duration, so this week I am going to focus on 60 to 80 minute sessions.  Then next week, I will do some baseline tests.  I am not in the mood to do lactate testing right now, so I am going to try to use strict HR limits for these sessions.  I’m going to row the sessions below 80% HRR (157).  It is probably even better to row them below 75% HRR (150), but that is just so disappointingly slow.

The other thing that I am going to work on is a lighter stroke.  I have been pursuing the 10W per stroke as a goal for a while and I think I am in a bit of rut.  When I rate up, I can’t seem to modulate power very well.  So, I think I will try to stick with r20 for the sessions this week and adjust pace by just adjusting the pressure at that rate.

So, that meant that the plan for today was:

  • 3 x 5000m
  • 1′ rests
  • initial power target ~ 180-190W
  • rate : 20 spm
  • HR cap: 155

Based on the criteria, the session went pretty well.  Of course, I wish that I was able to sustain higher power versus the cap, but that will take some time to come.  I found that I enjoyed the sensation of rowing with a “fluffier” stroke.


The summary stats are a bit off compared to the PM.  It shows how much  the pace can vary just from a few more or less meters.

Workout Summary - media/20170109-154820-sled_2017-01-09T07-28-01ZEST.strokes.csv
Workout Details

A few more geeky metrics.  Here’s an plot that you can use for HR drift.  From Joe Friel’s book “Total Heart Rate Training”,

Screen Shot 2017-01-09 at 11.30.36 AM.png

So, let’s consider the first 5k as warmup time and compute drift from the second to the third interval.

183.6W/151.2bpm – 174.4/153.6bpm = 1.214 – 1.135 = 0.079 / 1.214 = 6.5% drift

Ideally, I would like to see drift well below 5% for aerobic sessions.


I checked drive length and it looks OK.  I see that characteristic where my drive length increases over the first 10 minutes as I loosen up.


Since I was working on keeping the stroke the same as I eased off the pressure, I was looking for a vertical line in the work per stroke graph.  That’s what I got.


And since I eased up from 10W per stroke, I expected the peak and average power to be lower than early sessions.  Here it is compared to Saturday’s aerobic session done at 10W per stroke.  Peak force was down by about 2.5%, average force was down by 6.5%.

Tomorrow: 4 x 20′ at r20, HR limit of 150 (let’s see if I can do it!)


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