Sunday: 2 x 30′ / 1′ rest

Just an easy erg session.  Got home from the Cape and did some shopping and stuff around the house.  Finally got a chance to work out around 7:00pm.

Just an easy endurance session.


Heart rate climbed a bit more than I would have liked in the second 30 minutes.


Workout Summary - media/20170502-2100210o.csv
Workout Details


10K on Wellfleet Harbor

Weather:  It was nice until I decided to go rowing.  I didn’t go first thing in the morning since the tide was low.  (It’s tough to launch at low tide because there are extensive sand flats all around the island.  High tide was at 2:40pm.  I launched about 12:45.  As I walked over the dune to the beach, I noticed there was a bit more wind.  It turns out it continued to freshen through the row.  It turned out to be quite an adventure.

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I turned north and headed up to Wellfleet Harbor.  I actually headed somewhat NW, into the wind and waves until I was past the north point of the island.  Then I headed more northeasterly with the wind and waves on my stern quarter.  It was only 500m or so, but it felt longer in the boat.  Then I lined up a course to take me to the end of the wellfleet harbor breakwater.  The wind felt like it was on my port bow quarter, and this was actually a reasonable course with the building waves.  At this point they were probably 12″ or so and quite unpredictable.  I’d get a couple big ones, and then a few minutes with much smaller ones.  I enjoyed this part of the row a lot, but not as much as when I turned the corner after the breakwater.  I turned east.  The wind was close to dead astern, and the breakwater took care of the chop.  There was a longer period swell that seemed to bend around the end of the breakwater and I was surfing down the face of these waves.  This was a blast.

It all came to an end when I turned around at the east end of the harbor.  All of the sudden the wind that was diminished by me going in the same direction, was right on the bow.  Going into the harbor, I was rowing 2:30-2:40 splits, coming back out, I was lucky to get below 3:30.  Even on smooth water, this was hard work.  As I came out past the end of the breakwater, and hit the waves that built up across the broad fetch over to the great split, it got even rougher.  My original thought had been to cross over to Chequesset Neck and then row down the great spit, which would have been somewhat sheltered  from the waves, then I would cross back over to the island at  the south end of the spit.   That plan did not last too long.  I bashed my way against the waves and the wind for a few minutes and then decided that I had had enough.  I turned for home and tried to navigate with the waves a little bit forward of my beam.

This was easier, but still a lot of work.  I would go through sections where the water was reasonably flat and I would get some good strokes in, then I would slam into some bigger waves and completely fill the cockpit with water.  The bailer couldn’t keep pace with the all the water that was coming in.  At this point the waves were 12 to 18″ and I was struggling with the conditions.  The worst was the last 1000m.  This part was over the shallow Lt Island shoal that extends out from the island.  The waves were much bigger here and most of them were breaking.  I just tried to pick my way through them.  You can see my HR went down a lot in this section.

You can’t really see just how slow I was going when I turned around into the waves on the summary chart.


So, here it is in isolation.


I am trying to construct what happened when.  I used Google earth, which can show telemetry along the mapped route to figure it out.


A.  Decide to head straight up to Wellfleet instead of heading over to Indian neck since the waves were building.

B. Turn behind the breakwater.  The next chunk was fun.

C.  Turn around to row back into the wind.

D.  Get slammed around enough that I decide to head straight home instead of heading for Great Spit.

E.  Huge waves stop me dead and fill up the whole cockpit, even the seat deck was under water.  Noticed that the self bailer was a bit fouled, cleaned it out and continued.

F.  Get to the shoals around the island and the waves start breaking.  Pick my way between them back to the beach.

Even though it was hard work, and frankly a little scary at times, I enjoyed it and I think it provided some useful rough water practice.  I feel pretty confident about what the boat will do in these circumstances and I’m getting the hang of working with the waves.

It was also a pretty good workout.


I noticed a couple of interesting quirks in the telemetry.

First, the algorithm that NK is using to detect strokes doesn’t work as well as RIM when you are going slowly and getting slammed by big waves.  In the comparison plot below the RIM data is blue and the NK data is red.  The total stroke count on the NK was way off too.  I was counting strokes and NK was over counting by about 5 strokes per hundred.


Second, there is a mismatch in total logged distance.  In the first half of the row, with less wave action, they match up well, but as soon as I was pounding into the waves, RIM started to give me credit for more distance than NK.  One idea is that RIM might be measuring distance in 3 dimensions and NK is measuring in 2?  But by the end, it was a difference of about 500m


When I got back to the beach, enough water had leaked into the bow of the boat that I could not lift it.  I had to flip it over and let it drain for 5 minutes before I could carry it to the car.  I think I found where the leak is.  There is a crack in the bulkhead between the seat deck and the cockpit bottom.  Whenever the cockpit gets full, water can drain into the bow.  Since the cockpit was basically full the second half of the outing, the boat must have been half swamped by the time I was back to the island.  No wonder it felt so sluggish.

Next weekend, I think I need to do some fiberglass work!


Long, slow burn in the fitness center

Still in Seoul.  At the JW Marriott (the fitness center with the mechanical horsey, but no rower)

I had time to kill this morning.  I woke up around 5:30AM, and I didn’t need to leave for the airport until 10:30.  So, I did some email, did a crossword, surfed the web, and around 7, I decided to head to the gym.

The plan for today

  • 4 x 20′ endurance
  • 20 minutes max incline treadmill
  • 20 minutes flat incline treadmill jog
  • 20 minutes elliptical (intervals, level 15)
  • 20 minutes stationary bike (rolling hills, level 8)

Holy hell it was boring.



Now I’m at the airport waiting to get on my flight.  I’m connecting through Hong Kong and getting back to Boston around 10:30PM.  Ugh.

I just sync’ed up StravastiX.  I’m certainly not putting a challenging load on myself these days.  I think I need to ramp up the volume AND the intensity if I want to make much progress.  It says that my fitness is improving, but I think it is deceived by the fact that I only started logging after my return from my knee operation.  It had my fitness starting from zero, but it was actually pretty good prior to my layoff.  I bet that I would be hovering versus slowing improving if that was the case.  I think I need to get a good 6 months of activity recorded before I really trust the trends.

It’s almost time to restart the marathon plan.   Except this time on the water!

A fitness center sprint Tri…3×15′

I landed in Korea about 9:30 last night and I was in bed by 11:30pm.  I didn’t sleep much on the flight over, maybe 2 hours between Boston and Tokyo and another hour or so between Tokyo and Seoul.

I got bored sitting around Narita, so I went for a walk.  I walked the whole terminal, it took about 40 minutes and it was a much better way to waste time than surfing the web.

So, from a training perspective:

Monday: 40 minute walk (with rollerboard suitcase dragging behind)

Tuesday:  I woke up at 6am.  My legs were sore from Sunday’s run, and I was feel jetlagged and tired.  But I suited up and headed down to the gym.  I was getting picked up at 8am, so I had a little bit less than an hour.

My plan:

  • 15 minutes, stationary bike, easy, rolling hills
  • 15 minutes, max incline treadmill, 15% grade, speed set to stay in UT1 zone
  • 15 minutes, elliptical, short intervals (1’15” on/1’15” off), around the top of the UT1 zone.
  • enough time to clean equipment between 15′ pieces.



Well that worked out just fine.  The bike was hard.  My thighs and legs were complaining loudly, but my HR was not going up.  I guess that’s from the run.

Tomorrow morning, I have more time.  I will probably do a 3 x 20′ and some strength training.

Then I head out to the airport for a 1:35 departure for home.

My favorite L3 and a morning run

Saturday:  I briefly debated going rowing on Saturday morning, but between a forecast for rain, and the need for sleep, I decided against it.  It was a good decision.  I slept 10 hours and woke up feeling good!  My wife and I had some errands to do, and we had a late lunch.  By the time I had digested lunch and finished some grocery shopping, it was around 7pm before I got around to working out.

I wanted to do a workout with a bit more intensity, so I opted for my favorite wolverine plan L3 workout.

  • 15 x 3′ / 1′ rest
  • Target pace: 1:55

I have managed to do this workout sub-1:50 when I am in really good shape.  I am not in really good shape.  I am also not sure how well I do on faster workouts on the dynamic rower.  Anyway, it was a target.

It started off OK, but by the time I got deep into the workout, I realized that I had started too fast.  The wheels started to come off after the 10th interval and I just did the best I could the rest of the way.  No handle downs, or form breaks, just slower and slower splits.


PM version of power

PM version of pace, considerably more generous than the interval summary below.

Workout Summary - media/20170423-0010230o.csv
Workout Details

That was really hard!  Glad I did it though.

Sunday: Up around 8 after a good nights sleep.  Felt a bit stiff and sore from the workout the evening before, but I wanted to get a quick workout in before I hopped a plane to go to Seoul.  I wasn’t really in the mood for an erg workout, and it was a nice day out, so I decided to go for a run.  Nothing fast or fancy.

I did a loop that was about 7km.  It took about 37 minutes.  It’s been a long time since I’ve run outside.  It felt very awkward at first, but I settled in after a few minutes.  My knees started to complain a bit after about 4km, and the irresistible lure of home home made me speed up a bit at the end.  My legs are nice and sore now.

I don’t think my knees could hold up to running on a regular basis, but I think I should try to do it a couple times a month.  I really enjoy it and it’s great cross training.



Now I’m over northern Canada somewhere, with 8 hours or so until I get to Tokyo.  I change planes and continue to Seoul.

I get in at 10:30PM local time.  I will try to grab a short workout before I leave the hotel at 8am on Tuesday morning.


I’m not complaining, but….

…my occupation seems  to be be getting in the way of taking a disciplined approach to training.

I was planning to do 80 minutes of endurance work this morning, but getting through email took longer than planned, and I needed to keep it to 60 minutes.

Since I was bored, I decided to change up the workout a little.  I decided to do power ladders.

Here’s my revised plan.

  • 3 x 5000m intervals
  • 1 minute rests.
  • break each 5K into 5 1K pieces
  • first 5K: 160W, 165W, 170W, 175W, 180W
  • second 5K: 165W, 170W, 175W, 180W, 185W
  • third 5K: 170W, 175W, 180W, 185W, 190W

Based on yesterday, i figured that 175W was a good UT1 power, so this workout would start out pretty easy and push a bit beyond aerobic for the last 2K or so.

Of course, since I was in a rush, ergdata decided to hangup within 5 minutes of starting.  Now I’m wise to it’s tricks, so I had started the wahoo app to collect HR data as a backup, so I just kept going.


The time passed very quickly and I had fun doing it.  And I made it to my first meeting just on time.

Tomorrow:  I’m really tired.  I’m not sure what I’ll do.  Probably an erg session in the afternoon.

Better than nothing! 3 x 20′ / 1′ rest

Easy day today.   Early meetings, so no time for OTW.  I planned 3×20′, and I decided to go very easy at the beginning.  I did the first 20′ at 165W, then ramped it up to 175W, and then rowed to a HR cap of 155.

I started to exceed the cap towards the end, but a couple of big belches kept me in the proper HR zone.  Amazing how that works.  It’s usually worth about 3 to 5 bpm. 🙂


Weather forecast is lousy for tomorrow morning.  45F and 99% chance of rain.  So I guess I’m inside again tomorrow.  I have a bit more time, so I think I’ll do 4×20′ with a HR cap at 155.



A little bit of speed

Note:  Just realized that I never posed this workout. I had a draft written and never published it.

I had an 8 am meeting today, so not enough time for OTW.  I was sick of slow and steady sessions so I decided to dip a toe back into an easy speed session.

8 x 500 / 2 min rest.

Target was to do a couple 500s as warm up and that start at 1:50 and do each one faster than the last.

It was fun, and it helped me calibrate what a reasonable pace would be for this session.

For some reason, nothing was working in terms of electronics.

I set up in erg data and it hung up in the 4th interval.  Then I setup in pain sled and that hung up after 2 intervals.  At that point, I just kept going without capturing any data.  Kind of disappointing.

Here are the first four intervals.  The first two were warm ups.  Then:

target actual

  • 1:50, 1:49.9
  • 1:49, 1:48.7

Then I reset the workout and continued.  I think I cheated myself out of a little rest.

  • 1:48, 1:47.5
  • 1:47, 1:46.5
  • 1:46, 1:45.5
  • 1:45, 1:44.6 (slipped a tenth!)
  • 1:44, 1:43.3 (got it back with interest)
  • 1:43, 1:37.9 (The irresitable lure of the faster last!)
  • Then a “cool down” rep.  It turns out I wasn’t in the mood to cool down.

So, I think aiming at 1:45 for all reps would be totally reasonable.



10K – ticking over

I spent the morning working on the house down on the cape and then we drove home in the afternoon, arriving home just after 5pm.  I had a work call at 7pm, so I squeezed in a quick 10K workout.

I started at about 180-185W and then bled off speed to keep myself at or below a HR cap of 157.



Workout Summary - media/20170418-2300220o.csv
Workout Details

Back to the Bay! First Open Water Row of the Season.

I was not expecting to be able to get out on the water this early in the season, but I lucked out to day.  It was sunny, and the temp was in the mid sixties.  Water temperature was around 45F, but it felt warmer than that.  There was a bit more wind than I would have liked, but not nearly as much as we had yesterday.

Here’s the weather data from my house for today.

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I launched right before 1pm, so the wind was building during my row.  This caused waves between 8″ and 12″.  This is big enough to present some steering challenges but not big enough to make it unpleasant.  There were a few scattered white caps.  Just to give you an idea of what it was like yesterday, here’s the weather data.  We had gusts up to 65mph over night on Saturday night and Sunday night.

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But thankfully, by the time Monday rolled around, it was much calmer.  I launched from the little beach a couple minutes away from my house, and rowed north up to wellfleet harbor.  This was splashy and slow into the wind and waves, but it was quite nice to be out on the water again.  On the expanse of the bay, my boat feels very small, especially when the waves build.   I finally made it to the breakwater of the onner harbor and turned.  Although the wind was from the north, it hooked around a bit and when I rowed to the east into the inner harbor, I was going with the wind and the waves.  This was some of the fastest splits I saw of the day.  I rowed up past the end of the town jetty and turned around into the wind and the tide to slog out of the harbor.  Once I passed the breakwater, I turned south and had the wind on my starboard stern quarter.  This was a tough angle to maintain.  The waves tried hard to push me to starboard and I had to maintain much heavier pressure on that side to stay straight.

Ultimately, I got the hang of getting my point and timing my strokes to surf the waves.  I would end up off course, but could swing back and repeat the cycle.  It was pretty fun and the time flew by on the way back to the island.  I rowed in front of my house back to the beach and landed there.

One bad thing, there must have been about a gallon of water in the boat.  I really have to get it fixed if I’m going to use it in the Blackburn.

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Sad but true.  I go slowly enough in my Alden star so that the pace doesn’t show up right in the plots.  You can see I was pushing hard enough so it was a good aerobic workout.  I was also trying to keep my rowing reasonably light by aiming at a stroke rate of 20.


Here’s a better view of the pace.  The first 2500 meters were into the wind and 8″ to 12″ waves.  The section from 2500 to 4000 was still into the wind, but I was approaching the north shore of the harbor and the waves were smaller.  I think I was also getting a bit more help from the incoming tide.  Around 4000m was where I turned into the harbor and I was rowing with the wind, tide and waves.  It was fast and fun. 5000 to 6200 was right into the teeth of the wind and against the tide.  Fortunately not much wave action.

Then from 6200m to the end I was rowing downwind with the waves on my stern quarter.  The pace variations were basically dependent upon the size of the waves and whether or not I was getting swamped.  That happened a lot.  You can see from the HR that I was holding a pretty consistent level of pressure.


All in all an unexpected treat being able to get a row in this time of year.