Monday: Back On The Water!!!! 15km

Weather:  Cold and Sunny.  About 35F.  Basically no wind.  A beautiful morning.

Today was all about just getting back in the boat and trying out my new toys.

New iPhone, case and mount –> running RIM

New Speedcoach GPS (Model 2)

New EmPower Oarlock

The iphone case and mount worked great.  Much more rigid than the mount that I was using last year (and considerably cheaper).   I got them from Quad Lock.

The empower oarlock and HR monitor paired with the Speedcoach very easily.  I had done the angle calibration on Sunday.  The force calibration was easy and quick.

I was off the dock within 20 minutes of getting there.  The river is really high right now.  Right up to the top of the dock, and the current is visibly faster than normal.  I was the only person out on Monday morning.  I had a beautiful morning all to myself.

Our population of swans seems bigger this year.  There was a pretty good number of cygnets last summer.  I think they’ve grown up and returned.  Pretty to look at, but additional obstacles to row around.

I did my normal row, about 15km.  Starting at the docks, I row 4km downstream.  The first km is winding and slow.  After that, it’s lovely flat water and mostly straight for 2km.  Then I go under a narrow bridge and the last km is out across a small basin before the Moody Street Dam.  It’s a beautiful row and I was so happy to be back outside, enjoying the morning.

After I turn at the dam, I row back upstream.  This time of year, I row up into a long cove instead of completely retracing my steps.  There are some nice houses along the cove, and I get a little more distance.  It’s about 3km from the dam to the end of the cove.  Then I spin, and head back down river to the dam.  Finally, I turn back up river and row the 4km back to the dock.

The first and last km where it’s winding I think of as the warmup and cool down.

Now, for the toys.  I loved rowing with the EmPower Oarlock.  I tried out all the skill screens.  There are screen to show catch and with slip, finish angle with wash, power, and work per stroke.  I used one screen for each of the 3km sections.  Unfortunately, I was enjoying the row so much that I didn’t notice that I had forgotten to start the speedcoach.  The way the speedcoach works, it gives you a live screen, but just doesn’t accumulate data if it isn’t started.  Of course it does say “stop” right in the middle of the screen, but I just didn’t notice that.  I hope I don’t make the mistake again, I’m sure I will.

Of course, since I am obsessive enough about data that I run redundant systems, I had the whole row recorded with the Rowing in Motion app on my phone.

The skill screens on the Speedcoach are great, but I was bothered that I wasn’t able to keep an eye on my Heart Rate while I had those displays up.  I know from reading the NK materials that this was a concious choice to limit the chances of information overload, but I find it pretty easy to focus in on on number in a display and only look at other ones every few strokes.  I wish that HR and SPM were visible on the skill screens.

But, I have a solution to my problem.  Since I am running RIM anyway, I can get that info from my phone while I use the speedcoach for technique feedback.  The great part about that is rowsandall provides a cool feature to let me smoosh the data from RIM and Speecoach together before I analyze it.  (More about that in my next post).

Based on that conclusion, I will most likely pair my HR monitor to my phone and use the RIM display to show pace, HR, SPM and time.  I’ll stick to skill screens on the speed coach, unless I’m doing a workout where I want faster pace feedback, like short sprints.


You can see effect of the current on pace.  It was about 10 second delta

Here’s a view of just the speedcoach data for the last 30 minutes of the row.4-3c.png

And here’s a stroke profile for the section from 2000m to 2600m


I need to double check the angle calibration before I draw any conclusions from this.

I did a quick very of effective drive length and work per stroke to get a baseline.


The effective drive length has got me worried, so I wanted to compare it to total length.


I think I have some work to do to get a longer drive.

I also just looked a power for this chunk.


It’s lower than I would have expected. I guess I have some work to do on strength and fitness too!

So.  Much.  Data.  🙂