Thursday: 2 x 30’/2′ – easy fitness center session

The plan called for:

M3 2 x 30′ / 3′ MP or slower 75.0% (140)

Today, I started with 30 minutes on the treadmill at maximum incline (15%).  I adjusted the speed to slowly get me into the UT2 zone and keep me there.

Then I moved over to the stationary bike and did the same thing.  I fiddled with the resistance to keep my HR right around the boundary between UT2 and UT1.



Now I am at the airport in Incheon waiting for my flight.  I fly to Dallas, and then connect to Boston, getting in at 11pm local time.

I will try to squeeze in a short row, either open water, or on the erg on Friday, but we have house guests so I’m not sure if it will happen.


Korea Day 2 – Another modified Marathon Plan session

Today’s workout was planned as:

M2 3 x 20′ / 2′ MP, 10KP, HMP 90.0% (167)

No rowing machine, so I used an elliptical trainer.

I usually do endurance stuff on an elliptical at a resistance of 15 (on a 1 to 25 scale), so I decided I would try doing the first 20′ at 15, then move it up to 19 for the 10kp, and back to 17 for the hmp.

I would watch HR and if it looked like I was way off track, I’d adjust.  it turned ut I didn’t need to.  The settings worked out great.



Compare this to the same session on the erg.

myimage (73)

Just a little bit lower intensity today, but it didn’t feel like it!  Man it was humid again.  The sweat was flowing freely.  While I was waiting for the elevator back to my room, a lady walked over to the elevators, took one look at me dripping in front of the elevator doors, and turned and walked away!

Tomorrow:  Easy session.  Probably 2×30/2′

I catch a plane tomorrow afternoon.  I’m very eager to get back home again.  This was a short trip, but I’m kind of worn out.


Marathon Training – Korean Style

I’m in Seoul, staying at the JW Marriott.  The hotel has a fantastic fitness club, it has tons of treadmills, stair climbers (some with real stairs), banks of those machines with straps that vigorously vibrate your muscles, machines that you stand on that wiggle to and fro, and the famous electric horse.  But no rowing machine.

The training plan called for this session…

M1 4 x 15′ / 4′ 6′ @ 5KP, 9′ @ MP 92.5% (172)

Often when I travel, I just use the fitness center and do maintenance type aerobic training.  But since I’m on the road a lot, and I have less than a month to my race, I thought it would be better to try to replicate the HR response of this workout, even if it wouldn’t be on a rowing machine.

Here’s the HR response of this workout in a boat.  I was pretty happy with this workout at the time.

myimage (72)

So, on a treadmill, the objective would be to get my HR up into the TR zone reasoably quickly during the 6′ portion of the piece, and then slow down enough so that my HR settled into the high UT1 or LT range.

On the treadmill, I decided to set the incline to a 5% grade.  This would hopefully allow me to work my lungs harder and put less strain on my knees.  During the first interval I did the fast bit at 10km/h, and the slow bit at 7km/h.  In the subsequent intervals, I slowed down by about 0.5km/h for each one to try to fine tune my HR.

It was pretty hard work.  The gym was a reasonable temperature, but quite humid.  The treadmill was drenched by the end, and so was I.


It took a little while for my HR to climb in the first interval, but after that, I think it worked out pretty well.  I certainly was praying for the end of each 6′ piece and the time was crawling.

During the rests, I set the incline to zero and walked at about 5km/h.

Tomorrow:  I will attempt to adapt this workout

M2 3 x 20′ / 2′ MP, 10KP, HMP 90.0% (167)

To the elliptical trainer.

The goal is to have it look like this…

myimage (73)

Catching up and slowing down

Wow.  I haven’t posted since last Monday.  It’s been a busy week.

If you recall, Monday’s workout was terrible.

6/20 – Tuesday:  The plan called for a massive workout…

M2 3 x 30′ / 3′ MP, 10KP, MP 90.0% (167)

I was up late on Monday night and slept in instead of trying to go on the water.  I thought I could do the workout on the erg later in the day when my schedule was freer.  I was wrong.

It ended up that I didn’t have time to do the whole workout, so I thought I would change it to be 20′ @ MP, 30′ @ 10kp and 20′ @ MP.

I had hopes that my workout on Monday was just a fluke, so i set out with aggressive power targets.  200W for MP, and 230 for 10KP.

I didn’t last.

myimage (64)

I did the first 20 minutes per plan, but my HR was too high and I was struggling.  I backed off the 10KP to the bottom of the power range (210W), but I busted through the HR cap within about 8 minutes and was flailing around and struggling for breath.  I handled down.  I tried to start again, and HD’ed again.  I decided to just paddle it out to 20 minutes and then pack it in for the day.

Workout Summary - media/20170620-183745-sled_2017-06-20T13-28-55ZEDT.strokes.csv
Workout Details
01|01791|07:00.0|01:57.3|218.1|23.5|158.6|168.0|10.9 -HD
02|02834|12:07.4|02:08.3|179.2|21.1|160.4|166.0|11.1 - paddle it out

Very Frustrating.

6/21 – Wednesday:  Tuesday night I was up late yet again.  Again, I decided that missing sleep to row was a bad call.  But on Wednesday, in an attempt to find my bliss, I left work a bit early, blew off the training plan and just went rowing.  The goal to keep my HR under 150 and just enjoy being out in the sunshine.

It was glorious.  It was quite windy, and there was a lot of kayaks and canoes out on the river.  I haven’t had a chance to upload the speedcoach data, all I have handy is the RIM data, without HR.

It was slow, both because of the breeze, and also because of the HR cap.  I am still getting used to the new oars.  This was a very nice, easy way to get some strokes in.

myimage (67)

Workout Summary - media/20170625-222721-89865o.csv


6/22 – Thursday:  I was up until 1:30AM on Wednesday night, getting my car packed.  We are getting the house down on the cape ready for visitors.  I slept until 7 and rushed off to work.  I was going to take Thursday as a rest day.  I was due for a rest day.  I worked until around 4 and then headed off to the cape.  The traffic was horrifying.  I didn’t get there until 7:30!

6/23 – Friday:  Open water rowing seems to be a probabilistic endeavor.  The tides are really big right now, so I wanted to avoid low tide, which was just before am.

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 7.17.29 PM

So, I slept in and I thought I would go in the early afternoon.  That’s when the wind changed my plans.

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.38.43 PM.png

Around noon, the wind just started building, and building.  By seven pm the sustained wind speed was over 40 mph with gusts nearing 50.

Instead, I got busy with a bunch of work around the house.  The most involved of these chores was repairing the bottom 8 steps of the stairs down to the beach.  The bottom 3 or 4 steps are actually submerged at high tide and they take a terrific beating during the winter.  On Friday, I jacked up and braced the stairs, fixed the handrails, and fixed 4 steps.  The steps I’m talking about are the ones below that final platform you can see at the end of stairs in this picture.

2016-05-29 12.57.52.jpg

There was a bit of aerobic benefit from going up and down the stairs about 6 times, but beyond that, there was no training on Friday.

6/24 – Saturday:

Again, I was hoping for a late morning row.  But again, the weather did not cooperate.

In the morning, when I got up, the wind was blowing and the sky was grey and angry.  It got steadily worse.  The weather log tells the story.

The wind howled overnight, with gusts up to 50mph.  The wind stayed up above 30 mph all morning and there was intermittent rain.  Right around 11:00, dark storm clouds rolled in across the water and the sky opened up.  It rained hard for about an hour.  During that hour I decided to erg.  When I came back upstairs, the sky was clearing, the wind was dropping, and I had other stuff that needed to get done.

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.48.25 PM

The session was an easy one.

3 x 20′ / 1′ rest @ 180.

myimage (68).png

This went better than the workouts earlier in the week, but was still a sweaty slog.  I guess the 90% humidity took a bit of a toll.  I had to back off in the last interval to keep my HR below 155.

myimage (69)

Workout Summary - media/20170624-1825210o.csv
Workout Details

6/25 – Sunday:  This morning I was up early-ish because I wanted to get a quick session in before I headed off to the airport.

2 x 40’/1′ rest @ 180.

myimage (71)

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Workout Summary - media/20170625-1255220o.csv
Workout Details


So now I am on a plane to Tokyo, then connecting to Korea.  I’ll be there through Thursday.  It’s a challenge to maintain a training plan with summer vacations and work travel.  I just have to play it by ear, be flexible and try to focus on having some fun with it.


Monday: 4×15’/4′ (9′ @ 5kp, 6′ @ mp) – Some days suck

We got home last night after 11pm, and I didn’t get to sleep until after midnight.  So I decided to sleep until 7 and do my planned workout on the erg instead of getting up at 5:15 to do it on the water.

I had a 90 minute window in my schedule from 11 to 12:30, so I dashed off to the gym to get it done.

The plan..

M1 4 x 15′ / 4′ 9′ @ 5KP, 6′ @ MP 92.5% (172)

Power targets

  • 5kp –> 225 to 240W (stretch goal 250 today)
  • mp –> 180 to 195W (stretch goal 200 today)

I thought it was OK during the first interval, but by the time I was a couple minutes into the second interval, I knew I was in deep, deep trouble.  I hung on to hit targets in the second interval, and then reset my target for the next one to be 240/190.

This turned out to be too little too late.  I blew up about halfway through the 9′ piece.  In the past, I have pushed this harder and gone into the anaerobic zone, but that seemed pretty dumb, and I was really in some distress.

I handled down for a few seconds then tried to spin back up at around 225 watts.  That didn’t work out so good.  I handled down again, and decided to just finish the rest of the 9′ piece at a marathon power.

This left me with some thinking to do during the 4 minute rest.  I thought about packing it in, but that seemed to be the coward’s way out.  I knew that I wouldn’t make it through the 9′ piece at any “reasonable” power.  I came up with a brilliant plan.  I would row at 225W until my HR went above the 172 bpm cap.  Then I would drop down to marathon power and finish the 9′ and the following 6′ at that power.

It was highly unpleasant, but it worked.

myimage (61)

Workout Summary - media/20170619-204125-sled_2017-06-19T10-54-44ZEDT.strokes.csv
Workout Details


M2 3 x 30′ / 3′ MP, 10KP, MP 90.0% (167)

Hopefully on the water.  This might be a bit of challenge because it’s a 90 minute workout.

Power targets

  • 10kp: 184 to 197W
  • mp: 158-171W

2 x 40 / 2′ (mp)

The wind was blowing hard today.  Around 20mph with gusts to 25 in the morning and 35 with gusts to 40 in the afternoon.  The water looked very angry.

I decided to erg. 😦

The plan:

M3 2 x 40′ / 4′ MP or slower 75.0% (140)

I decided to row to a HR cap of 155 instead of 140.

myimage (58).png

Workout Summary - media/20170618-1950210o.csv
Workout Details

Felt very easy.


M1 4 x 15′ / 4′ 9′ @ 5KP, 6′ @ MP 92.5% (172)


Friday: 3 x 20′ (7′ @ 5kp, 13′ @ mp)

Weather:  Cloudy, mid 60s, light wind, 2-5mph from the south.  There were some stronger gusts towards the end of the workout.  This was a headwind going up river.


M1 3 x 20′ / 5′ 7′ @ 5KP, 13′ @ MP 92.5% (172)
  • Target power:
    • 5kp: 197-210W
    • mp: 158-171
  • modifications:
    • 20′ intervals are 6 minutes too long for the river, so I planned to just turn where required.  I didn’t add any additional time to the intervals since my HR really doesn’t go down much in the turn

I felt a bit tired when I got up.  This was the fourth session in a row, although one day was only 40 minutes.

I decided to stick with the plan and just ease up if necessary.  It ended up not being necessary.

myimage (55)

Workout Summary - media/20170616-145439-Greg Smith 20170616 0629amo.csv
Workout Details
01|01613|07:00.0|02:10.2|213.4|24.9|158.8|167.0|09.2 -5kp
02|01169|05:30.0|02:21.1|176.8|19.9|158.4|166.0|10.7 -mp->turn
03|01363|06:49.8|02:30.4|167.3|19.6|157.3|162.0|10.2 -mp
04|01057|04:60.0|02:22.0|215.4|24.3|160.4|168.0|08.7 -5kp->turn
05|00349|01:31.8|02:11.6|199.3|23.9|165.1|168.0|09.5 -5kp
06|02353|11:16.2|02:23.7|165.6|19.6|162.3|168.0|10.6 -mp->turn
07|00192|00:54.0|02:20.4|181.1|21.3|161.8|164.0|10.0 -mp
08|01461|07:00.0|02:23.8|200.5|24.2|165.7|173.0|08.6 -5kp
09|02475|12:42.0|02:34.0|166.6|20.7|167.9|173.0|09.4 -mp

This was my first row with a new pair of oars.  I bought a pair of smoothie2, vortex edge skinnies so that I could leave my fat2s down at the cape with my open water boat.

Here are a few metrics plots from this workout.

  • Drive length and effective length consistent and a bit longer than prior workouts
  • Lots of variation in WPS and power. Does that mean I need to work on consistency?
  • Power and WPS for the r24 (5kp) chunk of the row. (plotted by excluding all strokes lower than r22 and all strokes with WPS below 450)
  • Power and WPS for the r20 part of the row. (plotted by excluding all strokes higher than r22, and rest strokes, and all strokes with WPS below 450)

I was very pleased with the workout, and the new oars.  More about that later.

Today I am taking a rest day.  Tomorrow, I am planning a long open water row, weather permitting.

Thursday: 14km steady state

Weather:  The kind of day that makes you think that rowing is the finest sport ever created.  Temp was about 60F when I started and in the high 60s when I finished.

There was very little wind when I started, just enough to barely ripple the surface of the water.  In the last 30 minutes or so, the wind built to a steady 3-5mph from the Southwest.  This was a headwind that slowed me down in the last segment.

The sun was shining and sparkling in reflections off the water and the birds were singing.  It was just a glorious morning to be out.

The plan for today was:

M3 2 x 40′ / 4′ MP or slower 80.0% (149)

To do this OTW, I changed it to

  • 2 x 35′ / 2′
  • In each 35′ section there is a turn which takes about 30 seconds.  Goal is to do it quick enough so my HR doesn’t go down.
  • HR cap at 155, since I can’t seem to stick to anything lower.
  • target power: MP (158-171W)

myimage (54).png

Workout Summary - media/20170615-161158-Greg Smith 20170615 0635amo.csv
Workout Details

Today, I was really trying to focus on two things

  1. Keep my HR below 155
  2. Keep my effective length above 83 degrees, especially as I got more tired.

bokeh_plot (73)

I also wanted to maintain power and WPS through the workout.

bokeh_plot (74)

I can’t complain about that workout.


M1 3 x 20′ / 5′ 7′ @ 5KP, 13′ @ MP 92.5% (172)

This is kind of tough, because I will need to turn in the middle of the 13′ segments.

Wednesday: 2 x 20′ (10kp,hmp)

No time for a session in the morning, and none of the windows I had in the day were big enough to accommodate the planned workout, which was 86 minutes long.

By the time, I came up for breath, it was 5:30 pm, and I really wanted to workout, but I also didn’t want to be too late going home.  The original plan was

M2 4 x 20′ / 2′ MP, 10KP, HMP, MP 90.0% (167)

I decided to just do the two harder chunks in  the middle for a 4 minute workout.

It didn’t work out so well.  My HR was high and I my RPE was through the roof.  I HD’ed in the second piece.

myimage (51)

Workout Summary - media/20170614-2220190o.csv
Workout Details

I did push the power a little beyond the target band, but it was the same powers as I used in a session last week (mp,10kp,hmp).  Here’s a comparison of my HR in the two sessions.

bokeh_plot (77)

Oh well, at least I did some training!