Friday: 14km steady state

Weather:  Amazing.  60F, sunny, dry.  Light wind (head wind heading up stream)  Flat water.

There were 5 other singles out while I was rowing.  I think that’s the highest number I’ve ever seen.  It was nice to have company.

The plan:

  • The training plan called for 2×30′ mp with a HR cap below 70%HRR.  I’ve never been able to respect a 70% HR cap, ever.  So I decided 150 was OK (75%)
  • 30 minute intervals are a pain on my stubby little river, so I did 20’/15’/15’/20′

The challenge for me today was to figure out how to row with marathon power at r20 and good length.  Why is this a challenge?  Well, because that combination requires me to row with a lighter stroke than I am used to.  I tend to naturally row at a higher than mp power at r20, and that makes my HR shoot up too high.  When I try to lighten up, instead I tend to shorten up, which, in theory, reduces how efficient I am.

I pronounce the session today to be useful and productive, even though it was a pretty constant struggle.  It was an exercise in “mindful training”  I was consciously thinking about every stroke, and the speedcoach was basically grading me on every stroke.  I would finish and glance down during recovery and see stroke rate, effective length and stroke power.  And then I would adjust for the next stroke.  One of the things that I really noticed is that if I concentrated on trying to get a little more layback than I am used to doing, and kept my elbows nice and wide at the finish, I was getting about 5 extra degrees of effective length, and my finishes were cleaner.

The result of the struggle was that I ended up pushing up against the HR cap, and I was getting pretty tired.  Bearing in mind that I have a long row planned for tomorrow, I decided to focus on technique for the last 20 minutes of the row by alternating 2 minutes of r20 and 2 minutes of SBR.   This allowed me to focus on practicing strokes with more layback and getting the blades out of the water as cleanly as possible.

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Tomorrow:  Hopefully, a 26km open water long row