Sunday: Hour of not much power

God I hate this damn machine.  Still at home on the dynamic.


  • 60 minutes
  • Rate: 22
  • Pace: ~2:00 or better

Should have been a piece of cake.

Started with a 5 minute warmup.

  • 1 minute of pause at arms away and body over
  • 1 minute at target pace
  • 1 minute of pause at arms away
  • 1 minute at target pace
  • 1 minute of pause at arms away

Then in to the main event.  60 minutes.  I set up a nice playlist on Pandora and got going.  After about 5 minutes, my music stopped playing.  I tried to fix it while rowing, but with no success.  After a couple minutes of trying to hold the pace while fiddling, I ripped off the headphones and flung them across the room and kept going.  It was the longest 50 minutes of my life.

As I suspected, holding a 2:00 split on the dynamic was too much for me and I had to slow down.  I crossed the 30 minute mark right at 7500 meters, but by then i was seeing a lot more 2:01s and 2:02s.  My HR was going pretty good, but plateaued in the low 170s for the second half of the row.  When the music stopped, it also blew away my painsled session, so the only evidence of my pain is the PM picture.

Tomorrow:  Scheduled rest day, but since I have business travel later in the week, I will do Tuesday’s session.

  • 4 x 12′ / 1″30″
  • rate: 22
  • pace: 2:01 to 2:05
  • HR limit: 157

Saturday: 4 x (5′ Cat III + 5′ Cat VI)

I spent a couple of hours outside putting up the Christmas lights.  Then around 4pm, I suited up and headed back to the dreaded dynamic erg for a hard workout.  I was very worried about pacing for this one.

The plan:

  • 2 x 20′ / 1′
  • Each 20 broken into 2 sections, 10′ each
    • 5′ at Cat III (28 spm, 1:51 pace)
    • 5′ at Cat VI (18 spm, 2:06 to 2:11 pace)

My paces are derived from testing that I did on the static erg, and it seemed like I was a couple seconds slower for the Cat VI stuff.  But then yesterday, when I was doing the 20 stroke bumps, it felt much, much harder.  Like 5 to 10 seconds off what I could do on a static.

I decided to try to hold the original targets.  It was a very hard.

I started with a 5 minute warmup.  This was a minute easy, then a minute at r24, then a minute easy, then a minute at r28.  The minute at r28 was a bit scary because I discovered that it was far from easy to hold a 1:51 split.  It was actually quite hard.  Oh well.

Then I pushed on into the workout.  The first one was OK, but I was annoyed that my HR sensor seemed to be lagging.  It finally got with the program about 2 minutes into the first interval and was fine after that.  But I was really tired by the end of it.  I shifted down to the r18 and 2:10ish pace and recovered well.  But the second one came around pretty soon and I found myself counting strokes with my eyes closed to try to get through it.  I slowed down, just a little about halfway through and that helped me keep the wheels on.

I gasped my way through the 5 minutes at Cat VI, and then had a quick drink.  My legs were shot, but I gave it a go.  I told myself that 1:52 or 1:53 would be good enough and again counted strokes with my eyes closed.  The slower pace seemed to help.  The Cat VI section flew by and it was time for another 5′ sojourn in hell.  Now my legs were pretty useless, and even 1:53 was hard to hold.  But I counted strokes and got through it.  It really felt like I was rowing through mud (despite a very reasonable 128 drag factor).

After I finished the main set, I did a happy ending 2k cool down.

This is a bit depressing. The workout should have 20 minutes of Cat III, but I had less than 12.

Over time, I am supposed to extend this workout from 4x to 6x the 10 minute sequence.  I hope I can do it next time on a static erg.  I’m very interested to see the difference in outcomes.

Sunday:  The plan is an hour of power at r22.  Cat V pace.

Friday: 20 stroke bumps

Thursday:  Rest day.  Thanksgiving.  We went up to Woodstock, Vermont and spent the day with my wife’s relatives.  We had two cars full.  My wife and I, our three adult children, and two significant others.  Good food and good company.

Friday:  We spent the night up in Vermont and had a nice brunch at the Woodstock Inn on Friday morning.  Then we packed back into our cars and drove home.  In the late afternoon, I settled in for an erg session.

The Plan:

  • 3 x 15′ / 1′
  • Cat VI Pace: 2:06 to 2:11, r18-20
  • Every 5′ – 20 strokes at r32  (Cat I)
  • Also, insert 5 strokes of a pause at rocked over on recovery every 5 minutes or so.

My technique objective was to work on correcting my problems with breaking my knees too early and also maintain the right back posture.  I did the pause drill as the first 5 strokes of each 5 minutes to get myself setup right, then rowed continuously until there was 2:50 seconds left in the 5 minute segment, then I would do 40 seconds of rowing at r32.  This ended up being about 23 or 24 strokes.  Then I would finish out the last 2:10 seconds at r18.  After three sets of that, I took a quick swig of water and did the pause drill during the rest of the break.

It was a very enjoyable workout.  I was happy to see my HR coming back down nicely at the Cat VI pace.

One thing I did not enjoy was doing this workout on the dynamic erg.  When I crank up to a 32 rate on the static erg (or on slides), the pace tumbles easily down to 1:35 or below.  On the dynamic, I was pulling as hard as I could at 32 and it was a massive struggle to get down below 1:45.

After I finished the main set I did a 2k happy ending cool down.