I’m not sure who, but someone said that a journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step. Well, I contend that the first step is pretty easy. It’s steps 2 through 500 that are when you start to wonder if the journey is such a good idea.
Today, I was doing a new workout.
Session: 8 x 5’
Rest between: 00:30 easy paddle
Rating/Pace: 4:30 @ Cat VI pace: SR 20 + 00:30 power @ Cat II; SR 30-32
Of course I misread it on my phone and took 1;30 between 5′ chunks. Oops.
Pace targets were 2:03 to 2:08 for the Cat VI and 1:45 for the Cat II.
Of highest importance was trying to keep my mind on the technique modifications, but try to do them at r20 and r30-32 instead of at R18, which was basically could be rowed like a pause drill at body over.
I started with the full suite of PT exercises. SI corrective, quad stretch, foam roll the quads and IT band, the glute thing on swiss ball and the core exercises as well.
Then a 2k warmup with 10 stroke bumps. Trying to work out how to row at r30 while keeping my knees down longer.
Then the fun part.
So, since the whole point was technique. I did yet another video this one is 30 seconds of r20, and 30 seconds of r30.
The r20 looks better to me. Still keeping the knees down, but smoother. The r30 looks like I am falling back into bad habits. I can’t tell you how hard I was trying to get my hands away fast and hold back on the slide, but I have to do more work on it.
The picture on the left is at r20. The one on the right is at r30.
Tomorrow: The hard one. 6 x (3′ @ r28, 7′ @ r18)/1′
My coach sent me some feedback on the video that I posted. She was trying to be nice, but it was clear that I am not successfully implementing her suggestions for me. Here’s exactly what she said…
It is a big shift in rhythm so I understand where you are coming from. But yes, this is a little better but still not quite there. But almost!
Put the focus on keeping your glutes firm and stabilizing the quads- i.e. hold a “dead slide” now wheel movement until your wrists are over your knees.
I have to confess that I was totally mystified about how to keep my glutes firm and my quads stabilized, so I shot back a quick email asking. and she explained it really well.
Tense your glutes, keep contact with your feet, firm up your quads. That’s all.
Now straighten your arms and move just enough through the pivot to allow your wrists to reach your knees.
Zero in on that position.
So, I messed around with that position a bit. and noticed that consciously tensing my glutes when I swung my body in the drive ended up helping to propel my torso forward on recovery. I could actually feel a distinct body swing. Of course, it felt completely foreign to me.
I started with my PT exercises. Not the full set. I did the SI corrective, quad stretch, foam rolling, and twisty glute thing on the swiss ball. I skipped the core stuff.
Then into the erg session. I had been thinking about it a lot during the day on Wednesday, and as I drove to work on Thursday morning. I have taken roughly 3,010,000 strokes over the past 7 years. About 2.2 million of them have been on the erg. Expecting to change the way I take a rowing stroke in an instant or without a lot of concentration is not realistic.
I remember a while ago Tiger Woods basically took a season to reengineer his golf swing. If it took him a while, I guess I should expect that it will take me a while too.
So today, I decided that the number one priority was to take strokes with “perfect form”. Well, that isn’t exactly right, since I don’t know what perfect form is. What I actually did was to focus on tensing my glutes as I came into the finish and keep them that way until my arms were out and my body was over. It was horrific! Trying to maintain concentration on every stroke was murder. My rate and pace were all over the place, but I kept at it. By the time I got to the third 20′ piece, it was feeling a little less alien, but still required a ton of focus. If I got interested in the podcast in my headphones, I would notice that my knees might pop up early, or my butt was mushy at the finish.
I finished mentally tired and with a sore pair of glutes. I don’t think that they have worked that hard in a while!
But the most important thing was technique, so I did another minute at the end to see if it looked any different.
Well, it certainly looks…different. The knees are staying down, but there is a noticeable hiccup in the recover after I get to body over, and before the seat moves. I think I need to over correct this way to try to unlearn bad habits?