Lost week – Taiwan

I left on Sunday morning to catch an early afternoon flight to Taiwan.  I dropped my boat off in Newton on the way to the airport.

I was flying from Boston to Tokyo, then connecting to Taipei.  I arrived around 8:30PM Monday night.  I slept some on the two flights, but I was stiff and tired by the time I got to the airport.

Tuesday morning:

I got up around 5am and discovered that I had left my HR monitor at home.  SO much for documented evidence of working out!  Sad to say, it badly effected my motivation.

I headed to the gym.  I set up the treadmill to do a 30 minute HIIT session.  so, 4:20 sec of fast walk (3mph) on 15% grade.  Then 40 seconds at 7mph on the same grade.  repeat 6 times.  By the last two sprints, I was nauseous at the end of the 40 seconds.  I guess that meant I was doing it right.

The rest of the day was a blur of meetings, all of them internal with our team in Taiwan.  I had dinner with a few of the folks that I travelled with and got back to the hotel around 9pm.

Wednesday:

Up at 5 again, and back in the gym.  Today, it was 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes on the stationary bike.  In both cases, I used the built in HR monitor to try to keep my HR in the 137 to 155 range.

Then I was off to the customer site for 3 different meetings.  Then we had a dinner for the full team supporting this major customer.  They’ve been working night and day for years making it successful, so it was a good idea for us to say thank you.

I made it back to the hotel just in time for my 8:30 conference call.  Unfortunately, that exactly when jet lag decided to strike and strike hard.  I was having trouble holding my head up, and I kept hoping for the meeting to wrap up.  I can remember looking at the clock around 8:50pm.  The next thing I know, it’s five minutes after nine, my head is on the desk and there’s no one left on the call!  I fell dead asleep.  I reached out by email to apologize to the other folks that were on the call.  I was pretty embarrassed.

Thursday:

I slept in until 6 because I had nothing on my agenda until my ride to the airport at 10am.  I headed down to the gym without a specific plan.  I did my full PT suite of exercises.  I have been neglecting them lately and that’s a bad thing.  I have to find a way to fit them in with OTW rowing.  I don’t feel comfortable doing them on the ground at the docks where I keep my boat and I am always rushed when I get to work afterwards.  I think I might start doing them on my way out of work at night.

Anyway, I did the PT exercises.  Then I did a little bit of strength training.

I did a 3 circuits of

  • 20 squats with 2 25lb dumbells
  • 12 pull downs on a machine designed to mimic pull ups

The squats felt easy at the time, but it’s 3 days later and I’m still feeling sore.

Then I headed over to the treadmills and did 30 minutes of fast walking on a 15% grade.

After that, I headed to the airport for the long trip home.  I got home around 8:00pm on Thursday night, thanks to time zones.

Friday:  80′ of OTW speedplay.

I slept surprisingly well on Thursday night, but not very long.  The alarm woke me at 5:15am and I rolled out of bed.  It was a beautiful morning, so I wanted to get back on the water.  I headed to Newton and launched.

The plan:

  • 80′ of speedplay
  • 4 sessions of KOM

The instructions for the speedplay sessions are to do it continuous, but I really want to work on balance.  I find that if I do KOM for more than a couple minutes at a time, I get all tight.  So I decided to do a quick set each time I needed to turn the boat around.

The weather was lovely.  Very little wind.  There still a bit of current which make the splits all crazy and makes rowing a bit squirrelly in a couple of places, mainly where the river narrows down or splits and rejoins.  It feel like the boat is wiggling underneath you or you are going around a corner on ice.  As long as you are expecting it, it’s kind of fun, but it can be disconcerting if it takes you by surprise.

I started with about 5 sets of KOM, then headed down river.  I’ve got my routine for the speed play workouts.  I row steady state until I get to middle of the straight 1K.  Then I do my power twenty.  Then I continue to the middle of straight section in front of the watch factory and do another.  I do the reverse on the way up river.  It ends up with a bit more time between the twenties with the turn in there.

4-27.png

I am trying to keep the power above 300W on the power twenties and to keep the stroke rate between 28 and 30.

To get a better idea of the effect of the rigging changes, I wanted to look at the change in my catch, finish and length.  These charts isolate just the r28 portions of four speed play rows.  I made the adjustments in 3 steps.  The first is the original settings.  The next is with oars down one spacer, inboard shortened by 2cm, and footplate moved 1 cm.  The third is another 2cm shorter inboard.  Then the last is with the footplate moved the additional cm to stern.

  • Finish angle is about 2 degrees bigger.
  • Catch angle is about 3 degrees bigger
  • drive length is 3.5 degrees bigger
  • Effective length is about 2 degrees bigger.

Not much change.  It feels a lot different though.

Saturday:  I intended to go rowing, but i felt like crap all day long.  I just sat around and did crossword puzzles.  I did get up the motivation to do laundry and get groceries, but that was about all I was good for,

Sunday;  Again, I was thinking about going rowing, but its raining and I’m lazy.  I intend to do an easy session on the dynamic later just to keep things going.

 

Videos! KOM Drill and Rate Ladders

It seems like so long ago, but it was just last Saturday.  When I went out to Lake Quinsigamond for a outing with my pals at the Worcester Boat Club.

I set up for side video to see how I was doing with the feedback that my coach had provided.  For reference, here is the before video.

The things that I needed to work on.

  • Rigging:
    • Decrease inboard to reduce the amount of overlap at the crossover and give me more room at the finish.  (I went from 89cm to 85cm)
    • Move foot board to stern to give me more distance through the pin for my hips.  (I moved it 2cm to the stern)
    • Move the oarlocks down one spacer so that my hands would be lower during the drive.
  • Technique:
    • Get my heels down quicker in the drive and keep my heels down during recovery
    • Maintain outward pressure on the handles during recovery to get the blades off the water and stay more stable.
    • concentrate on hinging at the hips and keep my back straight.

She recommended that I include the King of the Mountain Drill into my routine.  I’ve do it in a couple of workouts so far.  You can tell from the video that I need to do it more.

Here’s what it is supposed to look like.  Link to Video

Here’s my version.

I don’t know what my problem was, but I was really tense during the drill.  I feel like I did a better job the first time I tried it.

Then it was into the work out.  The assignment was 4 x 12′ rate ladders.  I include 2 videos here.  The first is the last couple of minutes of the r18 section, 4′ at r24 and 2′ at r28.  This one was done with basically no wind.

So, what do I see.  I know it’s tough to make things out because of the position of the sun.

  • The rigging changes are good, and maybe should go even further.  My finishes look a lot better.
  • I am doing a little better in the way my body is hinging, but not much.
  • I seem to go deep at the catch and then come to a good depth in the last 2/3 of the drive.
  • My balance still sucks.

Here’s the second ladder.  Again the end of the r18 bit and all of the 24 and 28.  The sun is now behind the camera so the video quality is better.  The rowing is a bit worse.  There was a bit of head/cross wind and I went a bit too hard in the first one so I was starting to fatigue.

I look a kinda slumpy in this one.  I need to really work on sitting up straight in the boat.

Finally, because I can’t help myself.  Here’s another blooper.  When I started my second ladder, I managed to lose track of where a buoy was in front of me.  By the time I saw it again, I was too close to cleanly steer away from it, so I just braced for impact.

Not my proudest moment.  I guess I should have worn the sunglasses.