The rest of my testing

Sunday – Oct 21: 10″ peak power test

Started with a Fletcher warm up, as one does.

Then I got myself ready for a wild ride.  Damper up to 10, feet strapped in tight, crank some good tunes and get ready for action.

I set the erg for 1′ work and 2 minute rest intervals.  I only rowed hard for the first 10 to 15 seconds of each interval.

Well, that’s not very satisfying.  Here’s the pace, power and rate as different charts

The point of a peak power test is to see the maximum power (or lowest split) that you can get over a 10 second blast.  The test protocol is defined here.

I did 5 sprints with the erg on the floor, which is the test standard, and then 2 sprints with the erg on slides, which is a f&*^ing blast!

I discovered something interesting with this test.  Under some circumstances, painsled does not log every single stroke. Here’s the data…

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The last column is the stroke count and there is no data for stroke 1,2,3,4,7,9.  So that means that the data that I have is somewhat unreliable.

What I saw on the monitor was a minimum split of 1:18 on most of the static reps.  I saw one pull with a 1:17.   That is 1 split off my all time best low pull.  I took the highest wattage of any of the recorded strokes and that was 1:17.8 or 742W.

On slides, I saw 1:12 on the monitor in both reps, that’s a whopping 923W.  Of course I could rate up to about 60 spm on slides which helped out a bit.  Needless to say, the static results are the ones that will be used for planning training.

Monday, Oct 22 – 1K test

I hate Monday’s.  I never get enough sleep, and I am working out first thing in the morning, usually after working out in the afternoon the day before.  This Monday was no exception.  But I really wanted to get this set of fitness tests behind me.

What was left?  The 1K test.  The soul of simplicity.  Row 1000m as fast as I can.  Use the average power as a proxy for my VO2max wattage.

To begin, the ritual fletcher warmup must be completed.

Apparently, Monday morning’s don’t suck.  I was a bit faster, with much better HR response than on Sunday.  Buoyed with new confidence, a strapped in for 3 minutes of hell (the first 15 seconds aren’t really so bad).

Actually, the first 250m was just fine.  I set out with a goal of matching my test from last year.  This was an average split of 1:39.4.  I guess I was pretty juiced because my average pace was a 1:37.6 over the first 250.  In the second 250, I started to really feel the burn and I dialed it back, just a hint to 1:38.6.  When I crossed the 500m mark, I was in respiratory distress, but I found I could tweak the rate up just a little and calm my breathing down.

Around 700m, my legs were burning, but with only 30 or so strokes to go, I closed my eyes and counted to 10.  I opened my eyes and I there was about 210m to go.  I did it again.  120m to go.  And the splits were getting better, not worse.  I counted down the last ten, and then there were two strokes to go.  Done.  3:15.2.  Boom.  Fastest 1k that Ive done since my 3:10.5 PB back in 2014.

I did a slow 2k to cool down.  I had a nasty erg cough the rest of the day, but it was totally worth it.  I ranked it on the C2 logbook.  19th out of 403 for the men’s 50-59 heavies.  3rd best for USA.

So that concluded the fitness tests.  The results…

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Compared to a year ago.

  • Peak power:  +21W
  • 1000m: +20W
  • 20′ test: +15W
  • 75′ test: +13W

I’ll be trying to figure out what that means for winter training with Marlene over the next couple of weeks, but looking at the numbers, my strongest performance was at 1000m.  Since my focus is head racing, I will need to work on aerobic capacity, and lactate threshold.