3/18 – 3/23: A week in China

Monday – 3/18: No Training

My Birthday.  I got up at 5:15 to catch a 8am flight from Boston to Newark.  Then a flight from Newark to Shanghai.  Might be the least enjoyable way to spend a birthday.  The most entertaining thing about my birthday was almost flying over the north pole.

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Our highest latitude was 82.39deg, which put us about 525 miles from the north pole.

The direction of travel also meant that this was my shortest birthday ever.  By my estimate, since we were flying east, my birthday was about 18 hours long when I crossed over the time zone into Tuesday.

So, that’ my excuse for not training.  The day was too short.

Tuesday – 19 March: No Training

I arrived in Shanghai at 2pm on Tuesday afternoon.  I went to the hotel, took a nap for an hour, and then went to dinner.

Wednesday – 20 March: 3 x 20’/2′ L4 – Static

I love this Hotel!  They have good restaurants.  It is adjacent to a mall.  You can walk to the exhibition site where the conference was, and since they have a microbrewery, they leave a couple of personalized beers for you in your room.

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Most importantly they have an amazing fitness center, complete with two rowing machines.  Unfortunately, they have neglected the maintenance on the rowing machines since I was last at the hotel.  One of the machines had chain slip, that’s where the chain slips over a couple of teeth on the gear during some pulls.  And both machines had a drag factor under 90 with the damper at 10, they must have been really dirty inside the fan assembly.

The erg with chain slip was unusable, but the other one was perfectly fine.  I just had to get used to rowing with extremely low drag.  I think it was probably good for a change.  I found it a bit more work to hit my splits at such lower drag, but it was doable.

I knew the hotel had the rowing machines, so I even brought my luxurious butt pad!

I was working with a PM4, so no fancy stroke data, but thanks to the apple watch, I get HR data.  Thanks to RunGap, that data can get to Strava.  And thanks to rowsandall, I can import that data.

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Thursday – 8 x 500 / 3’30” L1 – Static

I was not sure how well an L1 workout would go with such a low drag factor, add in jet lag and a few drinks the night before and you have a recipe for underperformance.  I set a conservative 1:43 target and off I went.

I started with a 2000m warmup.  It was a challenge to get down below 1:40 in the bursts.

The actual 8×500 was pretty fun.  The first 20 strokes are always fun.  The next 10 start to bite.  Then you have only about 22 strokes to the finish.

The apple watch struggled a bit more with the higher stroke rates

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I was happy with the last rep.

Friday – March 22: 3 x 20’/2′ L4 – static

More of the same.  Higher HR than I like to see, but not a big deal.

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Saturday – March 23: 5 x 1500’/5′ L2 – Static

He’s quick summary of my Friday night.

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There were four of us, and it was all in support of a good cause.

I felt a little dehydrated on Saturday morning, but after a bottle of water, none the worse for wear.  The schedule demanded an L2 workout, but between my less than stellar nutrition plan, and the slickest erg in the east, I wasn’t sure how well it would go.  I opted for the 5×1500, since it’s the easiest of the L2s.  I took the first 1500 rep as a warmup and added some more warmup strokes in the 5 minute rest after that.

I decided anything faster than 1:55 would do.  Getting into the first rep, I felt like I could go a bit faster, so I did.  I ended up with an average pace of 1:49.5, which I was delighted with.

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After my workout, I enjoyed a heart breakfast and headed off to the airport.  At noon, I flew to Narita, and then caught the direct from there to Boston, arriving at 6pm local time.

That might be my best set of on the road training sessions.

Later today:  3 or 4 x 20′ L4

Tomorrow:  Hopefully my first OTW session of the season.