3 x (6 x 40″/20″)/4′ – More L1 fun thanks to Mr. Murray

Time to get back into the training routine.  The basic plan remains the same.  A variation of the Wolverine Plan.

The outlines of the my variation of the plan:

  • 6 total sessions a week
  • 3 L4 sessions working on technique and aerobic fitness
  • 1 L1 Session (Short Intervals)
  • 1 L2 Session (Long Intervals)
  • 1 L3 session (Hard Distance or intervals with short rests)

At the same time, I am following with some interest the training sessions that Eric Murray is putting out on YouTube.  A couple of weeks ago, on 26 March,  I did another sprinty session which was quite hard, but a good change of pace.  Yesterday, I watched a workout that he uploaded last week, and from the way he was describing it (“Ooo, you guys are gonna hate me for this one”), I found it almost irresistible.

Here’s the link

The description of the workout is on the white board in the background.  (Mr. Murray is in the middle of the first set of six in the foreground.

Screen Shot 2019-04-15 at 1.21.13 PM.png

The part of the board behind the chain is saying 2 / 4 splits from race pace.  If I were to guess my 2k pace right now, it would be around 1:45.  So, my target for this should be 1:41 to 1:43.

I started with a 20 minute warmup.

Whew, that was tough.  I was left wondering how well the main session would go.  Then I programmed the complex interval set into the PM5 and set off.  I got very ambitious and aimed at 1:39 instead of 1:41, and I paid dearly for it.

By the fourth interval, I was fried and paddled it out after about 20 seconds.  Then after a more sedate 5th interval, I discovered that I had misprogrammed the PM5.  I was looking at a 4 minute rest when I should have seen a 20 second rest.

I pulled the plug and programmed it up again, hopefully correctly.  This time, I started at a more reasonable pace, but I still fought demons in each set after the 3rd 40 second burst.  I slowed down, but never gave up.

This session was hard!

End result 1:42.2.  Basically 3 splits below where I think my 2k is!

So, this turned out to be a bit different from a classic L1 workout.  In those terms it is basically like a 3 – 4 minute pieces with 4 minute rests, but because you break up the 4 minutes into 40 second chunks, you can push the pace faster.

Tomorrow:  Either an L4 session on the erg, or a steady state session on the water.  The weather looks a bit iffy.  Winds from the West at 18-20mph.  I’ll decide in the morning.

 

The Canals of Milan

Tough week to maintain any training momentum.

Tuesday – 4/9 – 8km run

I was staying Cernusco, a suburb of Milan.  On Monday night, I got back to my room around 10pm, and set an alarm for 5:30.  I planned to go to the gym, but discovered it opened at 7, too late for me since I had to be in the office at 8am.

I decided to go for a run, without a lot of research about a route.  I knew that there was a canal nearby to run along, but I wasn’t sure how to get to it.

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 1.09.33 PM.png

My hotel was right near the “C” of “Cernusco”.  So first, ran north and saw that that I was crossing over the canal, but I couldn’t see a path from the overpass down to canal level, so I continued over, then ran around the outside of a park.  I intended to go into the park, but that seemed to be locked up for the night as well (it was still dark).  I turned back south and ran back over the canal, and saw that there were pedestrian stairs down to a train station.  I jogged down the stairs, and along the train tracks to the station.  I had hoped to use the pedestrian bridge over the tracks to get the the canal side, but there were turnstiles going into the station.  I kept running along, and then found an overpass.  That’s the curved path going to the north.  That went right to the side of the canal, and I was home free.

I was running slowly, really slowly, like 10-11 minute mile pace.  But I was really enjoying myself.  Running along the canal was wonderful.  It was cool, the sun was starting to come up.  There were dog walkers and other runners out.  Along the canal were farms, and old houses, and across the canal a huge classic building.  I later found out it was the hospital.  A very classy looking hospital.

I managed to run slowly enough that I was having fun.  I got to a park and across the canal was a sports complex.  Then, I saw the coolest thing.  A stretch of the canal had been outfitted with Olympic white water kayak gates.  They must have the ability to increase the flow in the canal, because there was no impressive whitewater, just the gates.

A little past this, I noticed the time.  I’d been going for a bit more than 30 minutes.  I noticed my shoe was untied, so I stopped, retied it and turned around to go home.

The run home was just as nice.  I ran all the way back to the same overpass, and then continued south on the same road to the main route that would take me back to my hotel.  I was starting to get pretty tired by this point, and I didn’t like running along the morning rush hour, but when I finally got back to my hotel, I was just delighted.  I ran for nearly an hour.  The longest run I’ve done in years and it felt really good.  Almost all of it was good aerobic HR, then at the end, I picked up a bit.

I need to run more often.

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 1.23.33 PM.png

Then I had some less than happy meetings with our customer, some meetings back at our office, and then we went into Milan for dinner, along the canals.

I didn’t even know that Milan had canals!  Apparently they were covered over in the late 19th century and then uncovered in the late 20th century to beautify the city.

A little background on Milan’s canals

Wednesday – 4/10 – No Training

Up at 5:30am, cab to the airport at 6:15.  Flight from Milan to Frankfurt.  Then Frankfurt to Boston.  Arrived around 4pm.

Thursday – 4/11 – No Training

I was bone tired by the time I got to bed on Wednesday night.  I had a red eye flight on Sunday night, jet lag sleep issues on Monday night and a late bedtime and early start on Wednesday.  I figure I got 12 hours of sleep over the 3 nights.  So, I slept in instead of getting up  to train.

Friday – 4/12 – No Training

I had a doctors appt on Friday morning.  So, no time to train

Saturday – 4/13 – 3 x 20’/2′

Finally, I had a chance to train!  Back to basics.  I felt terrible.  High heart rate.  No rhythm.  But it felt great to work up a sweat.  I felt like a new person after I was done.

Compare this to the same thing a couple weeks ago.  Except that session was a more challenging stroke count!

Amazing how quickly I can lose fitness!

Sunday – 4/14 – 15km OTW 1x

The weather forecast was for partly sunny skies, no wind and temps in the high 50s.  I was very excited to get back on the water.  I headed down to Newton and launched around 8am.

Since I’ve only been on the water twice so far this season, and hadn’t been out since the 28th of March, I felt that the right thing to do today was to just do some r18 steady state rowing and maybe try to focus on technique.  The key things I wanted to work on were:

  • draw my hands in higher on my chest at the release to try to stop washing out.
  • work on getting my blades farther off the water on recovery
  • Work on hinging at my hips and maintaining body position forward during the leg drive.
  • Work on keeping my knees close to each other at the catch.  I think letting my legs splay out at the catch is the primary thing that is irritating my SI joint issues.

So it was a lot to think about and my success level was mixed at best.  But boy was it awesome to be out on the water!

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 1.44.36 PM.png

I started off and headed up river to go take a peek at the Lasalle Boathouse.  Looked the same as always.  Then I spun around and headed down river, all the way to the dam.  Then back upriver to turn in the cove.  Back down to the dam again.  By then I had been going for about 70 minutes and I was pretty tired.  I decided to alternate 40 strokes of drills and 40 strokes of steady state for the trip back to the dock.  I did the following drills

  • square blades
  • pause at arms away (This was good practice to work on the whole body position thing
  • half slide
  • slow roll up

While I was on the way back down river, my phone died.  Not sure why it tapped out the battery so quickly this morning, but once it was kaput, I had didn’t have a stroke rate.  (I used the speedcoach for pace, HR, Power and Eff Length.  I use RIM for boat acceleration curves and SPM).  I kind of enjoyed not having the SPM for a while.

       Workout Summary - media/20190414-1705430o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|15408|86:19.0|02:48.1|116.5|18.5|144.1|162.0|09.6
W-|12506|63:49.0|02:33.1|128.1|18.2|148.4|162.0|10.8
R-|02917|22:31.0|03:51.7|083.4|19.3|132.1|162.0|05.4
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00334|01:51.6|02:46.9|106.7|18.7|128.7|136.0|09.6
02|00927|04:21.4|02:21.0|143.9|18.8|137.9|147.0|11.3
03|00472|02:18.4|02:26.5|121.6|18.2|145.8|149.0|11.3
04|00152|00:46.9|02:34.6|110.2|17.8|132.0|135.0|10.9
05|02646|12:55.0|02:26.4|131.3|17.8|149.8|158.0|11.5
06|02424|13:03.7|02:41.7|123.4|17.3|150.4|156.0|10.7
07|00260|01:19.8|02:33.5|139.5|18.0|150.3|154.0|10.9
08|02775|13:56.1|02:30.6|128.1|17.8|151.4|159.0|11.2
09|00450|02:25.4|02:41.4|122.7|18.5|142.7|152.0|10.0
10|00435|02:13.4|02:33.3|155.6|19.4|151.9|159.0|10.1
11|00815|04:16.6|02:37.5|127.3|19.6|156.3|162.0|09.7
12|00162|00:51.9|02:40.5|095.0|19.6|144.8|150.0|09.5
13|00272|01:28.8|02:43.2|127.3|19.6|141.8|151.0|09.4
14|00381|02:00.4|02:37.9|124.5|22.4|147.1|156.0|08.5

Now my hands are pretty torn up, but I feel great!

 

3/29 – 4/8 : Oh my back!

Friday – 3/29 – 4 x 1500/random rests:

I had a great row on Thursday 3/28.  I was planning on heading out to Lake Quinsigamond to demonstrate Quiske, and hopefully go for a row.

As it turned out, I didn’t get out on the water.  But, I was working at home, so I could try the experiment that I wanted to do on the erg.

I have been corresponding with the developer of PainSled.  I really like the painSled app.  It is simple and generally pretty reliable, but recently, it seems to be dropping strokes.  The app eventually catches up, but the missing strokes mean that summaries and plots look ugly.

The developer thought that the setup that I was using might be causing the problems.

foo

So, I designed an experiment to test the theory.  The experiment had 6 parts.  I would row 1500 meter pieces.

  1. Playing music (spotify streaming using wireless earbuds), stroke scope enabled
  2. Playing music (spotify streaming using wireless earbuds), stroke scope disabled
  3. No music, earbuds disconnected, stroke scope enabled
  4. No music, earbuds disconnected, stroke scope disabled
  5. ergdata, no music, no earbuds
  6. playing music, BT earbuds

The experiment design was better than the execution.  I had a number of interruptions, but despite that, I got some pretty compelling data.

I reviewed the raw exports from painsled.  Painsled provides a column with stroke count data, so simply by looking for data records where the stroke count increments by more than 1.  Here is a snippet from the spreadsheet which calculates the missing strokes.  Notice the line 3 from the bottom where it missed 14 strokes!

foo.png

The ergdata log file was a bit more challenging to analyze.  It does not log the stroke count.  So, for this one, I used the distance column.  For this workout, my distance per stroke should be between 10 and 15 meters.

foo

You can see all the strokes are in the right range, except for one.  I had an interruption in the middle of this piece.  Notice the time jumps from 89.6 sec to 338 sec.  I needed to go deal with a tradesman who was fixing our garage door.  The fan spun down clicking up some additional meters.  Otherwise, there were no missing strokes.

So, here is the summary of the results.

foo.png

So, I got a good workout, and I think I showed with reasonable certainty that the problems are not related to other stuff connected to the phone.

Before I worked out I noticed that my back was a little stiff.  In the hours after my workout, my back got progressively tighter and sorer.  The symptoms were exactly the same as the late summer of 2017.  I had bilateral pain, very low on my back, and it hurt most when changing positions.  For example, standing up hurt like hell.  It also was impossible to bend over and lift my leg to, say, put on my pants without bracing with one hand.

At that time, I was diagnosed with some minor osteo-arthritis in my SI joints which were exacerbated by some nasty adhesions and imbalances in the muscles of my hips and thighs.

By Friday night, I was hobbling around like 90 year old man.  My amateur treatment plan was.

  • Rest and ibuprofen for a few days
  • Stretching and foam rolling, with light non-rowing aerobic training
  • When I was reasonably pain free, start back rowing, avoiding intense pieces for a week or so.

Saturday – 3/30 – No training

My wife and I went down to the cape and had a nice day just hanging out.  The highlight of the day was making some tasty Fajitas.  Back still mighty sore!

Sunday – 3/31 – No Training

We headed home late in the afternoon.  Back getting a little looser, but it still hurt a lot.

Monday – 4/1 – No Training

One more day of rest.  Improving daily.

Tuesday – 4/2 – 20 minute treadmill, 10 minute bike

stretches, foam rolling, ab lifts

20 minutes treadmill: 15% incline, 2.9 mph

10 minutes stationary bike, level 14, rolling hills

Wednesday – 4/3 – 20 minutes treadmill, 20 minutes bike

stretches, foam rolling, ab lifts

20 minutes treadmill: 15% incline, 2.9 mph

20 minutes stationary bike, level 14, rolling hills

Thursday – 4/4 – No Training

I had to drop my car off at the shop and didn’t have a window to train.

Friday – 4/5 – 20 minutes treadmill, 20 minute row

stretches, foam rollings, ab lifts

20 minutes treadmill: 15% incline, 2.9 mph

20 minutes on the rower.  Heart rate quite high as one might expect.  Back felt fine before and after.

Saturday – 3 x 20’/2′ on slides

More experimentation with painsled.  I was wondering if the problem was being caused by the painsled app trying to find a BLE HR monitor and not succeeding.  So I decided to try disabling that.  It didn’t make a difference.  But on the plus side, my back held up great!

Sunday – 4/7 – 3 x 20’/2′ on slides

Same workout as Saturday.  I was a little more tired and that caused a higher heart rate.  The back is still feeling good.

I headed to the airport around 6pm to catch a 8pm flight to Europe.

Monday – 4/8 – No Training

I arrived around noon and was at my hotel at 1pm.  I needed to be in the office by 2:30, no time for a workout.

 

 

Quiske Analysis of 4x2K

I mentioned that I used the Quiske pod on my row in Thursday.  Here are some of the plots from that

I took  sample of about 25 strokes near the end of each interval.  In each case, this part is on a part of the river that is reasonable straight.

The first and third interval had a tail wind and weere with the current.   The second and fourth headwind and against the current.  There was not enough wind to cause any chop, but the boat felt noticeably heavier going into it.

On the oar path diagram, I adjusted the pod to get it aligned to the horizon a bit better between the 1st and 2nd interval.  That’s why the green curve is canted at an angle.

So, what can I see from these data?

Boat Acceleration

  • The initial hump is too pronounced for this stroke rate.  I suspect that I am opening up my body too early in the drive.
  • There is a significant negative acceleration at the release, which means I am not extracting my oars cleanly.

Oar Acceleration:  I don’t know how to get much out of that plot

Oar Path:

  • Recovery shows a cupped shape.  That shows that I am dragging my oars, and then lifting them off the water at the catch
  • I am starting the drive with the oars not completely buried.  Oar depth increases through the first quarter of the stroke.
  • My oar depth is decreasing in last 2/3 of the stroke, which means I am washing out.  I need to pull into the release higher on torso.  (This will complicate cleaning up my releases)

For comparison,  here are the force curves for each of the 4 sections.

Of course, right now, I hurt my back, so even putting my socks on is a struggle.  Once I my better, I think it’s time to get working on drills!