The rest of my trip

After my adventure on Sunday, I rushed back to my hotel, took a quick shower, packed up my stuff and headed to the train station.  We took a train from Shanghai to the city of Hefei, about two and a half hours away by high speed rail.

Once we arrive, we had a nice dinner with some of the team leaders there, and I called it a night.

Monday, June 24 – Treadmill

There was a well equipped fitness center in the hotel in Hefei, but alas no rowing machines.  I grabbed a treadmill and started to hike.  Going gradually to see how well I could coax my smo2% up in a warmup.  I definitely didn’t give it enough time and it peaked out much lower than other sessions.

Basically what I did was start walking slow and level.  Then I increased the pace to about 3 mph.  Then I increased the incline every minute to get me to 15%.  Around the 5 minute mark, I did a 1 minute run on the incline, that’s the dip.  Then I slowed it way back down, and had a drink.  In retrospect, I should have done that a couple more times to open things up.

Then I just hiked up the 15% incline at about 3 mph.  I saw orange, so I back off to 2.8 soon after starting.  That worked fine until about 20 minutes in, where I needed to drop the pace a bit more.  The last minute or two was in the orange, but my HR was still quite low.

Screen Shot 2019-06-28 at 3.58.20 AM

When I got back to my room, it was sunny, clear and beautiful outside.  My room had a great view.

 

 

I had a busy day at our design center in Hefei.  I great group of engineers.  In the afternoon, we headed to the train station and headed back in the direction of Shanghai, stopping in the city of Wuxi.  I was schedule to have a business dinner with a customer.  We went to a really good Japanese restaurant and had lots of beer and Sushi.

Tuesday, June 25 – Stationary Bike intervals with Humon

The fitness center was hot, and I was feeling pretty tired, and just a little hungover.  I hopped on a stationary bike, and started pedaling.  I did about 20 minutes of warmup, including a couple of sprinty bits.  This warmup increased my smo2 from 63% to 70.9%.

Then I programmed in one of the preset “interval sessions”.   I set it for a 40 minute session.  This turned out to be another 10 minutes of warming up and then a one minute on / one minute off routine with 4 levels of intensity for a total of 14 reps.

As it turned out, I had not set the intensity high enough for this session, as you can see I was not getting into the red in most of the sprints.

Screen Shot 2019-06-28 at 3.37.38 AM

But, it was interesting following my progress on the app.  I met my colleague in the lobby and we grabbed a “didi” (basically the same as an Uber) to drive us to Shanghai, which was about a 90 minute ride.

When we got to Shanghai, I went straight to a lunch time meeting with one of our teams there, then headed over to another office and had another set of meetings.  In the evening, I had a business dinner with a customer at an extremely good, very small Chinese restaurant.  Then it was back to the Kerry hotel.

Wednesday, June 26 – 3 x 20′ Endurance Session on the erg

I grabbed the good erg, and set myself up to do a nice gentle warmup.  I started with a pick drill, and then just gentle rowing.  I was alarmed by the early appearance of some orange.  I decided to experiment with a set of moderate power bursts.  I did 10, 20, 30, and 40 strokes The 40 strokes I did a noticeably lower power.  You can see the corresponding dips and recoveries in the SMO2%.  I finished very close to where I started, 72% vs 69%.  I’d have to say that this was not an entirely successful warmup.  I suspect that it would have recovered to a much higher umber, but not in the 2 minute rest that I had programmed.

Screen Shot 2019-06-28 at 4.11.06 AM

The rest of the session was pretty much terrible.  I had a lot of trouble staying in the green and ended up just alternating r18 and r20 at 160W and 180W.  Even with that light load, my SMO2% was low, and my HR was a bit high.  I was a bit grumpy so I sprinted out the last 2 minutes, taking my SMO2% way down to a 61%.

It’s interesting that the Humon color algorithm is a much more sensitive indicator than HR.  If my theory that I am not making good progress because I had been overcooking my steady state stuff, this will certainly put that theory to the test.

I went straight from my workout into some work calls, took a quick shower, and headed into the office for a couple of last meetings.

After lunch, I headed to the airport to fly to Taiwan, the last stop on my, way too long trip.  I arrived at my Hotel, the Sheraton in Hsinchu around 8, had some dinner, and then I was on the phone in conferences until about 11pm.

Thursday, June 27 – Inclined walk

I was up at 5:30 and in the fitness center before 6.  I headed to the treadmills and settled in for another boring slog.

The plan was the same as the last one, but I was going to try to take the warmup more slowly.  Again, I got up to a healthy walking speed and then boosted the inline, but only a degree or two every minute.  It was good to see my SMO2 climbing as I went.  After twenty minutes I was at the right incline and then stopped to grab a drink and towel off.  It was remarkably hot and humid.  My SMO2 climbed really well in that rest period.  From 63% at the start to over 72% after recovery.

Screen Shot 2019-06-28 at 4.26.28 AM

In the session itself, I found that I was pretty tired and the  time was going very slowly.  Kept popping over into orange, and I would slow down a tenth or drop the incline by a degree each time.  But you can see how many times that happened.  It was not my best work.

After my workout, I started my business day.  A couple of quick calls in my room.  It was a misty morning, and the mountains near Hsinchu looked like classic asian landscape art to me.

2019-06-27 07.09.48lores

To our office for prep meetings, then to a customer reception at lunch, then to another customer meeting, then back for another internal meeting, and finally a dinner meeting with a few of the managers.  Around 8 I headed to airport and got on a work teleconference.  This lasted my whole trip to the airport.  I checked in, got settled in the China Airlines lounge and got on another work call.  This lasted until it was almost time to board my 11:35 flight.  This flight took me from Taipei to San Francisco.  I arrived at 8pm, shuffled off to the Delta terminal and caught the 10:42pm red eye to Boston.  I am currently over Nebraska with another 2:37 to go.

Once I get to Logan Airport, I am going to drive straight to the Cape.  Hopefully arriving before 11 on Friday.

It’s been quite a trip.  I had a rowing experience I will never forget.  Visited places I have never been, and worked out every day that I was on the ground.  I’m pretty happy with that.

 

 

Rowing in Shanghai!

Before I left on my trip, I reached out to the amazing Master Rowers International community on Facebook to find out if there were any clubs in Shanghai.  Within minutes, I was pointed to the Shanghai Rowing Club.  I sent them a message on facebook, and was directed to contact them through WeChat instead (since Facebook is blocked in China, which should have occurred to me).  I sent them a message on WeChat and they got right back to me.

What a great group of people!  The club president is a wonderful guy and a skillful rower named Pascal.  He has been living in China for a few years and is one of the people who is really getting this club off the ground.  He arranged for one of the members to pick me up at my hotel and give me a lift to the club.  (Pretty amazing hospitality).

Michael showed up at my hotel with his son and whisked me off to the club.  Shanghai Rowing Club has a ancient history, but has only been revived in the past few years.  Their brand new boat house is adjecent to Shanghai Disneyland and they row on the “moat” that surrounds the property.

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 8.27.27 AM.png

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 9.29.12 AM.png

2019-06-23 11.02.17.jpg

Pascal put me in a quad with him, Xi and Alex.  In fact, it’s that shiny new quad in the picture above.

Alex was an impressively tall german dude in an italian rowing uni.  Xi was a chinese rower in the club.  Pascal was in bow and on this particular day, he was obsessed about a balance drill that he had seen the chinese national team do.

So, we have a french guy, a german dude, a chinese guy and an old american in a boat together for the very first time trying to do this drill.  I have to say, it was a blast.  At first, we worked on it by one.  Then by twos, then different combinations of twos, then by three.  Mind you this took place over the course of two and half hours of going back and forth on a 2.7km stretch of this canal.  Finally, we got to the point where we would try it by four.  We didn’t quite make it.

I was having a great time, but we were out there for a very long time.  The last thing we did was a set of race starts, and then a hard 500.  The race starts were actually pretty good, especially the second one that we did.  The boat really got up and went.

The 500 was another story.  It might have been a bit longer than five hundred, but probably not.  We did a race start, and then then a high 10, then settled.  But we settled to something like a 34.  The boat was going pretty fast (at least by my sedate standards)

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 8.54.14 AM

Over this short piece, we averaged about 4.5 m/s (about a 1:50 pace).  I faded horribly.  I went out with way too much gusto and by the time we had done 30 strokes, I was very seriously gassed.  I just tried to hang on and keep time.  It was ugly.

After that, we made one more attempt at the blades flying high, without any more success and then called it a day.

After we put the boat away and had the obligatory pictures taken, I headed back to my hotel.  Tired and sunburned, but incredibly happy.  I am so grateful for generous hospitality that I was shown by all the folks at the Shanghai Rowing Club.

 

 

Jun 17 to Jun 22 – Greetings from China

Monday, June 17 – No Training

I was down on the Cape this weekend and stayed over Sunday night.  I left for work at 5am on Monday morning and arrived around 8.  Just enough time for a quick shower and into a busy day of meetings.

Tuesday, June 18 – 10K push 

I was up late on Monday night, and ended up sleeping in on Tuesday morning.  At the end of the day, I ducked into the fitness center for a quick workout.  I wanted a bit of intensity, but didn’t have the oomph for a really hard session, so I did a 10K push.  I was doing pretty well, but I had a bit of a blip near the end.

        Workout Summary - media/20190618-2100490o.csv
--|Total|-Total----|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time-----|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|10000|00:39:50.7|01:59.5|204.8|21.4|159.5|181.0|11.7
W-|10000|00:39:51.3|01:59.6|204.8|21.4|159.5|181.0|11.8
R-|00000|00:00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|181.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01000|04:07.8|02:03.9|180.6|17.6|124.9|139.0|13.7
01|01000|04:06.6|02:03.3|186.8|18.7|143.9|147.0|13.0
02|01000|04:04.0|02:02.0|192.7|20.2|151.5|154.0|12.2
03|01000|04:02.5|02:01.3|196.1|20.4|155.8|159.0|12.1
04|01000|04:00.2|02:00.1|201.6|21.3|160.2|161.0|11.7
05|01000|03:57.3|01:58.6|209.6|22.4|164.3|166.0|11.3
06|01000|03:55.7|01:57.8|213.8|22.4|168.9|170.0|11.4
07|01000|03:53.0|01:56.5|221.4|23.4|173.3|175.0|11.0
08|01000|03:49.7|01:54.9|231.3|24.1|177.3|179.0|10.8
09|01000|03:54.4|01:57.2|218.2|23.9|178.8|181.0|10.7

I wore my Humon for the session to see what this kind of session looks like.

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 8.00.20 AM

Wednesday, June 19 – 3 x 20’/2′ L4 on slides

I worked from home on Wednesday so I could take my wife to a doctor’s appointment.  In the evening, I had a time window to go get a workout, so I strapped on my Humon and went off to do a 3 x 20′ L4.

To satisfy the Humon, I started with a pick drill and slowly increased the pace to get to target around 4 minutes in.  I think it’s one of the more interesting things to experiment with is measuring the effectiveness of different warmups.

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 8.05.06 AM.png

After my workout, I had dinner, packed my bags and headed out to the airport to catch a 1:50AM departure to Hong Kong.

Thursday, June 20 – Rest Day

This day basically didn’t exist.  I flew out at 1:50AM, thursday morning and arrived in Hong Kong 5:10am Friday morning.

Friday, June 21 – Rest Day

No time for training.  I went from the airport in Hong Kong to the hotel in Shenzhen by car, took a shower, changed, and then went to an internal meeting.  Then we headed out to an 11am meeting with our customer.  After that, a customer lunch.  From there, I headed to the airport and flew to Shanghai, arriving in the evening.  I was dead tired and went straight to bed.

Saturday, June 22 – 3 x 20’/2′  Sort of an L4

I was staying at the Kerry in Shanghai, which has 2 ergs.  The one I hopped on for this session had a maximum drag of about 75, and if I hit the catch with too much aggressiveness, it would slip a cog.  Combine that with jet lag and you end up with a pretty shitty session.

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 8.14.41 AM

 

June 16: Relegated to the basement

Still too windy to go for a row here.  So, down to the basement for a Humon directed steady state workout.

3 x 20′ / 2′ L4

Try to minimize the time in orange.  Also, start nice and light and work my way up to target power.  I used to do this during my lactate obsession and it helped me carry higher power through the workout.  What the hell, it might help.

        Workout Summary - media/20190616-1935270o.csv
--|Total|-Total----|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time-----|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|15138|01:06:00.6|02:10.8|162.7|19.4|135.6|157.0|11.8
W-|14238|00:60:00.0|02:06.4|173.7|19.2|136.2|156.0|12.3
R-|00903|00:06:00.6|03:19.8|052.3|20.7|129.6|156.0|06.2
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|04678|20:00.0|02:08.3|166.9|18.7|128.5|141.0|12.5
01|04742|20:00.0|02:06.5|172.9|19.2|136.2|145.0|12.4
02|04818|20:00.0|02:04.5|181.5|19.9|144.0|156.0|12.1

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 8.46.30 PM

You can see the nice steady increase in smo2% over the first 20 minutes.  My guess is that I wasn’t completely warmed up, because in the next 20 minute liece, I m=pushed into the orange with the first 180W section.  After that, I was able to dance between 160 and 180 watts staying pretty much in the green the whole time.  I felt so good that I decided to push the last 20 minutes harder.  I again tripped into the orange with the first 180W chunk, but then I pushed up to 200W and by the end of that, I had gone “red”, meaning that I had exceeded 4mmol lactate.  But only briefly, when I dropped back down to 180W, I returned to orange, and soon after I dropped to 160W, I was back in green.  I take this to mean that I was doing a pretty good job at clearing the lactate that I built.

Fun stuff.

 

Jun 9 – Jun 15: A nice week

Sunday – June 9: 10 x 2’/2′ – L1(ish)  On Slides

At home.  Started with a fletcher warmup.

Then into the session.  Rowed at a single 40′ session and timing the intervals from the time remaining.  Some missing strokes, but a pretty consistent session.  I got tired and eased up in the 8th and ninth interval and then emptied the tanks on the tenth.

       Workout Summary - media/20190609-2031180o.csv
--|Total|-Total----|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time-----|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|08558|00:39:53.8|02:19.9|157.8|25.4|150.8|175.0|08.5
W-|04885|00:17:43.3|01:48.8|274.0|29.5|157.9|175.0|09.4
R-|03680|00:22:11.7|03:00.9|064.9|22.1|145.2|175.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00531|01:55.5|01:48.8|273.9|28.4|149.6|162.0|09.7
02|00544|01:57.9|01:48.3|279.4|29.6|155.0|168.0|09.4
03|00516|01:50.2|01:46.7|299.5|30.4|163.9|169.0|09.2
04|00426|01:32.5|01:48.5|272.6|29.0|161.4|170.0|09.5
05|00440|01:35.4|01:48.4|276.2|29.4|155.9|170.0|09.4
06|00513|01:53.5|01:50.7|258.9|27.5|157.4|171.0|09.9
07|00511|01:51.7|01:49.2|268.7|30.0|160.1|174.0|09.2
08|00506|01:52.7|01:51.3|254.3|29.2|158.3|172.0|09.2
09|00369|01:22.3|01:51.4|253.5|28.5|153.7|168.0|09.4
10|00529|01:51.7|01:45.7|298.4|32.8|163.1|175.0|08.7

I finished off with a 2k cool down.  I did a few power bursts to sort of clear my legs.

Here is the view from Humon, the notable thing to me is the effect of the warmup.  It really helped to increase the oxygen % prior to starting the real work. Notice that I have HTR in both the rowsandall and Humon plots…I wore two heart rate monitors!

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 12.21.00 PM

Monday – June 10 – No Training

I was up late on Sunday night, and had an early meeting, so no time to workout.

Tuesday – June 11 – Steady State OTW with Humon.

I was really curious to try out Humon in the boat.  I tend to end up with higher heart rates in the boat, and if my erg session was showing high lactate levels, then I expected even more in the boat.

I struggled with the setup and the change in my routine.  I tried to wear two HR onitors and connect one the the speedcoach, and the other to the Humon app.  The trick, I thought would be to turn off BT on the phone, turn on one HR monitor, then turn on the speedcoach, get that one connected.  Then turn on BT on the phone, turn on the other monitor, and the Humon hex and pair both to the phone.  Sounded good in theory, but it didn’t work for some reason.  So, I pressed on with no HR on the Humon app.

I was so preoccupied with all this, that I forgot to push start on the speedcoach (again!) and didn’t get any data saved from it.

Here’s the Humon data.  I row about 4k to the dam, then 3k back to the cove, then back to the dam, then 4k home.

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 12.38.07 PM.png

You can see the gradual increase in smO2% over the first 4k, and then recovery to very high levels when I had my drink at the dam.  Then dropping down when I start again.  This was a very interesting way to do steady state.  I would push the pace until I saw the display flip over from green to orange, then I would focus on technique and let the splits go up a bit.  I was working to try to accelerate gently from the catch.  It seemed like I could hit faster paces without going orange that way.  Doing things this way really focused me on things like relaxing my arms and shoulders at the catch and holding my body position through the first phase of the drive.  It was probably wishful  thinking, but I felt like I was going faster at lower HR than I had all season.

Since I didn’t have speedcoach data, I wanted to look at boat speed.  I figured out that I could export the Humon data to Google Earth as TCX.  My boat speed ranged from 13km/h (2:18) with the current to 11km/h (2:45).  So, nothing dramatic, but this was all at 18SPM, and my HR was a bit lower than I have been running in these sessions.

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 12.45.08 PM.png

Wednesday – June 12 – More OTW Steady State with Humon

Same thing, same setup, except today I actually pushed start on the speedcoach.

        Workout Summary - media/20190612-1630280o.csv
--|Total|-Total----|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time-----|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|14268|01:16:43.0|02:41.3|120.2|19.0|137.2|154.0|09.8
W-|13308|01:06:17.5|02:29.4|130.2|18.6|140.9|154.0|10.8
R-|00966|00:10:26.0|05:23.9|056.5|21.5|113.7|154.0|10.2
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00545|02:48.4|02:34.6|126.1|18.9|120.1|131.0|10.3
02|02951|14:26.3|02:26.8|136.3|19.1|139.9|148.0|10.7
03|02909|14:25.9|02:28.8|127.9|18.4|141.4|151.0|11.0
04|02816|14:07.4|02:30.5|131.7|18.1|141.3|147.0|11.0
05|04087|20:29.5|02:30.4|127.1|18.7|143.7|154.0|10.7

This is a really good steady state session.  The combination of <2:30, 18.6SPM and Avg HR of 141 is significantly more “efficient” than I have seen in other sessions.  For example on May 16, I did a shorter session (10K) at 2:30, 20spm, 141bpm.  Not a huge difference, but it felt noticeable on the water.

Here’s the Huon data for this one.  Less orange and shorter durations in the orange.

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 1.01.01 PM

I’m liking this!

Thursday – June 13 – Guess what…Steady State OTW with Humon

I was having so much fun working on technique and learning how to use Humon that I decided to just do the same session for a third time.  Today, I felt a bit more tired.  Tuesday and Wednesday sessions had been easy, but they were longer than I’ve been doing lately.  The Humon agreed with me.  My SMO2% seemed to not want to get up to the lofty heights of Tuesday and Wednesday.  No matter. I could still row to the same basic plan.  push to orange and backoff working on a nice smooth easy drive.

Today, my HR started low, stayed low and didn’t want to move, it was an average of 134 over all the work segments.  I was a bit slower (2:32), but my stroke rate was even lower at 18.0spm.  Again, good efficient rowing.

        Workout Summary - media/20190613-1505260o.csv
--|Total|-Total----|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time-----|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|14134|01:17:02.5|02:43.5|115.6|18.2|130.6|146.0|10.1
W-|12989|01:05:48.9|02:32.0|124.2|18.0|133.6|146.0|11.0
R-|01152|00:11:14.1|04:52.5|065.1|19.1|113.0|146.0|10.2
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00554|02:58.2|02:40.9|111.0|18.2|118.6|123.0|10.3
02|02876|14:23.3|02:30.1|128.2|17.7|136.7|146.0|11.3
03|02910|14:43.5|02:31.8|123.7|17.7|134.7|143.0|11.2
04|02816|14:18.7|02:32.5|126.4|17.9|134.4|142.0|11.0
05|03046|15:27.7|02:32.3|121.8|18.0|131.7|145.0|10.9
06|00335|01:39.0|02:27.8|137.1|21.8|135.3|139.0|09.3
07|00453|02:18.5|02:32.8|112.8|20.4|132.2|139.0|09.6

Here’s the Humon data.  It was harder to stay out of the orange today, but I was trying very hard to relax and take the drive insanely softly.  You can see the difference between Wed and Thursday.  About the same amount of orange, but a HR that was 6 beats lower.  From an RPE perspective, I don’t think it felt any easier.

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 1.08.35 PM.png

I think that using Humon for steady state work will be an interesting experiment.  I alway worry that I am not working hard enough, and the evidence that I got from lactate testing a few ago was that I was, in fact, pushing too hard to make optimal progress.  Now, I seem to be seeing the same thing.  It is also making me feel like there is a real opportunity for more speed through technique improvement.

Friday – June 14 – 4 x 6’/4′ L2 on slides

Down on the cape.  We drove down on Thursday night and I worked remotely on Friday.  I had a busy day of meetings starting at 8:30 and continuing through 5pm.  After that, I needed to just blow off a little steam.  I headed to the basement and set up a 40 minute time based piece with the intent to squeeze in 4 – 6 minute intervals, with 4 minute rests.

I planned to wear the Humon, but do the workout to the preset times, not the SMO2 limits.  Target pace was 1:50.

I didn’t take time for a proper warmup, and afterwards I wish I had.  I just did 4 minutes of paddling at the beginning and then started the first interval.  Everything went fine.  I really needed to dig deep in the third interval and I was in trouble in the last one.  I bailed with about a minute to go, which was a bummer.

       Workout Summary - media/20190614-2250270o.csv
--|Total|-Total----|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time-----|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|09136|00:39:56.0|02:11.1|182.4|24.8|149.7|180.0|09.2
W-|06219|00:22:56.3|01:50.7|258.6|27.0|159.6|180.0|10.0
R-|02923|00:16:07.1|02:45.4|075.3|21.9|136.9|180.0|06.4
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00095|00:21.1|01:50.8|253.4|26.0|105.1|111.0|10.4
02|00126|00:28.0|01:50.9|263.2|27.0|125.4|130.0|10.0
03|01621|05:59.6|01:50.9|257.7|26.0|152.5|167.0|10.4
04|01564|05:44.7|01:50.2|261.5|27.5|160.0|174.0|09.9
05|01626|05:58.8|01:50.3|260.0|27.4|166.2|179.0|09.9
06|01186|04:24.1|01:51.4|253.8|27.3|167.8|180.0|09.9

Here’s what Humon thought of my adventure.  I managed to fool the algorithm in the first interval.  The transition from red to green around 8 minutes probably should not have happened.  I think it was due to inadequate warmup.  You can see how the SMO2% plateaus and climbs just a bit.  That must be part of what the algorithm looks at to determine the state transitions.  Once it was green, the change was so gradual that it did not flip back to red.  The same thing happened in the second interval, little plateau, fake state change.  In the third and fourth, I was now fully warmed up and responding to intervals the way I should have by seeing a monotonic decrease in SMO2% through each piece.  I was kind of surprised at how low the numbers got and by the seeming lack of a final plateau.  How much deeper could I possibly dig?

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 1.20.24 PM.png

Saturday – June 15 – 10K coastal row

Well, that was…interesting.  I decided to go for a row around noon.  It was beautiful out.  Sunny, low seventies, and a nice 7mph wind from the west.  By the time I launched, it felt like the wind might have build a little bit, but not much.

[Narrator voice:  Little did he know what was going to happen]

Here is the data from my personal weather station at my house.  We are on top of a bluff, so the wind we see is almost exactly what it is like out on the water.  At 12:30, 7mph.  By 1pm, 25mph.  By 1:30, 30mph.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 6.08.32 PM

The smooth path is the one from launching up to Wellfleet harbor.  The bumpy turny one is the slog back with the wind and waves on my port bow.

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 1.31.21 PM.png

I have never rowed in conditions like this and I learned a lot, pretty quickly.  The wind seemed to spring up very suddenly.  I was in Wellfleet inner harbor, heading to the end of the jetty and all the sudden there were white caps and foam streaks on the water. I turned into the lee of the jetty and had a drink.  I was hoping that the wind would calm down a bit, and getting myself ready for the likelihood that wouldn’t.  I opened the bailer in the cockpit.  This is extra drag in flat water, but an insignificant factor once you have water in the boat.  I got the first blasts of wind as I turned around the end of the jetty.  Here it was still quite flat, but the wind was on my starboard bow and I had to work hard to stay in the channel.  You can see how I left the harbor a lot closer to the shore than I came in.  That was not on purpose, I just had trouble clawing my way into the wind.

I ultimately got to the point where I just needed to point straight into the wind and waves and push my way out of the harbor.  This was pretty scary.  The waves were between 1-2 feet and all the power boats were essentially making a run for it to get back in the harbor, so there was a chaos of wakes on top of the massive chop.  I was taking water over the bow as I plowed through the waves, and over the gunwales from the wakes.  The cockpit was so full that my water bottle was trying to float out.  The bailer couldn’t keep up.  But I could see from the speedcoach that I was making slow but steady progress and I could see that I was slowly putting the breakwater behind me.  Once it was well behind me, then I could start to figure out how to row better in the huge waves.

I started to detect that there was a bit of a pattern in the waves.  I would get slammed by a couple of really big waves, then there would be a half dozen or so smaller waves.  I tried to see if I could spot the bigger ones coming, but I really couldn’t.  Part of it was a mental block.  I found it really scary looking upwind at the white caps and waves rolling at me.  I was much more comfortable looking over my other shoulder.  But I started to be able to hear the difference.  I could tell that a big wave was coming when I heard a sizzling noise, and knowing that, I could be turn a bit towards it and try to time my stroke to be driving up the wave face.  It only worked a part of the time, but when it did I felt a lot more in control than taking a big one while my oars were in the air.

The Aero was amazing in these conditions.  Because of the angle of the waves, sometimes I wouldn’t be able to extract one of my oars.  Other times, I would take a wave on the beam that would push the boat sideways.  The extra width of the boat and it’s shape gave it great stability.  After 15 minutes or so, I was really confident in the capability of the boat and started to enjoy the challenge.  That lasted about another 15 minutes and I was just physically exhausted and ready to be done.

The speedcoach data is kind of fun.  I noticed this last year that the stroke detection algorithm has a bit of trouble with waves.

Here’s a Google earth view of the row.  The arrow points to the path out of Wellfleet harbor right before the sh*t hit the fan.  You can see the big dips in speed where I got hammered by cross wakes.  Then things got a bit more restrained.  Then I was dealing with the wind on my starboard bow as I rounded Indian Head (that arced piece of land.  Then at the end, you can see abruptly where the stroke rate stops having all the noise on it.  That’s when I finally rowed into the lee of the island and the water got a lot flatter.

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 1.54.42 PM.png

So, that was something that I’m glad I experienced, but I don’t want to experience again any time soon.

Today I am not sure what I’ll do.  I might go for another quick row, or maybe just an erg session in the basement.  (It’s still a little windy)

 

June 3 – 8: Trying out Humon

Monday – June 3: Humon Threshold Test and a few intervals

I bought a new toy.  A Humon Hex.  A muscle oxygen sensor.  I straps to your thigh and shines a light into your quadriceps.  The color of the reflected light can be used to determine the amount of oxygen in your muscle.  It advertised the ability to help you monitor lactate threshold in real time and suggested that it could help optimize both steady state and interval training.

The app supports 3 exercise types; running, cycling and rowing.  It also supports 3 sessions types; steady state, intervals and a threshold test.  Sadly, a rowing threshold test is not yet supported, but I decided  to just try it in cycling mode to see what happened.

The app is pretty slick.  I ran it on iPhone, but you can also use it with Android.  It pairs with the Humon Hex sensor and optionally a BLE HR monitor.  I’ve had mixed results trying to get the HR monitor to pair with it, but the Humon Hex sensor has been absolutely reliable in making and keeping the connection to the phone.

If you pick a Threshold test, it tells you what power to row, and counts down to your next power level while showing your smO2 percentage on the screen.  The instructions are pretty simple.  Start at 30W, and increase by 30W every 3 minutes.  Stop when you can’t do it anymore.  The app then tells you what your lactate threshold power is.  (Aka your FTP).

I sat down and gave it a go.

Here are the results from the online data site.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 8.29.28 PM.png

So, weird thing happened.  I was pushing through and I reach the 20 minute mark and go into the “red”.  I keep pushing, because that’s what they say I should do, and within a minute or so, the display goes green again.  That’s pretty weird.  It tells me I’m at “Steady State”, and I feel like I’m close to exploding.  Well, no algorithm is perfect right?  Maybe it’s the difference between rowing and cycling?  Here’s the painsled view of the same session. (I had the HR connected to Humon, not painsled for this session)

I must have done something wrong, because it didn’t give me an FTP value.

You can see I did a hard minute after I rested up to watch what would happen with the Humon.  This time it went red and stayed red for that.

I still had some time and I wanted a bit more exercise, so I just put the rower on just row and set up the humon app to guide me through intervals.  The theory is that you go until you are in the red zone and the % plateaus.  Then you rest until the % goes back to green.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 8.36.55 PM

You can see in the last interval, where I dug pretty deep, that Humon flipped me back to green.  An interesting quirk.  I found this an interesting way to do intervals

Tuesday – June 4:  Another attempt at the threshold test

I violated a rule about testing.  Generally, you want to take an easy day between tests, but I didn’t think that I pushed all that hard in the prior day’s test and I really wanted to try it out again.

This time, I managed to get the app setup right and it actually told me what it thought my FTP was.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 8.41.30 PM

I flaked out at about the same power as Monday.  The test estimated my FTP at 224W.  This actually seems pretty sensible.  In October of 2017, I measured it with a 20′ test at 244W and with a lactate step test at 238W.  I was in better shape then.  I also think I pushed the test a bit harder then.

Again, this was an insufficient amount of rowing, so I decided to do some more of the fun Humon intervals.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 8.49.25 PM.png

Today, I aimed at doing longer intervals at lower power just to watch and learn what the app did.  It did take a bit longer to get to red and longer to plateau.

Wednesday, June 5 – 5 mile run in Alexandria VA

I was Alexandria for an offsite strategy meeting.  I got up early and went for a run.  Our hotel was right on the shore of the Potomac across from Washington.  There was a nice path along the river so it seemed like a good chance to try out the Humon Hex running.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 9.01.51 PM.png

I am the world’s slowest runner, but it seemed like a fun idea to try to run keeping it in the green zone.  I always tend to push too hard on runs and this might help me with my pacing.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 8.56.35 PM

All was well until I got to the 50 minute mark.  At that point, the velcro on the Humon strap decided that it liked grabbing onto the inside of my shorts more than the other velcro.  The huge variations and spikes after that in the plot are where I needed to stop and adjust and try to get it to stay.  I think if I run, I need to keep the sensor under the leg of my underwear.

After that, we were in meetings from 8am to 6:30pm.  Then we went to a team dinner.  I got back at my hotel around 10pm, pretty tired.

Thursday – June 6 – Walk around the National Mall

Part of the offsite meeting was a group walk around the National Mall.  We met at the ungodly hour of 5:30Am in the lobby of our hotel and took a 15 bus ride.  We were let off at the Jefferson Memorial.  We walked through the FDR memorial, then to the WWII memorial, and finally to the Lincoln Memorial.  A nice 2.5mile walk.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 9.12.33 PM.png

Then another long day of meetings and another dinner.  I had too much to drink and I felt awful for the next 3 days.  I just can’t drink like I could when I was younger.

Friday – June 7 – Nothing

I had an early morning flight back to Boston, felt horrible all day, and couldn’t wait to get to bed that night.

Saturday – June 8 – 3 x 20′ / 2′ L4

At home, on slides.  Still feeling subpar.  Today’s adventure was to see what a typical L4 looked like from a Humon perspective.  Here’s the rowsandall view.

And here is the same thing from Humon.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 9.18.08 PM

So, it appears that from a Humon perspective, I am doing my steady state work at too high an intensity.  I am OK seeing the orange, but red means that my lactate is going above 4.0mmol.  It’s good the see that it recovers in the lower stroke rate sections, but I think I should probably back off the intensity more.

 

12k of easy coastal rowing

Down on the cape. It was foggy when I woke up, but by 9am it was clearing up, the wind was light and the water was nice and flat.

I loaded up my boat and oars and headed to the little beach on the north side of the island.

I wasn’t feeling very ambitious so I just set off to the northwest at r18 and tried to keep my releases clean and blades off the water. My HR stayed weirdly low throughout the whole workout.

https://rowsandall.com/static/plots/20190602-1610530o20190602-161119.png

        Workout Summary - media/20190602-1610530o.csv
--|Total|-Total----|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time-----|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|11987|01:08:53.0|02:52.4|000.0|19.4|135.0|151.0|09.0
W-|11693|01:04:52.0|02:46.4|000.0|19.2|136.7|151.0|09.4
R-|00297|00:04:01.2|06:45.5|000.0|23.2|108.5|151.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|05184|28:42.8|02:46.2|000.0|18.3|135.1|144.0|09.9
02|05631|31:06.2|02:45.7|000.0|19.6|137.3|147.0|09.2
03|00878|05:03.0|02:52.6|000.0|21.3|142.0|151.0|08.1

A delightful row!

Tomorrow: a Humon Hex threshold test.

Is this the new normal?

Last post was on May 27.  I’ve been in a whirlwind at work.  My years long habit of getting up early and getting a solid 60 to 90 minutes of exercise before work has been severely challenged with late nights and early morning meetings.

I’ve been doing the best I can trying to maintain fitness, and catching workouts where I can.  The sad thing is how difficult it has been to fit in OTW rowing.  I only managed one session since the 27th.

Hopefully this will calm down in a little while and I can get back to my early morning routine.  I like it better.

Monday – May 27 – 40′ L4

At home in Hopkinton, around 5:30 in the evening.  Felt hard.

Tuesday – May 28 – Terrible Threshold 10K

At work, at 5:30 pm after a really stressed out day of meetings.  I walked up to the machine thinking that I should just hold about a 2:00 pace and let it ride.  But the first bit felt so good that I really badly over extended myself.  I paid a big price in the second half.

       Workout Summary - media/20190528-2240480o.csv
--|Total|-Total----|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time-----|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|10000|00:39:11.3|01:57.6|216.5|23.5|162.5|180.0|10.9
W-|10000|00:39:11.7|01:57.6|216.5|23.5|162.5|180.0|10.9
R-|00000|00:00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|180.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01000|03:49.5|01:54.7|227.7|23.2|129.0|148.0|11.3
01|01000|03:47.9|01:54.0|236.4|24.0|153.8|158.0|11.0
02|01000|03:49.0|01:54.5|233.0|23.7|160.7|165.0|11.1
03|01000|03:48.0|01:54.0|236.3|24.0|167.2|172.0|11.0
04|01000|04:06.9|02:03.4|191.5|22.7|165.1|173.0|10.7
05|01000|03:55.6|01:57.8|214.8|23.1|165.4|168.0|11.0
06|01000|04:02.9|02:01.5|196.3|22.7|167.5|171.0|10.9
07|01000|04:02.1|02:01.1|199.7|23.5|168.4|172.0|10.6
08|01000|03:56.8|01:58.4|210.6|23.5|172.1|174.0|10.8

Wednesday – May 29 – 40′ L4

At work, static erg.  Around 4pm when I had an hour between meetings.

Thursday – 30 May – 4 x (3’@r24, 2’@r26, 1’@r28) / 4′ OTW!

Miracle!  No late night meetings and no morning meetings until 8:30.  My chance to actually row on the water!  I was due for an L2 type workout.  I decided to go easy on myself and do it as a threshold rate ladder.  6 minute pieces seemed like a reasonably doable duration.  This also fit nicely in the section from around the s-turn.

Screen Shot 2019-06-01 at 6.33.22 PM

       Workout Summary - media/20190530-1250480o.csv
--|Total|-Total----|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time-----|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|09816|00:54:08.7|02:45.5|134.1|22.9|146.4|176.0|07.9
W-|05370|00:23:50.0|02:13.2|183.9|25.5|160.7|176.0|08.8
R-|04451|00:30:19.1|03:24.4|094.9|20.9|135.3|176.0|07.5
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|01379|06:00.8|02:10.8|183.6|25.0|156.9|170.0|09.2
02|01337|05:57.0|02:13.5|188.9|25.7|161.7|176.0|08.8
03|01340|05:56.6|02:13.0|179.5|25.3|161.1|176.0|08.9
04|01313|05:55.6|02:15.4|183.6|25.9|163.0|176.0|08.5

Friday – May 31 – Rest day

Like an actual rest day.  I had worked out for the 8 prior days.  Granted, they were shorter than normal, but I was getting a bit worn down.

Saturday – June 1 – 3 x 20′ / 2′ L4

On slides, down on the cape.  Around 4:30pm.  Looks like a little lower HR than recent sessions.

Tomorrow:  Hopefully a coastal row.