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.