4 x 20′ / 2′ and 2 x 1′ / 1′

The goal for today was to fine tune my aerobic training power.  Despite the lousy workout on Thursday, I thought 180W was about right.

In the basement in the house on the cape.  Nice and cool.

I settled in to a groove at 183W.  My HR did about what is should do.  At the end of the first interval, my lactates were a bit high 2.3mmol/l.  I really wanted to see something way below 2.0.  But I was interested in seeing what would happen from this point forward at this power.  So I kept going at 183W through the second interval.  Still my HR was fine and I was feeling good.  At the end of that one, 2.8.  Way too high, but science compelled me to keep going at the same power.  In the third interval, things suddenly felt a little easier.  I’m not sure why, but my HR stabilized and it was easy to hit the power.  At the end of this one, my lactates were 1.4.  Well, that was unexpected.  So, 20 more minutes at 183W and now it was 1.6.

During the row, I tried to focus on fast hands away, and keeping my knees down during the first part of the recovery.  I’d do that for a little while and then my mind would wander and I’d fall back into to old habits.

Conclusions?  183W is about right, but I think I need to get back to the habits that I was doing when I started doing lactate based training.  Which are:

  1. Train in a fasted state.  Today I trained soon after lunch.  There is research that says that if you have eaten recently, especially carbs, that it impedes fat metabolism.
  2. Warm up.  When I started doing this before, I found that my HR would rise more slowly and my lactates would be lower at the end of workout if I started at a low power and ramped it up over the first 10 minutes to the target power.

          Workout Summary - media/20171111-2245290o.csv
Workout Details
00|04836|20:00.0|02:04.1|182.7|18.9|136.6|144.0|12.8 - 2.3
01|04822|20:00.0|02:04.4|183.7|19.2|143.0|149.0|12.6 - 2.8
02|04816|20:00.0|02:04.6|181.5|19.0|143.8|148.0|12.7 - 1.4
03|04833|20:00.0|02:04.2|183.1|19.0|143.9|148.0|12.7 - 1.6


Then, after finishing that, I did a couple of 1 minute intervals.  Not as good as the first ones, but a nice little blast to finish things off.

Tomorrow:  Same thing, but in a fasted state and with the warmup.  I’ll do a lactate test just at the end.

I am not a machine? 3 x 20′ + 2 x 1′

In California.  At Precision Crossfit in Agoura Hills.  Once again, I was delighted by the experience dropping into a crossfit box.  The ergs work, there are lots of people around, and everyone is really friendly.

I picked my erg and set it up off  to the side so I wouldn’t get in the way.  I didn’t have time for a full 80 minute session because I needed to be in a meeting by 8:15 and the box opened at 6am.  So, I decided on 3 x 20′ + 2 x 1′.

I could tell almost from the first pull that today was not going to be a good day.  There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with the erg, but it seemed to take a LOT of effort to pull 180W.  Sitting on the erg, my HR was normal before I started, but it climbed fast, and it didn’t stop.  I hung in with 180W through the first interval.  I brought it down to 175W in the second interval, but it didn’t help.  Then in the third, I decided to go as slowly as I needed to so I could keep my HR below 157bpm.  Strangely enough this was 157W.  30W lower than I could hold at this HR yesterday.

Then I setup for the 2 x 1’/1′.  This was equally ugly.  I pushed the first minute hard, but this was still a lot more feeble than the hard minute I did a week ago (319m vs 330m).  And I was pretty shattered.  I tried to do the second rep, but I bailed out about halfway through.  I paddled out the rest of that rep, took another minute rest, and then did a less aggressive minute (304m).



Bad days happen, my wife has a pretty nasty cold.  In the past I have seen cases where I have lousy training results before I show any illness symptoms, so that might be it.  It could also be jetlag, or some other mysterious reason.

Tomorrow, I fly back home during the day.  I guess we’ll call it a rest day.

Edit:  I just did a quick check of my training log.  This is the first week after my the fitness tests, and it represented a strong shift toward long duration, low intensity work.  The volume increase was pretty dramatic.


Maybe I’m just tired!

4 x 20′ / 1′ + 2 x 1’/1′

Same session as yesterday.  Same rules.

  • 4 x 20′ / 1′ rests
  • rate: 19-20
  • power target: 180W
  • HR limit: 145 after 20′, 150 after 40′, 155 after 60′

I felt great in this session.  My stroke felt stronger everything just felt easier.  Not sure why, but I sure liked it.

       Workout Summary - media/20171105-1840300o.csv
Workout Details

I was under my HR limit after 40′, so I nudged the power up just a couple of watts.  My HR stayed nice and low through the third piece.  So, in the last piece, nudged it up more for the first 10 minutes of so, and my HR was still ice and low, so I decided to push even harder to see what it would take to get up to the 155 HR limit.  I needed to hold about 195 watts to slowly get up to the limit by the end.

I am more than ever convinced that I need to start low and push up over a session.  Some people are able to start hard, and then ease off.  That never seems to work for me.  I will stick with 182W as a starting power, and stick with that through the first 40 minutes.  If I am well under the cap, I will push harder in the second half.

After I finished the main course, I had some dessert.

2017-11-05 13.44.59

I went all out in the first one, but with low drag and tired legs.  I expect that I could squeeze out a bit more distance if I did it fresh and set myself up for a proper sprint.  Considering my best 500m was 1:28.4, I hope I can improve this as I go along.

Tomorrow:  Another base builder session.

Taipei / Shanghai – Ticking Along

After the race on Saturday, we had lunch in Cambridge, and then headed home.  I had some organizing to do since I was heading off to Taiwan.  My flight was scheduled  to depart at 1:45AM Sunday morning, and my wife and I had a nice afternoon and evening.

I headed off to the airport around 11pm, and got on the plane, and waited.  We taxied out from the gate, and then the pilot came on and said that there was a problem with one of the engines so he was heading back to gate to wait for maintenance to come deal with it.  After about an hour parked at the gate, the call came over the PA asking if there was a doctor on board.  Apparently, someone on board had had a heart attack.  Now it seemed to me that the engine trouble was a real blessing for both the heart attack victim and the rest of us on the plane.  He was wisked off the plane within minutes.  If we had been in flight, they would have had to divert the flight and that would have taken a lot more time.  And I bet it would have delayed the rest a lot too.

We didn’t get going until after 4AM.  Then it was fifteen hours and 30 minutes of flight time to Hong Kong.  Then a quick shuffle through the airport to catch the next flight to Taipei.  I was in Taiwan by 11am on Monday morning, and at the hotel by 12:30.  I made it just in time to shower and change before the event I was going to.  I slept pretty well on the flight, getting maybe 8 hours of sleep total, but in short segments.

The work event lasted from 1:30 until 10:30PM.  I crashed hard as soon as I got back to my room.

So, I guess that means:

Sunday:  Travel Day – No training.

Monday: Rest day?


I had a flight Shanghai in the early afternoon so I planned to sleep in, but I woke up around 5am, and couldn’t get back to sleep.  Eventually, I made my way down to the fitness center.  I had plenty of time, so I did a long fitness center triathlon.

  • 30 minutes: Treadmill death march, 15% grade, 5km/h
  • 30 minutes: Elliptical, level 14, random
  • 30 minutes: Stationary bike, level 14, “Hills”

It was sweaty.  It was boring.



Then I headed to the airport and flew off to Shanghai.  I had a customer dinner in the evening and some conference calls after that.  I got to bed around 1AM.


I got up at 6 and headed straight to the fitness center.  I was staying at the Kerry Hotel in Pudong, which has the one of the finest fitness centers I’ve ever seen.  They have two Model D ergs.  Mechanically they are both fine, but one of them has a display problem so you can’t see the time remaining.  The good rower was being used, so I grabbed the one with the display issue.


  • 3 x 20′ / 1′
  • rate: ~20
  • power: 175W
  • HR limit: 145/150/155



I noticed that my heart rate took off like a rocket from the start and by the time I got through the first 20 minutes, I knew I had to ease up.  Even then, I was really struggling.

After 40 minutes, the other erg was free so I swapped over to continue.  I basically gave up after 3 minutes in the last piece and just paddled the rest of it out.

Lack of fitness?  Lack of Sleep?  Who knows.  Anyway, time to reset my power target lower for the next session.

After my workout, I headed to the office for some internal meetings, a customer lunch, more meetings, and a customer dinner.  I got back to the hotel around 10, and had a beer with a colleague.  I was in bed by 11.


I was up at 5:30 to fit in my workout.  Back to the fitness center for some more rowing.


  • 3 x 20′ / 2′ (longer rest to allow stretching between piecese
    • rate: 20
    • power: 165
    • HR limit: 145/150/155
  • 2 x 1′ / 1′ (I see Paul Buchanan doing these at the end of aerobic sessions and I’ve read that it’s has a beneficial training effect.  It’s also an energizing way to finish the workout – In theory)
    • rate: >32
    • power: >360W


This was much better.  Based on my HR, the power was pretty close to right on for base training.  I could probably push a couple more watts, but not much.  My HR plateaued nicely right around 149 and stuck there for most of the second and third interval.

And the 1′ sprints were a blast.  I think I will make them a regular part of my routine.

And I left a nice sweat pattern on the floor.

2017-10-26 07.23.48

After that, I packed up, had a work breakfast, then headed to the airport.  I’m now in Narita in transit back to Boston.  I will get home around 7:30pm Thursday night.

I’ve decided to start working with a coach, Marlene Royle.  Next week I have a bunch of erg tests to do. I may start them this weekend, but only if I am not having jetlag issues.



Monday: 3 x (6 x 1′ / 1’r) / 5’r

Inside, on the erg.  I originally planned to do it on slides, but I couldn’t get them set up so they were sliding freely.  They kept binding so that I would end up banging against the end while I was warming up, so I took the erg off of them for the rest of the workout.

The plan was

  • 4 x ( 6 x 1′ / 1′ rest ) / 5′ rest
  • Rate target: 30
  • Pace target: 1:40

While I did the workout, I had enough time to think through the plan.  That would be 24 minutes at faster than 2K pace.  Even with the generous rests, that seemed a bit excessive.  Compared to other sprint workouts like a 4 x 1k or 8 x 500, they have about 14 minutes of work.  Anyway, during the first 5 minute rest I decided to stop after 3 sets.  It certainly felt like enough.

I wasn’t all that sure about pace, since I haven’t been doing many sprint sessions on the erg lately, but 1:40 turned out to be a good pick.  I was able to beat it by a bit, but the last set really stung.


I am very happy with that.

Now I am over Germany, about to descend into Munich. I’ll be connecting over to Stuttgart, and then going straight into meetings all day. So no training for Tuesday.  Hopefully, I will be able get a workout in tomorrow morning.


A whole boat load of 1′ intervals

Cloudy, calm, upper 50s.  A little bit of a wind from the south picked up while I was rowing.  About 3-4 mph by the tie we finished.

I was out in Worcester on Lake Quinsigamond with my clubmates today.  We had 10 of us.  We boated 2 quads and two singles.  I had cartopped my wonderful, repaired fluid.

Last night I stopped at the hardware store on the way home and picked up some silicone sealant.  I repaired the small leak behind the fin in the parking lot, and then continued my drive home.  Today, the repair was set and there was no water in the stern when I finished.  Tick that item off the list.

The plan was for 1′ intervals.

  • 6 x 1′ on / 1′ off
  • 4 sets with 5′ rest or so between sets
  • Target pace: 2:00
  • Target rate: 30 spm
  • Technique Objective:  Smooth recovery, good catches, smooth acceleration, early finish.

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 4.03.05 PM

We were on the water around 7:30 and the lake was beautifully flat.  I did about 2000m of warming up going down lake and then set off on my first set.  In the fourth interval I was waked by a waterskiing boat, but nothing too serious, it just made me miss a coulpe strokes.  The fifth interval took me all the way down to the south end of the lake, so I had to spin and come back north to finish the first set.  I then spun again and hung around until every one was down in the cove and ready to head north.

By the time I finished the 5th interval of the second set, I had just passed the narrows going north.  During the rest between the 5th and 6th interval, I was passed at close range by another waterskiing boat.  I paused the timer during the rest to let the wake pass me before I started the sixth, but I was working from a standing start and the water was still pretty messed up.

I was feeling some fatigue by this point and I paddled the 4′ rest pretty slowly continuing north.  The first interval of the 3rd set brought me under the route 9 bridge.  The next 5 intervals brought be all the way up to the Donahue Rowing Center.  I finished my last interval in front of their docks with a number of people standing there watching the old guy gasping past at 30 spm.  I tried to look as debonair as possible.

I paddle up to the north cove of the lake and spun around.  After we had reassembled, I took off back home.  There was another single that took off when I did, but he didn’t take the bait and turned into the DRC docks.  My legs were pretty much done, so I let the rate sag a bit.  I was waked again in the 4th interval, but I tried to make a good finish in the last 2.  This brought me just past our docks, so I spun and went back in without much of a cool down.  I crawled out of the boat.  34 minutes in the TR zone.

myimage (11)

myimage (12)

It would be nice if I was faster, but it I felt more comfortable at r30 than I expected.  It would also be nice if I had my speedcoach.  The pace lag on short intervals is awful on CrewNerd.  If I don’t have my impeller mounted by next weekend, I might risk using the Dual GPS dongle to make it a bit better.

Workout Summary - media/20160611-215914-2016-06-11-0727.CSV
Workout Details
01|01845| 10:38 |02:52.9|19.9|135.0|162.0|08.7
02|00252| 01:00 |01:57.5|30.4|160.0|169.0|08.4
03|00253| 01:00 |01:58.6|31.0|164.0|171.0|08.2
04|00252| 01:00 |01:58.6|30.1|165.0|172.0|08.4
05|00239| 01:00 |02:05.2|30.1|165.0|173.0|08.0
06|00252| 01:00 |01:58.7|29.1|169.0|176.0|08.7
07|00249| 01:00 |02:00.0|30.1|172.0|178.0|08.3
08|00602| 04:27 |03:41.9|20.2|133.0|162.0|06.7
09|00243| 01:00 |02:03.2|29.0|158.0|168.0|08.4
10|00256| 01:00 |01:57.1|31.0|168.0|175.0|08.3
11|00247| 01:00 |02:01.3|30.1|169.0|175.0|08.2
12|00239| 01:00 |02:04.9|30.2|171.0|176.0|08.0
13|00244| 01:00 |02:02.1|30.3|171.0|177.0|08.1
14|00237| 01:00 |02:04.9|30.4|162.0|171.0|07.9
15|00528| 03:23 |03:12.8|20.3|142.0|164.0|07.7
16|00242| 01:00 |02:02.1|31.5|159.0|170.0|07.8
17|00248| 01:00 |02:01.1|30.0|169.0|175.0|08.3
18|00248| 01:00 |02:00.7|30.1|170.0|175.0|08.3
19|00236| 01:00 |02:06.6|29.1|166.0|172.0|08.1
20|00245| 01:00 |02:01.9|30.2|166.0|174.0|08.2
21|00240| 01:00 |02:03.9|29.2|168.0|174.0|08.3
22|00563| 03:51 |03:22.0|18.7|144.0|165.0|07.9
23|00238| 01:00 |02:04.6|31.4|158.0|167.0|07.7
24|00236| 01:00 |02:05.5|30.4|166.0|170.0|07.9
25|00231| 01:00 |02:10.0|28.0|163.0|168.0|08.2
26|00224| 01:00 |02:13.7|29.0|160.0|170.0|07.7
27|00233| 01:00 |02:08.5|29.1|164.0|172.0|08.0
28|00233| 01:00 |02:08.4|30.1|167.0|174.0|07.8
29|00165| 01:53 |05:35.9|14.6|127.0|131.0|06.1

All Intervals
   05817| 24:00 |02:03.8|29.8|

Tomorrow:  4 x 20’/1′ rest on the erg, nice and easy.

Friday: OTW – 1x – 4 x ( 7 x 1′ / 1′ rest) x 3′ rest

Cool, cloudy, Wind was flukey, from the WSW.  Generally about 5mph, but with gusts up to 10mph.

I was originally intending to just do a steady state session, but I was in the mood to try to work on full pressure and rate technique.  I wasn’t in the mood to kill myself, so I decided to do 1 minute intervals at about 26 t0 28 spm.  I can do about 7 of these in in a row on my river, and then I would need to turn around.  I took a bit more rest on the turn arounds.

It was basically a head wind rowing downriver (1st and 3rd set) and a tail wind rowing upriver (2nd and 4th).  Since this is GPS based data, the upriver paces were probably about a couple seconds slower than actual.  And the downriver ones a couple seconds faster, basically enough to counteract the wind.

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 1.26.51 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 1.28.06 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 1.36.41 PM

I moved the footstretcher one notch to the bow and I was much more comfortable at the finish.  My blade work was really mess though.  I guess that would be expected for my second real outing in this boat.  The slide doesn’t really have quite enough travel to the stern to me.  Whenever I really got out to full extension at the catch, I was running into the stops on the slide.  Things did get better as I went along and in the last set of intervals, I was getting good clearance on recovery and felt a lot smoother with the application of power during the drive.

This weekend, my focus is on yard work.  Time to get all the flower beds in shape for the summer. So basically 4 hours of low intensity exercise per day.  I might wear a HR strap to get an idea of what kind of aerobic benefit it has.