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
Workout Details

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


Mulching, rowing and wimping out

Saturday:  In the driveway was a pile of 5 cubic yards of dark pine mulch.  It was raining and about 60F.  I procrastinated until about 11am, and then I finally got my ass outside to spread it.  The process is simple and labor intensive.

  • Use an edger to clean up the edge of the bed
  • dig out the dirt and mulch that has settled into the edges
  • Get all the weeds out of the bed
  • Spread mulch

It sounds simple, but I spent from 11am to 3pm, and then from 3:30 to 7:00pm doing it and I didn’t quite finish.  By the time I was done, I could barely lift my arms, and getting up from a sitting position was a struggle.  I’d call that 7 and a half hours of strength/endurance training.

Sunday:  I was tired and sore when I woke up, but I really wanted to go rowing with my friends out in Worcester.  The morning was grey, around 50F, and windy.  The wind was blowing from the SSW between 10 and 15 mph.  It felt like the gusts were higher than that.

We had 6 of us rowing, two people wanted to take singles, so I doubled up with Bob in our “new” wintech double.  I was eager to give it a real tryout.

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 11.23.35 AM

I didn’t have much of a plan for the workout, so we just rowed down to the south end of the lake, into the wind.  We had a lot of starts and stops at the beginning as I tried to get the speedcoach working and Bob got his Garmin Fenix running right, but after the first 1000m or so, we got into a rythym.  It was slow going into the wind, but the boat felt good.  I was enjoying myself a lot.

When we turned around at the south end of the lake, I asked Bob if he would be OK doing some rate ladders.  I ended up messing with some of the durations as we went, but it was good to row with specific rate targets.  I think we got better synchronized as the row went on.

After we got the north end of the lake, we noticed that the wind had picked up even more.  The row back to the boathouse was very slow and heavy going.  I was glad that I was in a double.  It would have been a bit hair raising in my single with that much wind and chop.


I tried to reconstruct the ladders as best I could.

Workout Summary - media/20170508-150701-SpdCoach 2182533 20170507 0744amo.csv
Workout Details

It was hard work, but a pretty short session.


It was great to see my friends and I really like the wintech double.

After I got home, I spent another couple hours finishing up the mulching.  Not nearly as strenuous as Saturday’s labors but still.

Monday:  I felt awful last night.  I thought I might be coming down with something.  Or maybe I was just worn out from my busy weekend.  I felt like I might be getting a fever.  Nevertheless, I set out my stuff to go rowing this morning, and I was out the door before 5:30 to get to the river.

As I was driving there, it started to rain.  And I notice that the temperature was only around 42F.  I made an executive decision.  I decided to blow of “real” rowing and just go do a quick erg session at work before my first meeting at 9am.  I had some prep to do and I felt my stress level go down as soon as I decided.

I didn’t have any shoes, so I rowed in socks.  I don’t much like that since my heels tend to slip out, but it would do for the short session I had in mind.

I just did a easy 10K push.  I started with a target of 2:09, and sped up by a second for every 1000m.  This was easy to keep track of because the pace was the same as the leading digit of the distance to go.  9xxx –> 2:09, 8xxx –> 2:08, 7xxx –> 2:07, etc.

It was also really easy rowing at the beginning and only started to feel tougher with about 3000m to go.


I enjoyed that session too.

Tomorrow:  I will try to get back on the marathon plan.  I haven’y yet done any of these workouts on the water.  So tomorrow will be.

M1 4 x 15′ / 4′ 6′ @ 5KP, 9′ @ MP 92.5% (172)

Now, I don’t really know exactly how to pace this, so I will try to row it to power.  So that would make my targets  225 to 240 for 5KP and 180 to 195 for MP.  I’m interested to see how it works.


The other challenge that I have is river length.  I can just about squeeze in 15 minutes, but the longer intervals in the plan will require me to spin to get them done.



Saturday: 10K push

I had a busy day on Saturday.  I had a haircut appointment in  the morning, then some shopping to do.  I got home around 1 and we needed to head out to pick up some friends for dinner and a concert at 2:30.

I almost didn’t workout, but I was feeling antsy, so I decided to do a 10K push workout.  For those unfamiliar, these workouts are AWESOME!  Here’s how it works

  • 10K distance
  • Start at something close to your steady state pace
  • Speed up by 0:01/500 for each 1000m of the workout

I have done this workout a 3 times in the past year.

  • Dec 10, 2015:  Start at 2:00, failed at 4K to go, peak HR 180
  • Dec 15, 2015: Start at 2:02, success, peak HR 178
  • May 30, 2016: Start at 2:03, success, peak HR 177
  • Aug 15, 2016: Start at 2:05, success, peak HR 177

I was feeling pretty cocky after my good 10K last month for the CTC, so I decided to start at 1:59 today.  It worked out very well.

  • Nov 12, 2016: Start at 1:59, success, peak HR 174

No problems at all.  A nice cruise and I was only pushing hard for the last 3000m or so.

Workout Summary - media/20161114-185906-sled_2016-11-12T13-36-38ZEST.strokes (1).csv
Workout Details

Generally, the splits line up pretty well between the postprocessed results and the PM5 data.  The first split is off a little bit.

I purposely tried to use a fluffier stroke rate on this piece, so I was interested to see how my power versus stroke rate would look.  It’s kind of fun to see the results.  Here is the whole thing.  From this you might conclude that there is a positive correlation between stroke rate and drive force.


So, I split the data set to look at the first half versus second half.  Now you can see the the first half is flat and the tail is in the second half.  This got me thinking, is there a correlation, or did I just hammer the last 1000m.

Answer:  I hammered the last 1000 meters.  Theses two plots are the first 9000m and the last 1000m.

What a fun workout and I drank beer at dinner with little or no guilt.


Sunday: 10K Push

Friday:  No Training.  We closed on our new vacation house down on cape cod.  Here’s the view from the deck.

2016-08-13 10.44.08

Saturday:  No Training.  A very busy day setting up the house.

Sunday:  Started the day down on the cape.  I went for a nice walk around the island.  I decided that the stairs down to the water are too steep to carry a boat down.  I’m going to drive 2 minutes to the beach and launch from there.  Eventually, Ill figure out some way to store my boat down near the water in front of the house.  We headed home in the afternoon.

I was itching for a quick workout, so I hopped on the erg around 7pm.  I didn’t have much of a plan, so I decided to do a 10K push, but start it off slow so I could warmup and also, to be honest about it, because I didn’t want to work too hard.


  • 10K push
  • Start pace: 2:05, go 1 second faster for each 1000m, ending at 1:56 for the last 1000m
  • Free rate.  Try to inch rate up as the pace goes down.
  • Heart Rate: No cap

That was fun.  It was hot as hell outside, over 90F, and humid too, so I kept the windows closed and ran a fan.  I generated enough heat to raise the temperature in the room from 72F to 78F over 40 minutes.

I had a little trouble getting myself to row slow enough during the 2:05s, but did better tracking the paces down.  Once I was within 2K of finishing, I kind up gunned it and did the 2000 down to 1000 at 1:55.  Then I finished the last 1000m at a 1:50 pace.  Not super fast, but it stung in a good way.



Thursday to Sunday: Ticking along

Thursday:  Up at 4:30 to catch a 7AM flight to San Francisco.  Spent the day out in San Jose including a couple of meetings and a customer dinner.  Caught the red eye back from San Jose to Boston.  I arrived at about 6AM.

Friday:  My intent was to go home, get my rowing stuff and the then head out to the river.  But I felt pretty awful from the flight.  I managed to sleep, but it was pretty fitful.  Anyway, I climbed in bed around 8:30 and I thought I would just doze for a little while.  Next thing I knew the clock said 11:45.  I guess I needed the rest.

I finished up work stuff around 2pm and hopped on the erg for a gentle endurance session.

The plan was for 3 x 20′ / 1′ rest at r18 and 180W.  That’s exactly what I did.

Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 10.57.27 PM

Saturday:  I wanted to head down to the river to install the stainless steel hardware for the oarlock and then try it out.  By the way, if you are in the US and you need hardware, check out boltdepot.com.  Great website, good selection and fast service.

I arrived around 7:30, and I had replaced the hardware and launched by about 8.  I was expecting to have to make some rigging adjustments, but it felt good as is.  No more clicking and the oarlocks were swiveling smoothly.

I haven’t had much time in the boat, so I just felt like rowing.  Nothing too intense, just steady state.  For whatever reason, I was dead slow and that was disappointing.

Sunday:  We took a drive out to Cape Cod to take some measurements in our new house.  We have to wait until mid-August before we close on it, and we want to be ready with furniture and everything that we need right away, so we wanted to measure all the rooms.  It’s a nice place.  Just visiting it makes me happy.  Here’s a picture.

2016-05-29 12.55.20

It’s on a 60 foot bluff above the water and it overlooks Cape Cod Bay.  I’ll be able to launch from the base of the steps you see on the right.

We got home around 4pm, and did a bit of yard work.  Around 6, I snuck off to do an erg session.  I wanted a bit more intensity, and I really enjoyed the 10K push from last weekend, so I did it again.  This time starting at 2:03 pace, and counting down.

I started with a 2K warmup.  2:03 pace with 10 stroke bursts at 1:50 or faster.

Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 10.48.31 PM

Then into the 10K push.

Cool down, another 2K very slow.

Tomorrow:  It’s supposed to rain like hell.  So, I think another erg session, probably another 3×20.


10K Push

Last week, I failed on a 10K push starting at a pace of 2:00 and dropping a second for each 1km completed.  Today, I started 2 seconds slower at 2:02.  It went much better.

Warmup was 4 minutes at 2:10, 2 minutes at 2:05, 2 minutes at 2:00 and 2:00 at 1:55.

Then in to the push.  The first few 1000m chunks felt very easy and I had trouble staying slow enough.  After 4000 meters, I decided to drop an extra second since I was most of the way there anyway.  That put me a bit closer to the edge, but still manageable.    I had enough left in the tank to keep the last 1000 faster than 1:50.

I like the way the HR response looks for these push pieces.  A linear ramp.  There really isn’t much chance for the body to acclimate to each power level.  I did this free rate, trying  to find a rate that felt easiest for each pace target.  It is interesting how the SPI kind of hunted around as I went.  I might try to do one of these with a constant SPI target.  I am still working too hard on slides for these paces, but I’m learning as I go.

12-15Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 8.56.01 AM

Next time I will start at 2:01 and stick to the paces.

Cool down was 10 minutes starting at 1:58 and slowing down by 4 seconds after each 2 minute block.

Later today, I’ll do an easy 30 minute recovery session.

Tomorrow morning: 4 x 20′ / 1′ rest Lazy Man’s L4.

Thursday – 10K Push – Fail

Well, I thought about doing a steady state session and I probably should have, but it seemed kind of boring and I didn’t have a ton of time this morning.  So, I reverted back to the plan, which was for a 10K threshold session.

I wasn’t in the mood to try to push incredibly hard, and I am still a bit mystified by the whole middle distance thing on slides.  I mulled it over as I drove to work, and ultimately decided to do a 10K push.  Start at a 2:00 split and go 1 second faster for each 1K.

It didn’t go so well.  I started with a nice 10 minute warmup.  Then I got myself psyched up and dove into the piece.  The slower paces felt a lot ore taxing than I was hoping but I held it together until I hit the 1:54 pace with 4K to go.

My HR was really high and I was really hurting, so I paddled for a few seconds and restarted at a slower rate.  I just kind of rowed until I go to 1000m left, and for that I tried to finish with the planned 1:51 split, but it wasn’t to be.  The best I could do was 1:53, and my HR was well into the Anaerobic zone at that.  I am seriously slower on slides.  I did a whole HM, more than twice the distance at 1:54.7 pace.  No way I could hold that on slides, even for 10K.  More directly comparable.  I did a 10K push on a static erg on October 25th.  I feel like I am in better shape now than I was then, and for that session, I nailed every pace and had enough to do the last 1000m at 1:44!

Perversely, I am glad.  The whole point of rowing on slides is to get to be a better OTW rower.  If I can close the gap between static and slides on the erg, then I think I can close some of the gap between my current predictive OTW speed and my current OTW speed.  My predictive OTW 2K pace is 1:55.  My race results are closer to 2:05.  If part of that gap is a technique issue, and I can improve it, then that’s terrific!

I also don’t see how getting better on slides will impact my rowing on a static erg in a negative way.  So, for now, I will do as much of my endurance work on slides, and do high intensity sessions there as well, but I will do time trials on a static erg, and I will back off on my expectations.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 9.57.12 AM12-10

Tomorrow:  4 x 20.  180W.


Sunday: 10K Putsch!

Rest day yesterday.

This morning, I was planning to go rowing.  I got up and headed out the the lake.  When I got there, I rapidly reconsidered my decision.  It was 44F, grey and raining.  There was a little wind, but the forecast was predicting it getting stronger.  And when I checked the online sign up sheet, I saw that most of my clubmates had scratched and undoubtedly rolled over and went back to sleep.

I drove home instead of rowing.  So, that left me wondering…What should I do.  The plan called for a hard distance piece, but the idea of sitting down and doing a 6K TT was not appealing in the least.  I decided to give myself a break and have a little fun.  I was going to dig up one of my favorite erg workouts.  The 10K Putsch!


  1.  2K warmup
  2. 10K with a prescribed negative split
    • 1K at 2:00
    • 1K at 1:59
    • 1K at 1:58
    • and so on until the last 1K is at 1:51
  3. Free rate
  4. No HR Cap

This workout is adapted from “Erg: 75 workouts for Athletes”, by Lisa Schlenker, a great book, but apparently out of print right now.  In that book, the workout is a little different.

2015-10-25 10.28.22

It’s in 2K blocks and it’s a bit faster pace.  Even with my more gradual pace ramp, I’ve struggled with the Putsch in the past.  But not today!

First, the warmup.  2K starting slow and building speed every 500m.  Felt very easy and nice low HR.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.13.43 AM

Workout Summary – Oct 25, 2015 — Warmup
–_|_02000_|_08:06.9_|_02:01.7_|_194.1_|_19.5_|_124.0_|_ 56.8% _|_12.7_|_10.0
Workout Details

01_|_00500_|_02:09.1_|_02:09.1_|_162.5_|_16.7_|_104.0_|_ 42.5% _|_13.9_|_09.7
02_|_00500_|_02:04.3_|_02:04.3_|_182.1_|_18.3_|_120.5_|_ 54.3% _|_13.2_|_09.9
03_|_00500_|_01:59.2_|_01:59.2_|_206.5_|_20.6_|_130.0_|_ 61.0% _|_12.2_|_10.0
04_|_00500_|_01:54.2_|_01:54.2_|_235.1_|_22.6_|_138.7_|_ 67.2% _|_11.6_|_10.4

Next, the main event.  I set this up in RowPro as 10×1000 intervals with zero rests.  That way I could see the average pace for each split and aim to for the target.  The first pull of each interval generates a very fast pace reading.  I was just rowing normally through the end to the beginning, but the data shows the pace transient.  You can see that I had a fair bit left in the tank when I got to the last 1000m, so I aimed at (and beat) 1:45 as my pace target.  It stung.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.15.04 AM Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.15.22 AM

Workout Summary – Oct 25, 2015 – 10K Push
–_|_10000_|_38:06.8_|_01:54.3_|_234.1_|_23.0_|_152.5_|_ 76.9% _|_11.4_|_10.2
Workout Details

01_|_01000_|_03:59.6_|_01:59.8_|_203.5_|_20.8_|_127.4_|_ 59.1% _|_12.0_|_09.8
02_|_01000_|_03:57.4_|_01:58.7_|_209.4_|_21.2_|_138.9_|_ 67.3% _|_11.9_|_09.9
03_|_01000_|_03:54.8_|_01:57.4_|_216.2_|_21.5_|_142.6_|_ 69.9% _|_11.9_|_10.1
04_|_01000_|_03:52.7_|_01:56.4_|_222.2_|_22.2_|_146.3_|_ 72.6% _|_11.6_|_10.0
05_|_01000_|_03:50.8_|_01:55.4_|_227.6_|_22.6_|_150.2_|_ 75.3% _|_11.5_|_10.1
06_|_01000_|_03:48.9_|_01:54.5_|_233.3_|_23.1_|_153.8_|_ 77.9% _|_11.4_|_10.1
07_|_01000_|_03:46.6_|_01:53.3_|_240.7_|_23.6_|_158.0_|_ 80.8% _|_11.2_|_10.2
08_|_01000_|_03:44.6_|_01:52.3_|_247.0_|_23.8_|_161.6_|_ 83.4% _|_11.2_|_10.4
09_|_01000_|_03:42.4_|_01:51.2_|_254.7_|_24.6_|_165.9_|_ 86.5% _|_11.0_|_10.4
10_|_01000_|_03:29.0_|_01:44.5_|_306.8_|_27.9_|_174.6_|_ 92.7% _|_10.3_|_11.0

Then a nice long cool down.  Started at 2:00 pace and slowed down by 5 seconds every 1000m.  Sort of a backwards push.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.16.22 AM

Workout Summary – Oct 25, 2015 – Cool down
–_|_05000_|_21:33.9_|_02:09.4_|_161.6_|_18.4_|_142.9_|_ 70.1% _|_12.6_|_08.8
Workout Details

01_|_01000_|_03:58.6_|_01:59.3_|_206.2_|_21.6_|_148.2_|_ 73.9% _|_11.6_|_09.5
02_|_01000_|_04:09.1_|_02:04.5_|_181.2_|_19.8_|_151.4_|_ 76.2% _|_12.2_|_09.2
03_|_01000_|_04:18.8_|_02:09.4_|_161.5_|_17.9_|_145.6_|_ 72.1% _|_13.0_|_09.0
04_|_01000_|_04:28.8_|_02:14.4_|_144.2_|_16.5_|_138.1_|_ 66.7% _|_13.5_|_08.7
05_|_01000_|_04:38.7_|_02:19.4_|_129.3_|_16.8_|_129.8_|_ 60.9% _|_12.8_|_07.7

A very satisfactory workout.  I was looking back and almost a year ago on Nov 15, I attempted the same workout and burnt out before I got to the middle.  I did a flat paced 10K at 1:53.4 which was a maximal effort.  Today was much easier.  I’m pumped.