Thursday: 20′ test

I’ve been a bad boy.  I haven’t done any formal fitness testing since December of last year.  It’s time to get an idea of where I stand as the OTW season ends and I need to plan my winter training.  There are four tests to perform

  • 1′
  • 1000m
  • 20′
  • 75′

On Thursday morning, I decided to do the 20′ test.  To make things consistent, I do these tests on a static erg.

I’ve done 2 20′ tests before.  In October of last year, I pulled 244w.  Then in December, I had improved to 259w.  I hoped I was in similar shape to December, but I really had no idea.  I set off a little faster than that and hoped for the best.

I did a 2k warmup and got down to it.

I broke a little bit past the half way point with a couple of ugly HDs.  But I got back at it and kept pulling.  My avg splits popped up from a 1:49 to a 1:51 and it was just a matter of hanging on to the end.  I think if I had started a bit slower, I would have ended a lot faster.

In any case, even with the hiccups, I managed to equal my December mark of 259W.  Which I was delighted with.

          Workout Summary - media/20181018-1216000o.csv
Workout Details

I did a slow 2k cool down and headed for the showers.

Wednesday: 20′ Test

I did a 20′ test as part of a battery of 4 tests back at the beginning of November. At that time, I struggled with the test, aborted an attempt, and then tried again at a slower pace on the next day.

The first attempt, I tried to hold a 1:51 pace and I lasted 6 minutes.  In the second attempt, I backed off to 1:53 and it was close to a maximum effort, but I managed to hold that through the piece, finishing with a 1:52.7 pace (5233m, 244W)

Today, based on my recent workouts, especially Monday’s 6x(5’@28,5’@18) workout, I thought that I might have made enough progress to attempt 1:51 again.  At least I thought I could give it a shot.

I ended up heading to the gym in the late afternoon.  I warmed up with an easy 2K.

Then into the main event.  Pretty simple plan.  Row at r25 and 1:51 pace.  Count strokes in sets of 100 and hope for the best.

It went as well as I could have hoped.  I kept the display bouncing back and forth between 1:50 and 1:51 through the first 4 sets of 100 strokes.  With 100 strokes left, I was struggling, but the displayed average was 1:50.3.  At this point, I gave myself permission to let the splits dance between 1:51 and 1:51.  That was just enough relief  to get me refocused on rowing well.  I got down to 50 strokes to go and I wound back up the speed and counted down to the finish.

End result: 5430m, 259W, 1:50.4 pace

Workout Summary - media/20171213-2225590o.csv
Workout Details

I compared the row in detail to my last attempts.

First, comparing it to the 1:52.7 attempt.

  • Pace: this one was faster!
  • Rate:  Identical
  • Power:  better  today!
  • HR: close to identical, but I didn’t push it as high today.

Then I did a cool down.

I’m very happy with this.

Tomorrow:  4 x 20′ / 3′ at 2:06/r18

If at first you don’t succeed…

After yesterday, I was nervous and frankly full of dread about doing the 20′ time trial today.

I saw yesterday that 1:50 was too aggressive as a target, so today, I backed off to 1:53.

I started with a very short 1k warmup.

Workout Summary - media/20171103-1135460o.csv
Workout Details

Then onto the main event.

  • Pace target: 1:53
  • Rate target: 25

I promised myself to not quit on this test.  If I needed to, I would slow down by a split or two, but I would keep going and just get it done.  After all the point was to establish a baseline for the purpose of planning my training.  If the test shows that I am weak here, then that is useful data.  Useful data that really hurts to collect.

         Workout Summary - media/20171103-1135300o.csv
Workout Details

This was pretty hard from beginning to end.  I was very worried about halfway through and I started playing around a little bit with rate and pressure to try to find a comfortable groove.  I was counting blocks of 125 strokes for each 5 minute section.  My HR was above 95% of HRR with 6 minutes to go and I was pretty miserable in the last 5 minutes.  I eased off a bit until I saw that I had 2 minutes to go, actually when I had counted to 75 strokes in the last section.  Then I pushed again to try to finish strong while counting down the last 50 strokes.

So, I ended up a bit below target, but this was a good solid test.  I think it reflects where I am right now.

After I caught my breath, I did a 3K cool down

          Workout Summary - media/20171103-1150290o.csv
Workout Details

Tomorrow:  Recovery session.  If the weather is nice, I’m hoping for a open water row.

I’m compiling the results and I I’ll post the analysis in a little while


Well that didn’t go well

Yesterday, was a rest day.  I spent the day on appointments and errands

  • Dentist appointment:  Which made me unhappy because I apparently have a cracked tooth and need a crown.
  • PT appointment:  Which hurt like hell.  I have two issues.
    • My left glute is weak and this is causing a misalignment in my hips.  This has caused a chain reaction of sorts resulting in my left quad being all tight and my legs presenting as different lengths.
    • The very bottom part of my spine above and below my L5 is a bit out of alignment and the PT believes that I have impingement between vertebrae when I lean back at the finish.  I need to work on rocking my pelvis forward in rowing and in real life.
    • First he did some deep tissue massage to try to get my lower spine unkotted.  That wasn’t so bad.  Then he moved onto the left quadricep and tried to work out some adhesions that had formed between the different elements of the quad.  He used a combination of deep tissue massage and active release in two different poistions.  This hurt so much that I wept.  After that, he showed me a couple more exercises to work on strengthing my glutes and obliques to try to support better pelvic posture.  I limped out of the appointment.
  • From there, I headed off to the Apple store.  I dropped my phone on a concrete floor on Sunday and cracked the screen.  I discovered that the screen can be replaced reasonably easily.  They said it would be done in about 90 minutes.
  • Next stop was a radiology center.  In my hip X-Rays, the radiologist saw a “deformity” on one of my ribs on the right side and recommended a follow up x-ray of the area.  So, I did that.  I wonder what will come of it?
  • Then back to the Apple store to pick up my repaired phone.



The plan for today was a 20 minute test.  I got a good night’s sleep and I headed into work.  I was in the gym by about 6:45.  I started with a 2k warmup.

Workout Summary - media/20171102-1125300o.csv
Workout Details

Then, I gathered my courage for a 20 minute time trial.  Based on the rowsandall OTE CP Analysis, my projected power for a piece this length was between 245W and 285W (1:52.6 to 1:47.1).  The wide band is the result of pretty funny looking CP curve.

cp curve

Why does it look like this?  Well, that’s because the data extracted from erg pieces (red dots) is based on 3 strong results (75′, 1km, LP).  The plateau from 50 seconds to 200 seconds is the data from the 1K test.  The low end was set by the peak power test.  The upper end was set by the 75′ test.

Just from recent experience, it seemed that 1:47 was way to big of an ask.  I thought that 1:50 might work, but was risky.  I decided to start there and slow down if needed.

I got myself setup and got going.  I held 1:50 through the first 1250m, but I was in a lot of respiratory distress, and my HR was a bit higher than I was hoping to see.  I basically lost hope and stopped.

Workout Summary - media/20171102-1125450o.csv
Workout Details

Humph.  That was disappointing.  I sat around for a little while trying to figure out what happened.  I had a bit of DOMS in my quads from the PT appointment, but that didn’t bother me much.  My HR was definitely a bit high and I was struggling, but slowing down didn’t seem to work.  I think part of my problem was just an unwillingness to endure the discomfort today.

After mulling it over for a few minutes, I decided to give it another try, but this time at 1:52.  This didn’t go any better.  I lasted about the same amount of time, and gave up when it started to hurt.

         Workout Summary - media/20171102-1126000o.csv
Workout Details

After that, I gave up and just did a cool down.

I wanted to compare these failures to the reasonably successful 6K session that I did on October 9th.  The orange trace was the first attempt.  You can see I started at about 265W and faded a bit toward 250W through the first 5 minutes.   The HR response was much higher today than in the 6K test.  It seems pretty clear that that the fatigue from the first attempt was effecting the HR for the second attempt.

So, now I try again tomorrow.  target is 250W.