Sat: Hour of Power

I flew back from Taiwan, departing at about midnight, flying about 13 hours to LAX, arriving at 7pm on Friday night.  I was through customs and in the lounge by about 7:45.  I waited for my next flight, which was a 10:45 departure to Boston.  I must admit that this flight felt really long, even though it was only about 6 hours.  I watched a movie, did a couple cross word puzzles and napped a little, but I arrived in Boston feeling pretty tired and achy.

I was home by 8:00am and in bed by about 8:01.  I slept until 11:30 and I felt like I had been hit by a truck when I woke up.  After some breakfast and a littel time, I started to feel normal again.  We are having a snowstorm today in Massachusetts, so there wasn’t much to do.  I just did a little christmas shopping on line and wasted time until around 5pm.  That’s when I decided to do a bit of erging.

The plan was an hour of power.  The rules are simple.  Limit the rate to r22 and see how many meters you can get over an hour.  So, that’s what I did. My previous attempt at this was on the dynamic, so it it really didn’t count. Based on my recent workouts, I figure I was good for a 1:58 pace, so I set out with the goal to keep 1:57 or 1:58 on the screen.

All was going well until about 18 minutes into the workout when my phone abruptly rebooted.  This took away my music and my painsled session.  But there was no way that I was going to stop this row.  I was feeling good.  My HR was bit high, but I expected that since I had spent so much time on planes over the past 36 hours.  I was not in trouble at any phase in the row and I aside from boredom due to a lack of music, the row was great fun.

To make it even better, I used a feature on the Sander is in development on to turn my PM splits into a workout that I can upload to strava.  I started with a PM screen shot.

2017-12-09 17.55.48.jpg

I took the splits and I filled out a handy template in excel.

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 9.04.10 PM

Then I uploaded the file, just like a normal workout file to rowsandall and exported it to strava.  And viola, the workout was there.

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 9.06.54 PM.png

This is pretty cool for me because I am using Strava as the repository for all the training that I do whether it is rowing, biking, running, walking or whatever.  Generally, I will just capture heart rate data if I cross trainand I can upload that easily.  But with rowing, because the ability to link up random rowers is limited, and the reliability of the connection, even with rowers that I use all the time is uncertain, it is great to have a way to get an approximation of the heart rate data into to strava to calculate my long term training trends.

So, I was happy about that, and I was happy about the workout.  I managed a 1:57 pace for 60 minutes.  I think this portends good things for the redo of my 75′ test later this week.

Tomorrow:  A hard one… 6 x (5′ @ 28, 5′ @ 18)   wish me luck.


Sunday: Hour of not much power

God I hate this damn machine.  Still at home on the dynamic.


  • 60 minutes
  • Rate: 22
  • Pace: ~2:00 or better

Should have been a piece of cake.

Started with a 5 minute warmup.

  • 1 minute of pause at arms away and body over
  • 1 minute at target pace
  • 1 minute of pause at arms away
  • 1 minute at target pace
  • 1 minute of pause at arms away

Then in to the main event.  60 minutes.  I set up a nice playlist on Pandora and got going.  After about 5 minutes, my music stopped playing.  I tried to fix it while rowing, but with no success.  After a couple minutes of trying to hold the pace while fiddling, I ripped off the headphones and flung them across the room and kept going.  It was the longest 50 minutes of my life.

As I suspected, holding a 2:00 split on the dynamic was too much for me and I had to slow down.  I crossed the 30 minute mark right at 7500 meters, but by then i was seeing a lot more 2:01s and 2:02s.  My HR was going pretty good, but plateaued in the low 170s for the second half of the row.  When the music stopped, it also blew away my painsled session, so the only evidence of my pain is the PM picture.

Tomorrow:  Scheduled rest day, but since I have business travel later in the week, I will do Tuesday’s session.

  • 4 x 12′ / 1″30″
  • rate: 22
  • pace: 2:01 to 2:05
  • HR limit: 157

Saturday: 3 x 20′ / 1′ dynamic

HR limit at 155.  Still struggling with this erg.  Easily 20W to 30W lower power for equivalent HR.  Rowing strictly to the HR limit.

I did concentrate on trying to keep my stroke lighter and stroke rate higher to try to reduce the stress on my lower back.


       Workout Summary - media/20170826-2215270o.csv
Workout Details

I am still perplexed about my performance on the dynamic.  Here are very similar 3×20′ sessions.  One done on the static about a month ago, and the one fro the dynamic done yesterday.  I did a bunch of comparison charts, but I can’t draw any good conclusions.

I will do another session like this on Sunday.


Friday: Easy hour on the water

This was a busy week at work, and I my lower back continued to give me trouble.  I had business dinners on Tuesday night and Thursday night, and I was preparing for an important meeting on Friday morning.  I was hoping that I could help out both situations by taking a few days off rowing.

I last rowed on Tuesday morning.  A tough interval session.  My back was killing me afterward.  Tuesday I had a full day of meetings with a group from a customer, and we had dinner Tuesday night with them.  Wednesday we had a group from a different customer visiting first thing in the morning, plus a big internal meeting that I was hosting.  I ended up working quite late.  On Thursday, more meetings and then a business dinner that kept me out until almost 11.  On Friday, I was presenting in an important meeting at 9am, so I want to get to work early to dry run my materials a couple of times before I was up.  It paid off, the meeting went well, and I felt a huge sense of relief after it was over.  I finished up what I needed to get done by about 3:30 and decided to go for a nice easy row on my way to relax a little.

The plan:

  • 60 minutes
  • Heart rate limit: 150
  • Stroke rate target: 20  (This is a significant shift for me.  I have been rowing with much higher stroke power and lower rate)
  • No pace target.


        Workout Summary - media/20170827-150206-Greg Smith 20170825 0437pmo.csv
Workout Details
00|00908|05:00.0|02:45.2|144.2|18.7|127.1|141.0|09.7 - to start
01|03047|15:58.2|02:37.2|152.2|18.2|142.8|148.0|10.5 - to dam
02|02780|14:22.8|02:35.2|140.9|17.7|139.5|147.0|10.9 - back to start
03|01122|06:31.8|02:54.6|128.8|17.6|142.6|148.0|09.8 - 7 min out 
04|01333|07:25.2|02:47.0|128.3|18.1|144.4|152.0|09.9 - 7 min back
05|01125|06:07.1|02:43.1|119.5|19.8|142.7|150.0|09.3 - back to dock

The summary looks a bit weird for the pace on intervals 3 and 4.  The eyeball average for the pace looks a bit faster than the summary.

I got distracted during the row and I completely forgot to keep my rate up, so I reverted to my normal r18 kind of rowing.  But I did row a bit slower than a similar session from Monday.  I was also rowing a lot shorter (as measured by effective length).  I dug into the metrics

You can see that everything is a bit smaller for Friday’s row.  That’s me being careful with my back.

Wednesday: The longest hour

I took the red eye home and didn’t sleep much at all, very uncomfortable.

I went home, crawled in bed around 8:30 and slept until noon.  I had a couple of conference calls and decided to do an hour on the erg around 3:30.

The plan was to keep it gentle, HR cap at 155.

That required me to row very slowly at the end.  I’m getting a bit depressed at how badly things are going right now.



This morning, I got up and I felt so sore and tired that I just wet back to bed instead of rowing.   I’m at a low point right now.

Tuesday: Back indoors – 60 minutes

Tuesday’s weather was horrible.  Windy, driving rain, temperature around 35F.

I decided to sleep in and try to squeeze in a session in the afternoon at work.

I hit the gym instead of eating lunch.  I did 60 miutes straight.  Target power was 170W.  Erg Data hung up on me with about 20 minutes to go and didn’t save any data.

Here’s the HR data from the wahoo app.




Wednesday: 60 minutes at 175W

Tuesday:  I had to work through exercise time yesterday morning to prep a presentation for a meeting later in the day.  I hoped to sneak off to the gym between meetings during the day, but everything ran long.  so it was a Bonus Rest Day!  I didn’t need any more rest.

Wednesday:  Still dealing with high workload, but I managed to plow through it in time to squeeze 60 minutes on the erg.  I decided to no “waste” any of it as rest time, so I just rowed straight through.

Good session.  I was bumping up against my moveable cap.  The rule I’m using is:

  • 145 or under during the first 20 minutes
  • 150 or under for 20-40 minutes
  • 155 or under beyond 40 minutes

I was fine through about 30 minutes, then I needed to slow down to stay legal.  At 40 minutes, with another 5 beats to play with, I went back to 175W, and then slowed again after 5 minutes or so.  I decided to reward myself for being such a good boy by allowing me to make up the lost wattage in the last minute.


Tomorrow:  3 x 20 or 4 x 20 depending on how much time I have.


Sunday: Easy hour.

Got home around midnight last night, so I slept in instead of heading off to the lake this morning.  Around 3 in the afternoon I was ready for an erg session.

I wasn’t sure what to do today, so I decided to do an hour.  I would start slow, around 2:05, and speed up by a second every six minutes until I got to the top of the UT band.  Then I would slow down by a second to the end.

It ended up being an enjoyable session.  A bit warm, in the mid 80s and very sweaty, but I was happy that it took until the last 12 minutes before I hit the top of my UT band.

Data was saved using ergdata and then processed by

Tomorrow:  14k steady state OTW

Tuesday: 60′ Threshold

Again in the fitness center.


  • 10km
  • Treadmill at 2% grade
  • Pace at 9.0 km/h

The idea was to mimic a hard 60′ erg session.  Typical my HR will rise slowly through these types of workouts and finish up in the low 170s.  I was having all kinds of HR sensor troubles today.  Not sure why.  I thought it was just a contact issue since it seemed to get better when I would reposition the strap on my chest, but eventually, around 55′, the whole wahoo fitness app crashed on me.  When I restarted it, it seemed like the readings were much better behaved, so maybe the app was just in a unhappy state before it died.  I think the high HRs recorded are accurate and the low ones are erroneous.   The red line is my best guess as to what the HR was actually doing.

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 7.57.40 AM.png

I was starting to really struggle in the last 15 minutes, and at 60′, with about 1000m to go, I needed to back off the pace.  I slowed down to 8mph and that took a lot of the pressure off.

The training effect was basically what I was looking for.  Push HR up into the TR zone in the last third of the workout and work on just grinding it out.

Tomorrow:  Long and slow.  I will probably do a fitness center triathlon.  4 x 20′ / 1′ rests with a HR cap of 150.