Last time I posted, I had decided to take a step back and mix up my training a bit to try to get some momentum back. The good news is that I think it is working, at least I am feeling a bit more relaxed than I was.
Thursday, Feb 8: Strength Training
Full PT Suite
Front Squats, KB Swings, Pull ups, Deadlifts
Friday, Feb 9: No Training. Spent my training time working on my project looking at how aging effects rowing performance by mistake. I was only going to make one little tweak to my “R” code and when I looked up 90 minutes had gone by.
Saturday, Feb 10: 4 x 20′ / 3′ (On Slides)
I bought a pair of slides a couple years ago and they have been in the gym at work. I have rarely used them because it’s a pain to set them up and break them down after ech session. I decided to bring them home and use them on my erg down on the cape.
It was awesome! I loved the feeling of rowing on slides again. With the technique stuff I’ve been working on the rowing motion felt really fluid. Add in the fact that this erg has a core perform seat and it felt very much like real rowing.
My goal was just to get some low intensity meters in, and keep my HR below 155.
I found it very natural to row about 1 spm higher on slides, and I was maybe 1 second slower than on a static machine. The difference between rowing on slides and rowing on the dynamic is night and day.
Sunday, Feb 11: 8 x (4:30 @ 18, 0:30 @ 30+)/30″ (On Slides)
To follow up on that blissful session I wanted to have a bit more fun on slides. I really like this 8 x 5′ with 30 sec sprint session. I’ve been doing this kind of sessions more since reading this book. The One Minute Workout
It was a blast doing it on slides. I could rate up very easily, which I can’t seem to do on the dynamic machine.
I had a pretty easy day yesterday. I had a lunch meeting, some internal meetings in the afternoon, and then a dinner with a customer. I was back at the hotel around 10.
I slept pretty fitfully and I was up around 5:30. I had a conference call from 6 to 8 and then I headed for the gym.
4:30 – Cat VI (r18, 2:05)
0:30 – Cat II (r30+, 1:45-)
The focus was to try to keep my stroke short and snappy when I rated up. Try to keep the sequence right on recovery, even when I am pounding it out at high rate.
I love this workout. It’s short, but the 30 second sprints add a bit of sting. The Cat VI rowing is slow enough so that I recover well in the first half, but the fatigue starts to pile up in the second and even the slow bits feel like a lot more work.
The fast bits felt great today. I have been struggling to get the rate up previously, but today something clicked and I was able to really snap back on the recovery and take light strokes. Now, I don’t know how long I could hold that kind of rate and pace, but it was a blast for 15 to 20 strokes.
I’m waiting to board my first flight to Hong Kong, then change planes for the rest of the ride back to Boston. I get in around 8:55pm local time. All together from hotel in Korea to home, it’s about 26 hours of travel time. Blechh.
The training schedule has my hardest session of the week on Saturday. I think I will probably swap it around and do Sunday’s Cat VI row then. That will let me the kinks out before I dig deep on Sunday.
Wednesday: Was massively tired on Tuesday night and fell asleep by 10. I woke up for good around 4am. I got up around 5:30 and did some work and called home. Finally, around 6:30, I headed down to the gym.
3 x (5 x 500 @ 24/1′)/5′
Cat IV: r24/1:52
Started with a 500 at cat VI, started plugging away at the reps. I felt a bit tired. Jetlag presumably.
I left Boston at 1:30AM on Monday morning. Flew east over Europe and Asia, landed in Hong Kong, changed planes and continued on to Seoul. I was on the ground at about 12:30PM Tuesday afternoon, and at my hotel around 2:00PM.
I unpacked and since I didn’t have any commitments until dinner time, I suited up and headed down to the gym. As is typical for hotels in Korea, the fitness center was pretty amazing. Even more amazing was the sight of two, brand new Model D rowers with PM5s.
I was not expecting that. So, I can stick to the training plan. Today’s mission
Cat V: r22, 1:58
To make it easy to program, I did it as 500m with no rest and alternated each piece between Cat V (1:58/r22) and Cat VI (2:05/r18)
To make it a bit more fun, I did it strapless.
I was a bit jetlagged and the gym was hot, but I had a good time. I started with one rep at Cat VI, then into the 10 alternating reps. Then I finished with a 500 at r16 as a quick cool down.
My HR was a bit higher today than previously, but not by a lot.
Thursday: Up at 5:15am to head to the airport. Direct flight from LAX to BOS. I managed to score an upgrade to business class. I arrived around 4:45PM and was home by 6:30. A reasonably civilized way to travel.
Friday: Back to the routine. Up at 5:15, and into work. I had an 8:30AM meeting so I had to be aware of the time, but the planned workout was pretty short.
I did my full set of PT exercises. Then the erg session.
8 x 5′ / 30″ rest
first 4:30 of each interval is Cat VI (r18, 2:05)
last 30″ of each interval is Cat II (r30+, 1:45 or faster)
The important thing to me was to try to maintain good sequential recovery in the high rate bursts.
The first annoyance was that I could not get Painsled to link up with the PM. I tried a bunch of stuff and then gave up. I ended up using ergdata which linked up right away.
The workout itself went great. I had a blast. It was pretty close in feel to the HIIT sessions I did while I was on the road. I was not pushing the fast bits as hard as I could go though, and the paddling I did in between bursts was harder than the rests for the HIIT stuff.
Because it was captured with ergdata, it is almost impossible to get a good set of summary stats. Luckily, rowsandall has a way around that, using the flex plot. I can look at a plot of all the strokes I took at above r25. And get an average stroke rate and power.
So, 324.28 watts is 1:42.6. I was closer to 1:40 in the bursts after I got up to speed.
Saturday: I slept a lot on Friday night, and since we had a busy day planned, I went to workout as soon as I got up. I didn’t feel so great. And today was a tough workout.
I did my PT exercises.
10 minute warmup
4 x (3′ @ r28, 7′ @ r18)/1′ rest
target pace for r28: 1:48
target pace for r18: 2:05
I felt pretty nasty in the warmup. It seemed like it was taking a lot of work to get to my regular Cat VI pace and the bursts were hard too.
Then into the workout. I was destroyed by the first 3′ section. I usually bring down the rate in a controlled way. Yesterday, I just started paddling and tried to bring the pace back to the target. I made it about 5 of the 7 minutes in the first rep and I was having trouble catching my breath, so I paddled out the rest of it. The second 3′ section was even worse. I stopped completely after it and then rowed to the target off and on through the Cat VI section. Same thing in the last two intervals. In the last Cat VI section I started getting awful stomach cramps and I barely made it to the toilet after I finished. Not really the cool down I was planning.
The only positive note was that I actually hit the target for the 3 minute sections.
I was drained the rest of the day. We took a quick ride down to the cape. I needed to replace some shingles on the roof and do a few other chores. I fell asleep in the car going down for about 30 minutes, and while we were there I slept for another half hour or so on the couch. I didn’t have any other symptoms, but I suspect that I am trying to fight off a bug of some kind.
I was intending to workout. But I had to meet someone fixing my furnace in the morning, go to the dentist at noon, then get to work, and after work, meet a candidate for a quick drink. I had no time to train.
Saturday: 4-6 x (3′ @ 28, 7′ @ 18) / 1′
By all rights, I should have been fresh as a daisy, but I didn’t feel that way. My target paces were 1:48 for the r28 (Cat III) and 2:05 for the r18 (Cat VI).
I did the full set of PT exercises include the core work.
I started with a 2k-ish warmup, with bumps to Cat III pace.
I wish I could say that these were getting easier, but they aren’t.
Sunday: 4 x 20′ / 3′
Again, I did the full set of PT exercises.
I decided to try out Zwift with painsled. It worked fine, but I managed to hang it up during my second 20′ piece. In terms of a workout, my HR was a bit higher than normal, but stabilized below 155.
First 20 minutes.
Second 20 minutes is missing. Here are the third and fourth.
I also did sets of 10 kettlebell swings during the breaks. I think I like the idea of adding a little bit of strength work to these easy days. As for Zwift, it was kind of cool, but I don’t see it being something that I do regularly.
Monday: Arother rest day. I got up at 3:30AM eastern to catch a 6:00AM flight to San Francisco. From there, it was straight into meetings and will finish up with a business dinner tonight. I’ll try to do a quick workout in the morning before my first meeting.
As for the featured image. I read yesterday that Antisocial Marmets live longer than socially adept Marmets. So, there’s a vote for being antisocial!
Monday: Scheduled rest day. I think this might be the first scheduled rest day on my scheduled rest day after a full week of training in the last 6 months. It feels good to be in a routine, while it lasts. I start travelling again next week.
Tuesday: Full set of PT exercises.
The workout plan calls for 10 x 500m at r22 with 2 minute rests. I have been making a bit more work by replacing the 2 minute rests with a Cat VI 500m (r18, 2:05).
The workout isn’t hard, but I tried to work continuously on recovery sequence. Tense the glutes, hold the quads, fast hands away, wait until body is over before starting up the slide.
Comparing this to the past couple of weeks shows about the same HR response. A bit higher at the start and lower at the end.
Wednesday: 3 x (5 x 500 @ 24 / 1′ ) / 5′
Another fun workout. Again, I did the 5′ rests between sets as one minute paddle, 500m of pause drill, which ended up around 2:40, and then another minute of paddle. This makes the pm setup easier.
I started with a 2K warmup, with bumps working up to the r24. Again I was trying to find the rhythm of the stroke while concentrating on recovery sequence.
We drove down yesterday evening and arrived around 7:15pm. We had not been down to the house since the week after Christmas, and that was just a very short visit.
As we drove down, the weather app on my phone popped up with 4 different weather warnings for Wellfleet
Flash Flood Warning (potential for up to 4″ of rain)
Flash Freeze warning (the temp was going to drop from 50F to around 20F after the front came through
Oh well, we didn’t think it was going to be beach weather anyway.
When we arrived, the wind was already whipping and the rain was starting. We settled in and I made dinner (Filet of beef with mushrooms in red wine sauce and sauteed baby spinach). The wind just kept getting stronger and we could hear the rain pelting the side of the house.
During the night, the wind was incredible. Three times it caused the screen door outside our bedroom to start banging against the frame. I would go to close it, open up the door and the wind and rain would come blowing into the bedroom. Unpleasant!
Here’s the overnight wind speeds. Peak gust around 65mph, but lots of time the sustained wind was above 50mph. It only calmed down after about 9am.
It was tough to sleep with all the racket, so I stayed in bed until around 9:30, and when I got up the sun was starting to break through the fog. I couldn’t believe the site in front of me. It was like something out of the arctic.
I headed out to get something yummy for breakfast and on the way back, the fog was clinging to ice across the bay.
By now the sun was out and the ice looked even more amazing. Here’s a panorama from top of the bluff. The ice close to shore is dirty because it lies on the sand at low tide.
My next mission for the day was to get the basement organized. I moved my dad’s tools in over the Christmas break, but I needed to get everything arranged. It took a couple hours, but turned out good.
The erg is setup out of the picture on the left side.
All of this took time and I debated blowing off my erg session. I decided to cut it a little short instead. I would do 4 sets instead of 6.
So the new plan
4 x (3′ @ r28, 7′ @ r18)/1′
r28: Cat III, Pace: 1:48
r18: Cat VI, Pace 2:03 – 2:08
Technique: Still focused on fixing my stroke. This is more important that pace. Avoid breaking my knees until my arms are extended and body over. Try to remember to keep my glutes tensed through the finish. At r28, limit layback and keep the handle moving.