Rowing in Seoul: 10x(500@22,500@18)

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.

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I was not expecting that.  So, I can stick to the training plan.  Today’s mission

  • 10x500m/2′ paddle
  • 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.


Tomorrow: 3 x (5 x 500/1′)/5′  Cat IV: 1:52/r24


Mon: Rest, Tues: 10x(500@22,500@18), Wed 3x(5×500@24/1′)/5’5′

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′

target: 1:52

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.

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The main set.

          Workout Summary - media/20180117-1355320o.csv
Workout Details

Compare today to the two past weeks.  HR response was better today, peak HRs were lower and recovery in the rests was faster.


Tomorrow:  4 x 20’/3′  if I have time.  I have a 8am meeting which might cut things short.


Tuesday: 10 x (500 @ 22, 500 @ 18)

I got to sleep in to 6:30 this morning.  I had a dentist appointment, which was disappointing.  I was hoping that this would be the final session for my cracked tooth, but it has been sore, so they wanted to make some adjustments and hopefully have it calm down a bit before they put the final crown on.  I didn’t hate the dentist before this, but I might after!

I had limited time today, so it was good that it was a pretty short session

  • 10 x 500 / 2′
  • Cat V – Pace 1:58, rate: 22

Last week I did the rests at a Cat VI pace and it worked out pretty well, so I did it again today.  One big benefit is that it’s a lot easier to program the PM for the workout.  It’s just 500m intervals with 0′ rests.  Doing the “rests” at 2:05 pushes the workout up above the UT1 heart rate zone, but its a pretty short workout.  I am hoping that it will help improve my ability to clear lactate at aerobic pace.  It also gives me a chance to practice rowing with good form and reasonable pressure at r18.

I added one 500m interval at 2:06 at the start and a final cool down 500m at 2:20 at the end for a total of 22 intervals.

I felt like I was working pretty hard at the end, so I was curious how this outing compared with the same workout last week.  The answer…nearly identically.

Tomorrow:  3 x (5 x 500 @ 24 / 1′ ) / 5′.  Target pace 1:52.

Wed: Cat V / Cat VI 500s, Thurs: nothing, Fri: 3 x (5 x 500 CatIV/1′)/5′


At work in the gym.

The Plan:

  • 10 x 500 / 2′
  • Cat V: 22spm, 1:58
  • I decided to do the “rests” as Cat VI (18, 2:05), and instead of programming rests in the PM, I just set it up for 500m intervals and 0 rests.  Then I just changed pace for each interval between 1:58  and 2:05ish.

I thought that this workout would give me a chance to keep working on the modification to my stroke.  Specifically row at a slightly higher rate and still keep my knees down until my arms and body had done their thing on the recovery.

It turned out to be a pretty strenuous workout because the 2′ “rests” at 2:05 weren’t all that restful.

Thursday:  It was a massive blizzard here in Massachusetts.  I worked from home and I was on the phone from 8am to 6pm.  I had no time for my session.  I should have gotten up extra early to do it before my calls, but I just couldn’t get motivated to do it.  I love sleeping during snowstorms, it’s always so quiet and still.

Friday:  Back to work.  Luckily, lots of people stayed hoe today so the traffic was very light and I had time for my workout when I got to work this morning.  A slightly more intense session and a chance to try to hold my new “knees down” form at 24 spm.

The plan:

  • 3 sets of 5 x 500m  1′ rest
  • 5 minutes rest between sets
  • the 500s to be done at Cat IV (Pace 1:52, rate: 24)
  • To do the 5 minute rests, I took the normal 1 minute rest, then rowed a 500 as a pause drill (at hands away) to work on arms and body recovery.  This took between 2:40 and 3 minutes, then another 1′ rest at a paddle.  This added up to about 5 minutes and was easy to program into the PM.

I started with a 2000 meter warmup.

          Workout Summary - media/20180105-1440300o.csv
Workout Details

Then the main set.

          Workout Summary - media/20180105-1530320o.csv
Workout Details

That was fun!  I enjoyed it a bunch and I was happy to see my HR recover well in the short rests.  I also felt really in control at r24 and 1:50.  It was a good session.

Tomorrow:  4 x 20’/3′ Cat VI.  Focusing on technique


Merry Christmas: 4 x 12′ / 1’30”

Well, the firmware update did nothing to help solve the PM5 problems.  But it sure did change the symptoms.  Now, while I am rowing, at random points, the PM5 will throw an error, but it will keep working and talking to painsled.  I can push continue, and everything will be fine for a while, and then it will repeat.  The time between errors can be just a couple of strokes, or as long as 10 minutes.

I checked the batteries, and they claim to be at 96%, which makes sense since I replaced them last week when this problem started.

I guess it  is time to contact Concept2.  For now, I think I will swap out the monitor to a PM3 that I have lying around.  I’ll see if that works better with a USB cable than the PM5 works via BT.

The session was uneventful.  I really like the 4×12′ session.  It’s a quick session and the 1:59 pace put me right on the edge of my aerobic HR zone, and a bit over at the end.

On the chart, you can see when I got the screens because it caused the blips in the pace.  By my count I had 18 interruptions due to error screens

          Workout Summary - media/20171225-2205320o.csv
Workout Details

I’ll be starting off with my new training paces today, based on the recent testing.

  • Cat VI: 2:03 – 2:08
  • Cat V: 1:58 – 2:02
  • Cat IV: 1:52
  • Cat III: 1:48
  • Cat II: 1:45

Today’s session: 10 x 500m / 2′ Cat V pace.


Wed: 4 x 12’/1’30”

Tuesday:  Up at 4:45am and off to the airport to catch a 7:00am flight to San Diego.  Arrive in San Diego around 11am pacific time.  Meetings from 12 to 4:30, then an early work dinner.  Back at the airport at about 7pm and on a flight back to Boston at 9pm.

I managed to get about 3-4 hours of fitful sleep on the plane.  I arrived in Boston at about 5am and I was home before 6am.  I crawled in bed and slept another 3 hours or so.

Let’s call that a rest day.

Wednesday:  Up at 9:30, and straight onto the erg.  I didn’t feel up to doing the more intense session scheduled for today, so I opted to do the Tuesday session that I missed.

  • 4 x 12′ / 1’30”
  • Cat V: Rate 22, pace 2:01

I had low expectations because of the quality and quantity of sleep that I got last night.  My HR was a bit high, but I felt pretty good once I was going.

          Workout Summary - media/20171220-1630300o.csv
Workout Details

Results were similar to past sessions of this type.  A bit higher watts.  HR in the same range.  More consistent stroke rate.  Interestingly, there is a significant increase in peak power for my most recent two sessions.  This is coupled with a significant reduction in drive length.  I think this is a sign that I am limiting the amount of layback that I am getting and spending less time dwelling at the finish.  I’ll have to do a video to look at the comparison. but for now I think that this is purposeful.  Time will tell if it is a good thing.  I am doing it to be better in the boat, and to reduce the likelihood of re-injuring my back.  I expect that it actually increases the amount of energy I need to expend to hold a certain pace.

I’d love to hear people opinions about this.  It’s kind of a subtle point.

Tomorrow:  4 x (1500m @ 22, 500m @ 24) / 2′  Target pace: 2:00 for r22, 1:55 for r24



Tuesday: 4 x 12′ / 1’30” Cat V

Today’s session is a nice short endurance session done at paces a little bit faster than base endurance pace and a little bit higher rate.

          Workout Summary - media/20171212-1135290o.csv
Workout Details

Tomorrow:  Big Day…Time to redo my 20′ test.  Last time was 1:52.7 pace (244W).  I will see how I do against a 1:51.0 target.

Friday: 5 x (1500m @ 22, 500m @ 24) / 2′

Thursday:  No training.  Colonoscopy!  I guess we’ll call that a rest day?

Friday:  Since I didn’t sleep more than 2 hours on the night before my “procedure”, I decided that getting as much sleep as possible on Thursday night was the best thing to do.  So, I slept late and rushed off to work.  I went to the gym around 4 in the afternoon.

The Plan:

Session: 5 x 2000m
Rest between: 2’
Rating: For each piece alternate (1500m @ Cat V: SR 22/ 500m @ Cat IV: SR 24)
Training effect: Mix of 75% Cat V extensive endurance, 25% Cat IV intensive endurance
Pace targets:
  • Cat V: 2:01 to 2:05
  • Cat IV: 1:55
I didn’t do my full PT stretching and exercising routine, I just hopped on the machine.

That was very enjoyable.  Easy enough that I could spend a lot of brain power on trying to maintain my posture at the catch and finish.