Sunday: 3 x 20′ / 3′ Cat VI – Dynamic, plus video

Since I didn’t feel particularly bad yesterday, just really tired, I wasn’t sure if I was better today.  I went to bed at 11 and slept until 9.  When I woke up, I certainly didn’t feel like erging.  So, I hung out, wrote up my journal, did some grocery shopping and some chores around the house.  Finally, around 2, I decided that I should get it done.

The workout on the agenda for today is a regular old 3 or 4 x 20′ / 3′ at Cat VI.  That means rate at 18 and pace between 2:03 and 2:08.  I have been thinking about getting back on the dynamic erg for a while.  Since I am making changes in my stroke, I was wondering if it would be a less unpleasant experience with better technique.

I decided today was a good day to try it out.

Most folks rate up a bit on the dynamic, so I decided r20 was the target instead of r18.   And since I have had such struggles with it, I decided that a target above 2:05, maybe 2:07 might be a good idea.  In any case, I would go by a HR limit.  Keep it at or below 155.

And that’s what I did.  It seems that deleting and reloading painsled fixed my issues, it worked fine today.

          Workout Summary - media/20180128-2010330o.csv
Workout Details

It was a lot more work than on the static, but it felt a bit better better than before.  It was certainly easier to maintain proper form, at least I thought so.  After I finished, I set up to take a short video so I could see I was actually doing the right things.

I watched the video and yes, it looks like I was doing a pretty good job on recovery.  I was a bit more slumped than I should have been, but not so bad.

Here’s the video, judge for your self.

I was interested to compare doing steady state on the dynamic to the static.

  • Power:  About 5 watts lower
  • Rate: 2 beats higher.  Also note how much less consistent my rate is.
  • HR: About 5 beats higher
  • Drive length: 10 cm shorter on the dynamic.  I will have to do a video compare to figure out what’s going on there, but I suspect that I am compressing less at the catch on the dynamic and that’s probably a good thing.
  • Peak force:  just about the same
  • Average force: lower, which makes sense since I am doing less power at a higher rate
  • Peak/avg ratio: follows logically.

Tonight:  I am flying to Korea via Hong Kong.  My flight leaves at about 1:30 am.  I get to Korea Tuesday morning.  I’ll be there through Friday.  More crosstraining!


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


Wednesday: 3 x 20′ / 3′ Cat VI

Easy session.  Good thing too.  I’m feeling a bit tired.  Lot’s of rowing over the past 6 days.  But I am really excited.  I feel like I am making progress on my stroke, and with the exercises that the PT has given me.

Today, I was doing the session at home, in the mid-afternoon.  The plan was:

  • 3 x 20′ / 3′
  • Cat VI
  • Pace 2:06-2:11
  • rate: 18-20
  • HR limit: 145,150,150

My hr was high today, and ended up marginally higher than the limits as I went along.

          Workout Summary - media/20171122-2120290o.csv
Workout Details

Tomorrow:  Rest day!  Happy Thanksgiving.

On Friday the plan is:

  • 3 x 15′ / 1′
  • Every 5′ – 20 strokes at r32
  • Otherwise: Cat VI: 2:06 to 2:11, r18-20
  • Also, Insert 5 strokes of pause at hands away to try to work on keeping knees down on recovery in the first minute after the fast strokes.

Basically, I will do this as 4:20 at Cat VI pacing and then 40 seconds at r32 or higher.   I’ll be at home on the dynamic for  this session.



Sunday: Back on the erg – 4 x 20′ / 3′ Cat VI

Busy day.  I did a couple hours of raking and cleaning out the flower beds early this afternoon.  Then, around 5:30 I settled down for a long easy Cat VI workout.

The only tricky part was I was at home with my nemesis, the dynamic erg.  For those of you who have not followed the saga.  I have not been a fan of this piece of equipment, and I was convinced that it was defective in some way.  I am less convinced since I sat on a dynamic erg at the HOCR and it felt basically exactly the same.  Also, since then, I have received with less enthusiasm, pretty direct feedback about possible flaws in my technique that could explain why I can hammer out better times on the static erg, but not on my nemesis.

This situation gives me hope.  If I can get better on the dynamic, maybe that will translate better to the boat too.  So, it is time to embrace the suck.  No better session to embrace the suck with than a nice easy Cat VI workout.  The guidelines are simple.

  • 4 x 20′ / 3′ rest
  • rate: 18-20 (the lower the better)
  • pace: 2:06 to 2:11
  • HR limit: 145,150,155,155

On the static erg, I am doing these just about at the fast edge of the band.  On my nemesis, I figured I should go out slow, maybe 2:10 and see what happened.

I started and things felt good between 2:08 and 2:09.  Rate felt good between 20 and 21, so I had to work on keeping it at 20, with mixed success.

         Workout Summary - media/20171120-0000300o.csv
Workout Details

So, I think right now I have about a 2 split difference between dynamic and static, maybe 10-15 watts.

Monday’s session:

  • 4 x 12′ / 1’30”
  • Rate: 22
  • Pace: 2:01 – 2:05
  • HR Limit: 155