Oh my hands – May 5 to May 7

Well, really just my right hand.

Because of travel, there was a period of 8 days between 25 April and 4 May where I did no OTW rowing.  Over that period of times, my hands got all soft.  Then on Saturday, I hop into my Aero and go for a 18k row that takes about an hour and forty five minutes.  This was 1887 strokes, and there was enough chop that my hands and the handles were wet.  The chop also makes it impossible to maintain the light fingertip grip that we all aspire to.  By the time I was on the last leg back to the beach, my hands were really hurting.  Over the rest of the day they were a weepy blistered mess.

On Sunday, the weather sucked, so I wasn’t tempted to go back out on the water, but I did a hard 10K (with limited success, more to come  on that later) on slides.  My hands were perfectly OK with that.

On Monday, they were still pretty beat up, but I ignored that and did a nice technical session in the boat.  A lot of the drills put pressure on my blistery bits, and ripped open some blisters under old callouses.

I wasn’t sure if my hands were up for it, but the weather this morning was beautiful!, So, I went for it.  I had a great session, and I didn’t have any real grip issues to deal with, but boy, it stings.  Especially in the shower!

Enough complaining.  On to the training.

Sunday – May 5 – Hard 10K on slides.

Started with a 2k warmup.  Pick drill followed by a few bursts at possible paces for the 10k piece

Then the real thing.  I was a bit scarred from the 10k session that I bailed on last weekend, so I specifically tried to give myself permission to target a pace of 2:00.  Of course, as soon as I started and it felt easy, I immediately changed my mind and stuck on 1:57.  This lasted for about 6 or 7K and my HR was up at 177.  I couldn’t handle the idea of rowing the last 12 minutes “in the red”, so I tried to back off, and then a dropped a few strokes and slowly brought myself back to around a 2:00 target.  By the time I had 1000m to go, I was pissed at myself and I rowed it hard.

       Workout Summary - media/Import_38138690.csv.gz
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|10000|39:31.0|01:58.6|207.5|25.0|166.5|182.0|10.1
W-|10000|39:32.0|01:58.6|207.5|25.0|166.5|182.0|10.1
R-|00000|00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|182.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01000|03:54.5|01:57.2|212.8|24.6|141.9|155.0|10.4
01|01000|03:54.8|01:57.4|213.9|25.0|157.4|160.0|10.2
02|01000|03:54.9|01:57.5|213.1|24.8|163.2|164.0|10.3
03|01000|03:56.3|01:58.1|209.8|24.8|165.7|167.0|10.2
04|01000|03:57.4|01:58.7|206.9|24.5|168.4|171.0|10.3
05|01000|03:55.8|01:57.9|211.0|25.4|171.0|174.0|10.0
06|01000|03:57.1|01:58.5|208.0|25.2|174.8|177.0|10.1
07|01000|04:07.7|02:03.8|184.3|24.7|169.4|176.0|09.8
08|01000|04:00.1|02:00.0|200.1|25.0|173.7|177.0|10.0
09|01000|03:53.7|01:56.8|216.6|25.7|179.7|182.0|10.0

So, what do we make of this?  First, it was probably an effective workout from a physiological point of view.  I had 27 minutes in the TR and AN HR zones.  But in terms of grit, this one was a fail.  Also from a discipline perspective, also a fail.  I should have rowed it conservatively and gotten a good marker for the next session.

Monday – 6 May – Drills on the 5s – 60′ session

As is usual, I spelt pretty poorly on Sunday night.  The weather was OK.  It was grey and there was a pretty steady wind from the north.  Temps were in the 50s.

I thought under the circumstances that a session focused on technique would be a good idea.  So, back to a favorite, drills on the 5s.  Row steady state for 4 minuutes then do a minute of a drill.  The drills were

  • half slide
  • slow roll ups
  • open hands on recovery
  • pause at body over
  • on the square

The drills were useful and the format of the workout makes time pass very quickly.  A lovely session.

Tuesday – 7 May – 4 x 2k on the water

Time to do some heavy lifting!  I was out late last night at a business dinner, but I managed to get my ass out of bed on time.  I was a bit worried about how well I’d do in the session.  I’m not sure if this was a cause or effect, but I felt a bit wrong in the intestinal department.

Anyway, the weather was awesome!  Bright and Sunny about 50F with a light wind from the SW.  So, I paddled out to the start of the 2k section, had a drink and went for it.  The training objectives for this session were:

  • Stroke rate: 25-27
  • Target pace 2:15 to 2:20
  • Focus on crisp releases.  Really tap down.
  • With increased fatigue focus on maintaining rate, lighting up pressure and maintaining good form, especially at the release

Gotta say, it was pretty magical!  I had a bit of tail wind behind me on the first interval, so the splits were nice and fast and the strokes felt light.  That really boosted my confidence.  I was extra careful to try to avoid chasing the same split on the upwind interval.  As it worked out I matched my avg power pretty well between upwind and downwind intervals.

Each interval got harder, but I always felt in control.  It was a really good session.  Good physiologically, and mentally to get it done per plan.

        Workout Summary - media/20190507-1405480o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|12258|72:17.0|02:56.9|124.6|23.6|145.3|177.0|07.2
W-|08104|37:30.0|02:18.9|177.1|26.3|164.3|177.0|08.2
R-|04160|34:47.0|04:10.8|068.1|20.7|124.7|177.0|07.2
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00238|01:04.0|02:14.4|157.6|22.4|139.1|145.0|09.9
02|01985|08:33.7|02:09.4|179.4|25.8|158.2|171.0|09.0
03|01962|09:33.9|02:26.3|181.7|26.2|167.9|177.0|07.8
04|01960|08:33.8|02:11.0|171.6|26.8|164.8|175.0|08.5
05|01958|09:45.2|02:29.4|177.5|26.8|168.7|177.0|07.5

Note: the pace shown here appears to be the GPS based pace, so the downstream intervals are unnaturally fast and the upstream ones are slow.  Calculating pace for them using the excel data yields 2:12.8, 2:17.9, 2:14.5, 2:19.9.

So, I was interested to see if this focus on clean releases has any effect.  So, I compared a 4x2k from the very beginning of the season to today.  My guess is that my aerobic fitness was a bit better and my form more ragged.  First comparison…

Power:  I was 4.5 watts higher power last time.   2.5% lower power today.

bokeh_plot - 2019-05-07T174855.325

Now boat speed:  Whoa!  1% faster today, on 2.5% lower power.

bokeh_plot - 2019-05-07T174838.721

So, what changed in my stroke.  Since I was working on finishes, let’s look at finish angle.  I was finishing about 4 degrees shorter today.

bokeh_plot - 2019-05-07T175035.690

Was that impacting effective length?

bokeh_plot - 2019-05-07T174914.131

Oh yeah.  I was more than 5 degrees shorter today.

I wonder what was going on with my peak force angle.  I was specifically trying to hold body position and row lightly today.  Would I see any difference with that?

Yep!  My peak force angle move more to stern and was more consistent.

bokeh_plot - 2019-05-07T174946.982

Here is a statistical summary for each workout.  The standard deviation for the peak force angle changed from 3.3 deg to 2.6 deg.

So, this certainly taught me a lesson.  The speedcoach is a tool, it doesn’t make sense to just focus singlemindedly on improving one parameter.  In my mind I had equated more length, with more power and therefore more speed.  Today’s results mean that I should have to be very careful to measure the change in boat speed with technique changes iin addition to just using the oarlock to provide data on the stroke mechanics.

 

Drills on the Fives

We came back from the cape last night, and I had a choice to make this morning.

I needed to be at work, showered and ready for a 8 am meeting, so I could either head straight to work and do a 60 to 80 minute steady state session on the erg, or I could do an shorter session on the water.

I decided to row on the water.  Here’s why.

  • With a race this weekend, I want to taper down volume a bit anyway
  • Also because of the race, getting in a technique session this week would be good reinforcement for good mechanics
  • It’s too late to do much to improve my aerobic fitness, so doing just enough to maintain what I have is enough.

It was dark when I got to the boathouse.  Very dark.  And cool,  around 55F.  And there was a noticeable breeze blowing as a headwind when going down stream.  Did I mention it was dark!  With the overcast and the later sunrise, I couldn’t see across the lagoon when I arrived.

By the time I had swept the goose poop off the dock, and got my boat rigged and in the water, the sky was starting to lighten up.  I felt irresponsible that I don’t have working lights though and I was glad that there was no one else on the river today.  I’ve ordered a new pair of lights, hopefully they will be delivered today.

Today’s session was drills on the fives.  4 minutes of steady state, and then 1 minute of a drill.  The drills were

  • Half slide: working on clean releases and blades off the water
  • delayed feather:  Working on releasing on the square, and then feathering without touching water
  • Pause at body over:  Working on keeping my knees downwith my body over and arms extended.
  • Open hands on recovery:  Working on outward pressure against the oarlocks on recovery and clean catches after regripping the oars.

As usual, with this session, I felt like I was rowing better at the end than the beginning.  Today, it was even more the case because the wind seemed to be dying down a during the session and the water was a bit flatter at the end.

I had time for one lap down to the dam and back.  I was pretty surprised at how low my heart rate was today.  My RPE felt like it was in line with this session, but my HR was a good 10 beats lower.

Here is a summary of the steady state bits.  It cuts out the drills and the turns.

          Workout Summary - media/20181008-1700310o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|08689|46:43.0|02:41.3|116.3|20.0|130.7|143.0|09.3
W-|05153|25:33.0|02:28.8|131.8|20.6|134.5|143.0|09.8
R-|03548|21:11.0|02:59.2|097.6|19.4|126.1|143.0|10.6
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00365|01:51.0|02:32.1|129.4|18.9|119.8|126.0|10.4
02|00270|01:15.9|02:20.8|134.9|19.7|126.9|131.0|10.8
03|00529|02:39.0|02:30.3|117.0|20.4|135.1|141.0|09.8
04|00887|04:23.3|02:28.4|130.3|21.0|139.2|142.0|09.6
05|00782|03:49.9|02:27.1|136.6|20.4|138.1|143.0|10.0
06|00129|00:38.2|02:27.7|148.6|20.4|134.9|137.0|10.0
07|00256|01:17.2|02:31.1|121.2|20.2|130.0|135.0|09.8
08|00680|03:23.8|02:29.9|132.4|20.9|136.4|142.0|09.6
09|00744|03:44.2|02:30.7|127.1|21.1|137.4|141.0|09.4
10|00179|00:51.6|02:24.1|144.1|19.8|129.7|136.0|10.5
11|00098|00:29.2|02:28.8|142.7|20.4|127.1|131.0|09.9
12|00236|01:10.0|02:28.4|157.3|23.1|131.1|139.0|08.8

Tomorrow:  Last hard workout…5 x 1500 / 5′ target pace 2:15.

Drills on the fives

Misty and cool, very little wind.  The river is still very high and there is a fair amount of flow.

The plan for this morning was a low intensity session, working on technique.  I almost rolled over and went back to sleep.  I felt very tired both muscle fatigue and just sleepy.  The session felt like it was a lot of work.

The drills were:

  • delayed feather
  • half slide
  • pause at body over
  • open hands on recovery

          Workout Summary - media/Greg Smith 20181002 0639AM.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|-Avg--|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|-SPM--|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|13802|75:38.9|02:44.4|128.0| 19.5 |135.0|154.0|10.1

It’s getting more and more dark when I launch.  There were a bunch of boats out today, my head was on a swivel to make sure that I didn’t run into anyone.  They were pretty much cleared out by the second lap.

I love this session.  I feel like my balance in the boat is so much better at the end than when I start.  The time also goes by really quickly.

 

And we’re back to a regular progamming

Let’s see, where were we.  Friday morning, I went for a run on sore legs.  The rest of the day, I was mocked mercilessly by my coworkers because I was hobbling around like a very old man.

Around 3pm I left for the airport.  I was supposed to hop on a 5:40 flight to Toronto, and then connect to Boston, getting me home by around 8pm eastern time on Friday night.  Things did not work out that way.  We left the gate about an hour late, and then once we got out to the runway, the pilot came on and announced that there was a maintenance problem and we were heading back to the gate.  They unloaded us and gave us dinner vouchers, and gave us no clue about when we would leave.

I started working the phones.  Given that I had already missed my connection and I had no idea when I would take off, I decided that I should start working on options.  I found a flight that would leave at 10:50 to LAX and allow me to connect to the red eye to Boston, getting in around 8am.  This seemed like a better option that getting stuck overnight in Tokyo or Toronto, so I reserved a seat and waited to hear what happened with my flight.

Around 8:30, they came on the PA and announced that the new boarding time for my flight was 10:30pm.  Since that was so far away, I figured there had to be some uncertainty in it and I decided to go for the LA option.  I got on board (last row in coach!), and settled in for a long and bumpy flight.  My original flight ended up taking off at 12:44am.  It arrived at 11:01 pm on Friday night.  The next flight to Boston left at 2pm the next day, so I guess I made the right call.  It was still 30 hours of travel and I felt totally destroyed when by the time I got home.

Sorry for the long story.  Anyway, I didn’t feel like working out of Saturday.

Sunday – Sept 23:  10K Threshold on the dreaded Dynamic

Gotta back to it.  First, a 2k warmup.  Held 2:00-ish pace for 1000m, then paddled 500, then another 500 around 2:00.

I had failed last week with a target pace of 2:00.  I had actually started a bit faster, at 1:58 and I decided that I could again try for 2:00, but be a bit more careful about staying on target.  It was also a lot cooler.  The piece went much better.  I got a bit desperate with 2k to get and rated up a couple of pips which got me through the worst of it.

          Workout Summary - media/20180923-2055320o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|10000|39:48.0|01:59.4|205.3|25.3|164.5|180.0|09.9
W-|10000|39:48.0|01:59.4|205.3|25.3|164.5|180.0|09.9
R-|00000|00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|180.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01000|03:57.2|01:58.6|206.8|24.8|139.7|153.0|10.2
01|01000|03:59.2|01:59.6|204.6|25.0|155.4|158.0|10.0
02|01000|03:59.1|01:59.5|205.2|25.1|159.1|161.0|10.0
03|01000|03:59.3|01:59.7|204.1|25.1|162.5|163.0|10.0
04|01000|03:59.6|01:59.8|203.5|25.1|164.7|166.0|10.0
05|01000|03:59.8|01:59.9|203.1|25.1|167.1|169.0|10.0
06|01000|03:59.3|01:59.7|204.3|25.1|171.1|174.0|10.0
07|01000|04:00.3|02:00.2|201.8|25.2|172.6|174.0|09.9
08|01000|04:00.2|02:00.1|201.6|26.3|174.6|176.0|09.5
09|01000|03:54.5|01:57.3|218.1|26.4|177.8|180.0|09.7

So, mission accomplished.  I will have to try this on a static erg soon to see what the pace difference is to the dynamic.  I think it’s nearly 5 splits.

Monday – Sept 24: Drills on the fives

Back on the water after 9 days.  Felt wobbly and awkward at first.  And it was windy and choppy (Wind 10-15mph NE).  Not ideal for drills, but really useful nonetheless.

Looks like the batteries on my oarlock died about 50 minutes into the session.  The paces were pretty slow with a head wind going downstream and abnormally high flow going upstream.

By the end of the session, I felt much better.  I was tapping down well and getting myself over the oars

Tomorrow:  4 x 2000 / 5′ (target pace: 2:16)

 

 

A solid week of training (It’s a Miracle!)

My last post updated things to Tuesday, 4 September.  Since then, things have been going great!  I knew I had some travel coming up this week, so I skipped rest days and just alternated hard and easy sessions.  Here’s an overview.

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 2.43.14 PM

You can see that I slid some sessions around.  I was scheduled for my 5 x 1500 on Monday 9/3, but I couldn’t get on the water.  Instead I did an easy steady state session on the dynamic, and moved the hard sessions out by a day.  I am also taking liberties with the easy sessions.  My coach suggested that I use these sessions to continue to work on drills and also to include some speed work because it has value in head races for overtaking and at the finish.  It also pushes me to work technique at high rates, which is a good thing.

I’ll have a bit more to say about training progress overall, but first, the sessions.

Wednesday, 5 Sept: 75′ of drills on the 5s.

Another great morning to row.  This session is all about technique.  It’s 4 minutes of steady state and then a minute of drills.  The drills were

  • half slide
  • delayed feather
  • pause at body over
  • open hands on recovery

As you can see it was a low intensity session.

Thursday: 6 Sept: 12 x 3’/1′

With the nice easy workout on Tuesday, I should have been well rested and ready for action on Wednesday.  These short interval / short rest sessions are supposed to give me a chance to get lots of minutes in at close to head race intensity, but include enough rest so that fatigue does not become a big factor until deep into the workout.

That’s not how it worked out in this session.  I decided that I would take a little extra time at the ends of the river, so it was really broken up into sets of 3 reps.  I managed through the first three, but when I turned and confronted the head wind, I overcooked the fourth rep.  I started the fifth, as I was approaching the s-turn, and I felt kind funny, a little woozy maybe.  Anyway, I pulled the plug and paddled through the turn.  I lined up and did the 6th interval per plan, but it was a nasty experience.  Notice that my HR is not extremely high, but my RPE was through the roof.  I was gasping for breath and shaking.

I took a good long rest and a drink, then I turned around to do another set, now with a tail wind.  I was a bit more conservative on pace for these and made it through the set of three.  Another turn and another longer than proper rest and I steeled myself for the up wind set.  I pounded out 2 reps, which took me up to the turn.  I decided to paddle through the turn and take a longer rest.  Then I did the 12th rep and finished strong.

The plan called for another set of three, but I was completely toasted.  In really hard workouts, my right glute will start to hurt at the end of a session and it was really bad this time.  I took my feet out of the shoes and gingerly paddled home.  I stopped and stretched every couple minutes because I just couldn’t get comfortable in the seat.

Stunningly, no red in the plot.

          Workout Summary - media/20180906-1215320o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|12579|79:38.0|03:09.9|092.8|21.6|144.0|178.0|07.3
W-|07379|33:52.0|02:17.7|150.5|24.7|159.6|178.0|08.8
R-|05211|45:47.0|04:23.6|050.1|19.4|132.4|178.0|06.2
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00694|03:03.9|02:12.5|151.4|24.2|145.9|160.0|09.4 - dwn
02|00676|03:02.1|02:14.6|148.9|25.4|155.6|166.0|08.8 - dwn
03|00691|03:03.2|02:12.5|159.0|23.9|161.5|172.0|09.5 - dwn
04|00637|02:57.3|02:19.3|156.0|25.7|159.5|171.0|08.4 - up
05|00252|01:10.6|02:20.4|157.8|24.6|157.9|163.0|08.7 - up (fail)
06|00630|02:57.0|02:20.5|146.3|23.6|160.1|173.0|09.0 - up
07|00681|03:03.4|02:14.7|150.1|25.2|154.6|168.0|08.8 - dwn
08|00663|03:02.2|02:17.4|134.6|24.7|164.9|174.0|08.9 - dwn
09|00641|02:54.3|02:15.9|149.3|24.4|168.1|177.0|09.1 - dwn
10|00597|02:52.4|02:24.4|146.8|25.1|158.7|171.0|08.3 - up
11|00586|02:47.6|02:23.0|155.2|25.1|167.1|178.0|08.4 - up
12|00631|02:58.1|02:21.1|155.8|24.9|160.7|175.0|08.5 - up

Friday, 7 Sept: 70′ steady state with bumps

In this session, I wanted to keep the overall intensity low to moderate, but I wanted to do 20 stroke bursts at as high of a stroke as I could while maintaining reasonably clean stroke work.

As I went along, I found it easier to get the rate up into the mid thirties.  In one rep, I was really feeling it.  I was finishing so clean that I was keeping my blades off the water on the very brief recoveries.  I could feel the boat settle in the drive and pop in the recovery.  I loved it!  It’s fun to go fast.

         Workout Summary - media/20180907-1225290o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|13765|75:57.0|02:45.5|109.3|20.2|141.9|170.0|09.0
W-|01801|07:23.0|02:03.2|212.8|32.5|153.8|166.0|07.5
R-|11973|68:34.0|02:51.8|098.2|18.9|140.6|166.0|08.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00149|00:37.4|02:05.8|206.9|28.8|146.9|155.0|08.3
02|00156|00:41.3|02:12.2|203.3|28.9|150.7|158.0|07.8
03|00156|00:38.4|02:03.4|228.1|31.2|156.9|164.0|07.8
04|00167|00:40.7|02:02.1|205.3|30.8|150.8|157.0|08.0
05|00151|00:37.4|02:04.2|215.5|32.3|156.9|162.0|07.5
06|00137|00:33.5|02:02.5|242.6|34.3|154.6|162.0|07.1
07|00151|00:38.3|02:06.7|206.0|31.4|152.7|158.0|07.5
08|00136|00:33.4|02:03.0|185.8|34.1|156.5|163.0|07.1
09|00142|00:34.4|02:01.0|226.4|35.0|159.1|166.0|07.1
10|00136|00:31.4|01:55.4|237.2|36.3|148.5|158.0|07.2
11|00157|00:38.2|02:01.4|190.5|33.1|153.7|163.0|07.5
12|00165|00:39.6|02:00.1|212.7|34.8|158.1|166.0|07.2

Saturday:  Attempted 10K Threshold

Down on the Cape.  I was hoping to do my threshold session as a coastal row, but the weather was a bit windy, forcing me inside to do it on the erg (on slides).  The plan wanted a 40′ threshold piece, so I decided on a 10K.

I started with the a 2K warm up.

Then into the main event.  I thought I should be able to do it at a split of 1:58, so of course I set off at 1:57.  Turns out, 2:00 would have been a better choice.  I blew up just after 6K.

I took a few paddle strokes and then got going again at about a 2:02 pace. I sped up a bit towards the end, but it was a pretty ugly showing.

          Workout Summary - media/20180908-2250280o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|10000|39:36.0|01:58.8|209.3|25.7|167.7|182.0|09.8
W-|10000|39:37.0|01:58.9|209.3|25.7|167.7|182.0|09.8
R-|00000|00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|182.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01000|03:51.4|01:55.7|221.1|25.4|142.2|154.0|10.2
01|01000|03:53.6|01:56.8|219.8|25.7|160.0|162.0|10.0
02|01000|03:55.3|01:57.6|215.0|25.4|163.6|166.0|10.0
03|01000|03:55.2|01:57.6|215.5|25.6|167.0|169.0|10.0
04|01000|03:55.5|01:57.7|214.5|25.6|170.3|172.0|10.0
05|01000|03:56.8|01:58.4|211.2|25.9|172.6|174.0|09.8
06|01000|04:11.3|02:05.6|185.1|24.9|168.6|174.0|09.6 - boom!
07|01000|04:01.3|02:00.6|199.4|24.9|174.0|177.0|10.0
08|01000|04:02.4|02:01.2|196.7|25.1|177.2|179.0|09.9
09|01000|03:54.5|01:57.3|217.3|28.3|180.6|182.0|09.0

Good training effect anyway.  I’m interested to see how this piece goes on a static erg to get an idea of how much I suffer on slides.

Sunday, 9 September: 3 x 20’/2′ dynamic

So nice and cool!  I decided to observe a strict 150 bpm max HR because I wanted to recover from the nasty 10k attempt the day before.  It turned out to be a really nice session.  Unfortunately, the painsled session data got blown away somehow.  But in any case, it was about a 2:08 pace, which is pretty good for a low HR cap on the dynamic.

It was one of those sessions where I felt better after I finished than when I started.

Monday, 10 September: 4 x 2k OTW

This is the real pinnacle of the weekly training plan.  The long intervals.  They end up being very close to head race pace and by the last one you are feeling the effects.

Today the weather was cool again, and there was a bit of a breeze.  A headwind heading down river.

My plan for the session was to aim at 25 or 26 strokes per minute and try to work on smooth strokes and clean finishes.  I am trying to lighten up the first part of the drive.  I feel like it went very well today.

         Workout Summary - media/20180910-1255340o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|12201|71:36.0|02:56.1|111.7|23.6|140.5|174.0|07.2
W-|07930|35:55.0|02:15.9|164.8|26.0|160.4|174.0|08.5
R-|04276|35:40.0|04:10.3|058.3|21.2|120.5|174.0|06.8
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|01966|09:02.4|02:18.0|164.8|25.5|156.5|167.0|08.5 - up
02|01987|08:54.2|02:14.4|166.3|26.0|160.6|171.0|08.6 - dwn
03|01969|08:59.0|02:16.9|163.3|26.7|162.0|174.0|08.2 - up
04|02008|08:59.9|02:14.4|164.8|25.9|162.5|173.0|08.6 - dwn

Notice the consistency of power between up and down wind pieces.  That’s what I was hoping to do.  As for the low HR, that’s pretty cool.  It still felt really hard.

Comparing the stroke profiles to the last time I did this session.  There isn’t a lot of difference, but the peak angle did move later by a couple of degrees.

After my row this morning, I drove straight to the airport.  I showered at the Admiral’s Club and made my 10:30 flight with time to spare.

Now I am on a plane out to San Diego.  I am planning to do a steady state session at DelMar crossfit tomorrow morning.  Then I think my streak gets broken.  I fly early morning up to San Jose and I have meetings all day, and a business dinner at night.  I’m not sure if I will have time on Thursday before I fly home.

I track my overall training load in Strava and it was pretty depressing looking at it recently.  But with the string of sessions I’ve put together, things are definitely picking up.  I’m nearly to the level I was last January.

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 3.51.22 PM

I should probably do a 20 minute test on a static erg to see where I stand.

It’s a pity that I have a trip to the Philippines and Japan coming up next week.  That should screw things up pretty well.

 

 

Side Video

These are video snippets from a session done on July 11, 2018.

Things I know

  • I’m overweight
  • My aerobic fitness isn’t as good as I want it to be.
  • I still break my knees too early

The first 5 videos are of drills that I did:

Delayed Feather:

King of the Mountain:

Half Slide:

Open Hands on Recovery

Pause at Body over

 

Then a couple of steady state rowing

3 minutes of r20

A quick rate ladder from r18 to r24

 

Gentle comments welcome!

6/4 – 6/6: Finally back rowing!

Monday – 6/4 – Drills and Steady State

By Monday morning, I had normal range of movement and very little pain in my back.  I decided to do an easy session to test it out a little bit.

I have a new workout plan, but based on the long layoff that I had, I decided to take a week and focus mostly on steady state and drills to get back into the program and avoid risking injury or disappointment.

Today, the plan was to row for an hour and at each turn, stop and do about 10 reps of the King of the Mountain drill.  The longer than normal breaks between segments is me doing the drills.  Weird HR dropout during the second interval.

It was a grey and windy morning.  I was slow and my power values were really low.  I am wondering (hoping) if I have a calibration issue.

Workout Summary - media/20180604-1615230o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|12342|72:16.0|02:55.7|115.3|18.7|128.4|162.0|09.1
W-|11692|59:12.0|02:31.9|124.9|18.3|134.5|162.0|10.8
R-|00657|13:04.0|09:56.8|071.9|20.3|100.5|162.0|02.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00782|03:58.0|02:32.2|120.0|18.6|109.6|139.0|10.6
02|02900|14:39.0|02:31.5|126.9|18.0|144.8|150.0|11.0
03|02780|14:23.0|02:35.2|118.0|17.3|105.0|152.0|11.2
04|02067|10:27.0|02:31.7|124.3|17.7|143.2|152.0|11.2
05|03163|15:45.0|02:29.4|130.8|19.8|152.4|162.0|10.1

Told you it was slow!

Tuesday – 6/5: Steady state and drills

Basically the same session as monday.  Pushed the pace a little bit harder.  Same deal, 10 reps of the KOM drill x 4 sets.  They are getting a bit easier as I do more of them.  The wind sprung up a bit in the last rep.  Headwind, of course!

          Workout Summary - media/20180605-1425220o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|13918|77:24.0|02:46.9|118.7|18.9|143.7|165.0|09.5
W-|13421|67:18.0|02:30.4|128.9|18.5|148.9|163.0|10.8
R-|00501|10:06.0|10:05.7|051.1|21.7|109.4|163.0|07.8
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|03825|18:41.0|02:26.5|128.0|18.0|141.3|152.0|11.4
02|02889|14:49.0|02:33.8|128.4|17.6|147.6|155.0|11.1
03|02837|13:47.0|02:25.7|128.5|18.4|150.5|157.0|11.2
04|03869|20:01.0|02:35.2|130.4|19.7|155.7|163.0|09.8

Wednesday – 6/6: Starts

I had a 9:30 flight to San Diego, so I had a short time window for a row.  I decided to do a quick session just to start working on my starts.  I started with 5 stroke sets, and then as I got more comfortable, and my “hit rate” improved, I extended them to 10 strokes.

There was a bit of wind and a little bit of chop, but on my sheltered river, I can’t say it caused any of my problems.

The last start was pretty good.  15 strokes at 1:48 pace and 37 spm.

I made my flight with plenty of time.

Skills and Drills

I was back at Newport Sea Base at 5:30am again today.  The chance to row Newport Harbor was too tempting to pass up.

I was back in the quad again.  One of the same guys from yesterday, Barney, was there again.  And the other two guys, Tom and Ryan I just met this morning.  All of these folks seem to be very good rowers.  Ryan was at stroke.  He is a young, tall (6′-8″) and obviously a very talented rower.  It was an incredible treat to row directly behind him and try to match up with what he was doing.  It was also a challenge since he could obviously swing through a much wider arc than I every could dream of.  I only hope that I didn’t screw him or the other guys in the boat up too much as I tried to work on fixing stuff.

Today’s session was all about fixing stuff.  The workout plan was:

  • Standard pick drill by pairs.
  • Wide grip rowing by pairs
  • “Piano Fingers” on recovery by pairs
  • 6′ at r24
  • Leapfrog.  A game played with two boats.  One boat rows at full pressure while the other rows at r20.  When the racing boat clears the bowball of the r20 boat, you swap.  So it turns into a 30 second on 30 second off kind of exercise, but the faster you race, the more rest you get.

How did it go?  Ummmm, mixed, but really useful.  During the pick drill the coach (Kristine), picked up on exactly the same flaw in my rowing that Marlene has asked to focus on fixing as my highest priority.  Specifically, my habit of dropping my shoulders as I approach the catch in an attempt to get more length.  It was awesome to have someone catch me doing it live and offer real time corrections.  In the wide grip rowing, she coached my finish position a bit.  During the steady r24 chunk, there were times that the boat seemed to move really well, and other times where we had trouble with set and synchronization, but it certainly felt better as we went along.  We misunderstood the coaches instructions and we thought we were suppose to do a lap of Lido.  So, we were barreling into the turn when she asked us to stop and head back to the dock because we were out of time.

The leapfrog thing was the highlight of the row.  It was fantastic to really drive the boat, and just like the r24 chunk, things were really shaggy in the first couple of full power sets.  My catches and finishes were sloppy and my posture was terrible.  I managed to get a bit better control of myself for the last couple and the boat felt a lot better to me.  I would have loved to play that game for a much longer time.  It was a great way to focus on taking good strokes at race pressure within really burying yourself.

 

The view from the map actually gives you a good idea about what rowing in Newport is like.  The shore line is slips and beaches.  And on the outside of Lido Island, There are boats in slips along the shore and boats moored in the channel as well.  And most of these boats, or should I say “yachts” are immense!  Huge, fancy, beautiful, expensive boats.  I was certainly glad that I didn’t have to steer.

Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 6.12.28 PM

In terms of a workout, it was a very light session.

Now I am on my way back home.  I will get back to my regularly scheduled sessions tomorrow with 60 to 80 minutes of speedplay in my single.

 

Tuesday: 4 x 20′ / 1′

 

You might be noticing a trend by now.  I’m looking at it as a rebuilding period.  In this period I have a few goals

  • Get competent medical advice about lower back pain and fix any issues with flexibility or imbalances.  This includes stretches and exercises
  • Get competent coaching to improve my rowing form for better efficiency and injury prevention.  This includes drills.
  • Rebuild my base aerobic fitness by doing lots of easy rowing

Today, I got to work on all three.

I started by doing my normal pre-rowing routine.

  • 10 SI exercises on  my left leg
  • foam roll my quads
  • use a lacrosse ball to get after trigger points around the front of my hips and pelvis
  • 2 x 40 sec glute bridges on an exercise ball
  • 4 x 10sec torso twists

After that, I did a couple of drills that were recommended to try to improve my posture at the finish.  Here are links to the drills.

Since I wanted to review it after, I taped my attempt at doing it and took a few easy strokes afterward trying to maintain the posture.

I found the drill to be very useful.  I was able to remember what the position felt like and try to hold it during the row.  By sitting the erg next to a mirror and looking at the hands back position, and then a proper finish position, I was get that picture in my mind and then look every once in a while during the row.

After that, I did my 4 x 20.  Today, I started off aiming at 175W, but HR was really high, so I backed off slightly to try to keep it under 150.  Remarkably, just a few watts was enough to do that.  I did a lactate test at the end, and it read 5.3, which I thought had to be a mistake.  I retook it and it was 3.0.  Still much higher than I would have expected, but at least plausible. Rowing while focusing so much on posture was a lot harder and felt very unnatural.  I imagine it will take weeks to start feeling natural.  I think next time I will stick at this 170W-175W range.

         Workout Summary - media/20171114-2005300o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|19314|84:00.0|02:10.5|169.2|18.2|145.2|153.0|12.6
W-|18926|80:00.0|02:06.8|171.8|18.2|145.2|153.0|13.0
R-|00392|04:00.0|05:05.7|096.1|19.6|144.4|153.0|02.3
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|04753|20:00.0|02:06.2|174.3|17.8|141.2|148.0|13.3
01|04725|20:00.0|02:07.0|171.3|18.1|145.2|148.0|13.0
02|04730|20:00.0|02:06.8|171.7|18.2|145.7|151.0|13.0
03|04718|20:00.0|02:07.2|169.7|18.6|148.7|153.0|12.7 - 3.0

Lactate Log

Tomorrow:  I’m getting tired of all this base building, I need a little bit of intensity, so I think I will return to an old classic, 8×500.  Pace target around 1:45.

 

Monday: 16K Steady State OTW

Up at 5:15am, having gotten very little sleep.  Gotta get back into this timezone somehow.

Off to Newton for my first OTW session since July 20th!  I decided that a steady state session to just get some meters in the boat.

Plan:

  • row for about 80 minutes
  • short <1′ breaks at the turn arounds for a quick drink.
  • r20
  • pace target ~2:30
  • HR cap: 155

Weather was cloudy, 70F and 90% RH.  Another recipe for copious perspiration.  There was a light wind 2-4mph from the east.  This was roughly a head wind heading down river and tail wind going up river.

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 1.15.09 PM

I used RIM today to see what’s happening with my stroke.  Here are plots of a few strokes with a light headwind (purple) and tailwind (yellow)

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 5.26.47 PM

Not much to see at these rates really.  At least it doesn’t look like I am lurging at the catch, like I used to do.

Heart rate was high and speed was slow, as I would expect after so long out of a boat.  I tried to easy up when my HR got above 155, but it got harder and harder as I went along to row that slowly.  Finally after about 12.5K, I decided to transition over to some form drills, so I finsihed with a few 500m sets of SBR and alternating SBR and feathered rowing.  This felt pretty good and I was happy that my balance seemed no worse for the layoff.

Start_|_Dist_|_Split_|_Pace_|_Strks__|_Rate_|_DPS_|_AvgHR_|_Remarks
00020_|_1072_|_05:32_|_2:34.6_|_108___|_19.5_|_09.9_|_133___|_warmup
01087_|_2765_|_13:42_|_2:28.7_|_274___|_20.0_|_10.1_|_153___|_head wind
03852_|_3091_|_15:17_|_2:28.4_|_298___|_19.5_|_10.4_|_152___|_tail wind
06943_|_2698_|_13:48_|_2:33.4_|_273___|_19.8_|_09.9_|_154___|_head wind
09641_|_2890_|_14:33_|_2:31.1_|_282___|_19.4_|_10.2_|_152___|_tail wind
12531_|_3407_|_18:21_|_2:41.6_|_330___|_18.0_|_10.3_|_148___|_drills

Dist__|_Time__|_Pace___|_Strks_|_SPM__|_DPS__|_AvgHR_|_Remarks
01072_|_05:32_|_2:34.6_|_108___|_19.5_|_09.9_|_133___|_warmup
11444_|_57:21_|_2:30.3_|_1127___|_19.7_|_10.2_|_153___|_Main set
03407_|_18:21_|_2:41.6_|_330___|_18.0_|_10.3_|_148___|_cool down
15923_|_21:13_|_2:33.0_|_1565___|_19.3_|_10.2_|_150___|_Total

So, not a bad return to the water.  Still working on endurance base.

Tomorrow:  4 x 2700’/4′ rest @ 24-26spm  (threshold)