3/24 – 3/28: Back on the Water!

Sunday – 3/24 – 3 x 20′ / 2′

On slides, in my basement.  It felt so easy that I ramped up the stroke counts in each section.  Looks like something is behaving badly between PM5 and painsled, there a lot of dropped strokes.

But look at nice low heart rate!

Monday – 3/25 – On the water!  Just rowing

I rowed down to the dam, and then turned around and did the impeller cal so I could switch over the speedcoach to use that.  (The gps data seemed to go a little nutty during that)

Then I rowed back and went way up into the cove.  When I turned around, I saw a guy I know in his back yard chasing away the geese with a homemade slingshot!  I stopped for a chat.  He keeps a bunch of shells in his back yard and last fall, a tree destroyed 3 of them.  Then I rowed about halfway back to the dam.  When I came out of the s-turn, I ran into the headwind.  It wasn’t so bad, but it seemed like a lot of work at the time, so I turned around a rowed home.

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 5.48.18 PM

As I expected my form was sloppy and my pace was slow, but I was so happy to be back on the water.

Tuesday – 3/26 – The Murray Sprint workout

I don’t know if anyone is following Eric Murray on YouTube, but I have to say it’s pretty amazing.  He is posting a new workout almost every day and the videos are great!  He describes the workout and then he does the full session on camera.  How often do you get to see a former gold medalist training in his sport!  It’s awesome to see him laying down these incredible splits.  It’s also fantastic to see him in a pretty ruined state at the end of session.  This workout is a great example of both.  It’s a sprinting workout and if I cued it right, you should be right at the end of the last 2 minute race pace interval.  He put a fair amount of work into it!

I was pressed for time on Tuesday, but I wanted to get a hard session in.  I decided to give his workout a try.  The workout as designed was

  • 1′ @ 30 / 1′ rest
  • 2′ @ 30 / 2′ rest
  • 1′ @ 32 / 1′ rest
  • 2′ @ 32 / 2′ rest
  • 1′ @ 34 / 1′ rest
  • 2′ @ 34 / 2′ rest
  • 1′ @ 36 / 1′ rest
  • 2′ @ 36 / 2′ rest

As a feeble old master rower, I scaled back the rate to 32 to match my most likely 2k race rate for the last segments.

I did a quick 2k warm up.

Then I started up with my 26 spm intervals.  I settled on a pace of 1:46ish, then for each interval, I tried to pull down the pace by 2 seconds.  I held on OK until the last interval, but I couldn’t hold the target 1:40 pace and needed to back off a smidge.  I also wasn’t able to keep the rate up at 32.  I kept falling back to 31 or even 30, just because I guess I haven’t practiced these rates much.

I was sweating for 30  minutes after I finished.  This workout was hard!

Wednesday – 3/27 – 3 x 20’/2′

Done at work on a static erg.

Heart rate really high. really tired.  I backed off to the easiest stroke counts and just piled up some slow mo meters.

Thursday – 3/28 – 4 x 2k / 5′ OTW!

It is still cold, about 28F when I launched this morning, but it was clear and sunny.  There was just a little bit of wind and the water was nice a flat.  I have decided to try to stick to a basic training plan on the water alternating hard and easy sessions and following the WP template for three types of hard workouts.  Today, it was time for an L2 and the 4x2k is definitely the classic!

I also set myself up to use Quiske today.  That was really interesting to look at when I was getting tired at the end of each interval and I would start going much deeper at the catch.

I rowed out to the little island at the start of the 2k stretch (with the s-turn in the middle).  I marked on the map below with the green lines.  And set out.  I decided to start at 24 spm, since I’m rusty, and then let the rate rise if I felt inspired to do that later.

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 6.16.11 PM.png

That was suitably hard work.  Tomorrow morning I’m heading out to Lake Quinsigamond to show a high school coach how to get Quiske setup.  Hopefully I can get in a row as well.

 

3/18 – 3/23: A week in China

Monday – 3/18: No Training

My Birthday.  I got up at 5:15 to catch a 8am flight from Boston to Newark.  Then a flight from Newark to Shanghai.  Might be the least enjoyable way to spend a birthday.  The most entertaining thing about my birthday was almost flying over the north pole.

Screen Shot 2019-03-24 at 11.34.30 AM

Our highest latitude was 82.39deg, which put us about 525 miles from the north pole.

The direction of travel also meant that this was my shortest birthday ever.  By my estimate, since we were flying east, my birthday was about 18 hours long when I crossed over the time zone into Tuesday.

So, that’ my excuse for not training.  The day was too short.

Tuesday – 19 March: No Training

I arrived in Shanghai at 2pm on Tuesday afternoon.  I went to the hotel, took a nap for an hour, and then went to dinner.

Wednesday – 20 March: 3 x 20’/2′ L4 – Static

I love this Hotel!  They have good restaurants.  It is adjacent to a mall.  You can walk to the exhibition site where the conference was, and since they have a microbrewery, they leave a couple of personalized beers for you in your room.

2019-03-21 07.20.03

Most importantly they have an amazing fitness center, complete with two rowing machines.  Unfortunately, they have neglected the maintenance on the rowing machines since I was last at the hotel.  One of the machines had chain slip, that’s where the chain slips over a couple of teeth on the gear during some pulls.  And both machines had a drag factor under 90 with the damper at 10, they must have been really dirty inside the fan assembly.

The erg with chain slip was unusable, but the other one was perfectly fine.  I just had to get used to rowing with extremely low drag.  I think it was probably good for a change.  I found it a bit more work to hit my splits at such lower drag, but it was doable.

I knew the hotel had the rowing machines, so I even brought my luxurious butt pad!

I was working with a PM4, so no fancy stroke data, but thanks to the apple watch, I get HR data.  Thanks to RunGap, that data can get to Strava.  And thanks to rowsandall, I can import that data.

bokeh_plot - 2019-03-24T115739.065.png

2019-03-21 06.40.50

Thursday – 8 x 500 / 3’30” L1 – Static

I was not sure how well an L1 workout would go with such a low drag factor, add in jet lag and a few drinks the night before and you have a recipe for underperformance.  I set a conservative 1:43 target and off I went.

I started with a 2000m warmup.  It was a challenge to get down below 1:40 in the bursts.

The actual 8×500 was pretty fun.  The first 20 strokes are always fun.  The next 10 start to bite.  Then you have only about 22 strokes to the finish.

The apple watch struggled a bit more with the higher stroke rates

bokeh_plot - 2019-03-24T120622.485

2019-03-21 06.40.19

I was happy with the last rep.

Friday – March 22: 3 x 20’/2′ L4 – static

More of the same.  Higher HR than I like to see, but not a big deal.

bokeh_plot - 2019-03-24T121140.349

2019-03-22 07.09.53

Saturday – March 23: 5 x 1500’/5′ L2 – Static

He’s quick summary of my Friday night.

2019-03-22 23.52.53

There were four of us, and it was all in support of a good cause.

I felt a little dehydrated on Saturday morning, but after a bottle of water, none the worse for wear.  The schedule demanded an L2 workout, but between my less than stellar nutrition plan, and the slickest erg in the east, I wasn’t sure how well it would go.  I opted for the 5×1500, since it’s the easiest of the L2s.  I took the first 1500 rep as a warmup and added some more warmup strokes in the 5 minute rest after that.

I decided anything faster than 1:55 would do.  Getting into the first rep, I felt like I could go a bit faster, so I did.  I ended up with an average pace of 1:49.5, which I was delighted with.

bokeh_plot - 2019-03-24T121907.025

2019-03-23 07.15.04

After my workout, I enjoyed a heart breakfast and headed off to the airport.  At noon, I flew to Narita, and then caught the direct from there to Boston, arriving at 6pm local time.

That might be my best set of on the road training sessions.

Later today:  3 or 4 x 20′ L4

Tomorrow:  Hopefully my first OTW session of the season.

 

3/13 – 3/14: Nine days straight!

Today was the ninth day in a row that I have trained on the erg.  I think it’s my longest streak in a pretty long time and it’s making me pretty happy.  I’ve got 3 more days before I head off to China, so I’ll be trying to keep the streak alive.

I am actually a big believer in the general rule of taking a rest day every 6 days, but I had a couple of rest days before this streak and I will have a lot of trouble fitting sessions around my work in China, so I am OK with pushing it a bit.

Wednesday – 3/13 – 3 x 20’/2′ L4 (static)

Bread and butter.  Felt kind of hard.  I was actually having a bit of trouble rowing lightly enough at r16 to get down to 160W.   I think that helped overcook the session.  Still it was pretty enjoyable.

       Workout Summary - media/20190313-1245450o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|15047|66:00.0|02:11.6|169.0|17.2|146.1|168.0|13.3
W-|14441|60:00.0|02:04.6|181.4|17.3|146.5|167.0|13.9
R-|00613|06:00.0|04:53.6|044.5|16.0|142.1|167.0|09.8
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|02398|10:00.0|02:05.1|178.1|16.8|131.2|145.0|14.3
01|02405|10:00.0|02:04.8|180.3|17.3|144.0|147.0|13.9
02|02389|10:00.0|02:05.6|177.9|16.8|142.9|150.0|14.2
03|02412|10:00.0|02:04.4|182.1|17.4|152.5|157.0|13.8
04|02407|10:00.0|02:04.6|183.4|17.4|150.9|160.0|13.9
05|02430|10:00.0|02:03.5|186.9|18.1|157.3|167.0|13.4

 

Thursday – 3/14 – 4 x 2000 / 5′ L2 (static)

I felt pretty worried going into this session.  I have a reasonable history of L2 sessions now, so I had a good idea of achievable pace, but I knew it was going to have to be willing to endure some discomfort to hit the target.

My history.

  • 1 Feb – Waterfall – 1:52.4 (static)
  • 9 Feb – 4 x 2k – 1:51.6 (slides)
  • 15 Feb – 5 x 1500 – 1:49.2 (static)
  • 9 March – Waterfall – 1:51.1 (slides)

So, my target for today should have been 1:51, but I wanted to shoot for 1:50.  It’s such a nice number.

I programmed the PM for 2k reps and 5 minute rests.  I did the first rep as a warmup.

Isn’t that the prettiest thing?  Nice warmup.  I extended the last burst to about 60 strokes, which got me a bit sweatier and I think that helped.

The first rep was a breeze.  I am noticing that my watts per stroke is going up a bit, must be all those L4s.  Here is a comparison of 4 L2 workouts.  I have 2 waterfalls, a 5 x 1500 and todays 4x2k.  Notice the way that my power per stroke was fading in later reps in the other three workouts, but today (purple) was a much steadier performance.

bokeh_plot (78)

In terms of intensity, I think it was right in the zone.  I passed 95% of HRR max right at the end of the last interval.  I guess I could have pushed a little bit harder, but it felt great to be in control through the whole session/

Average pace 1:49.7 for the 4 work reps.  Yes!  That makes me happy.

Tomorrow:  3 x 20’/2′ L4

 

 

Working hard – 2/28 to 3/9

Thursday – Feb 28 – Inclined march / recumbent cycle

30 minutes each

Treadmill on 15% grade.  3.2 mph

Screen Shot 2019-03-09 at 7.28.53 PM.png

Recumbent cycle.  Random on level 15.

Screen Shot 2019-03-09 at 7.30.20 PM

Friday – March 1 – 3 x 20′ / 2′ L4 on slides

I love doing these on slides.

       Workout Summary - media/20190301-1855360o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|15349|65:59.0|02:09.0|166.8|18.9|142.4|164.0|12.3
W-|14321|59:21.0|02:04.3|179.2|19.3|143.3|163.0|12.5
R-|01033|06:00.0|02:54.3|057.1|16.2|135.0|163.0|09.4
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|02355|09:44.7|02:04.2|175.0|18.8|126.4|137.0|12.8
01|02302|09:36.7|02:05.3|178.0|19.0|140.1|145.0|12.6
02|02423|10:00.0|02:03.8|177.9|19.1|140.9|147.0|12.7
03|02407|10:00.0|02:04.6|180.6|19.5|151.0|156.0|12.3
04|02410|10:00.0|02:04.5|181.7|19.5|147.8|157.0|12.4
05|02423|10:00.0|02:03.8|181.8|19.5|153.3|163.0|12.4

Saturday – March 2 – 4 x 18 / 2′ L4 on Slides

Even more fun. 6′ ladders.  18/20/22.

       Workout Summary - media/20190302-2045370o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|18333|79:59.0|02:10.9|165.9|19.3|139.4|158.0|11.8
W-|17193|71:51.0|02:05.4|178.9|19.3|140.1|158.0|12.4
R-|01147|08:00.0|03:29.3|051.1|19.4|133.1|158.0|08.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01450|06:00.0|02:04.1|180.9|19.0|119.0|134.0|12.7
01|01422|06:00.0|02:06.6|180.9|19.2|133.1|140.0|12.3
02|01440|06:00.0|02:05.0|179.4|19.3|140.0|144.0|12.5
03|01432|06:00.0|02:05.7|179.1|19.4|130.8|141.0|12.3
04|01407|05:52.4|02:05.2|178.7|19.3|141.1|148.0|12.4
05|01470|06:07.6|02:05.0|178.8|19.4|145.3|151.0|12.3
06|01432|06:00.0|02:05.7|179.7|19.6|136.9|150.0|12.2
07|01437|06:00.0|02:05.2|178.3|19.4|146.5|150.0|12.4
08|01400|05:51.6|02:05.6|177.0|19.3|147.6|153.0|12.4
09|01429|06:00.0|02:05.9|177.5|19.3|139.1|151.0|12.3
10|01436|06:00.0|02:05.3|177.8|19.3|149.6|156.0|12.4
11|01436|06:00.0|02:05.3|178.3|19.5|152.0|158.0|12.3

Sunday – March 3 – No Training

I flew out to San Jose (again) for another customer meeting on Monday.

Monday – March 4 – Fitness Center

30 minutes inclined march.  Felt tired.  Needed to slow it to 2.8 mph (from 3.0) and HR was still quite high.

Screen Shot 2019-03-09 at 7.39.33 PM

Recumbent cycle.  random. level 15

Screen Shot 2019-03-09 at 7.40.45 PM

Tuesday – March 5 – No Training

I caught a flight at 6 am, got home around 7pm.

Wednesday – March 6 – 3 x 20′ / 2′ L4 (static)

Not as lovely as doing it on slide, but still pretty relaxed.

       Workout Summary - media/20190306-1345400o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|15207|66:00.0|02:10.2|169.4|17.0|139.1|159.0|13.6
W-|14468|60:00.0|02:04.4|181.9|17.4|139.9|159.0|13.9
R-|00744|06:00.0|04:02.0|044.7|12.9|131.1|159.0|09.6
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|02395|10:00.0|02:05.3|177.3|16.8|124.1|136.0|14.2
01|02404|10:00.0|02:04.8|180.4|17.1|138.6|142.0|14.1
02|02401|10:00.0|02:04.9|179.1|17.2|136.3|144.0|14.0
03|02419|10:00.0|02:04.0|184.0|17.6|147.8|153.0|13.7
04|02416|10:00.0|02:04.2|183.6|17.4|144.2|152.0|13.9
05|02433|10:00.0|02:03.3|187.3|18.2|148.4|159.0|13.4

Thursday – March 7 – 4 x 1000m / 5′ L1 (static)

Back to the real workouts.  Here’s my L1 History

  • 30 Jan – 4 x 1k – 1:47.7 (static)
  • 4 Feb – Pyramid – 1:42.0 (static)
  • 11 Feb – 8 x 500 – 1:39.7 (static)

So, there’s a 4 week gap in doing an L1 because of vacation and business travel.  That’s not very good.  So, what should I aim for on the 4x1k?  It’s the hardest of the L1 workouts, and I am usually slower on it.  I decided to aim for 1:45 and see if I could push it faster as I went.

I started with a 2k warmup.  Hitting sub-1:45 felt really good.  I was aiming at r28 and the strokes felt nice and light.

Then the fun began.

Boom!  I was thrilled.  Negative splits.  An average of 1:43.8 and a nice faster last.  I felt in control in every rep.  I got a bit of a lactate rush after  each interval, kind of a wave of nausea and shiver, but I felt OK after about a minute of the rest.  I walked around in a happy haze all day after this.

Friday – March 8 – 3 x 18′ / 2′ L4 (static)

A little pressed for time because I had an 8:30 meeting to get to.

6′ rate ladders. 16/18/20.

An absolute joy.

Saturday – March 9 – Waterfall L2 (slides)

My L2 History:

  • 1 Feb – Waterfall – 1:52.4 (static)
  • 9 Feb – 4 x 2k – 1:51.6 (slides)
  • 15 Feb – 5 x 1500 – 1:49.2 (static)

So another gap of almost a month.  Today, I was doing the waterfall on slides.  I decided to try for the ambitious target of 1:50.  The waterfall tends to be a bit slower than the 4 x 2k, and the slides tends to be slower than static for me, but I guess I was feeling a bit cocky after the 4x1k.  It didn’t go that great, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The warmup.  2k with bursts at sub-1:50 trying to get the feel for 1:50 and r28 on slides.  It felt a bit heavy.

bokeh_plot (75).png

Then the main event.  I managed to hold the target split for the first rep, but it was massively hard.  I got about 500m into the second rep and I knew I was cooked.  I broke form for a stroke and retargetted at about 1:54 for a little bit to get back in control, then through the last 500m, I sped up a little.  The last rep was another struggle, but I managed to hold on to a 1:52 split and managed a tiny sprint at the end.  It was hard fought and it was not as fast as I wanted, but it was a good, tough session.

bokeh_plot (76)

Not horrible, I ended up with a 1:51.9 pace.  And every single rep ended with my HR above 95% of HRR.

Tomorrow:  I owe myself an L3.  I’ll see how I feel, and maybe I’ll do a 15×3’/1′

 

Hard 10K and 4 x 2K

Tuesday:

I already posted about my session on Tuesday morning, but on Tuesday night, I did something fun.  My wife’s niece play Hockey for Northeastern.  Northeastern is a legit women’s hockey powerhouse.  They are ranked third in the NCAA division one.  They have an olympian on the team.  Anyway, we went to see her team play in the first round of the Women’s Beanpot, a hockey competition between the 4 powerhouse schools in Boston (BU, BC, Northeastern and Harvard).  They were playing BU and it was an incredible game.  The quality of play was very high and my niece in law played well getting an assist and a ton of shots.  She was very bummed that she didn’t get any goals.  The game ended in a tie and was settled in a shoot out, with BU coming out on top.

Here’s a picture of her right after she scored the winning goal in overtime against BC in a game earlier this year.

mia.png

Wednesday:  No Training

I had scheduled a plumber to come fix a problem with a sink Wed morning and he blew me off.  Supposed to show up at 8:30 and didn’t.  I called to follow up and found out he wouldn’t get to the house until at least 10.  I gave up rescheduled and headed to work.

I hoped to find time during the day to workout, but no luck.

Thursday: Hard 10K – L3

I had limited time because I had an 8 am meeting.  I was scheduled to do the 10K on Wednesday and then an L4 endurance session on Thursday.  With the short window, the 10K fit in better, and is a higher training priority so I did that.

No time for a warmup, so I just settled right in and went for it.  Last time I did a 10K, I fell apart at the end.  The cause was butt pain, lack of fitness and lack of toughness.  On Thursday, I was hoping to address the butt pain and the toughness.  Fitness is what it is.

For the butt pain, I have made an investment.  The Citius Remex.  The world’s most expensive butt pad.  Endorsed by Eskild Ebbesen.  I imagine that elite rowers must treat their behinds with the care that a violinist lavishes upon their hands, or a dancer on their legs.  My wife has heaped ridicule upon me for buying this gold plated butt pad, but it will all be worth it if it solves my problems.

There is actually a theory behind this butt pad and it make some sense to me.  The seat on the C2 rower is basically flat and this puts all the stress on your Iscial Tuberosities (aka your sitz bones).  Other butt pads attempt to mitigate this by either cutting out material where the sitz bones are, or by providing cushioning to spread the pressure over a larger area.  But this has potential problems as well.  The edge of the cutouts can cause pressure points (and they did for me) and this can lead to pain.  And a squishy pad can cause problems with circulation on the back of your thighs.  The Citius Remex has a different shape to it.

2019-02-09 14.44.06.jpg

It is designed to spread the pressure between your perinium and your ITs.  A bike seat basically puts all the pressure on your perinium, and the C2 puts all the pressure on your ITs.  This butt pad basically tries to balance the pressure between the two.  It also has three different insert for the middle part so you can “adjust” the balance between support on your perinium and sitz bones.

Anyway, it felt a bit weird at first, but I sat up straighter, was able to keep my knees down better, and my ass hurt a lot less at the end.  So, I am happy to have bought my gold plated butt pad and recommend it for aging rowers with delicate buttocks.

Back to the 10K.  Last time I averaged 1:57.2, but I was holding around 1:56 before I wimped out.  So I decided to try to target 1:56.  I ended up feeling a bit better at 1:55, so I hung in with that.  Around the 7K mark, I began to feel like that might have been a real problem, but I eased up the pace, counted out the strokes from 7k to 8k and held on.

It was a max effort.  I was above 95% of HRR for almost the last 2000m, about 7:30.  A very long time to be on the ragged edge.  So, I am simultaneously happy with the effort that I put in, and sad that it wasn’t faster.  I finished with 38:25.7, a 1:55.2 pace.  I ranked it and it’s 89th percentile.  Trained, I have the potential for 95th percentile performance.  And it’s a long way off of my best 10K (36:33, 1:49.6 pace).  I guess it’s something to shoot for.

        Workout Summary - media/20190207-1245380o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|10000|38:24.0|01:55.2|228.5|24.0|167.5|184.0|10.8
W-|10000|38:24.0|01:55.2|228.5|24.0|167.5|184.0|10.8
R-|00000|00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|184.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01000|03:50.2|01:55.1|226.8|23.7|132.9|151.0|11.0
01|01000|03:49.3|01:54.7|232.0|24.1|154.9|159.0|10.9
02|01000|03:48.6|01:54.3|234.2|24.0|161.6|164.0|10.9
03|01000|03:49.1|01:54.6|232.9|24.0|165.8|169.0|10.9
04|01000|03:49.1|01:54.5|233.0|24.1|171.5|174.0|10.8
05|01000|03:50.0|01:55.0|230.0|24.0|174.2|175.0|10.9
06|01000|03:52.0|01:56.0|224.1|23.8|176.6|177.0|10.8
07|01000|03:53.9|01:57.0|218.9|23.8|177.4|178.0|10.8 - crisis!
08|01000|03:55.0|01:57.5|215.8|23.8|178.9|179.0|10.7
09|01000|03:47.6|01:53.8|237.5|24.8|180.9|184.0|10.6

I logged this as an entry for the rowsandall “Tough Ten” regatta.  And it puts me firmly in ….last place.  bummer.

Friday: No Training

Today was the make up appointment with the Plumber.  He showed up on time, but took my workout window.  I was booked the rest of the day.  In the evening, we headed down to the Cape for the weekend.

Saturday: 4 x 2000m / 5′ on slides – L2

I am trying hard to do the three “hard” workout per week, even if I miss sessions.  Today was the right day to do the L2.  Last week I did the waterfall for an average pace of 1:52.4.  This was on a static erg.  Trying to figure out a target pace, there was a lot to consider.

  • 4 x 2000 is usually a bit faster than waterfall
  • slides are usually a bit slower for me than static
  • I was not feeling super aggressive, but I didn’t want to fail at the workout

So, I decided to start around 1:54 and see what happened.  What happened was that I was able to do a bit better than that.  I did the first 2000 as warmup, then ended up with the first rep coming in right under 7:30 (1:52.3).  I felt pretty good so I pushed the second rep a bit more (1:51.5).  I had a problem in the rest after the second rep.  Somehow I nudged the back of the erg on  the slide and it was scraping.  I only noticed when I started the 3rd rep and the slides were massively misbehaving.  I stopped, worked it out and started up a fresh 2000.  It gave me an extra 1:30 of rest.  The third rep was challenging.  Fatigue was starting to set in, but I wanted to keep it under 7:30, so I pushed hard and finished at 1:51.5 again.  I was worried about the fourth rep.  My legs were feeling a bit empty.  In the first 3 reps, I was aiming at a rate around 27 and trying to pull right on 10 meters per stroke.  I was essentially trying to start the drive right as the distance clicked down to a “0”.  In the last rep, I found that I was having trouble maintaining that and holding the rate around 27.  I struggled through the first 1500m, and then just buckled down to attack the last 500.  I was happy to finish, and even happier that I managed a slight negative split (1:50.9).

I am happy to be back at the wolverine plan.  I just have to keep the targets reasonable and I think this is a good plan to take me into the spring.

Tomorrow:  4 x 20′ / 2′ L4

 

 

 

5 x 1500 / 5′ on Quinsig

An extraordinary morning.  We launched around 5:40am.  The sun wouldn’t be up for another hour, but it was crystal clear and there was a beautiful full moon out so it was way easier to see where we were going.  There was a very light breeze from the west, which is basically a cross wind. It was light enough that the water was just barely rippled.  It was an extraordinary feeling rowing in the dark on perfectly flat water.  I felt like I was flying.

I got the replacement rigger for my fluid on Wednesday, and I spent a hour or so getting it installed yesterday.  It took a bit of work to get the rigging right and I was sure that it was right.  I always worry that I might have missed something.

The plan:

  • 5 x 1500 / 5′ rest
    • rate: 25-28
    • pace: 2:15
    • HR limit: none
    • Technique:  knees together at the catch, limit layback, crisp finishes

I started out with about 1.5K of drills.

  • arms only
  • arms abd back
  • quarter slide
  • pause at finish
  • pause at half slide on recovery

From there, I did about 500m of steady pressure at about r20.

Through this, I was annoyed to see that technology was failing me today.

  • My speedcoach battery was down to one bar
  • My HR sensor seemed to be stuck at 96 bpm
  • My EmPower oarlock wasn’t registering any power or angle readings

I didn’t want to take the time and effort to try to figure out what was wrong, I decided to just do the workout using pace and rate.

I started the first interval right after I got through the narrows.  I was pleased to see the pace drop down to about 2:15 and hang there.  The setup of the boat felt good.  I was well set, and it felt like the boat was accelerating nicely.  After about 60 strokes which was about 500m, I started to notice that it was hard work.  But, the level of effort felt very sustainable.  I continued through another 60 strokes, two thirds done, and I felt even more strongly that the effort level was pretty close to right for a head race.  I finished right as I passed into the cove at the south end of the lake.

I paddled the rest of the way into the cove and turned around.  I hung out and waited for the quad that launched behind me to get there.  I noticed that I was right on 4000m, so I took off for the next interval, heading north.  This one was a little faster.  I guess the cross wind was a bit against me in first one and behind me in this one.  This one stung a bit more, but at the end, I was counting down remaining strokes, I could have kept going.

After the second interval, I rowed a quick loop to make sure that I would have enough lake at the end.  As I looped around, I had to dodge a eight coming north.  I think I spooked the cox a bit.  But this was pretty good because it gave me something to chase for the third interval.

I started this interval about 500m south of the narrows.  I could see the white light on the stern of the 8 and it looked like I was gaining on them.  I passed through the narrows and took a line towards the eastern shore so I would give the 8 enough room.    The rest of the interval, I continued to gain on them and I was about even with them when I hit the end of the interval.

I paddled to the north side of the route 9 bridge and started the fourth interval.  My legs were a bit more tired now, and I noticed that I was rating a bit higher.  I also noticed that 28 felt good.  I didn’t feel rushed or sloppy.  That made me happy.  I was feeling some distress by the end of this interval.  I’m not sure how much further I would have liked to go beyond the end of this one.   The last 200m of this interval took me right in front of the docks of the QRA.  I ended up closer to  them that I like to go because I wasn’t paying close enough attention to my line.   But I got to watch about 40 rowers watching me as I did my last 100m.  It was certainly incentive to keep my finishes clean and not look as gassed as I actually was.

I paddled to the north end of the lake and turned around.  I ended up paddling an extra 100m to get lined up right and started the interval heading south.  It was the fifth interval, so my legs were pretty empty, but I was still able to get down to the target pace.  When I got to the last 500m, I started to bring the rate up and counted through the last 60 strokes. I was glad it was over, but it wasn’t a near death experience.

After this, I looped back to go find the quad.  When I found them, I turned again, and we did a quick 500 piece back toward the dock.

This was a really fantastic workout.

10-6a

10-6b

        Workout Summary - media/20171006-131833-96782o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|14147|84:53.0|03:00.0|000.0|22.1|0.0|000.0|07.5
W-|08293|36:57.0|02:13.7|000.0|26.5|000.0|000.0|08.5
R-|05855|47:56.0|04:05.7|000.0|18.2|000.0|000.0|05.5
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|01547|06:58.0|02:15.1|000.0|24.6|000.0|0.0|09.0 - down lake
02|01543|06:54.9|02:14.5|000.0|26.0|000.0|0.0|08.6 - up lake
03|01541|06:50.0|02:13.0|000.0|27.1|000.0|0.0|08.3 - chasing the 8
04|01540|06:52.2|02:13.8|000.0|27.1|000.0|0.0|08.3 - past QRA
05|01547|06:45.9|02:11.2|000.0|27.9|000.0|0.0|08.2 - heading south
06|00575|02:36.0|02:15.7|000.0|25.5|000.0|0.0|08.7 - bonus piece!

Tomorrow:  Steady State coastal row.

 

Waterfall

Up at 5:15.  In the gym around 7:00AM.

The Plan:

  • 10 minute warmup on the treadmill (15% grade, 3mph)
  • L2 Waterfall
    • 3K / 2.5K / 2K
    • 5′ rest
    • pace target: 1:54
    • rate: 24-26
    • Technique: knees together
    • HR limit: none

I’m trying to warm up off the erg to try to make sure that I don’t take any hard pulls until my back is limbered up.  Today was a brisk walk up a 15% grade.  My HR was still below the bottom of my UT2 range by the time I had gone 10 minutes, but I had broken a sweat.

9-27a

This was right on the edge of my capability.  I eased up a bit in the 1000m to 500m to go in the last two intervals, but just by about a second or so.  It was enough to make it through.  Each interval, I counted strokes from beginning to end.  Between 96 and 100 strokes per 1000m.

        Workout Summary - media/20170927-1235430o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|09056|43:06.0|02:22.8|204.4|24.4|158.7|180.0|08.6
W-|07500|28:02.0|01:52.2|244.5|25.5|163.9|180.0|10.5
R-|01559|15:04.0|04:50.2|057.2|20.7|142.3|180.0|03.1
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|03000|11:10.0|01:51.7|245.9|25.1|156.8|173.0|10.7
01|02500|09:20.5|01:52.1|243.9|25.6|168.3|179.0|10.4
02|02000|07:32.0|01:53.0|243.2|25.9|168.9|180.0|10.2

Tomorrow:  steady state 4 x 15

 

4 x 2K / 5′ – on the erg – Back at it

When my alarm went off at 5:15 this morning, I felt very tired.  I walked downstairs, thought about it for a minute, and then went back to bed for another 2 hours.  I got up at 7:30 and felt much better.

As I drove to work, the weather was fine, but a bit windy.  It would have been perfectly rowable, but I was glad to get the additional sleep.

My new plan was to do the workout at the end of the day on the erg.  Because I have missed just about a full month of serious training, both technique and fitness need attention.  Today I wanted to focus on fitness.

I haven’t done this workout since 9/16/2016, just over a year ago.  This winter and spring, I was using the Eddie Fletcher Marathon training plan and haven’t been doing the normal interval work at all.

I point out all of that basically to say that I had very low expectations, and I didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew.  So, I decided to pick a conservative pace target.

The Plan:

  • 4 x 2000 / 5′ rest
  • pace target: 1:55 or faster
  • rate target:  1st: 24, 2nd 25, 3rd 26, 4th: no target
  • HR limits: none
  • Technique:  Focus on keeping my knees together at Head race stroke rates

myimage (8)

        Workout Summary - media/20170921-2215550o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|13292|63:15.0|02:22.8|189.4|23.2|152.6|179.0|09.1
W-|10000|38:14.0|01:54.7|232.6|24.4|159.1|179.0|10.8
R-|03295|25:01.0|03:48.0|074.7|20.0|136.8|179.0|03.8
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|02000|07:55.7|01:58.9|209.5|22.0|138.6|157.0|11.4
01|02000|07:36.8|01:54.2|234.6|23.9|158.0|169.0|11.0
02|02000|07:36.7|01:54.2|236.9|24.6|163.1|174.0|10.7
03|02000|07:29.9|01:52.5|246.0|26.0|167.7|179.0|10.2
04|02000|07:35.0|01:53.8|237.5|25.4|169.4|179.0|10.4

That was hard work.  I managed an average pace of 1:53.7.  Under “normal” circumstances, I would consider this a massive fail.  But given that I am coming back from an injury layoff, and going by the HRs, I was working very hard.  Mostly I was really happy about sticking with it in the later reps and I walked a bit taller walking away from the erg.

Tomorrow:  OTW steady state.  Focus on technique.

Saturday: L2 Waterfall 1x

Friday:  We came back from the Cape Thursday evening.  Friday, I had an appointment with the eye doctor, and I had a lot of running around to do to take care of some car maintenance.  I never got around to working out.  Part of it was dreading a session on the dynamic erg.  I need to get rid of that thing.

So, it was a rest day.

Saturday:  We were up late, so I decided to sleep in a little instead of rowing out in Worcester.  I got up around 8:30 and decided to go row in Newton in my neglected Fluid.

It was a hot, humid morning.  Overcast with very little wind.

Plan:

  • L2 – Waterfall (3000, 2500, 2000)
  • ~5′ rest
  • Stroke rate target: 25 spm
  • Pace target: 2:15

I was bummed out that I couldn’t find my speedcoach in my rowing bag.  I’m wondering if I forgot it down the cape.

So, I just had RIM in the boat.  So, basically, just a way to see the start and end of each interval, the stroke rate, and a very rough idea of pace.

8-19a.png

8-19b

        Workout Summary - media/20170819-160532-93720o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|13579|77:47.0|02:51.9|000.0|21.4|149.6|182.0|08.2
W-|07500|32:56.0|02:11.8|000.0|25.4|168.9|182.0|09.0
R-|06079|44:51.0|03:41.4|000.0|18.0|132.8|182.0|09.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|03000|13:23.7|02:13.9|000.0|25.1|165.6|178.0|08.9 - down
02|02500|10:54.8|02:11.0|000.0|24.9|170.9|181.0|09.2 - upstream
03|02000|08:38.0|02:09.5|000.0|26.6|171.8|182.0|08.7 - down

I was very surprised by the paces.  The display on RIM was showing between 2:15 and 2:20 most of the time.  But, I’ve always felt the live display was a bit on the slow side.  But looking closely at the GPS data, there is a lot of location jitter.  I am wondering if that is causing the distance logged to be further than actual distance, and thus showing a faster pace.

Screen Shot 2017-08-19 at 2.41.57 PM.png

This was a tough, tough workout.  I felt like I emptied the tanks on each interval and I needed a bit more than 5 minutes rest after each.  It ended up being closer to 7 minutes, I think.

I steered a reasonable line.  In the 2500m interval, I saw a kayaker over my starboard shoulder and it looked like I would clear her easily.  Then, while my back was literally turned, she decided to cross in front of me and misjudged the distance.  I clipped her stern with my oar.  That’s the pace and rate glitch right around 7000m.  She’s lucky I didn’t smack her in the head.  I try to keep a good watch, but when I’m 20 strokes from the end of a 2500m interval and my heart rate is around 180, I get tunnel vision.  I need to be more careful.

Tomorrow:  Hopefully head out to Quinsigamond.

 

What a blast…4 x 2k / 5′ – Open Water

Weather:  Broken overcast.  About 70F.  Wind started nearly calm and built up to about 5-6mph from the ESE.

Plan:

  • L2 – 4 x 2k / 5′ rest
  • Rate Target: 25 spm
  • Pace target:  I have no idea.  Just row hard and see what happens.

Unlike rowing on the twisty section of the Charles River, there is no problem finding a perfectly straight 2km course down here in Wellfleet.  There are other challenges though.  Specifically shallow water, tidal currents, wind and waves.  I was looking forward to those challenges though.  It might keep me from focusing on my own heavy breathing.

I launched very close to low tide, and I was a bit worried by what I saw.  All of the boats moored off the beach were aground and the channel was close to the narrowest I have seen it.  But, I was here and I had a plan, so dammit, I was going to launch.  It worked out OK.  I could see the bottom and my oar blades were guide.  If I hit bottom on starboard, then I steered to port.  If I hit on port, I steered to starboard.  If I hit on both, I hoped for best.  And it worked out.  I puttered along until I cleared the tip of Lt Island, and I was home free.

I planned to row between 2 buoys which mark the channel into Wellfeet inner harbor.  This is 2.4km.  I figured I would row 2k, then paddle to the end and turn around for the next one in my 5 minute rest.

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 1.50.15 PM

After I got to deep water, I did an improvised warmup with some 10s and 20s at my target stroke rate.  And I maneuvered over to the red buoy that marked my start point.

I paddled until the speedcoach clicked over to 2700m, then I brought it up to 25 spm and steered a course of 200 degrees.  I counted strokes.  25 strokes a minute, so by counting strokes, I was also keeping time.  I checked the distace rowed.  I was taking just about 62 strokes to go 500m, aha, so the whole piece would be 250 strokes.  That bit of simple math kept me occupied for a little while.  I enjoyed rowing  this piece.  The water was pretty flat and the wind and the tide were behind me.  The Maas is very nice to row.  It feels heavier than my fluid, but it is responsive and fantastically stable.

I knew that there was a green can buoy along my path, but I was having trouble finding it while rowing under pressure.  All of the sudden, there it was, about 30 meters ahead of me, maybe 10 meters to my port side.  I had two thoughts.  First, wow, I almost hit that.  Second,  great job steering!  I clicked along through the rest of the interval.  It was a tough row, but I didn’t push it to the edge.

I paddled along for 4 minutes, then spun the boat, took a drink and set off on interval number 2.  This one was a lot more work.  The wind had built a little, so I was dealing with a bit more chop.  It was good because it forced me to row with my blades farther off the water during recovery.  If I didn’t, I smacked the wave tops and it slowed me way down.  The wind was on my port bow, and it really didn’t like the heading that I wanted to be on.  A few degrees more to the west, and things worked out a lot better.  I gave up on trying to go straight to the red buoy and opted for the easier ride.  The chop was substantial enough to fill my footwell by the time I got through the piece.  I opened the self bailer while I paddled and headed back in the direction of the Buoy.

The third interval was basically the same story as the first.  The wind was on my starboard stern.  It was easier rowing, but I was still getting splashed a bit.  It did keep me from getting too focused on the effort going into the interval, and counting strokes helped a lot too.

As I set up for the fourth, I noticed that I was running a bit short on time, so instead of aiming back for the red buoy, I set a course that would bring me closer to the beach when I finished.  This also had the advantage of putting me closer to the windward shore so the chop was much smaller and there was less wind.  I just counted strokes and made sure that I wasn’t going to run into anything and before I knew it, I was done.

And I was tired.  This was a lot of work.  But I’m really happy with how it went. I guess that’s the advantage of not having any real expectations about pace, and knowing that the wind and current will make the pace pretty much meaningless anyway.  I could just focus on rowing hard enough to be in the upper part of my threshold HR zone and do the session.  No real chance to “race my training” today.

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 1.35.44 PM

8-11a

8-11b

Workout Summary - media/20170811-172143-Greg Smith 20170811 0855amo.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|13260|83:02.0|03:07.9|000.0|22.9|155.8|181.0|07.0
W-|08000|42:15.0|02:38.5|000.0|25.2|169.4|181.0|07.5
R-|05260|40:47.0|03:52.7|000.0|19.3|135.1|181.0|06.7
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|02000|09:46.2|02:26.5|000.0|25.6|165.2|175.0|08.0 - w/ tide
02|02000|11:06.8|02:46.7|000.0|25.2|170.5|179.0|07.1 - a/ tide
03|02000|10:08.9|02:32.2|000.0|25.2|168.8|178.0|07.8 - w/ tide
04|02000|11:13.7|02:48.4|000.0|24.9|172.5|181.0|07.1 - a/ tide

Tomorrow:  Plan calls for an L4, I will substitute a 90 minute open water “easy row”.  HR limit around 150.