Hooray, the hotel has an erg!

Monday, July 24 and Tuesday, July 25:  (No Training)

I woke up at the ungodly hour of 4:30am to get to the airportfor my 7am flight.  I was flying to Shanghai via Chicago, total flight time 17 and a half hours.  Total travel time 22 and a half hours.  With the time zone changes, I got into my hotel room at 3:00pm Tuesday afternoon.  I took a shower and went to work, then a customer dinner.

I was back in my hotel room by 9:00pm and asleep at 9:01pm (approximately)

I guess you’d call that 2 rest days, but it didn’t feel very restful.

Wednesday, July 26:

I slept pretty well considering the jet lag.  I woke up around midnight, but got right back to sleep.  I woke up at 3:00am and slept fitfully until 5am.  I was in the gym by about 5:30am and what a gym it was.


I’m staying in the Kerry Hotel in Pudong and the fitness center is incredible.  The main gym has ceilings two stories high, there is a spinning room and a group room off to the side.  They have lots of treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, weight machines, TRX, free weights, kettle bells, all in brand new condition.  And they had 2 perfectly maintained concept2 Model D rowing machines with PM4s.  I couldn’t believe my good fortune.

When I arrived there was someone using one of the rowers, and so I settled into the second one.


  • 80′ L4
  • 4×20’/1′ rest
  • rate/power
    • 16 – 150W
    • 18 – 170W
    • 20 – 190W
    • 22 – 210W
  • stroke sequence:  I decided to go for my all time favorite classic L4 sequence.  In shorthand it’s a 2x(168/172/176/180).  That means 168 strokes in the first 10 minutes, then 172, then 176, then 180.  So, here’s how that looks.


I had a blast!  The intensity was just about perfect.  The fastest bits pushed me above the top of my UT1 zone, but my HR dropped back in the slower pieces.

I really should get a USB cable so I can use ergdata with the PM3 and PM4, but for now all I get is HR data.


Tomorrow:  I think I’ll stick with the Wolverine theme and do this month’s CTC.  It will be slow, but I’d like to put a score on the board.



Off to China

Once every calendar quarter we have business reviews.  As an engineering company, we are naturally enthralled with applying acronyms to everything, so the weeks of reviews is QBR week.  I am in a position where I am the principle reviewer for a set of them, and then later in the week, I try to put together a summary review for my supervisors.  At the same time, we have to prepare for board meetings, get ready for employee communications meetings, and also actually take care of business.

Tuesday, 18 July:  No training

I managed to find a brief window to exercise on Monday, and I was hopeful that I would be able to do some OTW rowing on Tuesday morning, but that was spoiled by a bit of a stomach bug that hit me Monday night.  I was up for a lot of the night and I needed to be at work for an 8am meeting.  After that, I was in meetings until 8pm.  After that, I worked until 10pm catching up on email.  I got home around 11:00 and didn’t get to bed until nearly 1am.

Wednesday, 19 July: No training

I slept until 7am and hustled off to work for more business review meetings which started at 9am.  These went straight through to 6pm.  After that, I needed to prepare for meetings with my boss that were happening on Thursday.  I was at work until 10pm again, and got to bed after midnight

Thursday, 20 July: No Training

I was up at 6am, and right out the door.  Thursday was a bit less stressful, with only 7 hours of meetings, but 4 of those hours were with my boss, so I needed to be on my toes.  I needed to get right out the door at 6pm to get to an appointment.  The evening was filled with domestic chores because I’d be leaving right after work for Cape Cod.  Again, it wasn’t until after midnight when I got to bed.

Friday, 21 July: No Training

Again up at 6am, and quickly out the door. Meetings from 9 to 4.  At four, I bolted out the door and headed home.  I picked up my stuff and continued on to the cape, arriving at about 8pm (having picked up pizza right near my destination).  Needless to say, I was eager to get to bed early, and I slept a long time.

Saturday, 22 July: 3 x 20’/1′ on the erg.

My schedule wouldn’t work out for a coastal row today, so before breakfast, I snuck down to the basement for a easy endurance session.  I purposely kept the power really low since it had been 4 days without training.

I did the first two 20′ sections at 180w.  At the end of the second, I was seeing my HR going a bit high, so I decided to do the last 20 minutes as 2×10′ L4 rate ladders

  • 4min / r17 / 160w
  • 3min / r18 / 170w
  • 2min / r19 / 180w
  • 1min / r20 / 190W

This was very entertaining, and I didn’t much mind that my HR spiked up a bit with the rate restriction and ladders.

myimage (90)

Workout Summary - media/20170722-1545410o.csv
Workout Details

That was good fun.  I think I’ll do some more of that.

Sunday, 22 July:

I was planning on a coastal row, but I was stymied by weather.  It was grey and blustery when I got up, so again, I opted for an erg session.  Today’s plan

  • 80 minute L4
  • 4×20’/1′
  • Same rate vs power as Saturday
  • Keep it nice and easy.

Nice low HR, easy row.  The low rates started to bug my back by the end though.

I notched up one stroke per minute after 30 minutes to make it a bit harder.

myimage (93).png

Workout Summary - media/20170723-1435180o.csv
Workout Details

Now I’m off to Shanghai, the first stop on a two week trip with 4 different destinations.

Back from Korea – some training (and some eating)

Thursday, June 29:  I posted about my workout in the morning.  I had the morning in the office, and then headed to the airport at 2pm Korea time.  I took off at 5:30pm, arrived in Dallas, around 4:30pm.  Connected to Boston, taking off at 6:25pm and arrived in Boston around 11pm.  I got my car and pulled around to a different terminal to meet my daughter who was flying in from St. Louis.

She took over driving duties and we headed off to Cape Cod, arriving at 1:30AM.  My total travel time 24 hours and 30 minutes.  I was surprised to see my sons when I got to the house.  I guess they keep late hours.

Friday, June 30:  Honestly, I don’t remember much about Friday.  I was tired.  It was very windy.  The highlight of the day was my quest to make great lobster rolls.  First stop, great bread from this amazing french bakery near us (PB Boulangerie in Wellfleet).  The traditional lobster roll is on a buttered split top hot dog bun.  I prefer a fresh Croissant.  Still buttery, but also flakey and light.  Next stop, Mac’s fish market on the pier to buy some cooked lobster.  Finally, the Wellfleet market for celery, since lobster salad needs a little crunch.

Lobster Salad (serves 2)  (I quadrupled the recipe)

  • Two big flakey, fresh croissants
  • 1/2 pound cooked lobster, cut into biggish chunks
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • Hellman’s Mayonaisse to taste
  • dash of salt
  • dash of ground black pepper
  • dash of italian seasoning
  • 1/4 lemon squeezed

Warm up the croissants in the oven while you make the salad.  mix the lobster, celery, salt, pepper and italian seasoning in a bowl.  Add a tbsp of mayo and mix, and then add a tsp at a time until the salad just barely clings together.  Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the top

Slice the croissants, add the lobster salad and enjoy.

Ummmm. No training

Saturday, July 1:  More hanging around.  More wind.  It was above 40mph sustained winds for a while.  I did an erg session.

3 x 20′ / 2′

I just wanted to keep it easy so I set off at 2:08 pace and held it for the first 2 pieces.  I got bored so I did the last 20 minutes L4 style

myimage (74)

Workout Summary - media/20170701-2315210o.csv
Workout Details

Later in the day, I went and gathered some oysters from the sand bars in front of the house.  Then it was my first attempt at solo shucking.  I got a quick lesson last summer, and I managed to shuck a dozen or so oysters without impaling myself.

2017-07-01 16.43.01

Sunday, July 2nd: Too much stuff going on all day.  We dropped our daughter off at the ferry in Provincetown, and I went for a nice walk around the island, but no training.

There was a very nice sunset on Sunday though.

2017-07-02 20.06.48

And later that night the next town had their fireworks.  They were pretty far off in the distance, but it was fun to be able to see them from our porch.  They were down in Rock Harbor, which is 10.7km SSE from where we are.  The fireworks plainly visible, but not very impressive from that distance.

Screen Shot 2017-07-07 at 10.34.41 AM.png


Sunday: 10K L4 and some force curves

Plan:  10K L4.

Rushing around trying to get up to see my Dad, so just a quick 10K.  I’ve been pushing the intensity lately, so a bit easier to today.

  • 2500 m sequences
  • 1000m/750m/500m/250m
  • stroke rates 18/19/20/21
  • power: 180/190/200/210
  • No HR cap


Workout Summary - media/20161218-234402-sled_2016-12-18T11-47-55ZEST.strokes.csv
Workout Details

After I did the workout, I decided to do a little more rowing to try to take some pictures of force curves.  I’m trying to figure out what causes changes to the forceratio metric.

So, I set up a Just Row and setup the PM to show the force curve.  I rowed a bit at 18 until I got a reasonably representative force curve, then I’d take a picture.  Then at 20, then 22, then 24.  All of this was unstrapped.  I tried to get the power close to the 10Wx stroke rate target, but I was a bit enthusiastic, so all of them are high.  The stroke rates are a bit off too.  I think this would be a good enhancement to painsled, a mode where it would log the force curve, not just display it.

Tomorrow:  Not sure if I will have time to workout.  I have pre-op appointments in the morning and I will be scooting off to see my dad after work.

Thursday: Short Slide HM

Well, that was quite unsatisfying.

I spent a fair amount of yesterday regretting doing the CTC.  My knee was stiff and painful.  I took some Ibuprofen before bed, but it was still not all together happy with me this morning.

But, I wanted to find out if I could erg without hurting my knee more.  So, I thought that I would try to do a slow half marathon


  • Half Marathon
  • 3/4 slide (using the bandaid to mark max compression
  • Target power 180W
  • HR cap: 155
  • No rate restriction, just try to figure out how to row efficiently with the short slide.

I had a glitch with the PM5/Painsled and only got data for the first 53 minutes, but fortunately, I had my HR backup going. 😉

Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 2.00.06 PM.png


Here’s the partial painsled data

Workout Summary - media/20161201-154018-sled_2016-12-01T07-13-18ZEST.strokes.csv
Workout Details


I was curious about how the shorter stroke affected how much force I needed to put into the handle.  These two plots illustrate the difference.  The one on the right is a HM before my injury about 2 weeks ago.  The one on the left is from today.  So, my drive length is about 9 cm shorter (6.3%).  The peak force was 11.9% higher (193.2 vs 172.6).  And this resulted in a average power that was more than 20 watts lower.

For me, this was a very valuable illustration of how important length is to delivering power.  The good news is that my knee held up well and is pretty much pain free right now.  I guess I need to be satisfied with the idea of going slow until my knee is better.

Tomorrow:  Dr’s appt in the morning.  I might have time for a short workout during the day.

Tuesday AM: Awful L4 HM

I suspect that I am still feeling the effects of the HM on Sunday night.  This morning was another horrific session.

The plan:

  • Half Marathon
  • L4 format
  • power: 10W x stroke rate
  • HR Cap: 155
  • rate plan:
    • start slow (16spm), and ramp up over first 10 minutes
    • Then 7 x (1000m @ 18, 750m @ 19, 500m @ 20, 250m @ 21)
  • 250m paddle every 5000m

Today the plan lasted only through the first 5000m.  Then I needed to retreat to low rates to keep below the HR cap.  It was slow and miserable work.

After Sander pointed out the higher drag factor (138) from the hard HM I did at home on Sunday, and the struggles I had yesterday at 118, I thought maybe a little higher drag factor would be better.  I moved the level up one to give a drag factor of 128.  It made no difference.  There are so many variables, it’s hard to figure out what the problem is.

  • Different erg
  • warmer at work (68f vs 55f)
  • shirt at work, no shirt at home
  • morning for work, afternoon at home
  • insufficient recovery from hard hm on Sunday

I will just gut through this and then enjoy my day off on Thursday.


This afternoon, I will do a strength session.

Tomorrow morning I’ll do another low and slow HM at home.


Monday: Slow Slog HM

I was shattered the rest of the night yesterday evening.  I felt absolutely empty.  I felt very tired and I was in bed by 10:15, but I slept a bit fitfully.  I have a pain in my shoulder blade which must be related to something in my neck because I get shooting pains when I turn my head especially to the right.  This is causing me some troubles when I turn over in bed.

I woke up at 5:15 feeling sore and tired.  I got to work and I was on the erg by about 6:30.

The plan:

  • Half Marathon
  • L4 format
  • power: 10W x stroke rate
  • rate plan:
    • Start slow at 16spm, get up to working rate over the first 10 minutes
    • Then 7 x
      • 1000m @ 18
      • 750m @ 19
      • 500m @ 20
      • 250m @21
  • HR Cap 155

The plan ended up lasting through the first 7500m minutes.  After that, I was approaching the cap, and feeling pretty crappy.  I did 2500 minutes at 17 to finish the block, and then rowed the last 10000m at 18.  Even with this reduced load, I was still pushing up to the cap at the end.  I have had rows where I felt like I was gliding along effortlessly, this was NOT one of those rows.  It was slow and nasty work.



Workout Summary - media/20161121-135125-sled_2016-11-21T06-42-50ZEST.strokes.csv
Workout Details
02|02500|10:28.1|02:05.6|177.0|17.3|128.4|140.0|13.8 - slow start
03|02500|10:07.5|02:01.5|195.6|19.2|144.1|150.0|12.8 - target 190W
04|02500|10:06.4|02:01.3|195.8|19.2|142.7|155.0|12.9 - target 190W
05|02500|10:27.3|02:05.5|177.4|17.3|147.4|155.0|13.8 - target 170W
06|02500|10:17.6|02:03.5|185.3|18.5|144.5|150.0|13.1 - target 180W
07|02500|10:20.2|02:04.0|183.4|18.2|152.4|154.0|13.3 - target 180W
08|02500|10:19.2|02:03.8|183.9|18.4|147.9|154.0|13.1 - target 180W
09|02500|10:21.2|02:04.2|182.6|18.1|154.7|158.0|13.3 - target 180W

Tomorrow:  AM:  HM L4, PM: strength

Friday PM: L4 HM

I picked up my boat on my way home from work to bring to the lake out in worcester tomorrow morning, and got home around 7:30.  I was on the erg by about 8.


  • Half Marathon
  • L4 format (but using distance)
  • power:  10W * stroke rate
  • HR cap: 155 (again, not even close)
  • paddle the first 97 meters to get to an even 21000, then do it in 2500m blocks
  • First 2500m build up from 160W
  • After that, push it a bit more than yesterday
    • 750m at 180W
    • 750m at 190W
    • 750m at 200W
    • 250m at 210W
  • take a 250 paddle every 5000m with a quick drink.


Again, a terrifically low HR through the whole workout, even though it was 5W higher effort, and on top of that it was my second session today.  Wow, I love working out at night.

The HR shows a little bit more ut1 than yesterday and a fair amount more time in power at.

For fun, here is the HR comparison of yesterday and today’s sessions. (Thanks rowsandall.com!)


So, even with higher effort, HR is the same in the first half of the workout.  The HR in the third 5000m block was brought lower by a longer than intended rest to deal with my low battery problem on the phone, and I am basically in the same place in the last 5000m block.

By the way, I am back on painsled.  The bug I saw yesterday is caused by using the ANT+ and BT at the same time on the PM5.  Today, I used the BT connection for the HR and it was a lot happier.

Tomorrow:  It looks like there are 5 people signed up including me.  Maybe a couple of doubles and a single?  Weather forecast is pretty good for this time of year, 40F, clear and 5 mph wind.



Thursday: HM L4

Wednesday:  Flew down to Dallas.  No time for any training.  Big dinner with the customer.  About 20 of us at the restaurant.  Too much beer, wine, tequila and steak.

Thursday:  Early start.  We needed to be at the office at 7:30, so no time for a workout in the am.  On my way to the office, I had a blowout on a tire on my rental car.  It turned into the highlight of my day.  Changing a tire on  the car in my business suit while 10 of my coworkers looked on offering me suggestions and making sure I did it correctly.

After the meeting, I headed off to the airport for my return home.  I got to Boston around 7:45pm and I was home by 8:30. By this time I was really looking forward to a nice relaxing endurance session.  I saw Sander’s distance based L4 and decided to copy that to keep my mind busy during the row.  I also wanted to squeeze it into a half marathon so I could keep up with the Crazy Bear Challenge.

So the workout plan was:

  • Set up for a HM (21097m)
  • paddle the first 97 meters to get to a even number
  • row the rest 4 x ( 5000m work and 250m paddle)
  • In each 5000m work section do 2 sets of
    • 1000 at 18
    • 750 at 19
    • 500 at 20
    • 250 at 21
  • Power: 10W x stroke rate
  • HR cap: 155 (I never got near it)
  • first 2500 meters start slow (16 spm instead of 18)

It was quite a challenge to keep track of the right elapsed distances for each of the rate changes.  That and a good adventure audiobook keep me very occupied and the time flew by.  I love working out at night.  I swear I’m 10 watts better.

The glitch i the third interval was the low battery warning coming up on my phone and me running to get my charger!  Ruined the split for that segment too.

Workout Summary - media/20161118-034816-concept2-result-27821242o.csv
Workout Details

Another annoyance was needing to use ergdata instead of painsled.  The most recent update of painsled seems to have broken it for me.

Tomorrow:  Strength session in  the morning and another HM L4 in the evening.

Monday: 4×20′ L4 (embedded in an HM)

So, as usual for a Sunday night, I had trouble sleeping.  But I woke up before the alarm at 5:15 and headed off to work.

My standard endurance workout these days is a 4 x 20 minute session which is usually about 20km including some paddling during the rests.  So, I thought I could continue my polarized training plan by adapting my normal endurance session by just doing a 1000m or so of cool down at the end. I was thinking that I could fit other more intense sessions into the basic HM format as well, since I have the tools I need to analyze the data afterward too.  Perhaps I could call it the Polar Bear Challenge?

So today’s Plan:

  1. 4 x 20′ / 1′ paddle
  2. L4 format
  3. Power target: 10W x stroke rate
  4. Slow start at 16spm (160W)
  5. Aim for mid 190s for average power
  6. HR limit at 155


Again, with the magic of rowsandall.com, I can reslice the data into 10 minute blocks to see how accurately I hit my targets.


1 –       170 strokes, 170W
2 –       184 strokes, 184W
3-8 –  190 strokes, 190w

Workout Summary - media/20161114-135715-sled_2016-11-14T06-37-25ZEST.strokes.csv
Workout Details

So, generally 1 or 2 strokes over and a bit high on watts.

A few stroke metrics.  Power versus rate,  peak and average force versus rate and drive length versus time.

Tomorrow:  40′ erg and strength training.