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.

 

April 16 to May 4 – Hectic

Tuesday – April 16 – L4 session – Aborted after 20 minutes.

Just not feeling it.  I had an early meeting and not a lot of time, but mostly I was just tired.

Wed – April 12 – 75′ Steady State OTW

I think it was a nice row.  It was a long time ago, so I’m not sure.

        Workout Summary - media/20190418-1830420o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|13921|73:53.0|02:39.2|127.8|18.4|151.7|164.0|10.2
W-|12179|62:00.0|02:32.8|136.4|18.0|154.1|163.0|10.9
R-|01751|11:53.0|03:23.8|083.5|20.3|139.1|163.0|10.6
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00344|01:38.4|02:23.1|141.1|18.2|139.5|145.0|11.5
02|02883|13:44.9|02:23.1|142.2|18.8|152.3|157.0|11.2
03|02848|15:02.3|02:38.4|136.2|17.6|154.3|160.0|10.7
04|02061|10:14.3|02:29.1|137.5|17.4|153.6|159.0|11.6
05|00621|02:55.1|02:20.9|150.0|18.1|156.1|162.0|11.7
06|01413|07:39.1|02:42.5|127.8|17.7|154.7|160.0|10.4
07|01229|06:37.4|02:41.6|127.6|17.6|158.5|160.0|10.5
08|00342|01:50.5|02:41.7|141.5|19.0|154.5|159.0|09.7
09|00438|02:18.8|02:38.3|126.1|19.9|158.8|163.0|09.5

Screen Shot 2019-05-04 at 9.03.59 PM

Then I was in meetings from 9am to 8pm.

Thursday – April 18 – L3 10K push

I didn’t get a lot of sleep and I had an early meeting.  So, instead of OTW, I setup to do a 10K L3 on the erg in the fitness center at work.  I guess my head is just not in it right now.

I failed at the halfway point and basically took a couple of thousand meters off, then worked hard in the last 2.5K.

        Workout Summary - media/Import_37936047.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|209.5|22.7|153.3|178.0|11.2
W-|10000|39:31.0|01:58.6|209.5|22.7|153.3|178.0|11.2
R-|00000|00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|178.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01000|03:59.8|01:59.9|196.6|22.3|122.7|136.0|11.2
01|01000|03:59.8|01:59.9|201.0|21.2|141.7|144.0|11.8
02|01000|03:57.2|01:58.6|207.6|21.6|149.2|154.0|11.7
03|01000|03:54.2|01:57.1|215.8|22.3|156.1|160.0|11.5
04|01000|03:54.2|01:57.1|215.2|22.1|161.0|162.0|11.6
05|01000|04:14.4|02:07.2|178.5|23.3|150.6|164.0|10.1
06|01000|03:59.6|01:59.8|201.4|23.1|154.8|159.0|10.9
07|01000|04:01.6|02:00.8|201.8|22.2|157.7|163.0|11.2
08|01000|03:49.2|01:54.6|229.4|23.8|167.2|172.0|11.0
09|01000|03:41.4|01:50.7|254.1|25.2|174.2|178.0|10.7

Friday – April 19 – No Training

I was out late at a business dinner and had a 8am meeting.  I decided to sleep instead of trying to get up at 5.

Saturday – April 20 – 4 x 20’/2′ L4 on Slides

Still love rowing on slides!  Especially the long slow stuff.  This was a great, relaxing session.  Good way to clear my head after a long week of reviews.  The last 30 minutes or so pushed a bit above the target aerobic zone, but there is zero risk of overtraining right now!

Sunday – April 21 – 10K L3

I was tired of failing on sessions, and I wanted to just pull a good consistent piece without any dropped strokes or other lameness.

Mission accomplished.  Good hard finish too.

        Workout Summary - media/63841bce186c4b73_37970283.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|10000|38:54.0|01:56.7|218.3|25.1|161.0|183.0|10.2
W-|10000|38:54.0|01:56.7|218.3|25.1|161.0|183.0|10.2
R-|00000|00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|183.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01000|04:00.8|02:00.4|205.6|25.8|123.7|145.0|09.7
01|01000|03:54.2|01:57.1|215.6|23.8|148.6|152.0|10.8
02|01000|03:52.7|01:56.4|219.7|24.4|155.2|158.0|10.6
03|01000|03:53.1|01:56.5|218.2|24.1|159.3|161.0|10.7
04|01000|03:52.7|01:56.4|219.8|24.8|163.1|165.0|10.4
05|01000|03:52.9|01:56.5|219.2|25.0|166.1|168.0|10.3
06|01000|03:53.9|01:56.9|216.4|25.1|168.9|170.0|10.2
07|01000|03:53.0|01:56.5|218.7|25.4|172.1|174.0|10.1
08|01000|03:53.5|01:56.7|217.2|25.8|175.0|177.0|10.0
09|01000|03:48.0|01:54.0|233.1|27.4|179.4|183.0|09.6

Monday – April 22 – Steady State

There was a little wind, but I was rowing really well.  Just a great session.  I was working on trying to avoid washing out and taping down cleanly.

        Workout Summary - media/20190427-2356270o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|14002|74:56.0|02:40.6|129.8|18.7|142.2|163.0|10.0
W-|12783|63:52.0|02:29.9|139.2|18.2|145.8|162.0|11.0
R-|01228|11:04.0|04:30.5|075.7|21.5|121.3|162.0|10.7
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00137|00:39.5|02:24.3|163.0|18.0|120.0|124.0|11.6
02|00376|01:46.0|02:21.0|135.9|18.7|128.1|139.0|11.4
03|02913|13:57.9|02:23.8|138.2|17.9|143.2|149.0|11.7
04|02841|14:51.6|02:36.9|135.1|17.4|144.2|151.0|11.0
05|02847|13:37.5|02:23.6|140.6|18.1|148.3|155.0|11.5
06|02908|15:09.2|02:36.3|138.8|18.4|149.6|157.0|10.4
07|00346|01:47.2|02:35.0|145.6|20.7|147.5|155.0|09.3
08|00075|00:24.2|02:41.1|115.4|22.4|148.8|151.0|08.3
09|00341|01:39.5|02:26.1|170.9|22.2|154.2|162.0|09.3

Tuesday – April 23 – No training

Slept in.  It was raining like crazy

Wednesday – April 24 – 75′ Steady State OTW

I arrived at the river on Wednesday morning and this is what I saw.

2019-04-24 06.23.442019-04-24 06.23.53

Yep, That’s the dock under water.  I guess it was a lot of rain on Tuesday!  So, I took off my socks, and waded my boat out to the end of the float and went for a row.

There was a ton of debris in the river.  I ran into a submerged branch, but luckily not hard enough to rip off my fin.  I also just avoided a floating stump, and saw lots of other stuff.  My head was on a swivel.

But again, I felt nice and fast at first.  Turns out I had a nice gentle tail wind.  It was a lot slower going upstream.

    Workout Summary - media/20190427-2355420o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|14011|76:33.0|02:43.9|128.9|19.9|148.4|171.0|09.2
W-|13090|65:49.0|02:30.9|139.4|19.2|151.7|171.0|10.4
R-|00929|10:43.0|05:46.6|064.3|24.0|128.5|171.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00885|04:12.2|02:22.5|138.2|18.5|131.6|147.0|11.3
02|02830|13:01.9|02:18.1|138.3|19.8|148.2|160.0|11.0
03|02836|15:23.0|02:42.7|137.5|18.3|151.7|162.0|10.1
04|02855|13:20.4|02:20.2|138.7|18.8|155.8|163.0|11.4
05|02904|15:55.1|02:44.4|135.5|18.8|155.2|162.0|09.7
06|00344|01:47.4|02:35.9|157.5|22.3|152.0|165.0|08.6
07|00063|00:21.5|02:49.8|161.8|25.4|160.1|163.0|07.0
08|00371|01:48.1|02:25.6|185.1|25.4|160.7|171.0|08.1

Thursday – April 24 – 75′ Steady State OTW

More wading through the flood.  More steady state, working on balance and the release.  EmPower Oarlock decided to not work.  A bit slower today.  Everything felt a bit heavy.

 

        Workout Summary - media/20190427-2025470o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|13938|76:15.0|02:44.1|000.0|18.8|148.5|163.0|09.7
W-|12610|64:13.0|02:32.8|000.0|18.2|152.5|163.0|10.8
R-|01336|12:03.0|04:30.7|000.0|21.9|126.8|163.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00371|01:43.1|02:19.1|000.0|18.0|130.5|137.0|12.0
02|02901|13:31.1|02:19.8|000.0|18.0|146.6|156.0|11.9
03|02792|15:08.3|02:42.7|000.0|17.7|151.8|159.0|10.4
04|02844|13:32.7|02:22.9|000.0|18.4|156.0|163.0|11.4
05|02951|16:11.1|02:44.5|000.0|18.1|157.8|163.0|10.1
06|00342|01:54.8|02:47.6|000.0|18.8|150.3|156.0|09.5
07|00409|02:12.2|02:41.7|000.0|20.8|152.0|161.0|08.9

Friday – 10 x 1’/1′ L1 Static Erg

Another present from our friend Eric Murray.

Started with a Fletcher warmup and really pushed it hard.

Then the main event.

2019-04-26 07.43.042019-04-26 07.43.10

That was remarkably tough.  I was so not recovered in the last three intervals.

Saturday – April 27 – L4 4 x 20′ / 2′ on slides

Hectic weekend, getting ready for a trip out to St Louis.  Had a nice relaxing L4 down in the basement.

Sunday – April 28 – Aborted L3 Session

We were taking off for St. Louis in the afternoon, but I thought I would sneak in a quick 10K.  I made it 500m and gave up.  Then I felt bad and started again.  This time I made it 1500m and gave up.  I just walked away.  I never do that.

Monday – April 29 – 30′ inclined march

In St. Louis for my daughter’s PhD defense.  I bopped down to the fitness center for a quick session before the festivities began.  Nothing special.  Just trying to keep things ticking over.

bokeh_plot - 2019-05-04T220454.260

Heart rate recorded on the apple watch, sent to RunGap, then to strava, then to rowsandall.  Seamless! 😉

The PhD defense was astoundingly good.  I am a very proud father and my daughter is a doctor!

Tuesday – April 30 – 30′ Inclined march

Same deal.  quick session just to break a sweat before our flight home.

bokeh_plot - 2019-05-04T220841.517

Wednesday – May – 3 x 20′ L4 on slides

I had a dermatologist appointment in  the morning.  I was inspected all over and it appears that I don’t have skin cancer.  I do have a bit of eczema on my face, but that is not a big deal.  After the appointment, I dashed home and did a easy session before heading to the airport.

Then I showered and hit the road.  I flew to Miami and then to Costa Rica.  I was visiting our office down there.  I arrived around 7pm local time and I was dead tired.  I was asleep by 10.

Thursday – May 2 – 30′ minute inclined march

More of the same ticking over.  Lower HR than in St. Louis

bokeh_plot - 2019-05-04T221452.485

Then I headed to the office.  Tours and meetings went from 8:30am to 7pm.  Then we had a reception in the evening for an employee who was one of our first employees in the office, who had decided to move on.  I got to bed around 11 and needed to be up at 4:30am to catch my flight.

Friday – 3 May – No training

I caught a 7am flight out of Costa Rica, and arrived home around 7pm.  My wife and I had some dinner and hopped in the car to drive down to the cape.

Saturday – 4 May – 18K coastal row in Wellfleet.

It was a cool (about 50F) and cloudy day today, but the wind was quite light.  I was excited to do my first coastal row of the season.  I wanted to do a long and easy tour of the harbor.  The first 2/3 was just like that, but the end was a bit tough.

Screen Shot 2019-05-04 at 10.20.16 PM.png

I launched from the loagy bay beach and rowed up to Wellfleet Harbor.  The water was nice and flat and the breeze was behind me.  It was nearly high tide so there wasn’t much current that I noticed.  I rounded the breakwater at the harbor entrance and rowed around the town pier and up into the area of the boat slips.  I stopped for a drink and got ready for part 2.

I rowed back out of the harbor a headed west all the way across to the harbor at the north end of Great Island.  I rowed around the outside edge of the harbor and admired the shore birds.

As I rowed out of the sheltered harbor, I noticed that the wind had picked up a bit and since it was from the east, there was quite a bit of chop.  I headed close to due south and had the chop on my beam.  I had a fair amount of trouble holding the course and my left hand really blistered up as I was using almost constant starboard pressure to keep my bow from getting blow to the west.  I decided to row 2km south and then turn east for home.

The last bit going east was the hardest.  I was rowing straight into the easterly breeze and the tide was flowing out against me.  My splits slowed way down at the same effort I had been putting in all along.  As I approached the island, the chop calmed down quite a bit.  But I was pretty worn out after an hour and forty minutes of reasonably hard rowing.

It was a glorious row!  My hands are destroyed, but that’s OK.  I am so glad to be back out on the ocean.  The time passed so quickly, even when it was tougher rowing.  I just had a blast.

Tomorrow:  Maybe another coastal row, maybe an erg session.  It will depend on the schedule and how my hands feel.

 

 

The Canals of Milan

Tough week to maintain any training momentum.

Tuesday – 4/9 – 8km run

I was staying Cernusco, a suburb of Milan.  On Monday night, I got back to my room around 10pm, and set an alarm for 5:30.  I planned to go to the gym, but discovered it opened at 7, too late for me since I had to be in the office at 8am.

I decided to go for a run, without a lot of research about a route.  I knew that there was a canal nearby to run along, but I wasn’t sure how to get to it.

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 1.09.33 PM.png

My hotel was right near the “C” of “Cernusco”.  So first, ran north and saw that that I was crossing over the canal, but I couldn’t see a path from the overpass down to canal level, so I continued over, then ran around the outside of a park.  I intended to go into the park, but that seemed to be locked up for the night as well (it was still dark).  I turned back south and ran back over the canal, and saw that there were pedestrian stairs down to a train station.  I jogged down the stairs, and along the train tracks to the station.  I had hoped to use the pedestrian bridge over the tracks to get the the canal side, but there were turnstiles going into the station.  I kept running along, and then found an overpass.  That’s the curved path going to the north.  That went right to the side of the canal, and I was home free.

I was running slowly, really slowly, like 10-11 minute mile pace.  But I was really enjoying myself.  Running along the canal was wonderful.  It was cool, the sun was starting to come up.  There were dog walkers and other runners out.  Along the canal were farms, and old houses, and across the canal a huge classic building.  I later found out it was the hospital.  A very classy looking hospital.

I managed to run slowly enough that I was having fun.  I got to a park and across the canal was a sports complex.  Then, I saw the coolest thing.  A stretch of the canal had been outfitted with Olympic white water kayak gates.  They must have the ability to increase the flow in the canal, because there was no impressive whitewater, just the gates.

A little past this, I noticed the time.  I’d been going for a bit more than 30 minutes.  I noticed my shoe was untied, so I stopped, retied it and turned around to go home.

The run home was just as nice.  I ran all the way back to the same overpass, and then continued south on the same road to the main route that would take me back to my hotel.  I was starting to get pretty tired by this point, and I didn’t like running along the morning rush hour, but when I finally got back to my hotel, I was just delighted.  I ran for nearly an hour.  The longest run I’ve done in years and it felt really good.  Almost all of it was good aerobic HR, then at the end, I picked up a bit.

I need to run more often.

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 1.23.33 PM.png

Then I had some less than happy meetings with our customer, some meetings back at our office, and then we went into Milan for dinner, along the canals.

I didn’t even know that Milan had canals!  Apparently they were covered over in the late 19th century and then uncovered in the late 20th century to beautify the city.

A little background on Milan’s canals

Wednesday – 4/10 – No Training

Up at 5:30am, cab to the airport at 6:15.  Flight from Milan to Frankfurt.  Then Frankfurt to Boston.  Arrived around 4pm.

Thursday – 4/11 – No Training

I was bone tired by the time I got to bed on Wednesday night.  I had a red eye flight on Sunday night, jet lag sleep issues on Monday night and a late bedtime and early start on Wednesday.  I figure I got 12 hours of sleep over the 3 nights.  So, I slept in instead of getting up  to train.

Friday – 4/12 – No Training

I had a doctors appt on Friday morning.  So, no time to train

Saturday – 4/13 – 3 x 20’/2′

Finally, I had a chance to train!  Back to basics.  I felt terrible.  High heart rate.  No rhythm.  But it felt great to work up a sweat.  I felt like a new person after I was done.

Compare this to the same thing a couple weeks ago.  Except that session was a more challenging stroke count!

Amazing how quickly I can lose fitness!

Sunday – 4/14 – 15km OTW 1x

The weather forecast was for partly sunny skies, no wind and temps in the high 50s.  I was very excited to get back on the water.  I headed down to Newton and launched around 8am.

Since I’ve only been on the water twice so far this season, and hadn’t been out since the 28th of March, I felt that the right thing to do today was to just do some r18 steady state rowing and maybe try to focus on technique.  The key things I wanted to work on were:

  • draw my hands in higher on my chest at the release to try to stop washing out.
  • work on getting my blades farther off the water on recovery
  • Work on hinging at my hips and maintaining body position forward during the leg drive.
  • Work on keeping my knees close to each other at the catch.  I think letting my legs splay out at the catch is the primary thing that is irritating my SI joint issues.

So it was a lot to think about and my success level was mixed at best.  But boy was it awesome to be out on the water!

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 1.44.36 PM.png

I started off and headed up river to go take a peek at the Lasalle Boathouse.  Looked the same as always.  Then I spun around and headed down river, all the way to the dam.  Then back upriver to turn in the cove.  Back down to the dam again.  By then I had been going for about 70 minutes and I was pretty tired.  I decided to alternate 40 strokes of drills and 40 strokes of steady state for the trip back to the dock.  I did the following drills

  • square blades
  • pause at arms away (This was good practice to work on the whole body position thing
  • half slide
  • slow roll up

While I was on the way back down river, my phone died.  Not sure why it tapped out the battery so quickly this morning, but once it was kaput, I had didn’t have a stroke rate.  (I used the speedcoach for pace, HR, Power and Eff Length.  I use RIM for boat acceleration curves and SPM).  I kind of enjoyed not having the SPM for a while.

       Workout Summary - media/20190414-1705430o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|15408|86:19.0|02:48.1|116.5|18.5|144.1|162.0|09.6
W-|12506|63:49.0|02:33.1|128.1|18.2|148.4|162.0|10.8
R-|02917|22:31.0|03:51.7|083.4|19.3|132.1|162.0|05.4
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00334|01:51.6|02:46.9|106.7|18.7|128.7|136.0|09.6
02|00927|04:21.4|02:21.0|143.9|18.8|137.9|147.0|11.3
03|00472|02:18.4|02:26.5|121.6|18.2|145.8|149.0|11.3
04|00152|00:46.9|02:34.6|110.2|17.8|132.0|135.0|10.9
05|02646|12:55.0|02:26.4|131.3|17.8|149.8|158.0|11.5
06|02424|13:03.7|02:41.7|123.4|17.3|150.4|156.0|10.7
07|00260|01:19.8|02:33.5|139.5|18.0|150.3|154.0|10.9
08|02775|13:56.1|02:30.6|128.1|17.8|151.4|159.0|11.2
09|00450|02:25.4|02:41.4|122.7|18.5|142.7|152.0|10.0
10|00435|02:13.4|02:33.3|155.6|19.4|151.9|159.0|10.1
11|00815|04:16.6|02:37.5|127.3|19.6|156.3|162.0|09.7
12|00162|00:51.9|02:40.5|095.0|19.6|144.8|150.0|09.5
13|00272|01:28.8|02:43.2|127.3|19.6|141.8|151.0|09.4
14|00381|02:00.4|02:37.9|124.5|22.4|147.1|156.0|08.5

Now my hands are pretty torn up, but I feel great!

 

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.

 

A brief escape from endless erging

I am in San Diego on a business trip.  I arrived last night and didn’t have any meetings until late this morning.  I saw an opportunity, and I reached out by email to the fine gentleman from the San Diego Rowing Club who I rowed with last winter to see if I could maybe jump into a boat on Wednesday morning.

I got a positive reply from the master’s coach, and was invited to show up at the boathouse at the ungodly hour of 5am.  I arrived and they decided to put me in a quad with Dan, Mark and Kyle.  I was in the three seat, and Kyle was stroking.  I had the good fortune to show up on a morning that was a reasonably low intensity day.

The session plan was split into a warm up and two 25 minute chunks.  The warm up was feet out rowing.  The first 25 minute piece was 5 – five minute segments of 4′ steady state and 1′ of drills

  • pause at the finish
  • pause at body over
  • pause at quarter slide
  • quarter slide rowing
  • heels down rowing

Then for the second 25 minute piece, a 22/24/26/24/22… rate ladder.

I was really glad for the technical focus.  I have not been in boat since November, and I was sure I would be really rusty.   I was pretty worried that I’d be a lousy person to have in the boat.

It was a good boat.  Kyle in stroke was a metronome.  He didn’t have a speedcoach, but he was hitting the rates.  I had some trouble matching up to his stroke just because he had an enormously long reach.  I would hit the front stops and he would seem to keep going forever afterward.  I had to literally slow my roll to get in sync.  Some times I was OK, but it came and went.  I hope it wasn’t too annoying for them.

The drills were really useful and it was great to get some coaching from the launch.  The coach (Patrick) nailed my technique problems right away (not rocking over completely before breaking my knees on recovery and then lunging at the catch), and provided good real time feedback.

The ladders were not as neat.  The boat was not set very well, and I suspect that I was the main problem.  I was having trouble sitting vertical in the boat.  I was tending to drag my port oar on recovery and my oar work was sloppy in general.

Having said that I was delighted to be on the water and I had a total blast.

Screen Shot 2019-02-13 at 12.07.08 PM

I hope I didn’t wear out my welcome.  I’d love to get back out with this group of guys again.  With all the time I spend alone on an erg or in my single, getting into a quad is a fantastic, fun experience.  It’s a great challenge to get synched up with another rower.  It’s great to get into a boat that is so stable that I can work on getting my blades way off the water on recovery.  And the whole tempo is much faster, even at low rates because the oars are going a lot faster through the water.

Now I’m sitting in the airport waiting to occupy my middle seat on the red eye back to Boston.

Tomorrow:  The schedule calls for a 3 x 20′ L4, but we’ll see how I feel after this flight.

 

Free form week

I’m between plans right nw, so I am just sort of making up as I go along.

Tuesday:  Steady State OTW

Back on the Charles.  Mostly messing around with the Quiske pod.

        Workout Summary - media/20181028-1930330o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|13791|76:57.0|02:47.4|127.7|19.0|135.3|159.0|09.4
W-|10694|53:15.0|02:29.4|146.9|19.1|141.8|159.0|10.6
R-|03110|23:43.0|03:48.8|084.4|18.8|120.6|159.0|09.4
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00250|01:09.0|02:18.0|151.8|19.9|125.7|135.0|10.9
02|01050|05:14.4|02:29.7|133.3|18.2|134.6|142.0|11.0
03|00861|04:10.5|02:25.5|142.5|19.5|137.7|146.0|10.6
04|00611|02:46.3|02:16.0|182.8|21.2|145.0|159.0|10.4
05|02779|14:13.7|02:33.6|143.5|18.1|143.4|153.0|10.8
06|02704|13:21.1|02:28.1|146.6|18.3|144.0|153.0|11.1
07|00808|04:01.3|02:29.3|156.1|20.4|142.9|151.0|09.9
08|00348|01:45.0|02:31.1|133.9|20.6|146.6|150.0|09.7
09|00787|03:55.8|02:29.9|167.4|20.9|151.3|156.0|09.6
10|00071|00:23.1|02:43.6|135.8|20.9|122.7|125.0|08.8
11|00062|00:20.3|02:45.0|128.0|20.6|116.6|117.0|08.8
12|00364|01:54.8|02:37.6|122.9|21.4|131.9|138.0|08.9

Wednesday: No Training – Drs appointment

My weight is still too high (209lbs).  Blood pressure is good 120/80 (with meds)

Thursday: Strength Training

I’d like to incorporate strength work into my offseason training so I started today.

  • hip equalization
  • foam roll quads
  • swiss ball twists with med ball
  • front plank 3 x 30sec
  • side plank 3 x 30sec each side
  • Front Squats.  Bare bar, bar + 20, bar + 50…3 x 12
  • Good mornings. bare bar, bar + 50…3 x 12
  • inclined row on smith machine, 3 x 12

Friday: 3 x 20’/2′

OK, I was pretty close to paralyzed from the weight work on Thursday.  But I did a slow 3 x 20 on the erg.  No matter how much I slowed down, I could not keep my HR from going through the roof.

       Workout Summary - media/20181026-1240330o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|15026|66:00.0|02:11.8|164.2|19.3|148.1|162.0|11.8
W-|14330|60:00.0|02:05.6|176.7|19.6|149.2|162.0|12.2
R-|00698|06:00.0|04:17.8|038.8|16.8|138.0|162.0|09.8
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|04870|20:00.0|02:03.2|186.8|19.7|138.9|153.0|12.4
01|04789|20:00.0|02:05.3|177.9|19.9|153.0|161.0|12.0
02|04671|20:00.0|02:08.4|165.5|19.2|155.6|162.0|12.2

Saturday:  Wicked Slow 10K push on the dynamic.

I thought I could be any more sore than I was on Friday.  I was wrong.  Putting on my underwear was torture.  I staggered through grocery shopping and various household chores.  Late in the day, I decided to do a short erg to try to loosen things up.

I started very slow.  I intended to start at 2:15, but I just couldn’t bring myself to row that slowly.  I ended up starting at 2:12, and shaving a second each 1000m.  I did a little push at the end to 2:00.

        Workout Summary - media/20181027-2225340o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|10000|42:25.0|02:07.2|169.9|21.5|143.6|171.0|11.0
W-|10000|42:25.0|02:07.3|169.9|21.5|143.6|171.0|11.0
R-|00000|00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|171.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01000|04:24.1|02:12.1|149.6|18.1|112.1|123.0|12.5
01|01000|04:21.9|02:10.9|155.6|19.5|127.4|130.0|11.8
02|01000|04:19.2|02:09.6|160.7|20.1|135.2|139.0|11.5
03|01000|04:18.2|02:09.1|162.8|20.3|139.9|143.0|11.4
04|01000|04:16.8|02:08.4|165.1|21.3|142.1|146.0|11.0
05|01000|04:15.3|02:07.7|168.3|21.2|147.5|151.0|11.1
06|01000|04:12.8|02:06.4|173.0|22.1|151.4|155.0|10.7
07|01000|04:10.5|02:05.3|177.8|23.5|156.2|158.0|10.2
08|01000|04:08.4|02:04.2|182.5|23.5|160.5|163.0|10.3
09|01000|03:58.3|01:59.1|207.5|25.9|167.5|171.0|09.7

Sunday: 12km in a double with Joe

Technical issues with the speedcoach.  For some reason, it did not save the session, even though I was sure that I had started it.  Luckily, Joe was wearing his Garmin Fenix.

It was nice to get out.  The water was really flat and there was very little wind.  We rowed 20-22 spm to the south end of the lake.  Then we did 2 rate ladders.

  • 750m @ 22
  • 500m @ 24
  • 250m @ 26

Then we did a last ladder.  In this one, Joe called for a power 10 and power 20 in each section.  We then held the r26 to the end of the lake alternating about 10 power strokes with 10 lighter strokes.  Then more steady state back to the boathouse.

 

 

Wednesday: Quiske!

For the past year or so, there has been a product on the market from a Finnish startup called Quiske.  They have a little pod that can be attached to your oar, or your seat.  On a boat or on an erg.  And this pod is MAGIC.  It works with an app on the phone to provide a stroke by stroke graph of interesting things like your oar path or your seat velocity.

I am interested in this product because I rarely if ever am able to get real time coaching.  I will record video and send it off to Marlene Royle who will give me feedback and recommend drills and suggest changes, but it is very hard to keep these changes in mind when I practice.  Here are a couple of examples.

  1.  I tend to break my knees too early on the recovery.  With the sensor on the seat, I would be able to see the seat velocity occurring too soon and could work to correct it.
  2. I have developed the habit of digging too deep at the catch.  Obviously, it’s pretty hard to look at your oar blades, but with the magic pod, I can see the exact path that my oars are taking through the water, and I can see in all its glory how my stroke includes both digging too deep AND washing out towards the release.

So, I had big hopes for this new toy and I was eager to give it a try.  So the session on Wednesday was more of a fartlek than anything else.

Setup was a snap.  I put the included strap around the oar collar, inboard of the oarlock, and then launched the app, it found the pod and I connected up.  Then I rowed out to the good part of the river.  I was blown away and delighted by seeing the oar path diagrams like I had seen in Kleshnev’s book popping up on my iphone screen.

         Workout Summary - media/20181018-1250330o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|12427|69:54.0|02:48.8|126.5|19.7|133.6|162.0|09.0
W-|08058|39:21.0|02:26.5|152.4|19.3|141.8|162.0|10.6
R-|04379|30:33.0|03:29.3|093.2|20.3|123.1|162.0|03.3
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00166|00:47.4|02:22.5|146.6|17.6|113.4|125.0|12.0
02|00146|00:41.0|02:20.5|142.8|17.5|129.4|133.0|12.2
03|00243|01:04.7|02:13.2|161.1|20.4|134.4|143.0|11.0
04|01539|07:19.3|02:22.7|146.2|18.4|143.2|148.0|11.4
05|00633|02:46.9|02:11.9|186.1|22.3|145.5|162.0|10.2
06|00431|02:14.0|02:35.5|139.0|18.8|134.5|141.0|10.2
07|00592|03:02.0|02:33.7|145.0|18.8|142.3|149.0|10.4
08|01234|06:16.2|02:32.4|142.1|18.5|146.7|153.0|10.6
09|01258|05:53.9|02:20.6|154.6|19.7|142.7|153.0|10.8
10|00582|03:02.0|02:36.3|154.0|18.5|139.8|144.0|10.4
11|00887|04:32.0|02:33.3|156.9|19.4|143.9|149.0|10.1
12|00348|01:42.4|02:27.3|171.1|24.0|138.5|154.0|08.5

Now for the Quiske stuff.

First, this is what my normal steady state rowing looks like.

2018-10-17 06.58.50

This is apparently what it should look like.

Screen Shot 2018-10-18 at 2.03.29 PM.png

Here is my first screen cap of rowing at head race pace and pressure.

2018-10-17 07.10.15

Then I started to work on changing my stroke.  The first thing I tried was to consciously keep my oars in deeper through the last part of the stroke.

2018-10-17 07.27.19

The I was just having fun.  Here are Arm only, then arms and body, then half slide.

Next I tried to row as deep as I possibly could.  I really pulled the handles up high and buried the shafts.  It looked like this.  Now I know what to avoid.

2018-10-17 07.47.06

I was curious about the recovery being slanted in all the plots. so I tried rowing with just my port oar and kept my starboard oar flat on the water.  It wasn’t as flat as I would have expected.  I am not sure if that’s a alignment issue in the pod, or if the water is at an angle where I row.

2018-10-17 07.54.29

Finally, I tried some head race strokes again, right at the end.

2018-10-17 07.59.11

Not much different from the first ones.  Maybe even deeper at the catch.  I guess this will be a long project.

 

Tuesday: Steady State r20

This week is a bit weird.  No more races for the season, but the weather is still good for rowing, so what should I be doing?  I decided that just enjoying the last few days on the water and doing some steady state training would be the best way to go.

So, the goal today was to row at r20 and stay under my HR cap. The exciting thing was that I was rowing with the impeller!  It was slightly disappointing that there was a head wind so I could not see perfectly identical splits going upstream and down, but it was still a lot closer than what I was seeing before.

Also, over the past couple of days, and with a lot of help from the fine folks at NK, I finally figured out why my power numbers were so pitifully low.  This is a little complicated, so bear with me.

Back earlier this year, NK discovered that their power algorithm was yielding power numbers that were a bit too high, and they pushed a correction in a firmware update.  At the same time, the web site that I use to log my training (rowandall.com), did an update so that it would look at the rev of firmware in uploaded speedcoach files, and if it was the old FW, it would apply the same correction, so that power would be consistent for all logged workouts.  That’s all great, stuff, but there was a bug in the iOS application that NK provides to transfer workouts.  This LINK app apparently was reporting the old FW rev in exported files, even if the speedcoach had been updated.  Rowsandall was seeing the old rev and deducting a percentage of my power, but the speedcoach was reporting the corrected power already, so my power readings ended up being about 10% low.

The solution was to delete and reinstall the LINK app on my phone, and viola, my power readings popped back to something that made a lot more sense.

          Workout Summary - media/20181016-1205320o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|13751|74:24.0|02:42.3|132.3|19.9|142.4|164.0|09.3
W-|11512|57:07.0|02:28.9|149.5|20.3|147.4|164.0|09.9
R-|02246|17:17.0|03:51.0|075.5|18.6|125.8|164.0|13.8
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00205|00:57.6|02:20.2|147.1|18.7|124.4|132.0|11.4
02|00877|04:14.5|02:25.1|141.2|19.1|131.8|142.0|10.8
03|01868|08:48.7|02:21.5|152.4|19.4|142.4|149.0|10.9
04|02606|13:32.1|02:35.8|149.7|20.2|152.9|158.0|09.5
05|01993|09:26.4|02:22.1|145.7|20.5|146.3|154.0|10.3
06|00629|02:56.1|02:19.9|154.3|20.1|147.2|153.0|10.7
07|02647|13:56.0|02:37.9|145.1|20.4|152.3|157.0|09.3
08|00257|01:13.5|02:23.2|194.2|24.5|141.3|157.0|08.6
09|00429|02:02.8|02:23.0|167.3|25.4|150.7|164.0|08.3

 

 

Monday: Impeller Cal

I really enjoyed Sunday.  I spent a couple of hours just messing around with my boat.  I recalibrated my empower oarlock.  I tried setting up the new Quiske Pod and it’s iOS application.  And I reinstalled the impeller on the bottom of my boat.

On Monday morning, my training goal was to do some steady state, but the other task was to calibrate the impeller.  All season long, I have been unable to do much with the pace reading on the speedcoach because the river current has been higher than normal.  I finally decided that remounting the impeller would be better.

But the impeller is a finicky little gizmo.  If you don’t have it well aligned with the sensor, you get intermittent readings, if you don’t have it well calibrated, you get wrong readings and if you row in a place with a lot of weeds, it gets fouled.  But at least you get rid of current as an error in your data!

So the first thing to do was calibrate.  I rowed out to the straight 1000m section, and set up to do a 500m cal.  The way the speedcoach does this is it uses the GPS to measure you going 500 and sees how far the impeller has measured.  Then you do the same thing in the other direction, over the same exact section of river.  The theory is that this will cancel out the effect of the current.  Anyway, I did it and it seemed to yield sensible results afterward.

Of course, after I calibrated, I forgot to push “start” on the the speedcoach, so I didn’t log any of the rest of the workout.  Have no fear!  I had a backup.  I was running RIM on my phone.

          Workout Summary - media/20181015-164518-115122o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|11390|66:03.0|02:54.0|000.0|19.8|0.0|000.0|08.7
W-|11391|66:03.0|02:54.0|000.0|19.8|000.0|000.0|08.7
R-|00000|00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|000.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|11391|66:03.0|02:54.0|000.0|19.8|000.0|0.0|08.7

Snake Race

It’s been a busy week.  My last journal entry was on Oct 9 when I did a terrific 5 x 1500.

The rest of the 9th was a blur.  I worked out, then a day full of meetings, then rushed off to go a wake (One of our best friends lost his brother to a sudden illness), then ate dinner, then to the airport to catch a ten o’clock flight to Geneva.

I slept really well on the flight.  I probably got 5 hours of sleep.  We landed in Zurich and then connected to Geneva, finally getting in around 2pm.  I had meetings all afternoon, and then we went to dinner.  I finally got back to the hotel around 10:30pm and had hoped to get right to bed.  Unfortunately a time critical work issue came up and I spent the next 90 minutes on the phone.

My plan had been to do a short workout in the morning before my 10am flight home, but I decided that sleep was more important.  I slept until 7:30, had a nice breakfast, called an Uber and went to the airport.  The flight home was very uneventful.  I did work most of the way, took a short nap, and then I was home.  The worst part of the whole thing was the traffic home from the airport.

Friday – Oct 12: Drills and a little bit of race pace

My usual taper is to do a shrinking number of 500m pieces over the week before a race, and then just do a warmup on the day before.  This time, I had two complete rest days but lots of inert travel time.  I decided that it would be best to do some work on the day before the race to try to make sure that the race pace strokes felt OK.

I also wanted to do a lot of drill work.  I find it quite calming, and it really engages my brain in the session.  So the plan for the day was to do about 20 minutes of light rowing and drills, then a couple of 2′ race pace pieces, then more drills.

The summary shows the 4 – 1 minute pieces and 2 60 stroke pieces.  Plus a little bonus sprint to the dock at the end.  Notice the difference in power between the first 4 and the last three.  The last three are against the current, so it takes a lot more watts to get the same splits.

          Workout Summary - media/20181012-1145320o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|08125|49:34.0|03:03.1|097.9|22.1|127.3|164.0|07.4
W-|02106|09:14.0|02:11.7|178.9|25.4|146.2|163.0|09.0
R-|06029|40:20.0|03:20.8|079.4|21.4|123.0|163.0|04.3
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00217|00:56.6|02:10.2|146.6|22.2|140.2|148.0|10.4 
02|00178|00:45.8|02:08.7|177.7|26.1|139.9|148.0|08.9
03|00226|00:58.2|02:08.6|199.4|26.9|145.8|155.0|08.7
04|00217|00:56.1|02:09.4|151.2|25.6|148.4|157.0|09.1
05|00119|00:31.7|02:13.1|141.7|20.9|138.7|140.0|10.8
06|00513|02:16.8|02:13.4|186.9|25.8|150.5|162.0|08.7
07|00499|02:13.0|02:13.4|190.0|25.6|149.5|163.0|08.8
08|00137|00:36.5|02:13.5|202.6|27.7|139.4|149.0|08.1

Pretty easy session, only 18 minutes above a <ut2 level.

Then I loaded my boat on my car and went to work.

Saturday – 13 October: The Snake Race

Screen Shot 2018-10-14 at 4.24.57 PM.png

This may be my only race of the season, and I hadn’t raced since my disappointing outing at last year’s Head of the Charles.  I was nervous as hell before I launched, even though this was a low stakes local race.  My competition was.

Screen Shot 2018-10-14 at 4.29.07 PM

The rowers from Anchorage and Community scratched.  As for the rest.

  • Maldari is a good rower from Lawrence, he’s beaten me and I’ve beaten him in other events, we are about the same speed.
  • Kisarale is a rower from Uganda.  He’s 38, but he was in the 2015 Olympic qualifying regatta for Africa in the 2x.  I’d never met him, but I suspected he was a lot faster than I am.
  • Haddon is a rower in my club.  He was rowing this as a tune up for next weekend when he will be in the HOCR.
  • Krupnick was a 1st boat varsity rower at WPI and graduated in 2017.  He was going to be MUCH faster than me.
  • Byrnes is in the other main club on the lake.  I am usually faster
  • Sturges.  Same story
  • Sontgerath was the guy that I wanted to beat.  I had beaten him in the HOCR in 2015 and then returned the favor last year, beating me pretty badly.  This may sound silly or immature, but I saw the race as between him and me.

The way the bow numbers were handed out, I was starting second to last, and Sontgerath was starting last behind me.  So, it was simple, I just needed to keep my eye on him and maintain the spacing.

Bob and I launched around 8:30 for a 9am start.  We warmed up going down to the start.  For some reason, my speedcoach decided to stop soon after launching and I didn’t notice it until I was getting ready for the start.  So, most of the warmup is missing.

Screen Shot 2018-10-14 at 4.50.30 PM.png

It was cold and rainy, around 48F.  There was a light and variable wind that seemed to be from  the northwest, which is a cross/head wind.  I only noticed it a couple of times during the race when I felt like I was working harder and the splits slowed down.  I was quite glad to have the power meter.

Anyway, we were all at the start, and so the officials decided to move the start time up a few minutes so we wouldn’t just sit there getting cold and wet in the rain.  We were called up to the start in order and off we went.  The starting line was at the southern end of larger island, right about even with the label “Pinecrest”.  My first target was Sturges.  I saw him off my starboard side.  You go up the western shore of the lake, and soon after the start is a beach that juts out.  I decided that I could pass him to the shore side and still have enough room to steer out from the beach.  It worked out fine and I was well clear of him by the time I steered a bit out from shore for the beach.  The guy who started in from of Sturges was Kisarale, but when I looked around I saw no sign of him.  I did see Byrnes, so he became my next target.  He was also off my starboard side, and we had the narrows coming up.  I just held my line and we slowly moved toward the buoy line that marked the starboard side of the course. I passed him right around the narrows and when I looked around I could spot anyone close enough to focus on.

Now it was time to just row.  This is about where the video picks up.  There is bit more than 1km from the narrows to the bridge.  I was starting to feel the pain, so I started counting strokes.  I got to about 130 when I got to the bridge.  The whole time I was keeping my eyes on Heri (Sontgerath).  At times, he seemed like he was closing the distance, and other times it seemed like I was stretching it out.  Frankly, I didn’t even really remember how far back he was at the start, so I had no clue if I was ahead or not.

From the bridge to the end should be about another 200 strokes.  Which I counted off as I went.  It seemed like it took a lifetime to get from the bridge to the Gazebo.  I thought it was almost another 1000m from the gazebo to the finish and so I just settled in and tried to avoid blowing up while I started scanning for the finish.  I saw it, but in retrospect, I wish I had seen it sooner.  I started my sprint later than I should have.  But I finished strong.  I thought the finish was going to be marked with white buoys.  It was marked by a pair of oranges, which I thought represented the start of a finish chute.  I continued my kick for another 100m beyond the finish to a white buoy.

That extra kick brought be me up to be close enough to chat with Maldari.  Apparetly, he was trying to keep his seperation with me, like I was trying to with Heri.  We had a nice chat about boats and stuff as we paddled to the docks.  They I cooled down from the QRA docks to our club at regatta point.

The results

Screen Shot 2018-10-14 at 5.03.59 PM

Third place, but first place amongst the old guys.  I walked around 10 feet tall the rest of the day.

Here’s a video of the last 9 minutes of the race.  The first 10 minutes were basically useless because of water on the lens.

Looking at the video, as always there is a lot of stuff that I need to work on.  The most obvious is that I have re-established my habit of digging way too deep and rowing over a barrel.  I also need to work on making the body and arms part of the stroke more powerful.

          Workout Summary - media/20181013-1355320o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|08201|58:05.0|03:32.5|097.1|21.0|140.9|179.0|06.7
W-|05624|25:27.0|02:15.8|169.3|25.2|166.3|179.0|08.8
R-|02583|32:38.0|06:19.2|040.9|17.7|121.2|179.0|03.7
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00240|01:03.0|02:11.0|155.2|26.5|154.7|164.0|08.6
02|04363|19:36.7|02:14.9|176.1|25.8|170.7|179.0|08.6 - the race.
03|00632|02:55.2|02:18.6|151.6|22.6|150.2|159.0|09.6
04|00142|00:40.4|02:22.2|143.5|22.3|155.9|157.0|09.4
05|00247|01:12.0|02:25.8|128.4|21.6|148.8|151.0|09.5

My pace was 2:14.9 this year.  I did this race in 2015 in similar conditions and my pace was a 2:12.9.  Here is a link.  2015 was my best year at the HOCR.  Comparing the two races, I pushed hard in 2015, with the last 5 minutes above 178 bpm.  My rowing looks very similar.  I am probably about 15 lbs heavier now.  I am ever the optimist and when you put all that together, I come to the conclusion that I can get back to and even exceed where I was in 2015.  As always, it comes down to weight, technique and fitness.

Well, enough for now.  I think I will go do some easy rowing on the dreaded dynamic.