Cherishing routine – 3/10 to 3/12

I got back from California last Tuesday night and since then, I’ve trained every day.  It’s been so nice being able to go to bed at an OK time, drive to work, get my session in and then do my job.  I have to cherish this, because I’m heading out to China, next Monday morning.

Sunday – 3/10 – 15 x 3’/1′ L3 on slides

I worked hard in the waterfall session on Sunday, but I wanted to get in my 3rd “hard” workout of the week.  I felt like I didn’t have the fortitude to hold up in a long continuous piece like a 10K, so I opted for one of my favorite short interval/short rest sessions from the Wolverine Plan.  This workout tends to be bit faster than other L3 workouts, and it gets pretty intense in the last 5 reps, but having the 1 minute breaks makes it pretty manageable.  Even if you blow a rep, you have a chance for redemption coming right up.  So, I think it gives a similar physical training effect, but is a lot less taxing mentally.

I haven’t done enough middle distance work on slide to have a great idea about pacing, but I don’t like it when I do less than 800m per rep (1:52.5), so I used that as my goal.

I fell short of 800m on reps 11, 12, 13 and 14.  Average distance per rep was 806m.  Average pace was 1:51.7.

It was quite a workout.  Over 30 minutes in TR and a nice little touch of red at the end.

Monday – 11 March – 3 x 18’/2′ L4 (static)

My ass was dragging on Monday morning.  But, I was hoping to do a nice long 4 x 18′ session.  I ended up stopping after 3 reps because I was feeling pretty worn out.

       Workout Summary - media/20190311-1235390o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|13861|60:00.0|02:09.9|167.1|17.1|140.0|159.0|13.5
W-|12947|54:00.0|02:05.1|179.6|17.4|140.8|159.0|13.8
R-|00918|06:00.0|03:16.1|054.0|14.9|132.7|159.0|10.5
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01429|06:00.0|02:05.9|177.1|16.5|121.7|134.0|14.4
01|01444|06:00.0|02:04.6|180.9|17.6|136.9|140.0|13.7
02|01427|06:00.0|02:06.1|174.6|17.1|139.7|142.0|13.9
03|01433|06:00.0|02:05.6|180.2|17.2|132.9|146.0|13.9
04|01442|06:00.0|02:04.8|180.6|17.7|144.5|150.0|13.6
05|01442|06:00.0|02:04.8|180.6|17.6|147.8|151.0|13.6
06|01421|06:00.0|02:06.7|173.4|16.7|139.2|147.0|14.2
07|01442|06:00.0|02:04.9|180.0|17.7|148.8|155.0|13.6
08|01465|06:00.0|02:02.8|189.1|18.3|155.2|159.0|13.3

Tuesday – 12 March – Pyramid L1

I felt like I had been hit by a truck this morning when my alarm went off.  I barely dragged myself out of bed.  But today is L1 day and L1 day must be respected!

The schedule called for the pyramid.  Last time, I managed a 1:42 pace, so this time the goal was to try to hold 1:42 until the last two reps and then go faster.  It didn’t end up turning out that way.

I started with a 2k warmup.

I think I need a longer warmup.

Then it was time to program the session into the PM.  It made me think that Concept2 should offer a more expensive, fancier PM that would make this easier.  I would buy one in a heartbeat and get the gym to upgrade.  Actually, if they just added the ability to download programmable workouts from ergdata, that would work too.  It was a lot of button pressing.

Here’s how it went.

  • 250.  (1:41.2 split) Felt good, but I was a bit worried that it started to bite with about 10 strokes left.
  • 500 (1:41.3) Ooo.  That was a bit more work than I had hoped.
  • 750 (1:41.4) I struggled through the last 250.
  • 1000 (1:46.5).  I held a 1:41 split through the first 250m, and when it started to bite, I chickened out.  I wasn’t in distress yet, but my thighs were burning and my breathing was a bit ragged.  I was counting strokes, but I went out too hard and didn’t manage pace very well.  Anyway, I basically stopped rowing for about 2 seconds and then started up again.  By that time, the average split was around 1:55.  I held about a 1:45 pace and watched the average slowly come down.  Then with about 250m left to go I pushed harder.  Not my best work.
  • 750 (1:40.7).  I was kinda mad at myself, I didn’t want to blow another rep.  I rowed this one carefully through the first 500m and then emptied the tanks in the last 250.  I coasted into the last stroke feeling really gassed.
  • 500 (1:38.1).  Now we’re getting into “fun time”.  I consciously tried to rate up and hold the split under 1:40.  This was pretty much OK through 300m, but the last 200 were very close to the edge.
  • 250 (1:33.4).  All out.  I used to do this one well below 1:30.  Sucks to suck.

I need to harden up and stop bailing on reps like this.  It’s a bad habit.

 

Weekend L4s and Pyramid Monday

I am feeling very grateful.  Over the past week, my work schedule has been reasonable, my various injuries are getting much better, and I’ve been able to string together some good training sessions.

Saturday – February 2 : 3 x 20′ / 2′ L4 Dynamic

Started a bit too aggressively at 160W/18spm.  I should have stuck with 150W/18spm like last weekend.  I dropped back in the second 20 minute piece and it was a lot better.

        Workout Summary - media/20190203-1800500o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|14970|66:00.0|02:12.3|162.0|19.5|140.5|165.0|11.6
W-|14218|60:00.0|02:06.6|172.6|19.5|141.7|165.0|12.2
R-|00755|06:00.0|03:58.4|055.9|19.7|128.0|165.0|09.2
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|04753|20:00.0|02:06.2|173.6|18.9|133.6|147.0|12.6
01|04715|20:00.0|02:07.3|170.1|19.5|142.3|153.0|12.1
02|04750|20:00.0|02:06.3|173.9|19.9|149.2|165.0|11.9

Sunday – February 3: 3 x 18′ / 2′ L4

Sunday was my scheduled rest day, but I’ve been missing so much training that I wanted to get a lightish session in.  I was also worried about sleeping Sunday night if I didn’t exercise.

I did 6 minute sequences today, and at a bit higher intensity.  I ran out of gas in the last 9 minutes.  I was fine with easing up in this session.  I had my eyes on the Monday session.

        Workout Summary - media/20190203-2330370o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|13770|60:00.0|02:10.7|160.3|19.3|145.0|162.0|11.9
W-|12723|54:00.0|02:07.3|169.9|19.3|145.9|162.0|12.2
R-|01052|06:00.0|02:51.1|073.6|18.8|137.3|162.0|10.5
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01434|06:00.0|02:05.5|175.8|19.7|121.5|140.0|12.1
01|01428|06:00.0|02:06.0|175.6|19.9|139.0|147.0|12.0
02|01430|06:00.0|02:05.9|175.6|19.8|145.3|152.0|12.0
03|01427|06:00.0|02:06.2|175.3|19.8|142.8|153.0|12.0
04|01430|06:00.0|02:05.9|175.9|19.9|151.5|159.0|12.0
05|01429|06:00.0|02:05.9|175.9|19.8|156.4|162.0|12.0
06|01387|06:00.0|02:09.8|160.2|18.4|148.1|155.0|12.5
07|01386|06:00.0|02:09.8|160.2|18.6|154.2|158.0|12.4
08|01372|06:00.0|02:11.2|155.0|17.7|154.2|155.0|12.9

Monday – February 4 : 250/500/750/1000/750/500/250 – Pyramid

I really like this session.  The 1k and the second 750 are really tough, but the last 500 and 250 are a blast.  I set a pace target of 1:45, and I ended up beating it.

Started with a 2k warmup and finished with a 2k cool down.

My HR monitor didn’t work right in  the last 500.  I’ve seen this in other workouts, when my HR rises very quickly, the HR monitor gets confused.

        Workout Summary - media/20190204-1316240o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|06855|36:09.0|02:38.2|145.4|19.5|138.1|172.0|09.7
W-|04000|13:37.0|01:42.2|329.0|28.3|153.5|172.0|10.4
R-|02857|22:31.0|03:56.6|034.3|14.3|128.8|172.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|00250|00:50.5|01:41.1|317.0|28.1|135.5|146.0|10.6
01|00500|01:44.4|01:44.4|317.2|27.4|153.3|162.0|10.5
02|00750|02:34.5|01:43.0|318.1|27.7|158.0|167.0|10.5
03|01000|03:26.9|01:43.5|317.6|27.7|161.4|172.0|10.5
04|00750|02:34.4|01:42.9|322.2|28.1|158.5|171.0|10.4
05|00500|01:38.9|01:38.9|361.8|29.8|135.8|145.0|10.2
06|00250|00:47.9|01:35.8|405.5|32.1|145.4|158.0|09.8

1:42 will be a very challenging target for the next time I do this workout.

I did a quick flex plot of power and pace versus stroke rate.

bokeh_plot (69)

I was surprised to see my stroke power increasing as steeply as it is.  The slope is roughly 18W per SPM.  In endurance workouts, I am a lot closer to 10W per SPM.

Digging deeper, I could see that the stroke force was getting a bit higher as the rate went up, and I was able to maintain consistent drive length.

As the result of the steep slope in the power vs SPM curve, my work per stroke was increasing as I went faster.

bokeh_plot (72)

I am not sure how I feel about this.  I like the fact that my stroke length stayed consistent, but I think I need to lighten up a bit at higher rates to be able to maintain them for longer pieces.

Tomorrow:  3 x 20′ / 2′ L4

 

Tuesday: OTW Pyramid

Weather:  Perfect.

Plan:

  • L1 Pyramid workout
  • 250m/500m/750m/1000m/750m/500m/250m
  • Roughly 1’30” of rest per 250m rowed
  • stroke rate target: 28-32
  • pace target:  Not really sure, maybe around 2:00
  • Technique:  Work on improving efficiency at high stroke rates.  Try to maintain length and form.  Especially keep finishes clean.

I was not feeling good about this workout.  My back hurt and I debated whether it was wise to risk to row with it hurting.  I’ve had mixed results, some days rowing doesn’t seem to cause any problems and other days, I feel much worse afterwards.  (More about that later).  I decided to give it a try and bail out if I felt too compromised.

I did a short warm up while heading through the twisty bits to the start of the good section of the river.  Since I am training for head races, I eased into each interval with a rolling start, not a racing start (also a bit easier on my back).

I did the intervals by distance.  This was a bit of a challenge because I wanted the 4 fields on the speedcoach for pace, HR, effective length and work per stroke.  I used RIM for distance and stroke rate on the boat acceleration screen.  Analyzing the data later, it looks like there is some innaccuracy in how RIM starts measuring meters because even though I rowed through the full distance by the display, the data on the speedcoach shows I cheated each interval by up to 50 meters.  I think I’ll go by time delimited intervals from now on when I’m on the water.

I pounded out the first interval and, frankly, it felt awful.  Well, it’s more complicated than that.  I really enjoyed the feeling of getting up to speed and seeing the speedcoach dip down into the 1:50s on pace.  I love the gurgling noise the boat makes when I’m going fast.  I also like the skinny smoothies at higher rates.  I felt more stable, and under control above 30 SPM with the longer oars and I felt like the softer shafts made the drive smoother.  So, that was what dominated my thinking for the first 20 strokes.  Then it hit me.  The last 10 strokes really hurt.  Whoops.  I guess I need to be a little more conservative.

So, I backed off a bit for the 500m.  That went OK.  The 750m was basically the same deal.  I was now struggling a bit with intestinal issues that hit pretty hard after I finished each piece.  The back was feeling OK though.  I was not looking forward to the 1000m.

For the first 2 intervals, I had rowed back to the start after each and rowed them downstream, but for the 1000, I rowed it in the other direction.  There wasn’t much current, but there was a light breeze blowing down river and it surprised me how much slower I was going on the 1000m in the other direction.  But I made it through it and it was pretty clear sailing for the rest of it.

I didn’t realized how tired I was getting, but I had a bad case of tunnel vision in the last 250m and nearly ran myself into the riverbank with some very poor steering.  I had to do one of those full stops where you jam both oars in and reverse feather to avoid it.

I rowed back to the dock with feet out and tried to work on perfect finishes.

8-22a

When you look at it on a pie chart it looks a lot easier than it felt.

You can see how the intervals all got shaved down a bit.  Very disappointing for a completist like myself.  i probably would have been close to the 2:00 target if I hadn’t been working against the head wind in the 1000m piece.

        Workout Summary - media/20170822-151706-Greg Smith 20170822 0636amo.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|10478|69:33.0|03:19.2|130.5|23.7|138.4|176.0|06.3
W-|03780|15:34.0|02:03.7|267.5|29.4|158.8|176.0|08.2
R-|06699|53:59.0|04:01.8|069.6|21.1|129.5|176.0|07.2
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00233|00:55.6|01:59.3|278.9|29.9|149.0|159.0|08.4
02|00475|01:55.1|02:01.2|274.7|30.0|152.8|165.0|08.2
03|00701|02:54.6|02:04.5|274.4|28.4|158.3|172.0|08.5
04|00962|04:09.7|02:09.8|251.3|28.8|163.9|175.0|08.0
05|00704|02:56.3|02:05.2|248.8|28.8|160.9|174.0|08.3
06|00464|01:49.3|01:57.8|289.5|30.8|160.3|176.0|08.3
07|00241|00:54.2|01:52.5|308.9|33.0|150.3|167.0|08.1

I did a lot of metrics charts.

  • power and wps: pretty consistent through the workout.
  • stroke rate and pace:  I tried to hold 28 for the 750s and 1000.  I tried to push it up to 30 or higher for the 500s and 250s
  • peak force:  I think it’s interesting that I was most consistent in the last 500m interval.  I bet that’s a good thing.  The prior 750 looks much sloppier.
  • length:  Very happy that my effective length was consistent as I got more tired.

The bads news was that I could barely stand up after I got back  to the dock.  My lower back was VERY irritated.  Well to be more precise about it, the area at the top of my left glute, right around where my pelvis is.  It is not very painful once I find a reasonable position, but bending over and getting up from sitting cause me problems.

Since then, I’ve been on a diet of ibuprofen and rest.  I skipped yesterday’s L4 and today’s L2.  I’m not sure how long this will take to heal, but I think I will avoid rowing for a few days.  I’ll give the stationary bike a go to see if I can at least save a bit of aerobic fitness.

 

July CTC – Sprinting? What’s sprinting?

In an effort to get back to basics, I have been thinking about getting away from fancy training plans and just get back to doing the Wolverine Plan.  It was my mainstay for the run up to my first CRASH-Bs and it has the advantage of simplicity and flexibility.

My life is too hectic to try to implement meso-cycle based training, and while I might tailor my sessions a bit to focus on head race distance instead of 2K performance, doing the basic WP would probably get me in much better shape.

Over the past 6 months I have been trying to follow the Eddie Fletcher Marathon Training Plan.  I haven’t been very successful with it, but that is not the plan’s fault.  My lack of success is directly related to not having enough time to do the sessions, and having travel disrupt the progressions built into the plan.  Nevertheless, my endurance is much better than my sprinting ability right now.  It’s been a long time since I pulled any sessions at a pace faster than 1:50.

So, today was going to be a shock to the system.  At least I had the advantage of going in with very low expectations.

Here’s the CTC definition.

Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 9.26.28 AM.png

I added a 2K warmup (with some power10s at 1:45 or faster), and a 2k cooldown at 2:15 pace.

Warmup:  The 1:45s were hard!  And I had a lot of trouble getting the rating up.  I haven’t really had my stroke rate much above 25 for the last 6 months.  It showed.

IMG_2334

The into the main event.  I decided to target a 1:45 pace.  Mainly because I had no idea what else to do.  That proved a little too spicy in the 1000m piece, but otherwise it was a fine target.  Based on the HR data, I didn’t phone this one in.  I was working at very close to my limits.

My total time added up to 13:53.1 (1:44.1 pace), which puts me in Free Spirits Boat 3 and at 127 of 370 entries.  The last guy in Boat 2 is significantly ahead of me in the rankings (13:38.7, 1:42.3 pace), so that is not a good motivation to take another shot at this.  The other is that I probably won’t see another erg until I’m back in Boston.  Notice how horribly low the stroke rate is.  I guess sprinting is something you need to actually train for.  Who knew?

I was pretty shattered at the end of it, and I dialed up a 2k cool down.  I was originally thinking that I would do a happy ending cool down with 500m at 2:00, then 500m at 2:05, 500m at 2:10 and 500m At 2:15, but I got the feeling I might pass out or throw up during the first 20 strokes at 2:00 pace, so I backed off and just tried to hit exactly 9:00 for the whole thing.  I missed by 0.4sec.  Another thing I’m out of practice at, I guess!

IMG_2337

Here’s the HR data for the whole workout.  That’s a whole lotta red!  Nearly 6 minutes of it.

7-27a

7-27b

I still felt a bit funny after the cool down.  I went to my room, and lay down for about 30 minutes.  After that I was feeling much better and was ready to start my day.

Tonight I fly to Taiwan.  I’m there for a day, then fly on Saturday to Macau.  My plan is to do a 60 minute endurance session tomorrow morning at the hotel.

 

Pyramid of Pain

Back to the lake.  It beckoned to us.  No ice at all and flat water.  I wanted to row so badly.  Oh well, we had to satisfy ourselves with the view out the window.

12662043_874353312663021_7124946785866054928_n

The plan for today

  • fletcher 20′ warmup
  • Sprint Pyramid
    • 1’/2’/3’/4’/3’/2’/1′
    • equal rests
    • Pace target: 1:41
    • Rate target: 30
  • 2K cool down

I felt OK during the warmup.  I pushed it too fast at first, and looking at the HR data later, it was a bit high.  I did not like my erg at all.  Sounded like grinding gears, and near the finish it felt like the connection to the flywheel was “mushy”.  Not sure why, but it was definitely a sub-par erg.  I blame it for my lousy performance.

The warmup.  First 4 minutes should have been closer to 2:05.  The second to 2:02.

2016-01-30 10.26.23

The the main event.

2016-01-30 10.26.32

2016-01-30 10.26.43

The cool down

2016-01-30 10.27.03

And the HR plot.  I was working very hard for those crappy splits.

Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 2.35.33 PM

Tomorrow:  4×20’/1′