Treading water (but no actual swimming)

Last post was on Sept 3rd, quite a while ago.  That covered my row on Sept 2.

Tuesday – Sept 3 – Drills on the fives

Back in my single, back in Newton.  Feeling a bit unfamiliar.  Best way to cure that…Drills!

The plan is simple, row for 4 minutes and then do 1 minute of drills.

  • square blade
  • late feather
  • open palms on recovery
  • half slide rowing
  • pause at body over

It was a nice morning, and there some other boats out.  Even if I’m not really prepping for an event, it’s still nice to be out and working on getting better.

        Workout Summary - media/20190904-1621000o.csv
--|Total|-Total----|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time-----|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|13861|01:16:02.4|02:44.6|000.0|19.8|142.8|164.0|09.2
W-|08194|00:39:47.2|02:25.7|000.0|20.0|147.2|162.0|10.3
R-|05685|00:36:16.6|03:11.4|000.0|19.6|138.0|162.0|09.4
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00084|00:25.1|02:29.4|000.0|19.2|124.5|126.0|10.5
02|00318|01:31.2|02:23.2|000.0|19.0|135.2|141.0|11.0
03|00189|00:54.2|02:23.5|000.0|19.8|132.9|137.0|10.6
04|00850|04:03.6|02:23.2|000.0|19.6|146.0|153.0|10.7
05|00840|04:06.4|02:26.7|000.0|19.5|147.8|151.0|10.5
06|00341|01:38.0|02:23.7|000.0|19.5|149.5|153.0|10.7
07|00832|04:04.2|02:26.7|000.0|19.6|145.4|149.0|10.5
08|00735|03:37.2|02:27.7|000.0|19.5|149.0|153.0|10.4
09|00487|02:22.0|02:25.8|000.0|20.2|148.5|153.0|10.2
10|00237|01:10.9|02:29.8|000.0|19.4|141.8|147.0|10.3
11|00179|00:52.8|02:27.3|000.0|19.2|141.6|143.0|10.6
12|00535|02:37.2|02:26.8|000.0|19.8|150.6|155.0|10.3
13|00576|02:45.6|02:23.7|000.0|20.7|152.9|159.0|10.1
14|00736|03:34.7|02:25.9|000.0|20.1|148.8|156.0|10.2
15|00311|01:31.9|02:27.7|000.0|20.2|149.0|152.0|10.0
16|00343|01:40.6|02:26.8|000.0|20.3|156.2|157.0|10.1
17|00128|00:38.0|02:28.2|000.0|20.6|145.7|148.0|09.8
18|00072|00:22.6|02:36.7|000.0|21.2|131.3|133.0|09.0
19|00400|01:51.0|02:18.9|000.0|23.1|151.1|162.0|09.3

Wednesday – 4 Sept: 2′ on / 1′ off increasing rates

This was a hard and fun session.  There was a reasonable headwind going upriver.  I ran out of oomph in the last set, which I did the first three downriver and then turned to come back.  I bailed on the r28 rep, and then basically did 1′ and 1′ off of r28 instead for a few reps, just to get a bit more time at rate.

       Workout Summary - media/20190904-1621460o.csv
--|Total|-Total----|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time-----|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|11736|01:07:54.1|02:53.6|112.8|22.1|144.4|179.0|07.8
W-|06742|00:30:02.8|02:13.7|174.3|23.9|153.6|178.0|09.5
R-|05008|00:37:52.6|03:46.9|064.0|20.7|137.1|178.0|07.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00112|00:33.0|02:27.7|128.7|19.8|127.0|129.0|10.3
02|00415|01:57.0|02:21.1|130.8|20.0|135.0|145.0|10.6
03|00430|01:57.0|02:16.0|165.5|22.4|139.2|152.0|09.8
04|00473|02:03.4|02:10.5|159.0|24.2|149.0|160.0|09.5
05|00477|02:02.5|02:08.3|182.3|26.0|155.0|166.0|09.0
06|00246|01:00.4|02:02.8|222.8|27.9|152.2|161.0|08.8
07|00411|01:55.7|02:20.7|151.6|20.2|142.1|159.0|10.6
08|00459|02:04.6|02:15.8|171.3|22.1|157.1|167.0|10.0
09|00441|01:57.9|02:13.7|201.0|23.8|160.6|172.0|09.4
10|00476|02:04.8|02:11.1|183.0|25.4|164.8|175.0|09.0
11|00456|01:55.9|02:07.2|217.0|28.0|168.8|178.0|08.4
12|00418|01:56.1|02:18.9|134.6|19.6|145.1|160.0|11.0
13|00447|02:00.2|02:14.4|164.5|21.5|155.3|166.0|10.4
14|00442|01:56.4|02:11.6|149.9|24.1|161.5|171.0|09.5
15|00433|01:56.0|02:13.9|210.9|26.4|164.9|176.0|08.5
16|00147|00:39.9|02:16.1|179.1|28.6|162.0|164.0|07.7
17|00226|01:01.1|02:15.1|192.7|27.5|154.8|167.0|08.1
18|00234|01:00.9|02:10.1|213.8|27.6|158.6|167.0|08.4

Thursday – Sept 5 – crappy static 10K

I had a conference call that went until after 10pm, so I slept in instead of getting up to row.  Later in the day, I went to the gym for a quick session.  I decided to do a threshold piece, and 10K has been giving me a lot of trouble lately.  I might as well work on that.  I set a target to just keep the pace under 2:00, and if you looked at the monitor picture, you’d conclude that it wasn’t so bad.

Sure, a little bobble in the middle, but no big deal.  Here’s the summary plot though.

3 HD’s!  I am in a tough place right now.  My stroke power is great, but my aerobic capacity is not anywhere near it was.  So I go too hard, under rate, and get discouraged.  I also don’t have a hard training objective, or trackable plan so, it is easy to start playing mind games when it gets a little scary in the middle of a long row.  Finally, ergs are boring.  I think I have to do a better job at rowing to stroke rate and pace goals.  I have to stop over cooking the beginnings of these rows.

Friday – Sept 6 – No training

I was working from home on Friday, so I didn’t go off to row in the morning.  I planned to do an erg session, but I didn’t have a gap in my schedule to go do it.

Saturday – 7 Sept – Aborted 10K

We stayed in Hopkinton this weekend, and so I planned to do an erg session in the afternoon.  I was so pissed off about the 10K row that I thought I would try again (today on slides).

I didn’t warm up on Thursday, so I did a nice 2K warmup.

Then I decided to be very careful and stick to the 2:00 pace.  I made it less than 2k before I gave up.  I was having some stomach issues and I really needed to stop the row.

That was massively depressing.  I really seem to be struggling.

Sunday – 8 Sept – 3 x 30′ / 2′

I was feeling very spooked about how badly things had been going.  I decided to step back and do a very consistent, low intensity session and go extra long.

It was a good call.  I was relaxed, enjoyed some good podcasts, and felt much better afterwards.

        Workout Summary - media/20190908-2135590o.csv
--|Total|-Total----|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time-----|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|21997|01:34:41.3|02:09.1|166.7|19.3|140.6|157.0|12.0
W-|20623|01:26:46.5|02:06.2|174.1|19.1|142.2|157.0|12.4
R-|01379|00:07:55.2|02:52.3|084.8|21.7|123.5|157.0|09.6
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|06551|27:36.3|02:06.4|173.4|19.2|133.5|144.0|12.4
02|07045|29:41.7|02:06.5|173.2|18.9|142.9|149.0|12.5
03|07028|29:28.5|02:05.8|175.8|19.3|149.6|157.0|12.4

Monday – 9 Sept – Steady state OTW with Humon

--|Total|-Total----|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time-----|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|13655|01:16:06.2|02:47.2|120.6|20.1|133.4|158.0|08.9
W-|11821|00:58:46.1|02:29.1|138.2|19.5|139.6|158.0|10.4
R-|01839|00:17:20.7|04:43.0|061.2|21.9|112.4|158.0|06.6
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00152|00:45.6|02:29.8|130.5|19.7|130.3|133.0|10.1
02|02793|14:09.2|02:32.0|129.3|17.9|135.9|141.0|11.0
03|02716|13:46.6|02:32.2|131.8|18.3|135.3|148.0|10.8
04|02721|13:22.5|02:27.5|144.3|20.5|143.4|158.0|09.9
05|02777|13:39.0|02:27.5|142.8|20.1|144.9|154.0|10.1
06|00290|01:19.2|02:16.6|172.4|25.7|141.7|153.0|08.5
07|00372|01:44.0|02:19.8|155.5|25.4|137.5|154.0|08.4

Paces are slower because I used the data from the 2′ on 1′ off workout to do an analysis comparing gps and impeller data for up river and down river segments.  My calibration was off by about 3 seconds per 500m.  Bummer.  I’m slower than I thought I was. 😞

On the plus side, this session was just delightful from beginning to end.  I rowed it with Humon and tried to dance on the edge between green and orange.  I found that I am working a lot more efficiently at r20 than r18.

Screen Shot 2019-09-14 at 11.46.11 AM

Tuesday – 10 Sept – No Training

I was out late because of a work celebration.  One of my coworkers was celebrating their 40th work anniversary.  So, I slept in on Tuesday morning.  I intended to go to the gym, but too many interruptions and too much work to do.

Wednesday – 11 Sept – Steady State OTW with Humon

Same session as monday.  tried to stick to r20.  I decided to do some higher rate work in the warmup to see if it hurt or helped later on.

At the end of my warmup, as I approached the dam in Waltham, I passed a sculler going the other way.  I’ve talked to him a number of times, a nice guy in his seventies.  Anyway, I got to the end, turned my boat, had a drink and then set off after him.  I knew it was just a steady state session, but the knowledge that there was a boat out  there ahead of me was stuck in my head.  I maintained my rate, but there might have been a little extra pressure in my stroke.  I caught up with him as we went through the s-turn.  He pushed a bit harder as I passed to mark time with me.  He’s going to be in the HOCR in a couple weeks (lucky guy) and he’s out most morning now training.

After I finished that leg, I spun around and followed him into the cove, which is now “protected” by a set of booms.  I had no trouble navigating the gap in the booms to get in the cove, and I had a nice chat with him as he docked.  But when I went to leave the cove, there was a reasonably strong tail wind and I got pushed into the booms.  It took me a lot of backing and forthing to extricate myself and at times I was really worried that I was going to end up going for a swim.  I think I’ll avoid the cove until those booms are gone.

Screen Shot 2019-09-14 at 11.51.20 AM

     Workout Summary - media/20190914-1451000o.csv
--|Total|-Total----|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time-----|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|12637|01:17:24.7|03:03.8|111.0|21.5|136.9|172.0|07.6
W-|07963|00:39:33.5|02:29.0|148.4|21.4|147.6|169.0|09.5
R-|04688|00:37:52.4|04:02.4|071.9|21.6|125.8|169.0|06.5
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00217|01:03.5|02:26.3|130.4|19.9|121.7|136.0|10.3
02|00212|00:59.6|02:20.8|156.8|22.0|128.8|140.0|09.7
03|00219|01:01.2|02:19.7|171.4|23.5|131.0|141.0|09.1
04|00207|00:56.4|02:16.2|129.4|25.4|138.8|150.0|08.7
05|00204|00:51.1|02:05.4|222.4|28.2|144.1|157.0|08.5
06|00205|00:49.8|02:01.5|249.2|31.3|146.8|163.0|07.9
07|00201|00:46.2|01:54.8|277.3|34.9|154.5|169.0|07.5
08|00791|04:04.0|02:34.2|134.5|20.1|146.4|154.0|09.7
09|01195|06:11.6|02:35.5|142.5|20.3|158.9|166.0|09.5
10|00391|02:00.6|02:34.1|151.9|19.9|158.2|162.0|09.8
11|00084|00:26.4|02:36.2|153.0|22.5|127.7|131.0|08.5
12|01680|08:22.2|02:29.4|130.9|20.0|144.4|151.0|10.0
13|01434|07:29.5|02:36.8|136.8|20.4|149.6|155.0|09.4
14|00427|02:12.8|02:35.5|144.9|19.8|153.0|154.0|09.8
15|00339|01:35.6|02:20.9|179.1|25.0|146.0|161.0|08.5
16|00156|00:43.0|02:18.3|200.7|26.6|140.9|153.0|08.2

Thursday – 12 Sept – 3 x 20′ / 2′

Another late night.  We had dinner with a customer, and we had meetings setup to start early Thursday morning.  I decided to not row before the meeting so I could be on time and not sweaty when we got started.  Later in the day, after the meeting was over, I went to the gym and did a steady state session.  R19, 170w.

Weird misbehavior of the HR monitor at the start of the second piece.

Friday – 13 Sept – 10 x 3’/1′ Threshold

Another early meeting, so not enough time to row OTW.  I only had time for an abbreviated session.  I usually do 15×3′, but I cut back the number to fit the time and pushed a little harder.  It was a good session.  I was really happy with it.

Pretty remarkable smo2 swings…68% to 54%.  I still don’t really understand what it means when the algorithm goes from red back to orange or green in the depths of a hard interval.

Screen Shot 2019-09-14 at 12.16.35 PM

This was a very satisfying workout.  I felt better all day afterwards.

Today:  Steady state on the erg.

 

 

 

The rest of my trip

After my adventure on Sunday, I rushed back to my hotel, took a quick shower, packed up my stuff and headed to the train station.  We took a train from Shanghai to the city of Hefei, about two and a half hours away by high speed rail.

Once we arrive, we had a nice dinner with some of the team leaders there, and I called it a night.

Monday, June 24 – Treadmill

There was a well equipped fitness center in the hotel in Hefei, but alas no rowing machines.  I grabbed a treadmill and started to hike.  Going gradually to see how well I could coax my smo2% up in a warmup.  I definitely didn’t give it enough time and it peaked out much lower than other sessions.

Basically what I did was start walking slow and level.  Then I increased the pace to about 3 mph.  Then I increased the incline every minute to get me to 15%.  Around the 5 minute mark, I did a 1 minute run on the incline, that’s the dip.  Then I slowed it way back down, and had a drink.  In retrospect, I should have done that a couple more times to open things up.

Then I just hiked up the 15% incline at about 3 mph.  I saw orange, so I back off to 2.8 soon after starting.  That worked fine until about 20 minutes in, where I needed to drop the pace a bit more.  The last minute or two was in the orange, but my HR was still quite low.

Screen Shot 2019-06-28 at 3.58.20 AM

When I got back to my room, it was sunny, clear and beautiful outside.  My room had a great view.

 

 

I had a busy day at our design center in Hefei.  I great group of engineers.  In the afternoon, we headed to the train station and headed back in the direction of Shanghai, stopping in the city of Wuxi.  I was schedule to have a business dinner with a customer.  We went to a really good Japanese restaurant and had lots of beer and Sushi.

Tuesday, June 25 – Stationary Bike intervals with Humon

The fitness center was hot, and I was feeling pretty tired, and just a little hungover.  I hopped on a stationary bike, and started pedaling.  I did about 20 minutes of warmup, including a couple of sprinty bits.  This warmup increased my smo2 from 63% to 70.9%.

Then I programmed in one of the preset “interval sessions”.   I set it for a 40 minute session.  This turned out to be another 10 minutes of warming up and then a one minute on / one minute off routine with 4 levels of intensity for a total of 14 reps.

As it turned out, I had not set the intensity high enough for this session, as you can see I was not getting into the red in most of the sprints.

Screen Shot 2019-06-28 at 3.37.38 AM

But, it was interesting following my progress on the app.  I met my colleague in the lobby and we grabbed a “didi” (basically the same as an Uber) to drive us to Shanghai, which was about a 90 minute ride.

When we got to Shanghai, I went straight to a lunch time meeting with one of our teams there, then headed over to another office and had another set of meetings.  In the evening, I had a business dinner with a customer at an extremely good, very small Chinese restaurant.  Then it was back to the Kerry hotel.

Wednesday, June 26 – 3 x 20′ Endurance Session on the erg

I grabbed the good erg, and set myself up to do a nice gentle warmup.  I started with a pick drill, and then just gentle rowing.  I was alarmed by the early appearance of some orange.  I decided to experiment with a set of moderate power bursts.  I did 10, 20, 30, and 40 strokes The 40 strokes I did a noticeably lower power.  You can see the corresponding dips and recoveries in the SMO2%.  I finished very close to where I started, 72% vs 69%.  I’d have to say that this was not an entirely successful warmup.  I suspect that it would have recovered to a much higher umber, but not in the 2 minute rest that I had programmed.

Screen Shot 2019-06-28 at 4.11.06 AM

The rest of the session was pretty much terrible.  I had a lot of trouble staying in the green and ended up just alternating r18 and r20 at 160W and 180W.  Even with that light load, my SMO2% was low, and my HR was a bit high.  I was a bit grumpy so I sprinted out the last 2 minutes, taking my SMO2% way down to a 61%.

It’s interesting that the Humon color algorithm is a much more sensitive indicator than HR.  If my theory that I am not making good progress because I had been overcooking my steady state stuff, this will certainly put that theory to the test.

I went straight from my workout into some work calls, took a quick shower, and headed into the office for a couple of last meetings.

After lunch, I headed to the airport to fly to Taiwan, the last stop on my, way too long trip.  I arrived at my Hotel, the Sheraton in Hsinchu around 8, had some dinner, and then I was on the phone in conferences until about 11pm.

Thursday, June 27 – Inclined walk

I was up at 5:30 and in the fitness center before 6.  I headed to the treadmills and settled in for another boring slog.

The plan was the same as the last one, but I was going to try to take the warmup more slowly.  Again, I got up to a healthy walking speed and then boosted the inline, but only a degree or two every minute.  It was good to see my SMO2 climbing as I went.  After twenty minutes I was at the right incline and then stopped to grab a drink and towel off.  It was remarkably hot and humid.  My SMO2 climbed really well in that rest period.  From 63% at the start to over 72% after recovery.

Screen Shot 2019-06-28 at 4.26.28 AM

In the session itself, I found that I was pretty tired and the  time was going very slowly.  Kept popping over into orange, and I would slow down a tenth or drop the incline by a degree each time.  But you can see how many times that happened.  It was not my best work.

After my workout, I started my business day.  A couple of quick calls in my room.  It was a misty morning, and the mountains near Hsinchu looked like classic asian landscape art to me.

2019-06-27 07.09.48lores

To our office for prep meetings, then to a customer reception at lunch, then to another customer meeting, then back for another internal meeting, and finally a dinner meeting with a few of the managers.  Around 8 I headed to airport and got on a work teleconference.  This lasted my whole trip to the airport.  I checked in, got settled in the China Airlines lounge and got on another work call.  This lasted until it was almost time to board my 11:35 flight.  This flight took me from Taipei to San Francisco.  I arrived at 8pm, shuffled off to the Delta terminal and caught the 10:42pm red eye to Boston.  I am currently over Nebraska with another 2:37 to go.

Once I get to Logan Airport, I am going to drive straight to the Cape.  Hopefully arriving before 11 on Friday.

It’s been quite a trip.  I had a rowing experience I will never forget.  Visited places I have never been, and worked out every day that I was on the ground.  I’m pretty happy with that.

 

 

Jun 17 to Jun 22 – Greetings from China

Monday, June 17 – No Training

I was down on the Cape this weekend and stayed over Sunday night.  I left for work at 5am on Monday morning and arrived around 8.  Just enough time for a quick shower and into a busy day of meetings.

Tuesday, June 18 – 10K push 

I was up late on Monday night, and ended up sleeping in on Tuesday morning.  At the end of the day, I ducked into the fitness center for a quick workout.  I wanted a bit of intensity, but didn’t have the oomph for a really hard session, so I did a 10K push.  I was doing pretty well, but I had a bit of a blip near the end.

        Workout Summary - media/20190618-2100490o.csv
--|Total|-Total----|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time-----|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|10000|00:39:50.7|01:59.5|204.8|21.4|159.5|181.0|11.7
W-|10000|00:39:51.3|01:59.6|204.8|21.4|159.5|181.0|11.8
R-|00000|00:00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|181.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01000|04:07.8|02:03.9|180.6|17.6|124.9|139.0|13.7
01|01000|04:06.6|02:03.3|186.8|18.7|143.9|147.0|13.0
02|01000|04:04.0|02:02.0|192.7|20.2|151.5|154.0|12.2
03|01000|04:02.5|02:01.3|196.1|20.4|155.8|159.0|12.1
04|01000|04:00.2|02:00.1|201.6|21.3|160.2|161.0|11.7
05|01000|03:57.3|01:58.6|209.6|22.4|164.3|166.0|11.3
06|01000|03:55.7|01:57.8|213.8|22.4|168.9|170.0|11.4
07|01000|03:53.0|01:56.5|221.4|23.4|173.3|175.0|11.0
08|01000|03:49.7|01:54.9|231.3|24.1|177.3|179.0|10.8
09|01000|03:54.4|01:57.2|218.2|23.9|178.8|181.0|10.7

I wore my Humon for the session to see what this kind of session looks like.

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 8.00.20 AM

Wednesday, June 19 – 3 x 20’/2′ L4 on slides

I worked from home on Wednesday so I could take my wife to a doctor’s appointment.  In the evening, I had a time window to go get a workout, so I strapped on my Humon and went off to do a 3 x 20′ L4.

To satisfy the Humon, I started with a pick drill and slowly increased the pace to get to target around 4 minutes in.  I think it’s one of the more interesting things to experiment with is measuring the effectiveness of different warmups.

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 8.05.06 AM.png

After my workout, I had dinner, packed my bags and headed out to the airport to catch a 1:50AM departure to Hong Kong.

Thursday, June 20 – Rest Day

This day basically didn’t exist.  I flew out at 1:50AM, thursday morning and arrived in Hong Kong 5:10am Friday morning.

Friday, June 21 – Rest Day

No time for training.  I went from the airport in Hong Kong to the hotel in Shenzhen by car, took a shower, changed, and then went to an internal meeting.  Then we headed out to an 11am meeting with our customer.  After that, a customer lunch.  From there, I headed to the airport and flew to Shanghai, arriving in the evening.  I was dead tired and went straight to bed.

Saturday, June 22 – 3 x 20’/2′  Sort of an L4

I was staying at the Kerry in Shanghai, which has 2 ergs.  The one I hopped on for this session had a maximum drag of about 75, and if I hit the catch with too much aggressiveness, it would slip a cog.  Combine that with jet lag and you end up with a pretty shitty session.

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 8.14.41 AM

 

June 3 – 8: Trying out Humon

Monday – June 3: Humon Threshold Test and a few intervals

I bought a new toy.  A Humon Hex.  A muscle oxygen sensor.  I straps to your thigh and shines a light into your quadriceps.  The color of the reflected light can be used to determine the amount of oxygen in your muscle.  It advertised the ability to help you monitor lactate threshold in real time and suggested that it could help optimize both steady state and interval training.

The app supports 3 exercise types; running, cycling and rowing.  It also supports 3 sessions types; steady state, intervals and a threshold test.  Sadly, a rowing threshold test is not yet supported, but I decided  to just try it in cycling mode to see what happened.

The app is pretty slick.  I ran it on iPhone, but you can also use it with Android.  It pairs with the Humon Hex sensor and optionally a BLE HR monitor.  I’ve had mixed results trying to get the HR monitor to pair with it, but the Humon Hex sensor has been absolutely reliable in making and keeping the connection to the phone.

If you pick a Threshold test, it tells you what power to row, and counts down to your next power level while showing your smO2 percentage on the screen.  The instructions are pretty simple.  Start at 30W, and increase by 30W every 3 minutes.  Stop when you can’t do it anymore.  The app then tells you what your lactate threshold power is.  (Aka your FTP).

I sat down and gave it a go.

Here are the results from the online data site.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 8.29.28 PM.png

So, weird thing happened.  I was pushing through and I reach the 20 minute mark and go into the “red”.  I keep pushing, because that’s what they say I should do, and within a minute or so, the display goes green again.  That’s pretty weird.  It tells me I’m at “Steady State”, and I feel like I’m close to exploding.  Well, no algorithm is perfect right?  Maybe it’s the difference between rowing and cycling?  Here’s the painsled view of the same session. (I had the HR connected to Humon, not painsled for this session)

I must have done something wrong, because it didn’t give me an FTP value.

You can see I did a hard minute after I rested up to watch what would happen with the Humon.  This time it went red and stayed red for that.

I still had some time and I wanted a bit more exercise, so I just put the rower on just row and set up the humon app to guide me through intervals.  The theory is that you go until you are in the red zone and the % plateaus.  Then you rest until the % goes back to green.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 8.36.55 PM

You can see in the last interval, where I dug pretty deep, that Humon flipped me back to green.  An interesting quirk.  I found this an interesting way to do intervals

Tuesday – June 4:  Another attempt at the threshold test

I violated a rule about testing.  Generally, you want to take an easy day between tests, but I didn’t think that I pushed all that hard in the prior day’s test and I really wanted to try it out again.

This time, I managed to get the app setup right and it actually told me what it thought my FTP was.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 8.41.30 PM

I flaked out at about the same power as Monday.  The test estimated my FTP at 224W.  This actually seems pretty sensible.  In October of 2017, I measured it with a 20′ test at 244W and with a lactate step test at 238W.  I was in better shape then.  I also think I pushed the test a bit harder then.

Again, this was an insufficient amount of rowing, so I decided to do some more of the fun Humon intervals.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 8.49.25 PM.png

Today, I aimed at doing longer intervals at lower power just to watch and learn what the app did.  It did take a bit longer to get to red and longer to plateau.

Wednesday, June 5 – 5 mile run in Alexandria VA

I was Alexandria for an offsite strategy meeting.  I got up early and went for a run.  Our hotel was right on the shore of the Potomac across from Washington.  There was a nice path along the river so it seemed like a good chance to try out the Humon Hex running.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 9.01.51 PM.png

I am the world’s slowest runner, but it seemed like a fun idea to try to run keeping it in the green zone.  I always tend to push too hard on runs and this might help me with my pacing.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 8.56.35 PM

All was well until I got to the 50 minute mark.  At that point, the velcro on the Humon strap decided that it liked grabbing onto the inside of my shorts more than the other velcro.  The huge variations and spikes after that in the plot are where I needed to stop and adjust and try to get it to stay.  I think if I run, I need to keep the sensor under the leg of my underwear.

After that, we were in meetings from 8am to 6:30pm.  Then we went to a team dinner.  I got back at my hotel around 10pm, pretty tired.

Thursday – June 6 – Walk around the National Mall

Part of the offsite meeting was a group walk around the National Mall.  We met at the ungodly hour of 5:30Am in the lobby of our hotel and took a 15 bus ride.  We were let off at the Jefferson Memorial.  We walked through the FDR memorial, then to the WWII memorial, and finally to the Lincoln Memorial.  A nice 2.5mile walk.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 9.12.33 PM.png

Then another long day of meetings and another dinner.  I had too much to drink and I felt awful for the next 3 days.  I just can’t drink like I could when I was younger.

Friday – June 7 – Nothing

I had an early morning flight back to Boston, felt horrible all day, and couldn’t wait to get to bed that night.

Saturday – June 8 – 3 x 20′ / 2′ L4

At home, on slides.  Still feeling subpar.  Today’s adventure was to see what a typical L4 looked like from a Humon perspective.  Here’s the rowsandall view.

And here is the same thing from Humon.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 9.18.08 PM

So, it appears that from a Humon perspective, I am doing my steady state work at too high an intensity.  I am OK seeing the orange, but red means that my lactate is going above 4.0mmol.  It’s good the see that it recovers in the lower stroke rate sections, but I think I should probably back off the intensity more.

 

Is this the new normal?

Last post was on May 27.  I’ve been in a whirlwind at work.  My years long habit of getting up early and getting a solid 60 to 90 minutes of exercise before work has been severely challenged with late nights and early morning meetings.

I’ve been doing the best I can trying to maintain fitness, and catching workouts where I can.  The sad thing is how difficult it has been to fit in OTW rowing.  I only managed one session since the 27th.

Hopefully this will calm down in a little while and I can get back to my early morning routine.  I like it better.

Monday – May 27 – 40′ L4

At home in Hopkinton, around 5:30 in the evening.  Felt hard.

Tuesday – May 28 – Terrible Threshold 10K

At work, at 5:30 pm after a really stressed out day of meetings.  I walked up to the machine thinking that I should just hold about a 2:00 pace and let it ride.  But the first bit felt so good that I really badly over extended myself.  I paid a big price in the second half.

       Workout Summary - media/20190528-2240480o.csv
--|Total|-Total----|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time-----|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|10000|00:39:11.3|01:57.6|216.5|23.5|162.5|180.0|10.9
W-|10000|00:39:11.7|01:57.6|216.5|23.5|162.5|180.0|10.9
R-|00000|00:00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|180.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01000|03:49.5|01:54.7|227.7|23.2|129.0|148.0|11.3
01|01000|03:47.9|01:54.0|236.4|24.0|153.8|158.0|11.0
02|01000|03:49.0|01:54.5|233.0|23.7|160.7|165.0|11.1
03|01000|03:48.0|01:54.0|236.3|24.0|167.2|172.0|11.0
04|01000|04:06.9|02:03.4|191.5|22.7|165.1|173.0|10.7
05|01000|03:55.6|01:57.8|214.8|23.1|165.4|168.0|11.0
06|01000|04:02.9|02:01.5|196.3|22.7|167.5|171.0|10.9
07|01000|04:02.1|02:01.1|199.7|23.5|168.4|172.0|10.6
08|01000|03:56.8|01:58.4|210.6|23.5|172.1|174.0|10.8

Wednesday – May 29 – 40′ L4

At work, static erg.  Around 4pm when I had an hour between meetings.

Thursday – 30 May – 4 x (3’@r24, 2’@r26, 1’@r28) / 4′ OTW!

Miracle!  No late night meetings and no morning meetings until 8:30.  My chance to actually row on the water!  I was due for an L2 type workout.  I decided to go easy on myself and do it as a threshold rate ladder.  6 minute pieces seemed like a reasonably doable duration.  This also fit nicely in the section from around the s-turn.

Screen Shot 2019-06-01 at 6.33.22 PM

       Workout Summary - media/20190530-1250480o.csv
--|Total|-Total----|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time-----|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|09816|00:54:08.7|02:45.5|134.1|22.9|146.4|176.0|07.9
W-|05370|00:23:50.0|02:13.2|183.9|25.5|160.7|176.0|08.8
R-|04451|00:30:19.1|03:24.4|094.9|20.9|135.3|176.0|07.5
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|01379|06:00.8|02:10.8|183.6|25.0|156.9|170.0|09.2
02|01337|05:57.0|02:13.5|188.9|25.7|161.7|176.0|08.8
03|01340|05:56.6|02:13.0|179.5|25.3|161.1|176.0|08.9
04|01313|05:55.6|02:15.4|183.6|25.9|163.0|176.0|08.5

Friday – May 31 – Rest day

Like an actual rest day.  I had worked out for the 8 prior days.  Granted, they were shorter than normal, but I was getting a bit worn down.

Saturday – June 1 – 3 x 20′ / 2′ L4

On slides, down on the cape.  Around 4:30pm.  Looks like a little lower HR than recent sessions.

Tomorrow:  Hopefully a coastal row.

 

 

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.

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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.

 

 

3 x (6 x 40″/20″)/4′ – More L1 fun thanks to Mr. Murray

Time to get back into the training routine.  The basic plan remains the same.  A variation of the Wolverine Plan.

The outlines of the my variation of the plan:

  • 6 total sessions a week
  • 3 L4 sessions working on technique and aerobic fitness
  • 1 L1 Session (Short Intervals)
  • 1 L2 Session (Long Intervals)
  • 1 L3 session (Hard Distance or intervals with short rests)

At the same time, I am following with some interest the training sessions that Eric Murray is putting out on YouTube.  A couple of weeks ago, on 26 March,  I did another sprinty session which was quite hard, but a good change of pace.  Yesterday, I watched a workout that he uploaded last week, and from the way he was describing it (“Ooo, you guys are gonna hate me for this one”), I found it almost irresistible.

Here’s the link

The description of the workout is on the white board in the background.  (Mr. Murray is in the middle of the first set of six in the foreground.

Screen Shot 2019-04-15 at 1.21.13 PM.png

The part of the board behind the chain is saying 2 / 4 splits from race pace.  If I were to guess my 2k pace right now, it would be around 1:45.  So, my target for this should be 1:41 to 1:43.

I started with a 20 minute warmup.

Whew, that was tough.  I was left wondering how well the main session would go.  Then I programmed the complex interval set into the PM5 and set off.  I got very ambitious and aimed at 1:39 instead of 1:41, and I paid dearly for it.

By the fourth interval, I was fried and paddled it out after about 20 seconds.  Then after a more sedate 5th interval, I discovered that I had misprogrammed the PM5.  I was looking at a 4 minute rest when I should have seen a 20 second rest.

I pulled the plug and programmed it up again, hopefully correctly.  This time, I started at a more reasonable pace, but I still fought demons in each set after the 3rd 40 second burst.  I slowed down, but never gave up.

This session was hard!

End result 1:42.2.  Basically 3 splits below where I think my 2k is!

So, this turned out to be a bit different from a classic L1 workout.  In those terms it is basically like a 3 – 4 minute pieces with 4 minute rests, but because you break up the 4 minutes into 40 second chunks, you can push the pace faster.

Tomorrow:  Either an L4 session on the erg, or a steady state session on the water.  The weather looks a bit iffy.  Winds from the West at 18-20mph.  I’ll decide in the morning.

 

3/24 – 3/28: Back on the Water!

Sunday – 3/24 – 3 x 20′ / 2′

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

But look at nice low heart rate!

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

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

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

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 5.48.18 PM

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

Tuesday – 3/26 – The Murray Sprint workout

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

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

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

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

I did a quick 2k warm up.

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

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

Wednesday – 3/27 – 3 x 20’/2′

Done at work on a static erg.

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

Thursday – 3/28 – 4 x 2k / 5′ OTW!

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

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

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

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

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

 

3/18 – 3/23: A week in China

Monday – 3/18: No Training

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

Screen Shot 2019-03-24 at 11.34.30 AM

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

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

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

Tuesday – 19 March: No Training

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

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

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

2019-03-21 07.20.03

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

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

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

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

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

2019-03-21 06.40.50

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

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

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

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

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

bokeh_plot - 2019-03-24T120622.485

2019-03-21 06.40.19

I was happy with the last rep.

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

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

bokeh_plot - 2019-03-24T121140.349

2019-03-22 07.09.53

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

He’s quick summary of my Friday night.

2019-03-22 23.52.53

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

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

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

bokeh_plot - 2019-03-24T121907.025

2019-03-23 07.15.04

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

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

Later today:  3 or 4 x 20′ L4

Tomorrow:  Hopefully my first OTW session of the season.

 

3/13 – 3/14: Nine days straight!

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

My history.

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

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

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

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

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

bokeh_plot (78)

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

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

Tomorrow:  3 x 20’/2′ L4