3/29 – 4/8 : Oh my back!

Friday – 3/29 – 4 x 1500/random rests:

I had a great row on Thursday 3/28.  I was planning on heading out to Lake Quinsigamond to demonstrate Quiske, and hopefully go for a row.

As it turned out, I didn’t get out on the water.  But, I was working at home, so I could try the experiment that I wanted to do on the erg.

I have been corresponding with the developer of PainSled.  I really like the painSled app.  It is simple and generally pretty reliable, but recently, it seems to be dropping strokes.  The app eventually catches up, but the missing strokes mean that summaries and plots look ugly.

The developer thought that the setup that I was using might be causing the problems.

foo

So, I designed an experiment to test the theory.  The experiment had 6 parts.  I would row 1500 meter pieces.

  1. Playing music (spotify streaming using wireless earbuds), stroke scope enabled
  2. Playing music (spotify streaming using wireless earbuds), stroke scope disabled
  3. No music, earbuds disconnected, stroke scope enabled
  4. No music, earbuds disconnected, stroke scope disabled
  5. ergdata, no music, no earbuds
  6. playing music, BT earbuds

The experiment design was better than the execution.  I had a number of interruptions, but despite that, I got some pretty compelling data.

I reviewed the raw exports from painsled.  Painsled provides a column with stroke count data, so simply by looking for data records where the stroke count increments by more than 1.  Here is a snippet from the spreadsheet which calculates the missing strokes.  Notice the line 3 from the bottom where it missed 14 strokes!

foo.png

The ergdata log file was a bit more challenging to analyze.  It does not log the stroke count.  So, for this one, I used the distance column.  For this workout, my distance per stroke should be between 10 and 15 meters.

foo

You can see all the strokes are in the right range, except for one.  I had an interruption in the middle of this piece.  Notice the time jumps from 89.6 sec to 338 sec.  I needed to go deal with a tradesman who was fixing our garage door.  The fan spun down clicking up some additional meters.  Otherwise, there were no missing strokes.

So, here is the summary of the results.

foo.png

So, I got a good workout, and I think I showed with reasonable certainty that the problems are not related to other stuff connected to the phone.

Before I worked out I noticed that my back was a little stiff.  In the hours after my workout, my back got progressively tighter and sorer.  The symptoms were exactly the same as the late summer of 2017.  I had bilateral pain, very low on my back, and it hurt most when changing positions.  For example, standing up hurt like hell.  It also was impossible to bend over and lift my leg to, say, put on my pants without bracing with one hand.

At that time, I was diagnosed with some minor osteo-arthritis in my SI joints which were exacerbated by some nasty adhesions and imbalances in the muscles of my hips and thighs.

By Friday night, I was hobbling around like 90 year old man.  My amateur treatment plan was.

  • Rest and ibuprofen for a few days
  • Stretching and foam rolling, with light non-rowing aerobic training
  • When I was reasonably pain free, start back rowing, avoiding intense pieces for a week or so.

Saturday – 3/30 – No training

My wife and I went down to the cape and had a nice day just hanging out.  The highlight of the day was making some tasty Fajitas.  Back still mighty sore!

Sunday – 3/31 – No Training

We headed home late in the afternoon.  Back getting a little looser, but it still hurt a lot.

Monday – 4/1 – No Training

One more day of rest.  Improving daily.

Tuesday – 4/2 – 20 minute treadmill, 10 minute bike

stretches, foam rolling, ab lifts

20 minutes treadmill: 15% incline, 2.9 mph

10 minutes stationary bike, level 14, rolling hills

Wednesday – 4/3 – 20 minutes treadmill, 20 minutes bike

stretches, foam rolling, ab lifts

20 minutes treadmill: 15% incline, 2.9 mph

20 minutes stationary bike, level 14, rolling hills

Thursday – 4/4 – No Training

I had to drop my car off at the shop and didn’t have a window to train.

Friday – 4/5 – 20 minutes treadmill, 20 minute row

stretches, foam rollings, ab lifts

20 minutes treadmill: 15% incline, 2.9 mph

20 minutes on the rower.  Heart rate quite high as one might expect.  Back felt fine before and after.

Saturday – 3 x 20’/2′ on slides

More experimentation with painsled.  I was wondering if the problem was being caused by the painsled app trying to find a BLE HR monitor and not succeeding.  So I decided to try disabling that.  It didn’t make a difference.  But on the plus side, my back held up great!

Sunday – 4/7 – 3 x 20’/2′ on slides

Same workout as Saturday.  I was a little more tired and that caused a higher heart rate.  The back is still feeling good.

I headed to the airport around 6pm to catch a 8pm flight to Europe.

Monday – 4/8 – No Training

I arrived around noon and was at my hotel at 1pm.  I needed to be in the office by 2:30, no time for a workout.

 

 

On the road

Monday: No Training

Since I was flying out in the evening, I needed to go to town hall and get an absentee ballot for the elections on Tuesday.  Mission accomplished, but no time for training.

I flew to the airport on Monday afternoon.  Arriving in LA around 8pm.

Tuesday:  Quick cross training in the hotel gym

Core:

  • head shoulder raises: 10x10sec
  • arm leg extensions: 10 x 10 sec each side
  • plank on swiss ball: 4 x 30 sec
  • side plank:  each side 3 x 30 sec
  • push ups: 2 x 12, 1 x 8 (pooped out)

plus 30 minutes on the elliptical (all the treadmills were taken.

Wednesday: Core / strength / inclined march

Core: same as Tuesday

Strength:

  • Goblet squats with 40 lb DB: 3 x 20
  • lat pull down: 3 x 12
  • one leg squats: body weight 3 x 12
  • one arm rows, 40lb DB: each arm: 3 x 12

30 minute inclined march on treadmill.

Then a busy day of meetings, followed by a real treat.  We went to see the LA Lakers play the Timberwolves.  I got to see LeBron James play basketball live.  It was quite a show.

Got back to the hotel around midnight.

Thursday: No Training

Up at 4am.  Out the door at 4:30 to get to the airport for my 6:30am flight.  Very tired.  Flew home, got to the airport around 3pm.

Friday:  Core / 3 x 20′ / 2′

I had hoped to catch up on my sleep, but I didn’t get to bed until about midnight, so only about 5 hours.  Up at 5:15 and off to work.

Same core routine plus swiss ball side rotations (10 x 5 sec both sides)

I felt very tired during this piece.  HR was crazy high.  I needed to slow down a lot to keep it under the cap.

Saturday: Core / 3 x 20’/2′

By the plan, I should have don a hard distance piece, but I decided that with all the disruption and travel that I’d take it easier and just work on some aerobic base.

I started with my basic core routine:

  • head shoulder raises: 10x10sec
  • arm/leg raises: 10 x 10 sec both sides
  • front plank: 4 x 30sec
  • side planks: 3 x 30sec each side
  • push ups: 3 x 13 (ooh, I added a rep!)

Then I headed to the basement and did the session on slides.  I wasn’t any faster but it sure felt nice and smooth to be on the slides.

Tomorrow:  Maybe I will do a HM with a bit of tempo to it.

I just got word that the fires in California have come very close to our facility in Agoura Hills.  Like right across the road from it.

Here’s the extent of the fire.  The scale bar at the bottom, is 4 miles long, so the fire is basically 20 miles across.

Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 8.24.41 PM.pngOur facility in in the yellow rectangle. Here is the zoomed view of the box.  Our building is in the red oval.

Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 8.22.20 PM

I was just there!  I hope everyone stays safe out there.

 

 

 

 

Lost week – Taiwan

I left on Sunday morning to catch an early afternoon flight to Taiwan.  I dropped my boat off in Newton on the way to the airport.

I was flying from Boston to Tokyo, then connecting to Taipei.  I arrived around 8:30PM Monday night.  I slept some on the two flights, but I was stiff and tired by the time I got to the airport.

Tuesday morning:

I got up around 5am and discovered that I had left my HR monitor at home.  SO much for documented evidence of working out!  Sad to say, it badly effected my motivation.

I headed to the gym.  I set up the treadmill to do a 30 minute HIIT session.  so, 4:20 sec of fast walk (3mph) on 15% grade.  Then 40 seconds at 7mph on the same grade.  repeat 6 times.  By the last two sprints, I was nauseous at the end of the 40 seconds.  I guess that meant I was doing it right.

The rest of the day was a blur of meetings, all of them internal with our team in Taiwan.  I had dinner with a few of the folks that I travelled with and got back to the hotel around 9pm.

Wednesday:

Up at 5 again, and back in the gym.  Today, it was 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes on the stationary bike.  In both cases, I used the built in HR monitor to try to keep my HR in the 137 to 155 range.

Then I was off to the customer site for 3 different meetings.  Then we had a dinner for the full team supporting this major customer.  They’ve been working night and day for years making it successful, so it was a good idea for us to say thank you.

I made it back to the hotel just in time for my 8:30 conference call.  Unfortunately, that exactly when jet lag decided to strike and strike hard.  I was having trouble holding my head up, and I kept hoping for the meeting to wrap up.  I can remember looking at the clock around 8:50pm.  The next thing I know, it’s five minutes after nine, my head is on the desk and there’s no one left on the call!  I fell dead asleep.  I reached out by email to apologize to the other folks that were on the call.  I was pretty embarrassed.

Thursday:

I slept in until 6 because I had nothing on my agenda until my ride to the airport at 10am.  I headed down to the gym without a specific plan.  I did my full PT suite of exercises.  I have been neglecting them lately and that’s a bad thing.  I have to find a way to fit them in with OTW rowing.  I don’t feel comfortable doing them on the ground at the docks where I keep my boat and I am always rushed when I get to work afterwards.  I think I might start doing them on my way out of work at night.

Anyway, I did the PT exercises.  Then I did a little bit of strength training.

I did a 3 circuits of

  • 20 squats with 2 25lb dumbells
  • 12 pull downs on a machine designed to mimic pull ups

The squats felt easy at the time, but it’s 3 days later and I’m still feeling sore.

Then I headed over to the treadmills and did 30 minutes of fast walking on a 15% grade.

After that, I headed to the airport for the long trip home.  I got home around 8:00pm on Thursday night, thanks to time zones.

Friday:  80′ of OTW speedplay.

I slept surprisingly well on Thursday night, but not very long.  The alarm woke me at 5:15am and I rolled out of bed.  It was a beautiful morning, so I wanted to get back on the water.  I headed to Newton and launched.

The plan:

  • 80′ of speedplay
  • 4 sessions of KOM

The instructions for the speedplay sessions are to do it continuous, but I really want to work on balance.  I find that if I do KOM for more than a couple minutes at a time, I get all tight.  So I decided to do a quick set each time I needed to turn the boat around.

The weather was lovely.  Very little wind.  There still a bit of current which make the splits all crazy and makes rowing a bit squirrelly in a couple of places, mainly where the river narrows down or splits and rejoins.  It feel like the boat is wiggling underneath you or you are going around a corner on ice.  As long as you are expecting it, it’s kind of fun, but it can be disconcerting if it takes you by surprise.

I started with about 5 sets of KOM, then headed down river.  I’ve got my routine for the speed play workouts.  I row steady state until I get to middle of the straight 1K.  Then I do my power twenty.  Then I continue to the middle of straight section in front of the watch factory and do another.  I do the reverse on the way up river.  It ends up with a bit more time between the twenties with the turn in there.

4-27.png

I am trying to keep the power above 300W on the power twenties and to keep the stroke rate between 28 and 30.

To get a better idea of the effect of the rigging changes, I wanted to look at the change in my catch, finish and length.  These charts isolate just the r28 portions of four speed play rows.  I made the adjustments in 3 steps.  The first is the original settings.  The next is with oars down one spacer, inboard shortened by 2cm, and footplate moved 1 cm.  The third is another 2cm shorter inboard.  Then the last is with the footplate moved the additional cm to stern.

  • Finish angle is about 2 degrees bigger.
  • Catch angle is about 3 degrees bigger
  • drive length is 3.5 degrees bigger
  • Effective length is about 2 degrees bigger.

Not much change.  It feels a lot different though.

Saturday:  I intended to go rowing, but i felt like crap all day long.  I just sat around and did crossword puzzles.  I did get up the motivation to do laundry and get groceries, but that was about all I was good for,

Sunday;  Again, I was thinking about going rowing, but its raining and I’m lazy.  I intend to do an easy session on the dynamic later just to keep things going.

 

San Diego: 60 minutes in the fitness center

I was up at 4:45am so I could get to the airport to catch a 7:10am flight out to San Diego.

I arrived around 10:30 and I was at my hotel before noon.  I had no meetings until 2pm, so I headed off to the fitness center to try to get in some kind of a session.

I was feeling stiff and a bit tired from the early start, so I started easy, with a 30 minute march on the treadmill with the incline at 15%.  This slowly brought my HR up to the top of the UT1 range by the time I was finished.  Aside from being really bored, I was feeling pretty good.

So, I hopped on the elliptical to do another 30 minutes.  This time as a HIIT session with
6 x (4:20 of easy and 0:40 of really hard).  This was no where near as traumatic as the HIIT session I did on the treadmill in SF last week, but I was pretty gassed at the end of each sprint.

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 10.39.20 PM

Then it was off to the rest of my day.  3 hours of internal meetings and then a customer dinner that lasted from 6:30 to 9:30.

Tomorrow:  I am hoping to head over to Crossfit Del Mar at 6am before my flight at 10AM up to San Jose.  The workout planned is

  • 3 x 1500m / 1’
    Rating: Cat IV pace; target SR 23-24 + (1:52)
  • 3 x 500m / 2’ easy
    Rating: Cat II pace: target SR 28-30 (1:45)

 

Rough patch

I got back from Korea late Friday night, around 11pm.  And even though the flights were fine and I got some rest on the flight, I was wasted.  I struggled to sleep on Friday night, and Saturday night, and Sunday night, and Monday night.  Each night, I would fall asleep, but wake up at 2am and spend the rest of the night tossing and turning.  I didn’t get a good night sleep until last night when I got 7 blissful hours.

Along with the sleep issues, I felt rundown and grumpy during the day.  My motivation to train was low and my training sessions were abysmal.  A lot of this was just being tired, but also knowing that I am in a period with a lot of travel and no immediate training objective makes it hard to push through.  Maybe it’s good not to in this case.

I reached out to Marlene for advice and she was fine with backing off a bit.  I decided to change things up.  For the next couple weeks, I’m modifying the plan.

  1.  Faithfully do my PT exercises 5 or 6  times a week
  2. 3x mini-strength sessions a week
    1. KB swings
    2. pull ups
    3. front squats
  3. on non-strength days do shorter erg sessions, working on proper technique and base aerobic fitness
  4. on strength days, do a short erg warmup and maybe a bit of cross training on the treadmill

I’ll do this through Feb 24th and then dive back into normal training.  The goal then will be to get ready to get back on the water.  I feel better having made the mental switch.

Recent training details….

Saturday – 2/3:  In the evening, I decided to try to do what I thought would be an easy 10K push on the dynamic.  I started at 2:04, and aimed to finish at 1:55.  I made it 6K and then backed off to a paddle.  With 1000m left, I was pretty pissed off, so I targeted 1:55 and it nearly killed me.

Workout Summary - media/20180204-0310250o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|10000|40:33.0|02:01.7|196.8|21.8|158.8|182.0|11.3
W-|10000|40:33.0|02:01.7|195.2|21.6|157.9|182.0|11.5
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|04:07.0|02:03.5|183.9|18.9|120.4|136.0|12.8
01|01000|04:05.3|02:02.6|189.4|20.2|145.6|150.0|12.1
02|01000|04:03.2|02:01.6|194.4|21.3|154.1|157.0|11.6
03|01000|04:01.3|02:00.7|199.4|22.2|158.9|161.0|11.2
04|01000|03:59.1|01:59.6|204.6|22.8|163.6|165.0|11.0
05|01000|03:57.6|01:58.8|208.7|23.5|168.0|170.0|10.8
06|01000|04:11.8|02:05.9|182.3|21.1|164.4|172.0|11.3
07|01000|04:09.9|02:04.9|179.2|19.9|164.0|167.0|12.1
08|01000|04:10.9|02:05.4|177.4|19.8|166.2|168.0|12.1
09|01000|03:47.8|01:53.9|237.5|26.7|175.6|182.0|09.9

Sunday:  I felt pretty awful all day long and didn’t train.

Monday:  Not much sleep, headed in to the gym with the intent to do the tough session that was originally planned for Saturday:

  • 6 x (3’@28, 7’@18) / 1′
  • 3’@28: Cat III (1:48)
  • 7’@18: Cat VI (2:05-2:08)

I gave it my best, but I flamed out after 3.  My HR never really came back down.  This was kind of a low point for me.  That’s when I reached out for advice.

Workout Summary - media/20180205-1240290o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|07618|33:00.0|02:10.0|205.6|21.2|154.4|174.0|10.9
W-|07469|30:00.0|02:00.5|202.5|20.5|155.5|174.0|12.3
R-|00154|03:00.0|09:45.6|014.9|12.0|152.5|174.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|00828|03:00.0|01:48.7|264.6|26.1|130.0|154.0|10.6
01|01661|07:00.0|02:06.5|173.9|17.7|147.4|155.0|13.4
02|00828|03:00.0|01:48.7|268.6|26.4|156.1|169.0|10.4
03|01664|07:00.0|02:06.2|175.9|18.3|160.6|170.0|13.0
04|00820|03:00.0|01:49.7|263.6|26.3|159.2|174.0|10.4
05|01667|07:00.0|02:05.9|176.6|18.3|167.5|174.0|13.0

Tuesday – 2/6:

Another night of bad sleep.  I was awake from 2am, and gave up trying around 4am.  I did a couple of crossword puzzles and then headed to work early.

The plan:

  • PT exercises
  • Mini strength session (KB swings, front squats, pull ups)
  • 40 minute erg

The PT exercises were fine.  I had a blast with the strength stuff

  • 3 sets of 20 KB swings with a 16kg kettle bell.  I felt the third set.  I think I need a heavier KB, this is the biggest one on the rack at work.
  • Front squats:  I’ve always done regular back squats.   Mainly because you can do heavier weights.  But from what I’ve been reading, front squats are a bit more functional for rowing related strength, and because the weight is more limited, and you are forced into a more erect posture, there is less risk of injury.  Today, I did a set of 10 with the bare bar, and 5 sets of 8 with 50 lbs on the bar.  I felt that in the last set as well.
  • Pull ups.  5, 4, 3, 2, 1 with about 30 seconds between sets

Then onto the erg.  Between the swings and the squats, there was nothing left in my legs.  I was having trouble holding a Cat VI pace.  I lasted for 20 minutes and decided that it was no fun at all.

Workout Summary - media/20180206-1640290o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|04771|20:14.0|02:07.3|171.7|17.9|149.6|156.0|13.2
W-|04777|20:14.0|02:07.1|171.4|17.9|149.7|156.0|13.2
R-|00000|00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|156.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|00488|02:00.0|02:03.0|180.6|17.3|125.0|144.0|14.1
01|00481|02:00.0|02:04.7|180.4|18.4|146.5|150.0|13.1
02|00480|02:00.0|02:05.1|179.1|18.4|150.1|151.0|13.1
03|00474|02:00.0|02:06.6|172.9|18.2|151.5|153.0|13.0
04|00471|02:00.0|02:07.5|168.8|18.2|151.7|153.0|13.0
05|00470|02:00.0|02:07.6|168.8|17.4|153.9|154.0|13.5
06|00469|02:00.0|02:08.0|167.0|17.3|153.9|154.0|13.5
07|00471|02:00.0|02:07.3|169.5|18.2|154.7|156.0|13.0
08|00469|02:00.0|02:08.1|166.5|18.0|155.5|156.0|13.0
09|00470|02:00.0|02:07.8|168.0|17.9|154.1|155.0|13.1
10|00035|00:14.5|03:27.9|105.4|14.3|155.0|155.0|10.1

So, I was tired of rowing, but I felt like doing more.  I decided to go do a couple of HIIT bursts on the treadmill.  I cranked the incline to 15% and fast walked for 4:20.  Then I cranked the speed up to 7mph and sprinted until 5:00.  With the lag of the machine, I was basically at speed for 30 full seconds.  At the 5 minute mark, I hopped off the belt and then turned the speed back down.  I did that 4 times total.  Like before, I seemed to get better at the mechanics of sprinting, essentially running more on my toes and increasing my cadence.  I guess that is the running equivalent of “rating up”.

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 2.03.12 PM

Wednesday:  Ah bliss!  I slept 7 hours last night without any insomnia.  I got up at 5:15 and headed off to work.  I was almost paralyzed by DOMS from my tiny strength session yesterday.  I guess that’s a good sign that I should keep a session or two of strength work in my rotation all the time.  My thighs were the sorest, but my butt, my lats and forearms all let me know that they were quite upset with me.  I kinda liked it.

Today, I was short on time and wanted a light session anyway.  So, after doing minimal PT exercises,  I decided to just do a 10k  at Cat VI (r18/2:05).  That’s what I did.  HR was still higher than it should have been, but that might have been because of the muscle soreness.

Pretty unremarkable, huh?

        Workout Summary - media/20180207-1345260o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|09996|41:33.0|02:04.7|180.1|18.2|146.0|157.0|13.2
W-|10000|41:34.0|02:04.7|180.1|18.2|146.0|157.0|13.2
R-|00000|00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|157.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|00980|04:03.5|02:04.3|177.2|17.5|120.3|134.0|13.8
01|01009|04:11.5|02:04.6|181.2|18.3|139.7|145.0|13.1
02|00990|04:06.5|02:04.5|181.4|18.3|144.7|145.0|13.2
03|01007|04:11.0|02:04.7|180.8|18.4|144.3|147.0|13.1
04|00996|04:09.0|02:05.0|179.3|18.2|148.2|151.0|13.2
05|01009|04:12.0|02:04.9|179.7|18.2|149.3|151.0|13.2
06|00989|04:06.5|02:04.7|180.9|18.2|151.1|152.0|13.2
07|01009|04:11.5|02:04.7|180.8|18.3|152.8|154.0|13.2
08|00997|04:09.0|02:04.9|179.7|18.3|154.2|155.0|13.1
09|01014|04:13.5|02:04.9|179.8|18.0|155.0|157.0|13.3

That brings us up to the present.

Tomorrow:

  • Full PT Suite
  • Strength (KB Swings, Front Squats, Pull ups, Add push ups)
  • erg – 8 x 5′ (4:30 cat VI, 0:30 Cat II) / 30″

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday: More HIIT, today on the treadmill

I’m liking this stuff.  Today, I decided to try to use the treadmill.

So, I set it up for a 15% grade and started walking at a nice gentle 2.5mph pace.  After 4:20, I turned up the speed.  The first interval I got up to 6.2mph, and sprinted until the next minute turned over.  I got just over 30 seconds of sprinting at speed, and then I hopped off the belt to the sides and turned the speed back down.   Then I’d walk it off for the next 4 minutes.  I boosted up the speed a bit on each of the sprints.  The surprising thing was that my sprinting economy improved through the session, so I found it easier later on even though I was up to 7.4mph by the last interval.

Overall it was a bit easier from an aerobic perspective than yesterday, but a hell of a lot more fun.

1-24a.png

Tomorrow:  I have a 7:50AM flight from LAX to Boston, so I need to leave the hotel before 6am.  I get home around 6pm, so probably no training.

 

Taipei / Shanghai – Ticking Along

After the race on Saturday, we had lunch in Cambridge, and then headed home.  I had some organizing to do since I was heading off to Taiwan.  My flight was scheduled  to depart at 1:45AM Sunday morning, and my wife and I had a nice afternoon and evening.

I headed off to the airport around 11pm, and got on the plane, and waited.  We taxied out from the gate, and then the pilot came on and said that there was a problem with one of the engines so he was heading back to gate to wait for maintenance to come deal with it.  After about an hour parked at the gate, the call came over the PA asking if there was a doctor on board.  Apparently, someone on board had had a heart attack.  Now it seemed to me that the engine trouble was a real blessing for both the heart attack victim and the rest of us on the plane.  He was wisked off the plane within minutes.  If we had been in flight, they would have had to divert the flight and that would have taken a lot more time.  And I bet it would have delayed the rest a lot too.

We didn’t get going until after 4AM.  Then it was fifteen hours and 30 minutes of flight time to Hong Kong.  Then a quick shuffle through the airport to catch the next flight to Taipei.  I was in Taiwan by 11am on Monday morning, and at the hotel by 12:30.  I made it just in time to shower and change before the event I was going to.  I slept pretty well on the flight, getting maybe 8 hours of sleep total, but in short segments.

The work event lasted from 1:30 until 10:30PM.  I crashed hard as soon as I got back to my room.

So, I guess that means:

Sunday:  Travel Day – No training.

Monday: Rest day?

Tuesday: 

I had a flight Shanghai in the early afternoon so I planned to sleep in, but I woke up around 5am, and couldn’t get back to sleep.  Eventually, I made my way down to the fitness center.  I had plenty of time, so I did a long fitness center triathlon.

  • 30 minutes: Treadmill death march, 15% grade, 5km/h
  • 30 minutes: Elliptical, level 14, random
  • 30 minutes: Stationary bike, level 14, “Hills”

It was sweaty.  It was boring.

10-24a

10-24b

Then I headed to the airport and flew off to Shanghai.  I had a customer dinner in the evening and some conference calls after that.  I got to bed around 1AM.

Wednesday:

I got up at 6 and headed straight to the fitness center.  I was staying at the Kerry Hotel in Pudong, which has the one of the finest fitness centers I’ve ever seen.  They have two Model D ergs.  Mechanically they are both fine, but one of them has a display problem so you can’t see the time remaining.  The good rower was being used, so I grabbed the one with the display issue.

Plan:

  • 3 x 20′ / 1′
  • rate: ~20
  • power: 175W
  • HR limit: 145/150/155

10-25a

10-25b

I noticed that my heart rate took off like a rocket from the start and by the time I got through the first 20 minutes, I knew I had to ease up.  Even then, I was really struggling.

After 40 minutes, the other erg was free so I swapped over to continue.  I basically gave up after 3 minutes in the last piece and just paddled the rest of it out.

Lack of fitness?  Lack of Sleep?  Who knows.  Anyway, time to reset my power target lower for the next session.

After my workout, I headed to the office for some internal meetings, a customer lunch, more meetings, and a customer dinner.  I got back to the hotel around 10, and had a beer with a colleague.  I was in bed by 11.

Thursday:

I was up at 5:30 to fit in my workout.  Back to the fitness center for some more rowing.

Plan:

  • 3 x 20′ / 2′ (longer rest to allow stretching between piecese
    • rate: 20
    • power: 165
    • HR limit: 145/150/155
  • 2 x 1′ / 1′ (I see Paul Buchanan doing these at the end of aerobic sessions and I’ve read that it’s has a beneficial training effect.  It’s also an energizing way to finish the workout – In theory)
    • rate: >32
    • power: >360W

10-26a

This was much better.  Based on my HR, the power was pretty close to right on for base training.  I could probably push a couple more watts, but not much.  My HR plateaued nicely right around 149 and stuck there for most of the second and third interval.

And the 1′ sprints were a blast.  I think I will make them a regular part of my routine.

And I left a nice sweat pattern on the floor.

2017-10-26 07.23.48

After that, I packed up, had a work breakfast, then headed to the airport.  I’m now in Narita in transit back to Boston.  I will get home around 7:30pm Thursday night.

I’ve decided to start working with a coach, Marlene Royle.  Next week I have a bunch of erg tests to do. I may start them this weekend, but only if I am not having jetlag issues.

 

 

Late night in the fitness center

Wednesday:  No time to work out in the morning.  I was finally able to get to the gym very late Wednesday night, actually just into Thursday morning.

  • 20 minutes treadmill (15% grade, 3.3 mph)
  • 20 minutes elliptical (level 17, hill profile)
  • 20 minutes stationary bike (level 16, random profile)

All were slightly harder than  the day before, my HR response was correspondingly a bit higher too.

10-12a

10-12b

Thursday: I finished around 1:15am, then made a couple of calls.  I got to be at about 2:30am and needed to get up at 4:30am.  I had a 7:25am departure from Munich to Lyon.  So, walk to the ostbanhof train station, catch the 5:24am train to the airport, arrive at around 6:00.  Plenty of time.

I slept a bit on the flight from Munich to Lyon, and a bit more in the 90 minute cab ride from Lyon to Grenoble.  Then I had an internal meeting, business lunch, two customer meetings, and a business dinner.  I got back  to my room around 10:15pm and immediately crashed.

Friday: My alarm was set for 5:30.  We were out on the road to Milan by 6:00.  We got to Milan around 10:30, and straight to a customer meeting at 11.  This wrapped up after 12.  Then a lunch with my colleagues, and straight to the airport.  My flight was at 3:50pm to London, and then 6:50 departure to Boston.  I landed around 8:30 local time, was home by 9:30 and in bed by 10:30.  I slept for nearly 11 hours.

Not the way I wanted to spend the last real prep week before the HOCR, but needs must.

Fitness Center Triathlon

Last night I flew from Boston to Stuttgart via Amsterdam, arriving at 9:15AM.  I got maybe 3 hours of fitful sleep on the plane.

I had a meeting from 11-12 and the lunch with the customer.  Then we drove back to Munich, well I rode and Martin drove.  I fell asleep in the car for about an hour of the trip.  Honestly, it was better sleep than what I got on the plane.

Back in Munich, I hung out at our office for an hour or so and caught up on emails.  Then I walked to my hotel, which has a small but serviceable fitness center.  I put on my workout clothes and headed down.

The plan was to do 60 to 80 minutes of low intensity aerobic work.  And that’s what I did.

  • 20′ treadmill death march: 15% grade, 3.2 mph
  • 30′ elliptical trainer, random profile avg level 16/25
  • 30′ stationary bike, hill profile, avg level 15
  • HR limit: 150

I was happy with the nice low HR, and especially that my HR was dropping fast with lower loads.  Not exactly what I want to be doing 12 days before the HOCR, but you do what you need to do.

Tomorrow:  Morning workout, then meetings all day.  Probably something a bit more challenging and shorter than this.   Maybe treadmill intervals.

Forced back indoors

Up at 5:15.  Felt pretty tired.  Ramping back up to normal training volumes is a bit of a shock to my system, I guess.

Downstairs and straight into the core workout.  I still hate it, but doing the 10 jumping jacks between each set of each exercise breaks it up and makes it a bit more tolerable.  It takes about 12 minutes, and I just start to break a sweat by the end.

Then I drove to the river.  On the way, there was a bit more drizzle than yesterday, but it seemed OK.  When I got there, I grabbed my broom to sweep the goose poop off the dock.  While I walked to the dock, I noticed 2 things.  First, it was raining harder.  It was still very fine mist, but at a higher volume.  Kinda like a shower in a cheap motel.  And the wind was pretty strong, around 10mph with gusts to 20.  There is a tropical storm about 150 miles offshore and the wind field is overspreading eastern Massachusetts.

Anyway, just the walk to the dock was enough to convince me slogging into a headwind with a soaking rain would not provide a magically rewarding fitness experience.  So I walked back to the car, drove to work and headed to the fitness center.

The Plan:

  • 15′ warmup – treadmill death march (15% grade, 3mph)
  • 3 x 15′ static erg
    • 20 spm
    • 2:08
    • HR limit: 155 (hopefully lower)
    • Work on knees together

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 10.28.16 AM

8-20a

 

Workout Summary - media/20170920-1231170o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|11018|51:00.0|02:18.9|160.6|19.5|143.5|154.0|11.1
W-|10548|45:00.0|02:08.0|166.5|19.6|144.3|154.0|12.0
R-|00473|06:00.0|06:20.5|057.3|17.9|125.7|154.0|06.4
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|03518|15:00.0|02:07.9|166.0|19.2|139.3|147.0|12.2
01|03517|15:00.0|02:08.0|166.4|19.7|144.8|152.0|11.9
02|03514|15:00.0|02:08.1|167.1|19.8|148.8|154.0|11.8

So far, my back is holding up well.  I still feel a bit of pain first thing in the morning and I get some warning twinges if I take a bad stroke, but it is tolerating the increased volume without any more pain or stiffness.

It’s time to take stock of where I am and what to do now.  The first and most pressing decision is what to do about the HOCR, which is on the morning October 21st.  32 days from now.   Seeing where I am now, versus where I was last time I rowed the HOCR, I would certainly do a lot worse.  Back then, my 2.0 mmol power was around 185W on the erg.  Right now, I would bet that it’s around 165W.  So, my guess is that I would be about 5 sec/500 slower than last time.  So, tack another 50 seconds on my finish time.  So, I’d go from a 22:15 to a 23:15, dropping from 25th place to 37th place (out of 58).

I wouldn’t be delighted with that, but its better than DFL.  I sure love rowing in this race.  I think I want to do it, even though I would not be at my best.  The question is: What is the best way to prepare for it?  I’m obviously not going to improve my aerobic fitness much over 32 days.  I will get some of that fitness back quickly just by regaining some blood volume.  But the main focus has to be on head race pace rowing.  Actually the main focus has to be on injury prevention.  After that I can focus on head race prep.

So, the mini plan is.

2 UT2 sessions per week 60 to 80 minutes of work per session.  Interval based.  No longer than 15 minutes continuous on the erg with stretching

1 UT1 session per week 60 minutes of work hopefully on the water

1 head race simulation per week.  Starting at r24 and moving up in rate.

1 long interval session per week.  basically 4×2000 type stuff with nice long rests

1 short interval/short rest per week.  concentrate on technique at r26 and r28

Daily core exercises (ugh)

In all sessions work on keeping knees together, limiting layback, and keeping my spine straight.

Tomorrow:  Hopefully back on the water.  Long intervals.  4 x 2k.  Should be a disaster.