A cycling weekend and a choppy, windy outing

Weekend

The lake was blocked for races. I didn’t mind too much. It was beautiful weather so I asked my sons if they would like to ride to the rowing club on their bikes. They liked the idea. They are 11 and 9 years old, but because Brno is a pretty hilly environment and the traffic is quite bad, they have little real street cycling experience. They ride trams, trains and buses alone without any problem, but cycling is something else.

I thought it would be a good idea to have them cycle under supervision in real traffic.

So we strapped on our helmets and off we went.

Turns out the traffic rules part was pretty good. Of course I didn’t take them to the busiest roads, but they were excited to watch the traffic signs and I even heard one of them comment: “This is the first time I wait for a traffic light as a driver.” 🙂

The less good part was cycling uphill. That was definitely not their favorite part.

Anyway, we rode to the lake, watched the races, and rode back. On Sunday we did a similar tour. All in all a few hours of light exercise for me. Good enough, given that the training plan featured “recovery”.

Lenka raced. On Saturday their performances (in nice weather) was worse than expected. They didn’t get into the rhythm and didn’t make the A finals. In the quad, they made it to the B finals on Sunday.

Sunday featured pretty bad headwind, and they finished 3rd in the B final, which had about the same speed as the A final.

Monday

I got the row in before work, but didn’t start early enough to have the calm weather. When I launched, the lake was calm, but soon the wind started to build and it got worse and worse. I did my steady state rate ladders as well as possible, but by the end it was a bit survival mode. During the “cooling down” I took a short video.

I measured 4.7 m/s with a peak value of 7.1 m/s after the row. And that was measured on the dock. I am sure it was worse in the middle of the row.

Here are the cool plots. Unfortunately, my supercool wind correction algorithms break down at these wind speeds, so no wind correction today:

figure_1-14 figure_1-1

In the last 2km the pace was around 3:50 per 500m, trying to battle back to the club in the soaring headwind. That was a few minutes after taking the video and things got worse. Definitely not fun any more.

Data Syncing

I wanted to share a bit of information about how I log all my data and how it all works together. Might be handy for some.

For recording rows, runs and rides I use the following apps/devices:

  1. Painsled/iPhone for Erg rows. Data exported to stroke files (CSV) and synced to Google Drive/email to self.
  2. CrewNerd/iPhone (with Garmin Forerunner as backup) for On-The-Water rows. Data syncs to TrainingPeaks plus email to self.
  3. Strava app/iPhone (with Garmin Forerunner as backup) for bike rides. Data syncs to Strava.
  4. Garmin Forerunner for runs. Data Syncs to Garmin Connect.

My main training diary is SportTracks (desktop version). The desktop version syncs with SportTracks.mobi, so I have those data in the cloud.

So now I have part of my data in Garmin Connect, something on Strava, and something  in SportTracks. How do I manage all that? In comes Tapiriik. Tapiriik is a site which, when you allow it to access your data on the various Fitness cloud services, is capable of synchronizing between these. It does a very good job of that. Only occasionally does it create a duplicate run/ride/row. For $2 per year it synchronizes automatically in the background, which means that by the time I have driven from the lake to work, all data are already on all sites. And that is great. I like Strava for the ability to create segments and measure progress on them, as well as for the community aspect (comments, likes). I like SportTracks because of the wealth of available plugins for the desktop version, and I don’t know what I like Garmin Connect or TrainingPeaks for. Right now I just use them as entry portals to get my data where I want them, almost automatically.

The only site that is a bit outside is the Concept2 logbook. So last season I didn’t bother to sync my OTW rows there. This season it’s different. My python image generation suite “rowingdata” is able to sync with Concept2, but just uploads the row summary. My website “rowsandall.com“, however, is able to do much more. I have demonstrated succesful synchronization to (and from) the Concept2 playground website and I am looking forward to being able to sync to the real C2 logbook very soon. Yesterday, I added “import from Strava” to the functionality, so now I am almost able to skip the “mail to self” part of data synchronization.

Here is the very first data plot made in this way. From CrewNerd to Strava to Rowsandall.com, then uploaded to Concept2 and plot generated:

Same row as above. The only difference is that in my own tools I implemented some nice GPS data smoothing algorithms, while Strava gives me the raw data. I need to add some smoothing on the website code to get nice plots.

 

The short URL of the present article is: http://wp.me/p7rJSt-1qV