Sep 28 2016
Today is a bank holiday and a good day to do the 6km. The only problem is that I couldn’t row the 6km in one go from the castle to Sirka, because the tourists boats depart earlier on bank holidays, and we’re not supposed to be on the river when they operate.
So I had to do my usual 6km with a turn somewhere between 3000 and 3500m (depending on where I put the exact start). I started the session with a 2km warming up.
The plan was simple. Warned by my struggle with 1500m to go, a week ago, I decided to start slowly on purpose. If pace was faster than 2:11, I would lighten up the stroke. The idea was to row this in an even split and not slower than 2:13 average (including the turn).
I wouldn’t say that the plan went out of the window as soon as I started the 6k, but in the first 500m I just rowed what felt like a fine pace. After 500m I finally started to adhere to the plan and slowed down, but it was hard to slow down slower than 2:09 without letting the stroke rate drop below 25spm.
After 2km I passed in front of our rowing club, and noticed the head coach going out with the launch, following three singles.
The final 1000m before the turn were a bit more difficult. The lake was wobbly. Some weird standing wave. So here I finally had my 2:11 pace.
I turned around and started rowing. That’s where I noticed that what I thought was windstill weather was an ever so slight breeze, now a headwind. In the beginning nothing was wrong, but then I started to have to rate up to 26spm to hold 2:12. Then I started to drop to 2:15.
With 1500m to go I rowed in the remains of the wake of the coach launch. It wasn’t really a wake, but today the weather, wind direction, and temperature all collaborated to make the lake very bouncy and wobbly. I cannot explain it, but under certain conditions, standing waves seem to not be dampened at all. I started to get really tired, and also angry, for still rowing too hard in the beginning of the row.
01|06000| 26:37 |02:13.0| 25.5| 179 | 185 | 8.8
--|06000| 26:37 | 2:13.0| 25.5| 179 | 185 | 8.8
The following image is from rowsandall.com. I used 0.7 m/s as wind speed (as indicated by nearby weather stations). It shows that even though the pace dropped, I was probably rowing at a constant power anyway. The distinct power (and pace) drop in the last 1000m was me counting strokes and being quite desperate. Only with 300m to go I was able to get my act together and start pulling a bit harder again. Well, average under 2:13.0 so mission accomplished.
The following illustrates one of the new plots I have enabled on rowsandall.com. It’s basically an interactive plot where you can choose your axes. You can clearly see two groups of blue points. When I look at the time into the row, I started on the right hand side of the top group of blue dots, i.e. at high drive energy and power. Then I worked my way to the left, i.e. as the first 3km went by, my drive energy (leg force times drive length) decreased. The headwind part is the bottom group of blue dots. Again, I started on the right, and worked my way to the left, staying in that bottom group.
A list of my 6k times
Today – 26:37 (2:13.0) – with turn
21 Sep 2016 – 26:11 (2:10.9) – no turn
2 Apr 2016 – 27:22 (2:16.8) – with turn / wind / chop
26 Sep 2015 – 28:09 (2:20.9) – with turn / slow / sloppy / choppy
19 Sep 2015 – 26:15 (2:11.2) – with turn / wind
A little over a week to race time. Must. Get. Act. Together.