Thursday morning – 36 intervals in the single

From a rowing technology blogger’s standpoint this was really a session I was looking forward to.

It wasn’t to be. Sometimes the NK SpeedCoach’s user interface drives me crazy. I am 100% sure that I have recorded the row, but somehow I have managed to delete it on the  device, perhaps when I switched it off. Anyway, when it was time for me to sync the unit with the PC, I was surprised to see no new session.

It’s really a pity, because this morning’s session was:

6x(6×15 strokes “on”/10 strokes “off”)/5min, with the 15 “on” strokes at 26, 28, 30, 32, 34 and 36spm.

The idea was really to learn (again) to row at high stroke rates and to transfer boat feel and stroke efficiency from the 26spm all the way up to 36spm.

I set the SpeedCoach to show power, stroke rate, effective length and wash during the row and all the time I was looking forward to doing the data analysis. I wanted to see how wash and effective length, as well as work per stroke, would hold up at the higher rates, and uncover other hidden information from the data.

So if I want to row a 1k race at 320W and 32spm, probably all my strokes should be around 10W/spm, i.e. I should row the 26spm bit at 260W, the 28spm bit at 280W, etc. This is what I tried during the row.

It was a cold and rainy morning. Four degrees C, and something between snow and rain when I drove to the rowing club. When I launched, the rain had stopped, and it turned out to be a gray and cold but fantastic morning.

The swallows were heaving breakfast, and it was a joy to see them. At these temperatures, they fly just above the waves, about the same height as a rower’s blade between strokes, and they are such fantastic flyers. I really enjoyed how efficiently they glide through the air, only occasionally reverting to high wing frequency flying, when hovering to catch insects or gaining speed in headwind conditions. I made a mental link to my rowing, doing the 26spm as the swallow glides and the 36spm as it hovers.

As said, I failed to save the session on the SpeedCoach, so you will have to do with the pictures from the Garmin watch, imported through Strava. Strava magically added some power values through a biking/running plugin, so you shouldn’t take those too seriously (although the values are pretty good). The SPM values were all over the place but that is because the Garmin tried to measure running cadence.

Sets 1, 3 and 5 were rowed in tailwind. Sets 2, 4 and 6 were rowed in headwind. As the sets progressed, I became better and better at hitting the right Power values and I think I learned a lot from this session, even though it almost feels like I didn’t do it, not having any data.

With the swallows and all, definitely a session I enjoyed a lot. It was hard, it wasn’t short, but it was 100% worth it.

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