Simmering Cheops Soup

The planned session was the Pete Plan Pyramid: 250m/500m/750m/1000m/750m/500m/250m intervals. Rest: Paddle the distance that you have just rowed.

It didn’t matter that it was 35 degrees C in the shadow.

It didn’t matter that this was my first working day after the vacation. I tell you, spending the entire day in an airconditioned office, and then going out into the heat, it’s worse than just spending the day outdoors.

The Brno reservoir, on days like these, turns into a giant outdoor swimming pool, especially after work. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go out in the morning.

Swimmers. Sailing boats. Pedalos. Electric Boats. Stand-up Paddlers. Kayaks. More swimmers. Big tourist boats. Dragon Boats. Thankfully, no water skiers.

Half of the adults are not sober. Some have jumped off their vessel and are trying to climb back into it (which takes a long time after a few drinks). One third of the captains are checking their phones, or have their headphones on. Some are doing Yoga on paddle boards in the middle of our traffic pattern. Our lake is basically, a hot, simmering soup. Steaming. Hot. Liquid. Pieces of meat floating around.

I have made a short video to illustrate the sounds I hear during rowing. Please play it so you can imagine the atmosphere. The photos are taken after the row. During the row, the sun was higher, and stronger. You have to imagine the smell of grilled sausage yourself as I didn’t find a way to transmit that through this blog.

Yesterday, I read this discussion on Reddit. The question was: “What’s wrong with Kayakers?” Some of the answers are funny:

A cox’n: “I s2g I’ve yelled more at kayaks and SUPs than I have at bow 4 combined.”

“They’re basically the one bad thing about my home water. Austin is hipster central, and doing yoga with your dog on a standup paddleboard might be great for instagram, but it sucks for us having to check it down 70% of the way through a race piece.”

“Treat them as you might a toddler.”

“Because most of them are rank amateurs that haven’t even been properly trained on water etiquette before being released into the world. People will literally rent them the boats and be like do whatever idgaf not my responsibility.
In general “amateur athletes” in sports like kayaking or downhill skiing are a danger to themselves and others. They don’t properly understand the risks, think it looks easy and forgo getting trained or get trained by the cheapest, shittiest trainer, and often don’t even realize that there is an actual chance you can die doing this activity. People don’t realize how dangerous sports can be.”

“If rowing takes place on the same waterway as any other human-powered watercraft (or even slower motorcraft), and the non-rowing boat is in front of the rowers, you end up with a slow boat in front of a fast boat with neither crew having eyes on the other. Add to that that human powered craft are pretty quiet and that the rowing shell can’t turn nimbly; it’s exceptionally easy for a collision to happen.”

OK, enough. I usually try to be very nice, hoping that they will not develop a disliking of rowers and might consider the sport for their kids. But I also go slightly into the “treat them as you might a toddler” direction.

Anyway, you can imagine that turning around to check regularly if one of the five slow boats in front of me hasn’t decided to change course without checking if something fast is coming up from behind is not speeding me up.

Rowing away from the dock, I noticed that the SpeedCoach battery indication was at 0%. That wasn’t helpful. On Saturday, it was still on 60%, and I had forgotten to charge it, thinking that being switched off it wouldn’t discharge so fast. To make things worse, I had forgotten my backup Garmin Forerunner in the locker room and because of the heat I was not willing to return the 300m to the dock, run up the hill to the club house, get the Garmin, and start the training again. So I decided to risk it. If the SpeedCoach would die, I would use counting strokes to roughly measure out the distances and still complete the training.myimage (4)

I guess it was hot. Perhaps I already told you above, but it was hot. I decided that going out at 350W for the 250m would be a good idea, then reduce to 325W for the 500m, row the 750s and the 1k at 300W, and then back up again.

Workout Summary - media/20170731-195019-Sanders SpeedCoach 20170731 0610pmo.csv
Workout Details

Doing the first two intervals basically fried me. I had to almost come to a full stop during the 500m to avoid a collision with a pedalo that suddenly changed course. During the 750, the 1k, the second 750, I just went with whatever I could produce at roughly 30spm. Mind you, I did monitor form and boat run. It wasn’t an all sloppy affair. It was just that the engine was very inefficient due to my overheated body. After each interval I collapsed, put my hands in the lake to cool down, wetted my hat with lake water, drank some water, and tried to do the rest paddle as slowly as possible to get back some energy to do the next interval. All that surrounded by the sounds of screaming children and rowing through the thick smell of grilled sausages and other barbecue going on at the lake shore.

In the final 500m I tried to hold 300W and failed. In the final 250m I did manage to hold something between 330W and 350W with decent form.


Not happy with the result, but not unhappy either. The circumstances were bloody hellish, and I didn’t handle down. Tomorrow, I will be able to go out first thing early morning. That should be better. Tomorrow is expected to become the hottest day of this summer, with maximum temperatures between 34 and 38 degrees (in the shadow) for Brno.

Did I mention it was hot?

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