Unexpected focus on boat run

Because I had swapped Friday and Saturday, messing up my three day schedule of hard/easy/easy workouts, I had another hard distance row to do on Monday. Saturday was 8km. This time it would be the 7k. Probably a bit shorter. I wanted to row it without 180 degree stop and turn interruptions. From the 90 degree turn close to Veveří castle to Sirka is 6.5km.

Doing so many of these makes it easier to churn out another one. One gets used to it.

Arriving at the rowing club, I discovered that I had forgotten my SpeedCoach. No power values. I would have to row this one purely on ‘boat feel’. Well, that actually wouldn’t be a bad idea, and the flat water on the river part of the 6.5km would help keeping a focus on technique.

I used the Garmin Forerunner as my reliable data recording tool. On the Android phone, I had a choice between Quiske RowP, but that doesn’t export sessions yet, a non activated version of CrewNerd, and an app I had never personally used: BoatCoach. Well, my rowsandall support for this app was long overdue, so why not try out that one.

So the row started by crossing the lake and then a 5 km paddle through the gorges. On the lake I noticed a stiff tailwind, which would be a headwind battle on the hard distance part of this session. In the gorge, there was no wind and mirror flat water. Cool. Also cool was that some of the tree are slowly turning yellow.

I didn’t get BoatCoach to give me reliable information about stroke rate. The value kept jumping up and down between 10spm (missing to register a stroke) and 40 spm (registering boat movements as strokes). I tried several settings combinations, playing with stroke sensitivity and phone orientation. Nothing helped.

That is how I arrived at the castle, rowed up to the turn, and turned the boat. A few moments of doubt snd contemplation, and then I set off.

I wasn’t sure what pace to hold so I tried to row on feel, but I was happy to see faster than 2:10 at a pace that seemed sustainable. As spm on BoatCoach was unreliable, now and then I counted strokes over 30 second intervals. Thirteen to fourteen strokes consistently, so 26 to 28 spm.

It was fun. I had the comfort of my rear view mirror. Although I still had to look now and then to make sure, because the contrast between the reflection of the trees in the water and the trees on the bank wasn’t great, it allowed me to turn, pick a course, and row 10 to 20 strokes without checking, focusing purely on letting the boat run, getting that springy lightness into the catch, sitting up straight, and generally showing the wildlife how good rowing looks. (Or so I pretended.)

In the narrow and twisty part I had to hug the bank to avoid an oncoming big tourist boat. I also noticed that the reported pace showed values below 2:00. Looking at the GPS trace, the cause is clear. This is not me needing a steering clinic:

The GPS of the phone apparently didn’t like rowing under the trees in the gorge.

Coming on to the lake I was still holding a 2:09 average and feeling good. This row was a blast!

After the nude beach (without nudes) I hit the headwind. Pace slowed down to 2:20 as I battled through that. Towards Rokle the lake started to be a bit more shielded. I wound up the rate. The water was flat again, and boat speed responded positively.

I wasn’t too exhausted after this row, and my heart rate values are in a nice range, slightly lower than on the previous few hard distance rows.

Paddled home happily. In the locker room, I casually mentioned that I did a full out 6k. Actually, a 6.5k.

Pace and heart rate – for the 6.5km part – according to Garmin
I added BoatCoach OTW support to the site. No heart rate as I didn’t couple the chest belt. SPM all over the place