Apr 3 2015
New team clothing.
Also trying out WordPress mobile.
Apr 2 2015
A crazy day in all aspects.
It was snowing when I drove to work. Then I had one of those crazy mornings where you do something else every ten minutes just trying to help your direct reports and move everything forward a bit.
Then an off-site lunch with a colleague and friend, discussing some work/life related stuff that is not relevant for this blog. I also realized I had forgotten the bag with my boat and scull covers at home, so I raced home to get it, then back to work.
Spent the afternoon onboarding a new direct report. The plan was to disappear at 4:30, drive to rowing club, a quick row with 2 intervals at race pace, then prepare boat for transport. The reality was that I left at 6, arrived at the club at 6:20. There were huge waves on the lake, so I prepared the boat for transport and then went for an erg training.
2.5km warming up
1km target 1:49 @ 29spm, reality 1:47 pace @ 28spm
1km target 1:49 @ 29spm, reality 1:47 pace @ 28spm
2.5km cooling down
Yesterday was the day that my new toys arrived from Amazon. Unfortunately I had not time to test CrewNerd+XGPS160+Wahoo bluetooth HR belt. I did test the Wahoo belt with the iphone to record the erg training though. Worked fine of course.
Well, I will need to try the other toy on tomorrow’s reconnaissance row at the race venue.
The draw is out:
The Vetesnik guys are Olympians. Ondrej Vetesnik has a 6:08 erg score. They start way ahead of me anyway, so nothing to worry about.
What is more interesting is that the guy with bow nr #352, Mr Barton, was 20 seconds faster than I a year ago. So I guess my goal is to fend him off … 🙂
Tomorrow: Packing for the race, drive to race venue, quick training, then go to hotel. I will leave the laptop at home but may try to do some blogging using the iphone WordPress app.
My race is on Saturday 14:21 Central European Time. Live results will appear here: http://www.sportis.cz/index.php?category=zavody
Weight is a good 70.5kg. 2kg of reserve, that should be enough.
Mar 31 2015
An interesting day, the last day of March.
We had snow in the morning. Then rain, and wind. Then a lot of sunshine, and Romana called that the lake was OK to row on. An hour later she called that there were heavy waves. Sun and rain were doing 30 minute intervals.
I decided to go to the rowing club anyway. It’s a few days before the race and I wanted to do some analysis.
When I was on the water, there was a strong wind and waves, but no rain. I managed to find a few relatively quiet spots to do my testing.
First, the numbers by Garmin. No HR data today, because my HR belt had disappeared in the dirty laundry pile (found it after the training).
|15:51.0|17:27.0|00412|01:36|01:56.5|standing start, tailwind
The strokes with “headwind” and “tailwind” comment are from today. The two other strokes are from November. In my feeling the top one, marked “headwind”, was the best stroke. Here I concentrated on not making a too deep catch, and I was able to find that good groove stroke.
So let’s say what the analysis says. So from November to March, my stroke efficiency has decreased from >1.5 to around 1. Apparently a bad thing …
Check factor has changed from around 2 to around 1.5, which would indicate a smoother movement of the boat, which is better.
Catch efficiency is roughly the same, higher in headwind (and when I felt I was rowing better) and lower in tailwind, compared to the November data. Catch duration is roughly the same.
I must say the stroke efficiency data are the ones that are thoroughly confusing me …
(For those who have access, here is my blog about the November analysis on Indoor Sport Services: http://indoorsportservices.co.uk/forum/blog.php?u=11066&b=117050 )
Mar 30 2015
This is a tricky week. In the last week before an important head race, I want to taper. However, I will be competing in the Open LW category, so I need to maintain weight. My current weight is oscillating between 71kg and 72kg and I need to make sure I weigh in at 72.5 in rowing clothes on Saturday around lunch time.
My Sunday evening weight is usually a bit higher than my Friday evening weight. It tells something about the quality of the canteen food at work compared to what my wife or I prepare at home. Anyway, I need to maintain a level of easy, steady state kilometers per day or be very disciplined in my eating. I try the middle road. Be slightly disciplined, and row.
A difficult moment today around 3pm when I was reviewing and approving project proposals before they are submitted. I ate a twix bar.
I felt that chocolate bar in my stomach for hours.
The original plan was to row OTW and do 10 to 12 km of technique, with a few bursts at race pace. I wanted to use the RIM app and use the stroke analysis. Unfortunately, we had thunderstorms and heavy wind and the lake was unrowable.
I was uninspired and tired in the evening but I dragged myself down to my basement and started RowPro. RowPro prepared me with a nice surprise, a welcome screen and a first-user tutorial. All my data had disappeared. I was able to load a January backup of my logbook (there was a today’s version but that was corrupted) but at least I hadn’t lost my collection of custom rows.
To overcome my tiredness and uninspiredness, and because I wanted to do “a few bursts at race pace”, I decided to do a nice sequence of 10 stroke bursts followed by light rowing, shortening the distance between bursts by 200m after each burst, until I would have two bursts after each other, then starting to lengthen again. I miss 100m somewhere. Also, I am now going to play with some math equations to see how I can make this entirely symmetric.
The 10km passed very fast in this way.
Looking forward to Saturday’s race. For those who are registered on Indoor Sport Services, here’s last year’s blog: http://indoorsportservices.co.uk/forum/blog.php?u=11066&b=114285
Mar 29 2015
Romana had planned her training at 4pm and the idea was to row a 3km at 6km pace and I would give the girls a bit of competition.
First the Junior 18yr old in the single would start, followed a minute later by daughter Lenka (15) and her rowing partner Laura (16) in the double, followed another minute later by me. Romana would be on the launch.
The water was mirror flat and there was only a slight headwind breeze on the 3km.
I measured the distance with CrewNerd’s “course” feature, as a test. I want to use that next week at the race. You can see the start and finish as defined in CrewNerd (the red and green areas in the Google earth shot):
I passed the girls in the double after 1500m, and almost immediately after that I passed Pavlina in the single.
I finished first, the 2x second, and Pavlina last. Lenka and Laura had rowed at full speed and were pretty exhausted.
I was not entirely happy. There were sequences where I had a good 29spm rhythm and boat speed was ok, but there were other parts where my stroke rate dropped. Looking at the HR curves, I think next week I should be more in the red. On the other hand, my fastest 6km was in 26:18 in the fall, and I guess today I would have had a very good chance to beat it (ref. this blog blog.php?u=11066&b=116410 ).
|Dist_|Time_|_Pace__|_SPM___|avg HR|max HR|DPS |Remarks
|02635|15:53|03:00.8| 17.1 | 121 | 158 |09.7|Warming up
|00113|07:15|32:04.8| 18.1 | 114 | 147 |00.9|waiting
|02955|12:48|02:09.9| 27.5 | 176 | 180 |08.4|3km
|04982|31:31|03:09.8| 19.2 | 139 | 163 |08.2|cooling down
The spreadsheet didn’t let me select the full 2993m that CrewNerd tells me I did. :S
According to CrewNerd I rowed 2993m in 12:56, a 2:09.6 pace, at 28.0spm (31 max).
Mar 26 2015
I had a work-from-home week. On Monday Romana wasn’t better and I worked from home to nurse her. She was feeling pain all over her body and was clearly feverish. I was still very jetlagged.
On Tuesday Lenka’s school called me to pick her up. She looked like having a mild fever, so she has been at home since Tuesday. Not very sick though. Romana was very very miserable and spent most of the day either sleeping or throwing up and complaining. I bought chicken and made a big amount my own home made chicken broth (all natural ingredients). This usually helps to recover and also to prevent.
On Wednesday we decided to keep Robin at home as well, as he had elevated temperatures. Romana seemed to have sweated out the worst. She is clearly recovering, but we all know that you spend about 2 weeks recovering from this year’s flu.
Today Robin is clearly sick. Romana is better, able to sit and read.
In between I managed to get in a 10k at snail pace on Tuesday morning, and I did all my work from home. Long live the connected employee.
Today I was asked to go rowing at 4pm, and take care of Romana’s only healthy pupil, who will be racing next week.
The plan was to row next to her for the first 2 km and give her technical instruction. Then I would do a hard 3km, turn around, row back to her and continue to coach.
The first part was ok. After the warming up and coaching, I turned around and set off for my hard 3km. All going well. I was rowing 26-27spm and working hard in the headwind.
I was about to start winding up the stroke rate for the last km when I had the feeling that I couldn’t keep my left blade at the right depth. Damn, what’s going on, I am too deep on the left?
Well, I didn’t have to wait long for the answer.
Just two strokes, to be precise:
Immediately I noticed the big tear in my wing rigger. Here you can see my position on our lake when this happened (the end of the red part of my trajectory):
I was a few hundred meters from the shore and from our rowing club. I stopped rowing. I put back on another layer of cloting, thinking there would be a high probability that I would go swimming. This would be quite an unpleasant place to be thrown in to our March temperatures water, 300m or so from the nearest shore.
I didn’t dare to check how strong the left part of my wing was still attached to the rest, fearing I might break it and then I would either go in or have to wait for Pavlina to catch up with me, and then get help, while I would be balancing with just my right scull attached to the boat.
I waited for Pavlina to catch up. She was doing her 26spm interval. I shouted at her to continue without me, row to the finish line and then get back to the dock.
Then I started to slowly and gently pull, hands only. Of course my left scull was going deep, so I couldn’t use much force anyway.
I landed safely and took a few pictures of the damage:
I removed the rigger and put it in the car, collecting the admiration of club members regarding my strength. I am now the rigger splitter. :S :S
(Honestly I think it is a mistake made by the boat manufacturer, a wrong weld or something else.)
Here’s my training effort up to that point.
|Dist_|Time_|_Pace__|_SPM___|avg HR|max HR|DPS|Remarks |02398|16:38|03:28.1| 17.4 | 124 | 149 |08.3|Warming up |01829|08:14|02:15.0| 25.6 | 171 | 177 |08.7|headwind
So that’s not enough. We went to the erg room. First I did some coaching, correcting some of Pavlina’s technical flaws. Then I told her to row another 1km at head race pace. I was doing 28spm beside her to motivate her a bit. That was an unmeasured 1200m at roughly 1:51 pace.
Then I set off to a 2km/1.5km/1km/500m with 3 minutes rest, at head race pace:
Pretty happy with that. The first 2km at under 1:50 pace didn’t feel all too hard. Perhaps it was the rigger splitter adrenalin. 😡
So 1800m + 1200m + 2km + 1500m + 1km + 500m = 8km at head race pace. I think good training effort.
I called the boat manufacturer and he’s coming to the club tomorrow to check if one of the wings he has in stock will fit. He checked my boat parameters and has good hope. He also told me he changed supplier of all the welded stuff after problems with the wing riggers he used around 2010. If the wing fits, I will be back in my boat on Sunday. That would be great, because I am racing in 8 days.
Plan B is to borrow another single but the only one that is available is for 85kg. I will be too light for that boat. Anyway, tomorrow I will do a test row in that one to see if it is a viable alternative.
Feb 15 2015
There was a rowing club evening. Well, it was actually a whole afternoon, a traditional “zabijačka”, where a pig is slaughtered and all the meat and stuff is processed.
We arrived later, and I just tasted beer. Not that I don’t like this food, but I have to remain lightweight for my races and this is not really the food that keeps you lightweight.
Anyway, we were discussing upcoming races and I was discussing with this guy Michal. At the end of the discussion we had decided, that:
1. We would race the double together at the Spring Races on April 18
2. We would row a 6km trial next to each other on Monday, 16 February
He claims he can beat my time, but needs some motivation to do it. So there you go. I am actually quite looking forward to it.
So I was going to do the 5x1500m of last week today, and do the 6km on Monday. I went down to the erg basement with the idea that I would just row the target pace, nothing faster … well, that didn’t entirely work out.
I have brought a bluetooth enabled radio/media player for the erg room, so I was streaming this “rowbeats #1” compilation from soundcloud to it. It is a mix of techno with coxing voices and regatta speaker sounds. Quite motivating, I must say. It really did get me into a groove and the 1500m intervals flew by:
|Workout Summary – Feb 15, 2015|
Target was 1:51.2, so I beat that a little. 😀
Don’t think it will have a negative impact on tomorrow’s showdown 6k row …