Jul 8 2015
From my Rowing Physics blog … triggered by a discussion on Ben Redman’s blog (https://mightybenblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/observations-of-mahe-drysdales-sculling-at-henley/ )
Jul 7 2015
Monday was a bank holiday. We were in Pardubice visiting Romana’s family. My brother-in-law, Romana, Lenka and I went out at the rowing club in Pardubice. We took an old Empacher quad on the river Elbe and did 8km of nice steady-state.
Jul 4 2015
As the temperatures on Friday evening started to drop below 30 degrees, we fired up the barbecue and had a very nice dinner of Roodbaars (Atlantic redfish) from the grill. This fellow weighed 2.5kg at the fishmonger’s, so the three of us (Lenka, Romana and I) had plenty of very tasty fish. A simple salad to accompany it and (perhaps a little too much) French white wine.
We decided to launch around 9am, when there are still reasonable temperatures, and the lake hasn’t yet turned into an amusement park.
Absolutely ideal conditions. No wind. Flat water. Almost no swimmers. The boat rentals weren’t open yet. My training plan said “Death by Lactate” but as I was rowing with Romana, who hasn’t done her share of 1km trials yet, I decided to just do a 95% effort on the 1000m.
So we launched our Salani “ORCA” and did two kilometers of warming up. Then a test start plus five strokes which were perfect. Very concentrated and very nice.
Then we rowed one kilometer to the buoyed 2km and got ready for the start. The plan was to do a 95% effort. Hard start plus ten, then down to 30spm and only increase it a bit in the final 200m.
Start was ok but worse than our practice start. After ten strokes I lowered the stroke rate. A quick glance at CrewNerd, which told me I was doing 10spm. We must have been rowing so smoothly that we confused CrewNerd. After about 200m CrewNerd came back and I was indeed rowing at 29.5-30spm.
The half way point was passed without the dreaded lactate bite, and we continued our well coordinated 30spm.
29 degrees C, 1023mbar, humidity 53%, wind speed between 0.2 and 1.0 m/s.
With 200m to go I brought up the stroke rate to 33spm. We stopped 2 strokes early, and cruised through the virtual finish line at 3:42. Happy with that. At the Masters Nationals in 2014 we were third in 3:44, same warm and windless weather. This year’s edition will be very interesting. Hauk and Zizkova will remain in masters B, the Dekanovsky’s we don’t know, and we will be starting in C. Already in C last year there were Masatova and Zeman, who rowed a 3:44.
|Start|Stop_|Dist_|Time_|Pace__|_SPM__|avg HR|max HR|DPS|Remarks
|00000|03049|03049|17:43|02:54.3| 19.2 | 133 | 172 |08.9|warming up
|03049|03148|00098|00:22|01:51.9| 32.9 | 133 | 160 |08.2|100m #1
|03148|03250|00102|00:22|01:47.7| 24.9 | 168 | 171 |11.2|#2
|03250|03350|00100|00:22|01:50.3| 17.1 | 172 | 174 |15.9|#3
|03350|03448|00098|00:22|01:52.1| 30.0 | 176 | 177 |08.9|#4
|03448|03548|00100|00:23|01:55.2| 29.8 | 177 | 177 |08.8|#5
|03548|03649|00101|00:23|01:53.7| 30.0 | 178 | 179 |08.8|#6
|03649|03746|00097|00:22|01:53.5| 30.0 | 179 | 179 |08.8|#7
|03746|03847|00102|00:23|01:53.0| 30.6 | 179 | 180 |08.7|#8
|03847|03948|00100|00:22|01:49.8| 32.3 | 180 | 180 |08.5|#9
|03948|04045|00097|00:21|01:48.3| 33.0 | 180 | 181 |08.4|#10
|04045|07762|03718|21:53|02:56.6| 19.4 | 141 | 180 |08.7|cooling down
So, no excuses to go slow, two weeks from now!
We did a 3km cooling down followed by some swimming in the lake, gave the boat a good wash and then headed to the town centre for a coffee on the main plaza, and a visit to some bookshoppes.
Now indoors to survive the hottest part of the day. No rowing planned for tomorrow, or perhaps a lazy single scull early in the morning.
Jul 3 2015
Last day of the three Crazy Quad Days.
The temperatures were well above 30 degrees C. Brno’s girls, gathered around the lake, were running out of clothes to shed. Yours truthfully had to park 500m from the rowing club, because everybody was gathering there for the late afternoon.
So we weren’t on the water before 6:30 pm and some of were under time pressure. We did a 3km warming up, then a 750m at 34spm, then 3250m rest and finally a 750m that was supposed to be at 37spm.
It was the first time we were running above 30spm for a substantial distance. With all the little boats and swimmers the water was very lively. There was a slight crosswind, and our bow man had to turn around almost every stroke in a desperate attempt to avoid swimmers and drunk people on small boats who have veered into the 2km course.
I wasn’t entirely happy about the sculling. In the first one we were too short, and we had some big wake from a tourist ferry in the middle 250m. We got a bit more stroke length in the second run. But of course in that second run tiredness was kicking in and I wasn’t able to stroke higher than 34spm without severely compromising the rhythm.
|Start|Stop_|Dist_|Time_|Pace__|_SPM__|avg HR|max HR|DPS|Remarks
|01064|01312|00248|00:50|01:40.7| 33.3 | 163 | 180 |09.0|250m
|01312|01562|00250|00:49|01:38.2| 33.1 | 183 | 185 |09.2|250m
|01562|01810|00248|00:49|01:38.6| 32.9 | 185 | 186 |09.2|250m
|02614|02859|00245|00:49|01:40.2| 33.4 | 164 | 182 |09.0|250m
|02859|03106|00247|00:49|01:39.0| 33.4 | 185 | 187 |09.1|250m
|03106|03359|00253|00:49|01:36.9| 34.0 | 188 | 189 |09.1|250m
2:28 for the first, 2:27 for the second. High heart rates.
After the second interval, we immediately rowed back to the club. I did a 10 minute cooling down on the erg.
Then strolled over to a fish restaurant along the lake to join a work related dinner. Very relaxed evening.
The license plate for the new trailer!
No rowing today. A rest day. Bought a big fish to put on the barbecue tonight (Atlantic redfish).
Jul 2 2015
It’s quad craziness. Almost every second outing I do is in a quad. But we have to, because some members of our mixed quad are going on vacation, so the next time we meet it will be a few weeks before Belgium.
Today, the ladies of our mixed quad, my wife Romana and Lubica, will attend the funeral of Eva Velešíková:
Eva was a big driving force behind women’s Masters Rowing in Brno. Lubica and Romana have trained and raced with her. As a member of Masters International, a group of women raiding Masters races, she won two medals at Masters Worlds in Varese, in 2013, when she was already diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and told she had 1-1.5 years left. After her husband died, she traveled around the globe, and remained very active, optimistic and energetic until a few months ago. I don’t know her closely but I feel enormous admiration for her.
She passed away last Saturday, when I was out in the mixed quad with two ladies who have rowed with her frequently.
Jul 1 2015
I made a promise to Free Spirits and to myself to do each and every CTC this year, and yesterday I almost broke that promise.
This month’s challenge is a nice one: “Row 4810m and record your best time.” The challenge is to find time to erg in the middle of the rowing season. Usually I can rely on the weather to find a good training day to do the CTC, but with races and nice weather, this month was a disaster.
I woke up on the last possible day of the month to do this CTC with the feeling that I wouldn’t do the session in the morning.
Luckily, working from home I was super effective, so in the afternoon I was able to break out for an hour, sit down and do the session. With an OTW training planned for the evening, this wasn’t going to be a super-fast session. I aimed for 1:56 average pace for the 4810m and I wanted to do it in a strongly negative split way. The plan was to start at 2:00 pace and accelerate for each 500m.
It was easier than it looks on the graph. I managed a 1:55 average split and this way of doing it felt really nice.
Still, I had tired legs afterwards, and only 2 hours to go to the start of the OTW session.
The quad session was great. Three km warming up, then 3x2km @26-27spm but with a race start. Paddle 2km between the intervals.
Hard work but not sprint race intensity. Good session to try out if our stroke falls apart at these medium stroke rates. We held up pretty well. Stroke rate had a tendency to creep up instead of down, and we ended up rowing the final 500m of each interval at 29-31spm. We are a competitive crew. Once we set the time for the first interval, everybody on board wanted to be close to that time in the subsequent 2 intervals.
|Start|Stop_|Dist_|Time_|_Pace__|avg HR|max HR|Remarks
|00000|02897|02897|16:22|02:49.5| 120 | 151 |warming up
|02897|04903|02006|07:13|01:47.9| 173 | 183 |1st 2km
|07129|09126|01997|07:12|01:48.1| 175 | 186 |2nd 2km
|11389|13389|02000|07:21|01:50.3| 176 | 186 |3rd 2km
|13389|14533|01144|07:02|03:04.5| 141 | 179 |cooling down
Heart rates were high again. Apparently I was just having a “high heart rate day”, because the perceived effort wasn’t at all like that.
Jun 30 2015
There would be no point in doing this on the ergometer. This one is really about getting used to high stroke rates in real conditions (wind, waves, chop, traffic, buoys, and wake). Anybody can get up to 40spm on the erg, but getting good boat speed at 38spm in a single is more difficult.
This is another one from my personal list of interesting workouts that I collected over the years. It says:
3x(5×30″)/R8 (1) 30″/30″ @36spm, (2) 30″/45″ @ 38spm, (3) 30″/60″ @40spm
So three sets of 5 times 30 seconds of hard work, with mini rests that get longer for the higher stroke rates. Eight minutes rest between the sets. This is the first time I am doing it this season and I am not sure whether the stroke rates weren’t originally intended for the double or even the quad, so I lowered the target spm by 2.
The conditions: Alternating sun and a few drops of rain, light wind from the north (the nearby weather stations reported something else but in this hill country a weather station 5km away on the other side of the hill can report something entirely different), about 24 degrees C.
Warming up was uneventful. I did 3 10 stroke bursts at slightly higher stroke rate than my normal “warming up” bursts, and I took 3km of warming up instead of 2.
The first set was with slight tailwind, the second set with headwind and the final set with tailwind again. In the first interval of the second set, I had to suddenly steer in another direction because I was on a collision course with a tourist ferry. During the first set I thought I would not be able to survive the second and third sets, but the slightly longer rests combined by the fact that I really got used to the high rates were enough to save me.
Here are the data.
| Dist_ | Pace__ | _SPM | avg HR | max HR | DPS | Remarks
| 03161 | 02:38.6 | 20.1 | 136 | 169 | 09.4 | WU
| 00140 | 01:47.3 | 32.9 | 159 | 172 | 08.5 | 34spm #1 (32.0 / 1:46.2)
| 00136 | 01:50.1 | 33.3 | 174 | 180 | 08.2 | 34 spm #2 (33.9 / 1:48.1)
| 00133 | 01:52.7 | 32.8 | 176 | 182 | 08.1 | 34spm #3 (33.9 / 1:49.9)
| 00142 | 01:45.4 | 32.9 | 177 | 182 | 08.7 | 34spm #4 (34.0 / 1:42.2)
| 00139 | 01:48.2 | 33.0 | 176 | 182 | 08.4 | 34spm #5 (34.0 / 1:48.1)
| 01414 | 02:49.7 | 20.1 | 147 | 183 | 08.8 | rest 8min
| 00126 | 01:55.4 | 34.6 | 169 | 178 | 07.5 | 36spm #1 (34.0 / 1:54.7), steering
| 00137 | 01:49.5 | 34.8 | 176 | 181 | 07.9 | 36spm #2 (36.0 / 1:49.1)
| 00134 | 01:51.5 | 35.6 | 178 | 182 | 07.6 | 36spm #3 (36.0 / 1:48.7)
| 00143 | 01:48.1 | 34.3 | 177 | 183 | 08.1 | 36spm #4 (35.9 / 1:45.9)
| 00137 | 01:49.7 | 35.1 | 179 | 185 | 07.8 | 36spm #5 (33.9 / 1:48.7)
| 01425 | 02:48.4 | 19.6 | 152 | 186 | 09.1 | 8 min rest
| 00143 | 01:44.7 | 37.1 | 167 | 177 | 07.7 | 38spm #1 (38.0 / 1:43.0)
| 00145 | 01:46.7 | 36.4 | 174 | 179 | 07.7 | 38spm #2 (38.0 / 1:43.7)
| 00149 | 01:40.6 | 37.1 | 176 | 181 | 08.0 | 38spm #3 (37.9 / 1:39.1)
| 00140 | 01:47.0 | 36.6 | 176 | 183 | 07.7 | 38spm #4 ( (36.0 / 1:45.8)
| 00137 | 01:49.6 | 36.8 | 175 | 182 | 07.4 | 38spm #5 (37.9 / 1:45.7)
| 01916 | 02:59.3 | 20.1 | 155 | 184 | 08.3 | CD
I have removed the data for the mini rests as they are not interesting. In the comments I captured what CrewNerd reports me. In these short intervals it is slightly different from the excel spreadsheet. I guess it gives you a feel for the accuracy. The intervals were just 17 to 19 strokes long, and with one data point per second there are bound to be rounding errors.
Happy with the paces achieved and even more happy with the stroke rates. During the 36spm and 38spm I really felt how I could work fast and still get reasonable stroke length.
This evening a session in the quad and I may have to do a 5km on the erg immediately after it to keep my promise to do each and every CTC of this year.