Jun 6 2017
Nov 16 2016
A long day. I left for Brno airport just before lunch time, to take the flight to Munich, expecting to take a lunch at the layover in Munich.
The flight to Munich had a 3 hour delay. We were offered money to buy refreshments at Brno airport, but the choice of healthy food is not exactly overwhelming there. Anyway, with work to do, documents to read, and internet connection, the three hours of quiet working time was definitely not wasted.
Arrived in Sofia at 10pm, which means I missed the business dinner with our local partners that we were invited to. A good start!
The taxi from the airport to the hotel drove 140 km/h on a road with a speed limit of 80 km/h and signs warning for speed cameras. Crashed into hotel bed and slept.
Headed to the hotel gym and did an aerobic warming up (or was it a waking up). Ten minutes on an elliptic, ten minutes on the treadmill, and 10 minutes on a spinning bike. The elliptical fitness trainer was of an interesting make. It was constructed in such a way that you could vary the stride length, which meant you could vary between something resembling stairs walking (short stride) and cross country skiing (long stride). It was fun, actually, to vary this.
Then it was time for weights. The problem was that the 25 square meter gym was by now filled with about 7 people, which made it a bit difficult to work out. On top of that, the hotel was the venue for some kind of military conference, so the weights stations were quite popular. I did some bench presses, and then I headed back to the hotel room, where I completed the workout with sit ups, reverse push ups across the bed and the cupboard, and back exercises.
This morning’s taxi driver was even more interesting than the one of Monday night. This time it was a bipolar guy with an economics degree, who took the outcome of the Bulgarian elections very seriously. At one crossing he got fed up of waiting to turn left, crossed over to the opposite side of the street, drove 150m into upcoming traffic, exclaiming that he didn’t care any more, passing police (who didn’t seem to care), and turned left. Then he started to talk about moving to Germany to take a cleaning job.
Meetings were good. At the end of the day I took a taxi ride to the airport and a flight to Vienna, and after two hours in the car I arrived home. The taxi ride to the airport was extremely boring (for Bulgarian standards).
Interestingly, the Garmin Forerunner seems to have captured speed from the treadmill:
Joe Friel’s blog is relevant: http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2016/11/travel-and-training.html
Jun 9 2016
Wednesday – traveled to Brussels.
Going through the Vienna train station I noticed there was a wifi network called “refugees”. It’s easy to be cynical about it. But it shows how important access to information is nowadays, for everybody.
At Vienna airport I saw a Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Ethiopian Airlines. It was a nice sight between all the Austrian Airbuses and Fokkers.
This morning, I found my regular hotel’s fitness room completely revamped. Wow!
- The cycling machines were now wall-facing. Apparently pedalists were staring too much at the other users of the fitness room. 🙁
- The water fountain had been moved by 1.5 meters to the left and around the corner.
The LifeFitness equipment still offered the usual menu:
- Heart Rate
I usually choose Random but today I felt adventurous, so I did treadmill on Hill, elliptical on Manual / Intervals and the cycling on Manual / Watts. It was a completely new experience! Still the same old track/hill/map/bar chart choice though:
On the train and during the flight, I have been playing a bit with my physics of rowing toybox. I never really looked at the erg model, so when a discussion was stimulated recently on rec.sport.rowing about the part of the power that is not captured by the PM, I started improving my erg model.
As a result, I have two erg models now. Both have their weaknesses, but they seem to agree on the important bit.
I apologize for the color inconsistency between the two graphs (this was done on an airplane!) and clearly there is a lot to improve, but here are the topics of discussion.
- During the drive (first 0.8 seconds of this graph), leg power is used to accelerate the rower’s body and to accelerate the flywheel. The acceleration of the flywheel is done by the force on the handle. That is the red curve in both graphs.
- Half way during the drive, the rower’s body starts to slow down. There has to be a negative force on the rower’s body. There are two sources of this, one is the handle force and the other is the leg force. By pushing less hard on the legs and starting to swing the back, the rower slows down. In the top graph, you can see “leg power” go negative. This is where the rower is actually hanging/pulling in the footstretcher in order to stop. If he had rown strapless, he would shoot off the slide.
- During the recovery, the rower has to accelerate, then break. One is a positive power (force and velocity have the same direction), the other negative.
The discussion is about how to count these negative lobes. Clearly, they are not measured on the PM. The human leg is not a spring, so you cannot store energy for reuse during the drive, so this negative power has to be accounted somehow. In my model, I just take the absolute value of this power and add it to the total power balance.
It is also clear that the bulk of this extra power is generated during the recovery. During the drive phase, a large part of the kinetic energy in the rower’s body can be transferred to the handle effectively.
Don’t catch me on the numbers and exact shapes of the graphs. It was really toying around trying to explain the principles.