Apr 21 2015
Apr 21 2015
Yes! They are hard. Because working on technique is hard. But I don’t think they are too hard.
Another morning row because of the wind forecasts. It is actually quite beautiful to be out in the morning:
Sunrise and all:
The problem is that when I drive to work from the lake at 7:45 I hit the main traffic jams which I so elegantly avoid with my usual route and departure time. That’s really frustrating. You know there is work waiting for you, but you can’t do anything else than wait in traffic.
I did a 10km row but the graph below shows only the last 8km. I was using the Rowing in Motion (RIM) app and I have trouble with the calibration. I push off the dock, put my feet in the shoes, and start up the app, then wait a few seconds, then start rowing. When I see “catch efficiency” around 0.5 and lower, I know the calibration is off. I need to be above 1.5, ideally 2 and higher.
I also have the feeling this is limiting the comparison between rows. For example here is a picture with three strokes,
The yellow stroke is from today with tailwind, while the purple one is from November. Stroke efficiency was 2.2 today at 18spm, which was pretty much the maximum I saw during the row, but in November I seemed to be able to hit 2.96. Or was it a different calibration? A slight offset in the acceleration may have been the problem.
Perhaps the boat should not be moving when you switch on the app, as I guess it can measure acceleration but not velocity for the calibration?
Nevertheless, I feel the “stroke efficiency” is a good metric to monitor during one row. I saw it going up when I was focusing on my flaws:
- Blades not too deep at the catch, gentle leg push, not biting off more of the stroke than I can swallow
- Strong middle and second half of stroke by “shoulder swing”
- Clean, distinct, hard tap-down
I need to exaggerate to get (2) and (3) right. I am sure an observer on the bank wouldn’t see what I call “shoulder swing” but it feels pretty dramatic. Also, the tap-down probably is just rather sloppy when I don’t pay attention.
So today I was just alternating 18, 20 and 22spm in roughly two minute intervals, trying work on those three points mentioned above while keeping an eye on the RIM metrics every 5th stroke. This is hard work but when it works I am rewarded with splits that are 1 or 2 seconds faster, and the check factor numbers moved to values greater than 2. Sloppy rowing is between 1 and 1.5. I am guessing on the split numbers, because it is hard to judge what is due to good rowing and what is due to changing wind conditions.
Anyway, here are the pretty graphs. Slightly more noisy pace values as I didn’t use the XGPS160. It’s not compatible with RIM yet:
Apr 20 2015
Time for the first 8x500m training of this season. I spent some time on Sunday to prepare the training plan between now and the next race, which will be a 1000m sprint on May 30. Time to get accustomed to the high stroke rates. My training being based on the Pete Plan, from now on I will push for short intervals rather than long intervals. I want to replace the “hard distance” with 1km or 2km efforts with long warming up and cooling down steady state.
I did the last OTW 8x500m a year ago, on 18 April 2014, achieving roughly 2:00 pace on average, roughly 28spm, in light wind (0.8m/s average). The temperature was 16 degrees C.
In June 2014, I did a 10x500m/500m rest which looked roughly like this:
That really looks painful1.
Today’s session had to be early in the morning, because there is stronger wind predicted for the afternoon. So I pushed off at 6:18 which is early for me.
The weather was slightly different than a year ago. Average temperature during the session 3 degrees C, and a wind speed of 1.1 m/s. So colder and slightly stronger wind. My year old report doesn’t say anything about waves. Today there were some, and there was some varying wind. Rowing from Rokle (northwest corner of lake) to Sirka (south) I had both tailwind and headwind conditions.
Here are the data:
|Dist_|Time_|Pace__|_SPM__|avg HR|max HR|DPS|Remarks
|02059|12:37|03:03.8| 19.0 | 132 | 145 |08.6|Warming up
|00499|01:58|01:58.3| 28.3 | 159 | 168 |09.0|#1; tailwind
|00500|02:00|01:59.9| 28.6 | 163 | 172 |08.8|#2; tailwind
|00498|02:06|02:06.5| 29.5 | 165 | 174 |08.0|#3; varying wind
|00501|02:03|02:02.8| 28.9 | 166 | 175 |08.5|#4; varying wind
|00500|02:16|02:15.9| 26.9 | 165 | 174 |08.2|#5; headwind
|00501|02:10|02:09.8| 28.2 | 171 | 176 |08.2|#6; headwind
|00500|01:57|01:57.0| 31.0 | 171 | 179 |08.3|#7; tailwind
|00499|01:59|01:59.2| 30.8 | 171 | 178 |08.2|#8; tailwind
|01006|06:52|03:24.8| 18.3 | 139 | 178 |08.0|cooling down
And the overall summary:
Hm, so I am a bit slower at a bit higher pace, but at lower HR. Should I be worried that my hard days are too easy? Whatever the answer to that question is, this a good marker for the season, although I am wondering if I should keep the 8x500m / 3:00 rest format or switch to the 10x500m/500m format. I want to see the red next time1.
I can also happily report that I made some additional changes to my CrewNerd TCX spreadsheet and above summaries are now almost produced automatically. XGPS160 and CrewNerd were well behaved today. I did “swipe up” to completely switch off CrewNerd before the row, as Greg suggested.
Apr 19 2015
After yesterday’s racing with crazy wind conditions the weather turned for the good. Today the leaves barely moved. I am just exaggerating slightly. The lake wasn’t a mirror, but the water was flat and very easy to row.
Well, spring races wouldn’t be spring races without wind and crazy waves. See my blogs from other years on Indoor Sport Services:
Always waves and wind at our spring races.
The sailing clubs have races a week after the rowers. Every year they end up sitting on the shore waiting for wind …
Anyway, today we were looking forward to a calm row in the double. We settled for 2×12 minutes in Wolverine plan “L4 style”, i.e.
2 min 18spm
2 min 20 spm
2 min 22 spm
3 min 18spm
2 min 20 spm
1 min 22 spm
1 minute rest to turn the boat
On the second 2 minute interval of the second 12 minute set CrewNerd stopped counting meters and the pace remained stuck at the last value. Luckily, we were in a time based training, so we could finish the set.
Apparently the XGPS160 and the iphone were not communicating well.
So I switched it off and on, and checked the XGPS in its own iphone app. All working well, 65% battery remaining.
I started a “just row”. Romana and I did a practice race start. Nothing. No pace. No meters. I pressed “reset” on the CrewNerd just row and now the meters were clocked.
We rowed another 1500m, and when I started the second 20 stroke at race pace segment, the meters stopped again.
Quite annoying. I don’t know what’s going on. I had the XGPS160 on during the drive home, without problems. It was communicating with the phone all the time.
However, when Romana was washing the boat and I was bringing the sculls to the rack, I noticed that the XGPS160 pretended it was on, was showing a “connected” status in the app but the data transmission was 0 Hz!
I will do 8x500m tomorrow, so I guess I will take the Garmin Forerunner as a backup system.
Here is my HR vs pace for the first part of the row, stopping at the point where the GPS stopped.
As you can see a real easy row to flush the muscles.
Here is the second part of what CrewNerd recorded, including a 20 stroke sequence that brought us up to 1:50 pace, and the onset of the second 20 stroke sequence when the GPS dropped out again:
Apr 15 2015
Our traditional Spring Races of coming Saturday have become quite interesting. The elite will have control races in Prague for the national crew selection, so suddenly only the Masters rowers of the region are left behind in the open category. On my home lake. Interesting. Interesting.
Yesterday’s CTC was a 2k pace session (or slightly faster) but today I still wanted to do a 4x1km OTW at my envisioned race pace. I haven’t done a 4x1km OTE this year so I don’t even know what my reference pace is for this Pete Plan training, but I think it is about 2km pace. Perhaps slightly slower.
The weather was perfect. I launched at 6:30 pm and it was still 20 degrees C, there was a very mild wind from the north-northwest (2 m/s), which gradually disappeared during the training. I did the first 2 intervals with the very light tailwind or crosswind, the third interval with headwind or no wind, and the final interval with essentially no wind.
Here are the data:
|Dist_|Time_|Pace__|_SPM___|avg HR|max HR|DPS|Remarks
|02892|17:14|02:58.7| 18.8 | 131 | 171 |08.9|Warming up
|00999|03:58|01:59.1| 29.6 | 172 | 179 |08.5|1km #1
|00810|05:00|03:05.2| 19.3 | 146 | 178 |08.4|rest
|01000|04:01|02:00.5| 29.3 | 175 | 180 |08.5|1km #2
|00840|05:00|02:58.7| 19.3 | 148 | 178 |08.7|rest
|00999|04:08|02:04.1| 29.1 | 176 | 180 |08.3|1km #3
|00784|05:00|03:11.3| 19.3 | 148 | 179 |08.1|rest
|01000|04:03|02:01.5| 29.4 | 176 | 181 |08.4|1km #4
|01898|11:22|02:59.7| 19.9 | 145 | 180 |08.4|Cooling down
At the end of the training the water was so calm that I had to make a picture:
Apr 10 2015
A technique session in the single. It was 10km in total and I was running the Rowing in Motion app. Unfortunately, the first 30 minutes of recorded data were lost.
I was rowing 20spm alongside one of our juniors. In the first part of the session, the “stroke efficiency” showed numbers between 1.3 and 1.5. Pretty strange.
Even stranger was when I did a race start. I saw 1:00.0 as a pace … !!!
Then the clock hit 30:00.0 in the app and poof! The app crashed. So I stopped and restarted the app.
Suddenly I the pace numbers were much more stable, and the “stroke efficiency” numbers were 2.5 to 3.0. Weird.
When I tried to upload the data, the first half of the training was gone.
Anyway, see the images for the analysis of the part of the trainng that was recorded. The fast strokes was a race start. Apparently 5.02 m/s, which would correspond to a 1:39.6 pace … in headwind! Well, I did it for just 15 strokes.
The metrics are comparable to what I rowed at 18 to 22spm in November.
Apr 9 2015
Today I stickered the boat name to our new double. I will keep it secret until Saturday’s christening ceremony.
In next week’s races, I agreed to race the double with Michal, so today we took the double out for a row. It was relatively flat water on the lake, for the first time in ages. I gave Michal the choice between a 3km/2.5km/2km or a steady state row. He chose the first one.
He has only started to train again recently. It showed. He became tired relatively quickly.
Still a good workout. In the first interval, the 3000m, we had to do a hard stop about a minute into the row, because a single had decided to turn and didn’t see us coming. We also had wake of three motor boats. Two coach launches and one motor boat with guys from the sailing club taking their kids for a ride. These were the worst, because they didn’t slow down for us and were basically doing circles on the lake.
|Dist_|Time_|Pace__|_SPM___|avg HR|max HR|DPS|Remarks
|02226|13:47|03:05.8| 19.2 | 124 | 169 |08.4|Warming up
|02998|12:46|02:07.7| 25.5 | 170 | 180 |09.2|3km headwind, wake
|00677|04:59|03:41.0| 19.6 | 142 | 180 |06.9|rest
|02497|10:07|02:01.5| 25.6 | 176 | 181 |09.6|2.5km tailwind
|00642|04:58|03:52.2| 19.3 | 144 | 179 |06.7|rest
|01993|08:39|02:10.2| 25.4 | 175 | 181 |09.1|2km headwind
|01075|07:03|03:16.8| 17.5 | 134 | 181 |08.7|cooldown
And finally another nice picture from last weekend’s racing: