Mar 26 2017
Mar 25 2017
This was just a very nice morning at the rowing club. Arrived at 9:30, in time for my son’s training time. Lenka helped me swap the oarlock pins on my single for better ones. Since I have backstays, I need the screw-thread on the top of the pin to be longer for all the bolts to fit on nicely. So that is now the case.
Then I took the single for this year’s first row on the lake.
Here is the graph from rowsandall.com:
During the row, I had set the SpeedCoach monitor to the most basic parameters you can have: Stroke Rate, Pace, Distance and Elapsed Time. I just focused on rowing. It was nice weather. This was a 12km steady state. I was tired from the week in Račice, and I didn’t feel like focusing on complex parameters.
The Empower Oarlock magnet moved a bit during the row. Even though I had screwed it tight. I suspect that the new pins are a bit greasy. This made the catch and finish angle measurements unusable, but all the other metrics are still valid. I leave it as an exercise to the reader to spot the headwind and tailwind segments. As a hint, the nearest airport (16km) reported 3kt wind from the North.
After the row, I took out our double and rigged it. It was nice to stand in the sun, mess around with a double, and chat with the other rowers.
I fell asleep in my chair while trying to process my workout. I guess I have some lack of sleep and accumulated fatigue.
I hope to persuade Romana to go for a technique outing in the double, followed by a sauna session. By the way, Romana was in Pardubice today to do rowing trainers’ exams. She passed. Yay! Now she is officially certified.
Oct 28 2016
Enough ladies turned up to fill the eight, so I was thrown out, unfortunately. I was looking forward to rowing in the eight.
So it was an outing in the single. The lake was mirror flat, but we were all rowing in our little armada of four pairs, three singles and one eight, so I got my share of rowing in other boats’ puddles. Still it was a perfect day to work on technique.
I did few drills, but tried to row at 18spm with attention to making the boat run.
The high SPM stuff was drills at the turning points.
Workout Summary - media/20161028-110433-Sanders SpeedCoach 20161028 1005amo.csv
Oct 16 2016
I felt guilty for taking an unplanned rest day on Friday, although it probably wasn’t bad to take an additional rest day.
Saturday was a windy day. First time in the single since Tuesday morning. In the mean time, the manufacturer of my boat (mr Růžička from “Roseman”) had come by to fit my single with back stays. Or are they called front stays? They extend from the top of the oarlock to the “front” of the boat (looking in the forward rowing direction, behind my back). Well, what is the forward rowing direction, anyway. To me, forward is the usual direction of motion, with the rower facing backwards.
Anyway, I got a new wing and those stays for free, so I have to tell Roseman’s service is excellent.
It was very windy. The forecast was 4 m/s, and I believe on the lake part of the outing it was just that. Rowing in tailwind, I felt the wind blowing into my face, which means that the wind speed was higher than my 12km/h rowing speed. There were big waves on the lake, so I decided to go up to the castle.
Workout Summary - media/20161016-161625-Sanders SpeedCoach 20161015 0946amo.csv
01|01000|05:05.0|02:32.5|22.1|131.9|151.0|08.9 - warming up - tailwind
03|01000|06:16.8|03:08.4|20.8|148.3|162.0|07.7 - remove layer
04|01000|04:33.9|02:16.9|20.1|162.0|165.0|10.9 - tailwind
07|01000|05:38.4|02:49.2|20.3|156.8|167.0|08.8 - turn
08|01000|05:07.3|02:33.6|20.8|166.9|171.0|09.4 - headwind
10|01000|05:17.2|02:38.6|20.1|164.5|169.0|09.4 - strong headwind
11|01000|05:38.7|02:49.3|20.1|161.1|165.0|08.8 - back on lake
12|01000|06:53.2|03:26.6|18.4|154.8|162.0|07.9 - unrowable part
After 6.5km, I was catching up with a big ship, so instead of trying to pass him on a part of the river where I am not supposed to be, I turned around and decided to add an extra lake loop to the end of the workout.
On the river, you are shielded. The headwind was a bit less strong, and there was no chop. Arriving at the lake, I found myself in trouble. The wind has 3000m to get to maximum speed and sweep up the waves. The waves were of the kind that wipe over the stern, and every fourth or fifth wave would dump some water into the cockpit. There was an extra layer of clothes in that cockpit, which I had removed at the end of the warming up, so those clothes got soaked and there wasn’t a lot of bailing going on.
Buoyancy enough, so I decided to not be a Sissy and row all the way to the south end of the lake. After about 1.5km of really bad water, the chop became slightly lower and my motions started to resemble rowing again.
Heart rates were slightly higher than expected and there was some DOMS, especially shoulders and chest.
Oct 1 2016
Today’s workout was from a list of typical Threshold Workouts. The instruction was:
(2-5)x3/2/1min @ 26/30/34spm, 3 min rest
I decided to do 4 of them, because 24 minutes is about the duration of next week’s head race. I also suspect that the 30/34spm is for elite rowers, so I made it a bit more easy by allowing myself to do this in 26/28/30spm. This would also be a good test for head race stroke rate.
The youth rowed their hard 6km today. Because Romana was down at the river helping with the regatta, I had to take care of the girls a bit. So I rowed a long (4km) warming up, in order to arrive at Rokle with all the others. Coach Doubek’s boys and 3 girls in singles (Lenka has an ear infection and didn’t row today). It was an impressive sight. Twelve boats, pairs, singles and doubles, at Rokle. I set off with the first (slowest) but did my 4x6min workout, which means that I got to turn earlier, and had a chance to cheer for the crews rowing down to Sirka (the south end of our lake).
01|00713| 03:00 |02:06.2| 25.7| 162 | 170 | 9.3 - tailwind
02|00506| 02:00 |01:58.5| 28.5| 175 | 178 | 8.9
03|00259| 01:00 |01:55.8| 31.0| 179 | 181 | 8.4
04|00483| 03:00 |03:06.3| 19.0| 156 | 180 | 8.5 - rest
05|00653| 03:00 |02:17.8| 25.3| 169 | 175 | 8.6 - headwind
06|00459| 02:00 |02:10.7| 27.5| 179 | 182 | 8.3
07|00239| 01:00 |02:05.5| 30.0| 183 | 185 | 8.0
08|00434| 03:00 |03:27.3| 18.0| 155 | 185 | 8.0 - rest
09|00703| 03:00 |02:08.0| 26.0| 168 | 176 | 9.0 - tailwind
10|00489| 02:00 |02:02.6| 28.0| 179 | 181 | 8.7
11|00253| 01:00 |01:58.5| 29.0| 183 | 184 | 8.7
12|00402| 03:00 |03:43.8| 15.7| 150 | 182 | 8.6 - rest
13|00676| 03:00 |02:13.1| 26.0| 170 | 179 | 8.7 - headwind
14|00457| 02:00 |02:11.2| 27.5| 180 | 184 | 8.3
15|00240| 01:00 |02:05.0| 30.0| 184 | 186 | 8.0
16|00477| 03:00 |03:08.6| 17.7| 155 | 186 | 9.0 - rest
--|07443| 36:00 | 2:25.1| 24.0| 169 | 186 | 8.6
There was a 1 m/s wind blowing from NNW, so my intervals were alternating tail and head wind. It was a nice but very hard workout. You start at 26spm which is very sustainable, and get to work a bit on boat efficiency. Then, after 3 minutes, you step up to 28spm and you are rowing a real head race pace, trying to maintain good technique. Then, finally, a fierce 1 minute at “last 1000m of the head race” pace. It wears you out quickly, and the 3 minutes of rest are a bit short. But it’s really a good way to simulate head race pace.
I am adding another esoteric plot. It’s the drive speed (m/s) versus average drive force:
Multiplying these two parameters gives you something that has the dimension of Power. Of course, in OTW rowing, drive speed and average drive force are coupled through boat speed and rigging parameters, but still I find it interesting to think about this plot.
After the row, we left our lake boathouse and drove to the river, where it was the second day of the University Eights. Yesterday it was a “duel” between the eights of the two Brno based universities. Today, we had 5 eights, with three boats from universities from other towns. We puzzled a bit to find a format that would be attractive, but in the end we came up with the following:
- All five eights row the course solo to set a time. The fastest boat goes to the semifinal directly
- Two “quarter finals”. The two winners and the fastest losing boat go to the semifinal.
- Two “semi finals”.
- The semi final winners meet each other in the final. The losing boats get to race for third place.
In this way, all eights got to row three or four times in one morning, and it was attractive for the public.
I took some video so you get an impression of the atmosphere. Warning. This is not The Boat Race. This is a tiny regatta.
Sep 28 2016
Today is a bank holiday and a good day to do the 6km. The only problem is that I couldn’t row the 6km in one go from the castle to Sirka, because the tourists boats depart earlier on bank holidays, and we’re not supposed to be on the river when they operate.
So I had to do my usual 6km with a turn somewhere between 3000 and 3500m (depending on where I put the exact start). I started the session with a 2km warming up.
The plan was simple. Warned by my struggle with 1500m to go, a week ago, I decided to start slowly on purpose. If pace was faster than 2:11, I would lighten up the stroke. The idea was to row this in an even split and not slower than 2:13 average (including the turn).
I wouldn’t say that the plan went out of the window as soon as I started the 6k, but in the first 500m I just rowed what felt like a fine pace. After 500m I finally started to adhere to the plan and slowed down, but it was hard to slow down slower than 2:09 without letting the stroke rate drop below 25spm.
After 2km I passed in front of our rowing club, and noticed the head coach going out with the launch, following three singles.
The final 1000m before the turn were a bit more difficult. The lake was wobbly. Some weird standing wave. So here I finally had my 2:11 pace.
I turned around and started rowing. That’s where I noticed that what I thought was windstill weather was an ever so slight breeze, now a headwind. In the beginning nothing was wrong, but then I started to have to rate up to 26spm to hold 2:12. Then I started to drop to 2:15.
With 1500m to go I rowed in the remains of the wake of the coach launch. It wasn’t really a wake, but today the weather, wind direction, and temperature all collaborated to make the lake very bouncy and wobbly. I cannot explain it, but under certain conditions, standing waves seem to not be dampened at all. I started to get really tired, and also angry, for still rowing too hard in the beginning of the row.
01|06000| 26:37 |02:13.0| 25.5| 179 | 185 | 8.8
--|06000| 26:37 | 2:13.0| 25.5| 179 | 185 | 8.8
The following image is from rowsandall.com. I used 0.7 m/s as wind speed (as indicated by nearby weather stations). It shows that even though the pace dropped, I was probably rowing at a constant power anyway. The distinct power (and pace) drop in the last 1000m was me counting strokes and being quite desperate. Only with 300m to go I was able to get my act together and start pulling a bit harder again. Well, average under 2:13.0 so mission accomplished.
The following illustrates one of the new plots I have enabled on rowsandall.com. It’s basically an interactive plot where you can choose your axes. You can clearly see two groups of blue points. When I look at the time into the row, I started on the right hand side of the top group of blue dots, i.e. at high drive energy and power. Then I worked my way to the left, i.e. as the first 3km went by, my drive energy (leg force times drive length) decreased. The headwind part is the bottom group of blue dots. Again, I started on the right, and worked my way to the left, staying in that bottom group.
A list of my 6k times
Today – 26:37 (2:13.0) – with turn
21 Sep 2016 – 26:11 (2:10.9) – no turn
2 Apr 2016 – 27:22 (2:16.8) – with turn / wind / chop
26 Sep 2015 – 28:09 (2:20.9) – with turn / slow / sloppy / choppy
19 Sep 2015 – 26:15 (2:11.2) – with turn / wind
A little over a week to race time. Must. Get. Act. Together.
Sep 21 2016
So for today the plan said “Row 2x3k full out, short break just to turn”. After yesterday’s nice trip to the castle, I thought why not make it a full 6k, starting at the castle? On Greg’s blog post of yesterday, there was a discussion on training full pressure turns, and I think it makes sense to train with the mirror as well. This trajectory:
So I set out to do a long (5.2km) warming up to get to the start line at the Veveří castle.
Then I set off for my 6k. The plan was to row at 25-26 spm for the first 2k, then 26spm for 2k, and finally increase to 28-29spm. In the spring, I did some theoretical mechanical rowing efficiency simulations for head race pace, and it seemed that 27-29spm is the ideal stroke rate for a single. I really have to work on rating up but staying light, from the beginning of the row. I think it also helps with the pacing. When I start at 25spm, pushing with long strong leg pushes, after 15 minutes my legs start to be “empty”. This is actually exactly what happened today.
The average drive force is an estimate (assuming a constant stroke length). I think I was pushing too hard in the first five minutes, then lacking strength in the final 10 minutes.
Did I do the turns well? I have indicated where they are in the second plot. Here is a zoom in to the “serpentines”:
I think that went pretty well. I slowed down only a little. With these turns, the idea is always to connect the turning points with straight lines. You have to look in the tiny rear view mirror and row towards the turning point, which is a few meters off the bank on the inside of the turn. Then you pass the turning point and head straight to the next one. It was hard, though, to find the turning points in the mirror. The bank is grey rock and green trees on a background of grey and green, and even the reflection of the forest in the water makes it green. Well, I managed, but I had to turn my head a few times to check. I would hate to run into the bank.
The other point I indicated in the graph is “wake”. At “Rokle”, I met a pair and two singles. Then, a few minutes later, with about 1500m to go, the coach’s launch passed me, going in the opposite direction. It wasn’t going fast and it didn’t throw a big wake, but because it was going at an angle to my trajectory, I ended up rowing in a small wake for a few hundred meters. At a point where I was really tired. The result was that I didn’t keep my technique up, started to row sloppy, and I slowed down a lot.
This broke me. I had been rowing with the aim to get the average pace under 2:10. The speedcoach had started counting a few seconds before I really started rowing at the start line, so I started at an average pace of 8:00, and gradually worked to bring that down. I was at 2:11.2 average pace when I entered the wake area, and 2:11.4 when I left it.
I finished in 26:11.0 minutes and an average pace of 2:10.9. Average stroke rate 26.3. Average heart rate 177 bpm. Pretty much a maximum effort but not well paced at all. I need to rate higher but row lighter in the beginning of the 6k.