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:
1. Blades not too deep at the catch, gentle leg push, not biting off more of the stroke than I can swallow
2. Strong middle and second half of stroke by “shoulder swing”
3. 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 18 2015
It was a long wait between the 1x heat at 11:30 and the final at 15:52. But I wasn’t bored. As I said in the previous blog post, the weather was traditional spring race catastrofic windy weather. So a 14 year old girl took a swim on the finish line. The rescue squad brought her to our clubhouse and she took a hot shower. Then they brought her single, which was entirely filled with water, from bow to stern. Eda and I took care of it.
Around 2pm it was time for the Women 2x. Romana rowed our Orca with Zdiška and they came in second place. A few pictures after the race:
They reported that our double Orca has perfect rowing properties in wild water. The pictures don’t show it, but the conditions today were quite difficult.
I missed my daughter Lenka’s race in the double because I was busy warming up on the erg, preparing for my own singles final. They came in second place, a fraction of a boat length behind the winners. I consider this a big success because Laura, Lenka’s double partner, is preparing for exams and skipping a lot of trainings. I am pleased to note that both girls showed the right fighting spirit and managed to row to a second place that nobody expected. No pictures, unfortunately.
Then it was time for my singles final. We had to wait forever at the start because the rows before us were 13 year old quads 500m. As the final 500m of our lake were hell today, it was difficult for the race organizers to align the boats at the 500m line and hold the races.
The singles final was passing the time doing start practices and chatting. There were 6 boats in the final, 2 Masters rowers (including me) and 4 young guys, aging between 18 and 20.
Finally, we were aligned and started.
5 boats were out of the starting blocks on a line. The other Masters rower was behind by a length quite rapidly.
After 300m the waves started. We were all still on a line.
After 500m one of the young guys started to fall behind. I was still in front with three others.
Unfortunately between 500m and 1000m I lowered the rate and pace a bit too much. Somehow I completely forgot my race plan to do 10 strong strokes at 500m and 1000m. Even though I rowed the heat in a lower pace, I still felt the effort during the final.
So there I was rowing in fourth place, a few lengths behind #3. As we hurried down the race course, the waves became higher and higher.
With 500m to go I somehow got inspired again and managed to increase the rate. That helped. For a few strokes I had the feeling I could even beat the guy rowing in third place, but he somehow managed to stay ahead of me. Still, rowing higher rate in Kamikaze style, my arms flying in all directions as in a weird 1980s disco dance because of the waves, I managed to come close to #3.
Finished in fourth place though. Still, I beat one kid and one Masters rower in the final and ended the races in fourth place of 11 rowers.
As you can see from the graphs, the HR is quite low, but really after 500m the lake was unrowable today.
Another snapshot from the races:
At the end of the day I rowed the 8+ as a guest rower in the Pardubice University eight. It was quite an interesting experience, rowing with guys who are training on a river and have just 5 months of OTW practice.
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 13 2015
I had a day off. My parents had been visiting over the weekend and would fly from Prague today, so I took the train to Prague with them, had a nice walk through the old town and then took the train back to Brno.
Arrived at the rowing club at 6pm for a training in the double with Michal. We would do technique and steady state. There were high waves so we went out “under the castle”.
We did pause drills around the 17 minute mark and we did a few higher rate bursts.