Jun 18 2015
Jun 16 2015
I took a recovery day. A full day of work until 10pm, only interrupted by dinner and a hot, relaxing bath. Still feeling tired from Sunday’s races.
Looking forward to a planned L4, steady state session with 18spm, 20spm, 22spm, 24spm rate ladders. No difficulty getting up early. It was looking to become a nice sunny day. Temperatures have dropped more than 10 degrees since Sunday, to a nice maximum temperature of 21 degrees C. It was 15 degrees when I drove to the lake.
Quite some chop, so decided to row to the castle.
Rowing to the turning point, about 500m past the castle, I did 2x10min rate ladder (4min/3min/2min/1min in 18/20/22/24spm). Paces were not particularly fast but I tried to focus more on technique.
The lake was choppy, but the river part was perfect flat water with a thin layer of mist on top. It was so beautiful, I decided to take some pictures when I turned, and then again when I passed the castle.
Here are the stroke acceleration pictures from RIM:
Jun 15 2015
Won the B final in the double and qualified for the Youth Nationals. There were 4 boats in the B final and the first 2 would qualify. Lenka stroked this with the “lead from start to finish” tactics, winning by a few lengths. There was a nice fight for second place, with Hodonin rowing second place for 1000m, only to be overtaken in the final 500m by Otrokovice.
Good for Laura and her to experience rowing in the lead. They enjoyed this race. Qualification secured.
Romana almost got them disqualified for following the race in the coach launch. She was at a long distance from the racing lanes and didn’t shout any instructions. Still, at one point she was in front of the referee launch, so that was a concern. Luckily the referee was a reasonable person.
On to the single B final. Lenka was not looking forward to this one, rowed at noon in a 35 degree heat, with the quad only 2 hours later. Romana agreed that she would row it at a 25spm. In the end of the day Lenka rowed to (non-qualifying) 4th position, going up to 27spm in the heat of the fight.
She had a disappointing race in the quad. Their team had expectations to win, but in the end they were over-classed by 4 girls from LS Brno who are rowing at international level, and also Olomouc overtook them. A spark was missing here. I guess 3 races is quite a lot in these hot conditions.
His race being at 4 o’clock, our son Dominik decided to spend most of the day swimming in the lake. Not exactly ideal race preparation but I wasn’t going to prevent him. He had qualified himself for Youth Nationals, and it would be torture to keep a 11 year old indoors for the sake of a rowing race. In hot summer weather like this, when you’re that age, you should be making fun by the water.
His 500m race was good for the first 250m, then he suddenly reduced pace. He also stopped 2 strokes before the finish line and had to be told to cross it. Came in last position.
He commented that he had the oldest boat.
Read about my adventure in the double in another blog post.
I was really tired after that. Still had to walk around on the club helping various others getting on the water in time. Also, spent some time and energy discussing our line-up for the Masters Nationals and for Hazewinkel.
Being at 72.0 kg on my own scale I had to be careful eating and drinking.
Then, at 1pm, I hopped on the bicycle to ride to the LS Brno club house for the weigh in. My upper legs protested vehemently, so in the heat of the day it was a very hard 2km ride.
I weighed in at 71.6 kg on the official race scale.
I can be brief about this race. My plan was to hold 2:00 to 2:05 pace in the light headwind, but it turned out to be too ambitious. My legs just didn’t cooperate. I was rowing in the back with the referee boat and as I wasn’t out of breath I was able to speak to him but I just couldn’t push any harder for the pain in my legs.
Covered the course in 8:38 measured on CrewNerd. I can do that in a training, a couple of times.
|Start|Stop_|Dist_|Time_|Pace__|_SPM__|avg HR|max HR|DPS|Remarks
|00000|01556|01556|15:21|04:56.0| 18.5 | 133 | 158 |05.5|warming up
|01556|02053|00498|02:01|02:01.5| 30.3 | 172 | 179 |08.2|2km 1st 500
|02053|02553|00500|02:12|02:12.0| 27.7 | 178 | 179 |08.2|2km 2nd 500
|02553|03055|00501|02:15|02:14.6| 27.5 | 179 | 180 |08.1|2km 3rd 500
|03055|03536|00481|02:10|02:15.1| 26.8 | 180 | 181 |08.3|2km 4th 500
|03536|05979|02443|26:35|05:26.4| 18.0 | 121 | 180 |05.1|cooling down
My final race of the day was a fun race. As one of the old guys was afraid of a heart attack, I took his place in the “historical eight”. Here’s how they looked last week in Prague:
We wear 1940s rowing clothes and row in a lapstrake built wooden eight, with wooden oars with long, thin blades.
Of course we rowed way behind the real eights, but it was fun anyway. The referee was taking pictures of us and the speaker made us row a special round in front of the crowd at the finish.
Jun 15 2015
As I have written in the Saturday report, the Morava Championship is important as a qualification for the Youth Nationals, and an opportunity for clubs to get points for the national ranking by putting as many boats in the race as possible.
What’s at stake in the double?
My usual double partner was not available this weekend because of an unexpected issue in his business. As it is key to have many boats racing, our club registered me to row together with Jiri, a 49 year old sweep rower who started rowing the single a few months ago. Jiri has a 6:30 erg score and is a superb sweep rower, having rowed with our Men until a few months ago. Now he is learning the single, with good results. He is able to be very fast in calm weather but in worse conditions he is still too insecure to be fast.
There is another reason why our double race was interesting, and that is the line-up for the Masters Nationals and Masters Worlds quad. We have 5 people who want to be in that boat, potentially six if Jiri starts to be interested. These are myself, and then two doubles, let’s call them double A and double B. Double A is training twice a day and row nothing else than their double. They are Masters B (35-42 year). Then there is double B.Double B train about 3 times per week. They are Masters A (27-35 year). I train at least 5 times a week, about half of the time in the single, and the rest in various crews. I am a Masters C.
How do we select for the quad? The problem is that Double A think that Double B don’t train enough to be qualifying for the quad. So for Double B, this 2km Double race would be an opportunity to show that they are not far behind.
When Jiri and I discussed our race tactics, we thought we would easily beat Double B and had a chance to beat Double A. I had put Jiri on stroke, as he is a bit heavier than I, and I also thought it would be easier for me to copy him than the other way round. Another advantage of me in the bow position is that I would be able to give him some technique instructions during warming up and race.
So here we are at the start of an Open Category 2km Double race.
Lane 1: CVK Brno “Double A” – training base > 1500km
Lane 2: CVK Brno “Sander/Jiri” – training base = 7km exactly (4 on Saturday, 3 on Sunday during warming up)
Lane 3: CVK Brno “Double B” – training base about 300km estimated
Lane 4: Lodni Sporty Brno. Some young guys but not necessarily fast ones
Lane 5: Breclav. Some young guys. One of them has a confirmed erg score of 6:05.
Lane 6: Lodni Sporty Brno. Experienced LightWeight guys.
So Jiri’s predicted outcome would be winner LS Brno lane 6, then Breclav, then LS Brno lane 4 or Lane 1 “Double A”, then my double, and last “Double B”. I disagreed with that, claiming that we should be able to beat Double A as well and come in fourth or third place.
It’s clear that reputations were at stake here.
So far the predictions. Let’s look at the reality.
The Doubles Race
10:38 AM, temperature already above 30 degrees, no wind or slight headwind.
Jiri and I were very well out of the starting blocks. 40spm and sharp. I was monitoring the “double A” to my left and we had about 1 or 2 meters on them. The good think was that when we calmed down our stroke after 20 start strokes, we started to pull away from them.
A quick glance to the right revealed that Lanes 3 (“Double B”) and 4 were falling behind as well, and lanes 5 and 6 didn’t seem to be too far out.
We passed the first 500m in good shape, doing 33spm and rowing in the front of the race. Breclav on lane 5 were next to us and LS Brno on lane 6 were just a bit ahead. Interestingly, “Double A” was rowing in last position, a three boat lengths behind us, and “Double B” together with LS Brno on lane 4 where rowing next to each other, about 2 lengths behind.
The situation remained unchanged until about 750m when I heard the “go” from the Breclav boat. I decided to hang on in our current stroke rate and do our push 200m later. Breclav didn’t gain much on us so I tried our 10 stroke push a little before the 1000m mark. Now it was our turn to not gain much.
Between 1000m and 500m to go we were starting to fall apart a bit. The result was that Breclav and LS moved ahead, Breclav leading by one boat length and LS on lane 6 by an undefined distance in front (I couldn’t see that in my peripheral vision and as we were starting to fall apart I wanted to focus on our own rowing rather than on the position of the leader). The situation behind us was interesting as well, with the “Double A” struggling in the back of the field and being passed by the launch, and “Double B” and LS on lane 4 rowing close to each other, 3 lengths behind us.
I said we were starting to fall apart but that is slightly exaggerated. We were starting to become tired, but we were still nicely in sync and able to push hard on our legs. It’s just that the legs started to become really painful. Also, our steering became a little worse. We swayed into lane one and then back.
With 500m to go I ordered a desparate push to try and catch Breclav, but the reality was that they were watching us and could react. So after a lot of pain the end result is:
1 – LS Brno in lane 6
2 – Breclav in lane 5
3 – Jiri and I in lane 2
4 – “Double B” in lane 3
5 – LS Brno in lane 4
6 – “Double A”
Post Race Evaluations
We were already evaluating while we were waiting for “Double A” to finish. We were very happy with our achievement, even though we were completely wasted. We had been able to find a compact and synchronous stroke without much practice and used it to go fast. I don’t have the official results yet, but I estimate our time to be around 7:10 based on the splits. “Double B” had done a really good job and shown that there is no issue whatsoever with their boat speed, despite sporadic training. “Double A” had completely folded in the moment of truth.
The official results are in:
|LS BRNO||KOLÁŘ Jan, HAVLÍČEK štěpán||1||07:00.61|
|SVK BŘECLAV||RAMPULA Petr, SUSKÝ Aleš||2||07:06.45|
|ČVK BRNO||ROOSENDAAL Sander, PFEIFER Jiří||3||07:10.08|
|ČVK BRNO||NAHODIL Tomáš, HUBÍK Ondřej||4||07:15.20|
|LS BRNO||HRUBÝ Jakub,LUKOIANOV Petr||5||07:16.70|
|ČVK BRNO||MIKULEC Luděk, GÖPFERT Eduard||6||07:18.57|
We turned our double and rowed back to the club. Slowly, very slowly, because our legs were hurting like hell.
Arriving at the club, the crowd congratulated us. The head coach told us he had expected us to beat the two other doubles from our club and being able to give the young guys a hard time.
“Double B” arrived at the dock and they were very happy as well, even though they claimed that they could have gone even faster if they had been rowing better together.
“Double A” arrived at the dock and cleared up their boat without commenting. When I spoke to one of them later, he commented that they were experimenting with getting more boat speed at a lower stroke rate and that he had been rowing the race at 70%. I call it an excuse.
What’s more significant is that “Double A” also announced that they will be rowing the Masters Nationals in a quad with a double from another club, because they want to win the Masters C category. When that news reached “Double B”, they quickly made a deal with me and one other rower to row the quad together at the Nationals, and perhaps even in Hazewinkel.
So the racing did produce a result and a decision.
Here are the stats and the colorful picture:
|Start|Stop_|Dist_|Time_|Pace__|avg HR|max HR|DPS|Remarks
|00000|03472|03472|25:17|03:38.5| 141 | 178 |02.3|warming up
|03472|03969|00496|01:41|01:41.7| 172 | 184 |04.7|2km 1st 500
|03969|04466|00497|01:47|01:47.6| 183 | 184 |04.4|2km 2nd 500
|04466|04970|00505|01:53|01:51.9| 182 | 183 |04.2|2km 3rd 500
|04970|05439|00469|01:45|01:52.0| 183 | 183 |04.1|2km 4th 500
|05439|06690|01251|09:30|03:47.9| 142 | 180 |02.4|cooling down
The other Sunday races will be described in a separate post.
Jun 15 2015
The Championship of Morava is one of three regional championships that were held in the Czech Republic this weekend. Czech rowing is organised by rivers: Vltava (Moldau) which is mainly the Prague clubs plus South Bohemia, Labe (Elbe) which is all clubs north and west of Prague, plus Pardubice in East Bohemia, and Morava which is our region. Your club’s river is determined by the main river that your body of water is connected to.
The championships are closed for out-of-region clubs. The championships are important for the clubs overall national ranking, based on a system where you get 1 point per seat for a last place in the final, 2 points for beating one boat, etc. On these regional championships, clubs use the opportunity to put as many crews on the water as possible. For example, by putting a slow eight on the water, you get 8 points for being last, but your A boat will automatically have 8 points more because it will have beaten an extra boat.
For youth, these championships are a qualifying race for the National Championships. The first 8 boats are qualifying, so youth rowed heats on Saturday and Finals A and B on Sunday.
Arriving at the club, I learned that one of our competitors in the double had withdrawn. With 6 boats left we would row the final directly on Sunday morning. No racing for me on Saturday.
So I took the single for a brief 6km. At 9am, it was already 29C and the expected maximum temperature for the day would be 36C. I did the 3x250m race prep workout that I have described in Friday’s blog.
Shortly after that, Lenka and Laura had their heat in the Girls 15/16yr double. They came in fourth, beating one boat, and didn’t qualify for Sunday’s A final. In the B final they would have to be first or second of four boats in order to qualify for the youth Nationals.
During the hottest part of the day the boys and I went swimming for an hour, mainly diving from the dock to cool down. It was great fun.
Lenka was rowing her single heat during mid day. There were some waves and there was a lot of heat, so race seemed to happen in slow-motion. The girls seemed to be doing 25spm. Lenka didn’t manage to qualify for the A final. She beat one girl and was rowing in the pack but she needed a third place. To be honest her motivation for the single is lower than for the bigger boats.
Then I sat in the club house doing some work.
Around 5pm, Dominik races his heat in the boys single (<12yr). He came in third place and qualified himself for the A final and thus also for the Youth Nationals. Goal accomplished.
Finally Romana and I took the double for a 5km row. After that I did a quick try out of the double with my temporary double partner Jiri for Sunday’s races. It was good we did this 4km round because we found out he had to move the rails and set the oarlock height a bit higher.
The day ended with a barbecue. I carefully weighed myself before, so I knew how much I could eat without jeopardizing my LW single final on Sunday.
Adding a few pictures from last week’s races in Prague.
Jun 13 2015
Here are a few sessions that I have used in the past to prepare for sprint racing. The dreaded Masters 1000m is really an exercise in lactate suffering and one has to get used to it.
One part of it is to do standalone 1km trials on the water on a regular basis. Feel the bite at 500m.
But for those who like a bit more sophistication, here are some more ideas. They are not my own. I have inherited them from my coaches and keep returning to these in the building up towards the Masters Nationals and Masters Worlds. I am putting them here because I am tired of searching them in old emails. Enjoy!
Session 1: Lactate is the killer
Adding a new layer of misery on top of the 1km.
Session 2: To build up lactate levels early, then work through the set pieces.
Needed: A 2km race course with 500m marks
Session 3: Small pyramid (for beginning of taper week)
All intervals with rolling start.
20´´/20´´ @ 38spm
40´´/40´´ @ 36spm
60´´/60´´ @ 34spm
40´´/40´´ @ 36spm
20´´ @ 38spm
Note: This session is very nice in a double and adding 2 strokes to the prescribed stroke rates. Needed: Two scullers who row very well together. The idea is that you become comfortable rating up.
Session 4: Race prep (end of taper week)
250m at race pace
250m at race pace
250m at race pace
Jun 12 2015
Arrived at the lake late, very late. I just had difficulty leaving work, with all the things going on.
High temperature but very low wind, resulting in a lake which was not choppy but there were these longer waves caused by all the recreation boats, tourist ferries, and police speedboats doing “training”. The police training is quite interesting. I think they specialize in rescuing long-legged blond women, because all I see them do is speeding up and down the lake carrying young, blond women.
I heard an anecdote recently, about a sculler from the other club, who was stopped by the police because he was rowing on the part of the river that is forbidden for “sport”. When asked what he was doing, he said he was a drug smuggler who was carrying a load of crystal meth to Veverská Bityška.
Wrong answer, of course.
He had to row back to the club, police following him a few meters behind in their speed boat. This must have been an interesting scene, a relaxed, slowly sculling single sculler, followed by two guys in a police boat. Back the club he had to show is ID, and was thoroughly lectured. That was it.
Anyway, yesterday I was not going to do any smuggling. I decided to do a 1km trial. My plan is to do these regularly to get used to the pain and be able to rate up through it. The dreaded “500m” bite, as so well described in this blog.
Also a good opportunity to experiment with CrewNerds spoken start command.
Warming up: a few 10 stroke sets at higher rates (25, 30, 32spm). Turning in Rokle. Start practice: first one stroke, then two, then three, etc. Then a slow row along the nude beach to the start.
“Ready – Attention – Row”.
I took off at 35spm but quickly lowered it to 31spm. The plan was to hold 1:50, and increase the rate every time I would see a substantial deviation.
The plan was quickly binned. It was very difficult to hold 1:55.
In the second half I started to have difficulty keeping my line and ended up rowing in the buoys a couple of times. In the final 100m I was rowing in the wake of the tourist ferry.
The end time was a 3:52. Still a good result given the heat but not the 3:40 that I am chasing this year. Perhaps it isn’t realistic?
|Start|Stop_|Dist_|Time_|Pace__|_SPM__|avg HR|max HR|DPS|Remarks
|00000|03407|03407|21:01|03:05.0| 20.1 | 149 | 178 |08.1|warming up
|03407|03507|00099|00:23|01:55.7| 31.3 | 148 | 172 |08.3|1km, split 1
|03507|03605|00099|00:22|01:51.4| 31.5 | 178 | 180 |08.5|1km, split 2
|03605|03707|00102|00:23|01:53.1| 31.0 | 181 | 182 |08.6|1km, split 3
|03707|03804|00097|00:22|01:53.5| 31.0 | 184 | 185 |08.5|1km, split 4
|03804|03907|00103|00:24|01:56.3| 30.5 | 185 | 185 |08.5|1km, split 5
|03907|04007|00100|00:23|01:55.4| 30.3 | 186 | 186 |08.6|1km, split 6
|04007|04108|00101|00:24|01:59.2| 29.9 | 186 | 186 |08.4|1km, split 7
|04108|04204|00096|00:23|01:59.3| 29.5 | 185 | 186 |08.5|1km, split 8
|04204|04307|00103|00:24|01:56.9| 30.4 | 186 | 186 |08.5|1km, split 9
|04307|04405|00098|00:24|02:01.9| 29.7 | 185 | 185 |08.3|1km, split 10
|04405|10798|06393|36:13|02:49.9| 19.5 | 153 | 185 |09.1|steady state / cooling down
During the row I was convinced there was a strong headwind. When I stopped, it didn’t seem so strong anymore. Still the Italian flag on the fireworks pontoon was flying evidence that I had been rowing into a headwind.
After the 1km I needed a few minutes to recollect myself, then I did a 6km steady state. After the row I went for a swim in the lake. It was nice and warm in the top 50cm, but below that it is still quite cold. First time swimming in the lake, this season.