Suffering by Lactate

Today was going to be “death by lactate” day. Six am, just 10 hours after the 2x750m session, this was going to be a tough one.

In the double with Radek, after more than two weeks. Unfortunately, Radek had to get used to rowing the double again, so we were “off” technique wise. The stroke was not a compact thing. There were balance issues, and power curve disconnects between bow and stroke.

The temperatures were below 10C and there was fog. We did a long warming up with a few bursts at higher stroke rate and some technique drills. Then we got ready for the main thing.

First 250m from standing start. Difficulty to get the rate up and stuck at 30/31 because of the technique disconnect. But 250m is easy to survive.

Hard stop at the end of the 250m, getting ready for another 250m from standing start, 30 seconds after finishing the first one. Heart rate got up a bit more. Breathing got heavier. Managed to get the stroke rate slightly higher.

After completion of the second 250m, bring the boat to a full stop and sit still. Watch the sun above the mist, the forest in a beautiful green color. After 2 minutes, start to get ready for a full out race pace 1km from a standing start.

Ready – attention – row

Legs started to burn after 10 strokes, the kind of burn you feel in the final 250m of a hard fought 1km race. Technique started to fall apart after perhaps 20 strokes. Difficult again to keep the stroke rate above 30, let alone to bring it up to the desired 34spm. Somehow survived the first 500m, then started counting strokes. If I were in a single, I would be at serious risk of HD-ing at this point. The double is better. Nobody wants to be the first to stop rowing. So two rowers who desperately want the pain to stop, still keep rowing. Pace was going the wrong way slowly but surely. Steering was pathetic. Technique was very far from our (quite low) standard.

This was one of those “difficult sessions”.

We finished in a 3:35 time. Not good. Here are the details:

|Dist_|Time_|_Pace__|avg HR|max HR|Remarks
|03550|23:08|03:15.5| 121 | 160 |WU
|00248|00:53|01:46.7| 141 | 163 |250m
|00044|00:31|05:54.2| 165 | 165 |stop-get ready
|00250|00:52|01:43.9| 163 | 172 |250m
|00091|02:31|13:51.7| 170 | 172 |rest
|00997|03:35|01:47.9| 167 | 176 |1000m
|02906|19:42|03:23.4| 131 | 175 |cooling down

Interestingly, in contrast to yesterday’s 2x750m my heart rate didn’t go up into the red zone:

Perhaps the struggle with the leg and arm pain was keeping me at a lower effort and prevented me from pushing HR into red. Perhaps it was just a difference between morning and evening rowing. Yesterday’s max HR was 182, vs 176 today.

A 3km cooling down to complete this short session of 8km in total. Had to be at work early so there was no time for a long lactate flushing cooling down.

Walking up the hill from the rowing club to the car parking brought back the leg pain.

It was not a pleasant session and not a good one technique wise, so I guess it was a very useful session to have completed.

Races coming weekend. I am curious to see if I will be able to get the stroke rate up to sprint values in the single. If not, I may have to work harder on this to get ready for Belgium, or decide to change back to my old gearing?