Ben Redman posted a link to an interesting series of articles on endurance training in his latest blog post. Great reading to stimulate thoughts on rowing training for time pressed people.

My ride to work this morning was a bit slower than usual, because it was mighty cold and the mist was freezing to some sections of the road. I didn’t fancy a fall so I drove carefully.

Riding my bike I got cold hands, which made me think about my super-low lactate readings of the past two days. I guess my difficulty to get good blood flowing is to do with the low temperature in my rowing basement. The thermometer on the wall indicates something between 8 and 12 degrees C.

I also expressed fear that the low temperature might cause the readings to be lower than normal.

I posted these thoughts on the Lactate training thread on the Free Spirits rowing forum. By the end of the day Boris (“dr3do”) had responded that indeed according to him lower temperatures give lower readings and I should do my measurements at normal room temperature.

Then I made the mistake of posting a response before thinking, and as any new convert going through excitement, expectation, disappointment and frustration, I overreacted. On a public Forum. After 20 years of being on the internet I should know better.

Anyway, I apologized and I hope everything will calm down and be back to normal.

This low temperature thing is a bummer. I love to train in my chilly basement. To get the facts, I moved the thermometer to the basement floor where I prepare my lactate strips:

lactate 001
Temperature near the ground

Indeed, lower than the 8 degrees measured on the wall.

On Thursday I will do an experiment to confirm (or, hopefully, falsify) my fear. I will take two strips to the basement and leave one prepared in a heated room. I will do a 60 minutes steady state, and take a lactate measurement immediately after. Then I will do a 1km very light cooling down and take another measurement. Finally, I will walk up the stairs and take a measurement with a  warm strip. The two last measurements should be close. If the “warm” measurement gives a higher reading than the second “cold” measurement, I am in trouble.

Today’s training was a good old 5x1500m. Target pace was 1:50.7 which I was not looking forward to. At least I was able to channel my forum faux-pas frustration and focus on the splits.


Workout Summary - Nov 24, 2015
Workout Details

Here’s a picture of my erg room wall with the scores on the doors:

lactate 004.JPG

The scribbled equations were written during the breaks of the 5x1500m. I was thinking about enzymes and the temperature dependence of their activity. Being a physicist I couldn’t come up with anything better than something looking like an Arrhenius equation. That doesn’t bring me any further because I don’t have a clue what typical activation energies would be for enzymes, let alone if they follow Arrhenius equation type behaviour. Also I would have to guess about the temperature in the strip. The plastic housing looks quite a good heath insulator. Then you pour warm blood into something that is probably around 5 degrees C. We are looking at a temperature difference that is probably a bit smaller than 294K – 278K. Basically if the reaction rate would half between these two temperatures, then the activation energy would be 31 kJ/mol. However I am afraid that with enzymes as a catalyst, things are probably not so simple.

May look into it but I fear the experiment is a more useful way to determine the effect.

Tomorrow is a resting day. An old rowing friend has a business trip to Prague, so I will join him for a beer and a dinner. Here is the two of us rowing the double in Amsterdam in 1993. I am the stroke rower and Ele Jan is the bow.


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