A hard workout 3km/2.5km/2km OTW – glad I have that one behind me

I got to see the sunrise today. That was a really nice reward for having to get up really early. I had the alarm clock at 5am, because my work schedule wouldn’t allow me to train in the evening (business dinner) and to do a session before work, I needed to push off the dock a lot earlier than my usual, relaxed morning sessions at 7am.

Pushed off at 5:53. Things take a bit longer at the rowing club when you’re the first one there, have to unlock doors, etc.

I knew this would be a hard session. In this mesocycle I am doing one or two of these “hard endurance” or “L2” sessions a week. After a summer of sprinting and then letting my fitness degrade, my body hates these sessions. I know it will get used to it, but right now I would prefer any short and sprinty stuff over this. Both types of hard sessions are painful, but I am not mentally prepared for the “long hard distance” pain that sets in slowly but drains you long before you have the end of the session in sight.

So I am allowing myself pretty long rest periods between the intervals, gradually shortening these rests as the weeks go by, to be ready to do a 6km race in October. Today’s session was a classical Pete Plan (Wolverine Plan) session: 3km / 2.5km / 2km at 5 minutes rest. But on the water, each 500m takes 20 seconds longer, so this is actually harder than OTE.

I wanted to do the intervals with increasing stroke rate. The race pace will be 28/29spm, but I cannot do that right now, so my plan was to do the 3km at 25spm, and then increase by 1spm with each interval.

After a 2.2km warming up I turned the boat at the northwest end of the lake and took off.

Work Details
01|03000| 12:40 |02:06.7| 24.7| 171 | 180 | 9.6 - tailwind
02|02500| 11:19 |02:15.9| 25.2| 169 | 179 | 8.8 - headwind
03|02000| 08:26 |02:06.6| 25.7| 158 | 175 | 9.2 - tailwind
Workout Summary
--|07500| 32:26 | 2:9.7| 25.1| 167 | 180 | 9.2

Summary for your location at 2016-09-07T04:27:43Z: Clear. Temperature 54.46F/12.4C. Wind: 1.18 m/s. Wind Bearing: 39 degrees

I don’t fully agree with the weather report, though. I think the wind speed is pretty accurate. The kind of headwind that you feel, but you (wrongly) get the impression that it doesn’t help you much in the tailwind parts. I took the liberty to change the wind bearing from 39 degrees (NE) to 340 degrees (NNW). I felt that this was a straight head/tail wind with no crosswind. Wind direction is a very local thing, especially in hilly country.

My HR meter seems to misbehave in the second and third interval. Perhaps it’s time to replace the Wahoo Tickr’s battery. You can also see from the graph and from the data that I was a bit more conservative with the stroke rate than the plan. I really was afraid I would give up the session. The distances seemed long. In the end I managed, even without too much stroke counting. Counting strokes for 3000m seems demotivating to me, so I rather pick landmarks and divide the interval in sections. Pass the Lodni Sporty Rowing club. Pass the playground. Pass the slight turn. The restaurant. Rokle. That’s three km divided in 5 sections that are not equally long, but each of them is short enough to be manageable.

When counting, I started to practice something I saw an American Olympic sculler do in a video. She counts ten strokes. Then she doesn’t count for two strokes. Then ten strokes again. Of course you count two strokes, but it nicely disconnects the series of ten. Ten strokes always seems doable, and by separating the strings of ten, I tend to focus more on the ten itself then if it is the third set of ten out of 11 sets of ten. I am not sure if I am expressing myself clearly, but you should try it.

I used to count like this: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-2-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-3-2-3-… etc. I would know exactly where I was, and I would in general be frustrated by seeing that after 50 strokes the meters countdown was less than 500m.

Now I count: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 nothing nothing 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 nothing nothing etc … and by some magic the meters seem to go by faster. Try it. It might work for you as well.

Power estimation and wind corrected pace
Power estimation and wind corrected pace. I have to correct the y axis on the pace chart to show the equivalent erg pace. Still, very much in line with what I would expect to do on the erg.

Here’s a better plot:download (5)

And, as said, a beautiful sunrise seen from the single.

This is actually a sunset picture, but you get the idea
This is actually a sunset picture, but you get the idea
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