Wednesday – a great row in the single

Wednesday morning. It was a windy morning, but I drove out to the rowing club anyway. It took 20 minutes to rig my single, which hadn’t been used since the Masters Nationals.

The wind was very gusty and constantly changing direction. That is challenging for rowers, normally, but on our lake, it has a huge advantage. The constantly changing conditions prevent the lake from building up significant chop. I wouldn’t say it was flat water conditions, especially not in front of our dock, but it was definitely rowable.

I had forgotten to check my training plan, and not done a detailed plan for this week, so I didn’t know what type of interval training I should be doing this day. I decided to do a slightly modified Pete Plan session. One of the sessions in that plan is a 5x1500m (on the erg) with 5 minute breaks. I thought that 5×6 minutes at 4 minutes rest would nicely fit into the length of the lake. I was also looking forward to rowing at head race pace around 28spm. This is one of the most efficient stroke rates if done well. You don’t get the highest boat speed, but you can really work on boat run at stroke rates that are approaching race rates but are slightly lower, so slightly easier.

Session overview. Compare pace and power, and you can get a feeling for how gusty the wind was

Workout Summary - media/20170726-165611-Sanders SpeedCoach 20170726 1050amo.csv
Workout Details

It was a great outing. A strong gusty wind, but no chop, mostly crosswind, but it could change from headwind to tailwind and back within one interval. The water and the wind were challenging, but I managed to find a nice rhythm almost every time, adjusting stroke rate between 26 spm and 29 spm depending on the conditions.

Picture from the sailing camp 2016 edition

There was a sailing summer camp on the other shore, so there were lots of kids in small boats, plus a flotilla of three larger boats, each with about 5 kids and one adult, who set out to explore the north end of the lake. When I met them on my loop to Rokle, they happily greeted, so I greeted back. I always like that, when watermen greet each other.

During the fourth interval, those three sailing boats caught me in a trap. Two of them were sailing a zig zag course, and one of them was going straight, roughly in the direction I was going. So I decided the safest thing to do was to follow that boat’s course, catch up with it and pass it on port side. Which I did. At one point the sailing boat and I were going next to each other, with about 2 blade lengths between my blade and the sailing boats. The kids loved it, and I also enjoyed the sensation of speed when I passed them.

I had some handle down thoughts towards the end of the third interval, but I overcame them, and intervals four and five felt easier than that third one. Very satisfying to complete the session.


I dutifully did a run through my metrics plots on However, this morning I was thinking about efficiency and it occurred to me that the Trend Flex plot could be used to figure out if I am looking at the right metrics. So I did. The result is this post.

Today: Some chores around the house, including buying a new washing machine, and planning a family excursion in the afternoon. I may be able to get in a short running training before dinner.