Sep 24 2017
On being a prick (a steady one)
Sorry for the title. Couldn’t resist.
I tried to make an hour of steady state on the erg a bit more interesting. On Friday, I had tried to use Kinomap and wasted 10 minutes of precious exercise time trying to revive my Kinomap account. Didn’t work. I think I am going to uninstall Kinomap from my devices. It is never straightforward, and it is always taking more time than I want.
So I dusted off my lactate meter and decided to take measurements every ten minutes. I did a baseline measurement before the row, which gave me a nice 1.2 mmol/L value. That was slightly higher than expected, but OK.
Down to the erg room. Dialed up a 10 minute and rowed. I decided to aim for a 200W average, which is probably higher than I should row my steady state, but I wanted the lactate readings to tell me that. You basically want to see that the blood lactate concentration keeps rising steadily during the entire hour.
The dip after a few minutes is when I decided to stop erging and increase the volume on my radio. I was listening (again) to the BroShow podcast on training planning and the volume was too low to hear anything.
Measured lactate after 10 minutes and got an “Er1” value. Hm. Probably due to me learning to do lactate measurements again after almost a year. I tried with a new strip, and got the same problem.
So I did another 10 minutes.
I did hold 203W exactly. Somehow, 203W is a more attractive value than 200W, because it means that in 10 minutes you cover exactly 2500m (and row at 2:00 pace).
Did a lactate measurement (so this is now 20 minutes into the hour): 1.7 mmol/L. Phew.
So I had the feeling I was going to run out of Lactate strips before the end of the hour, so I dialed up 20 minutes and rowed for 20 minutes, average power 203W:
Heart rate is behaving nicely. Everything was fine. And steady. Fourty minutes done in total. So I perforated my finger another time and took a measurement: 5.6 mmol/L. WHAT?
Well, no time to think. Dialed up another 10 minutes and rowed.
This time the Lactate measurement gave 1.9 mmol/L, which seems more in line. So I had good hopes for the final 10 minutes.
And the lactate meters said … 3.9 mmol/L. Damn! I had one strip left of the set I took down to the erg room. I wanted to use that to measure after a five minute cooling down paddle, but now I used that one immidiately. The result: “Er1” error. Not good.
Well, I guess it was a good steady state session. Probably at a slightly too high power value. From past seasons using the lactate meter, I know that my steady state, stable lactate level is lower than the 2.0 mmol/L that people use. I also know that my feeling of how hard the row was correlated quite well with the lactate readings. So, I tend to conclude that the high values are due to incompetent measuring from my part, and the 1.7 and 1.9 values are correct.
I am wondering, however, if I should order a new set of lactate strips, and row with lactate this winter, or not. The only reliable use I got out of the device was checking my steady state. The other tests gave results that were hard to interpret. Just doing steady state to confirm my subjective feeling of hardness doesn’t seem to give a lot of added value. Lactate is always a measurement after the row, so you cannot use it to adjust the intensity during the row. Especially for steady state, I think it is important to adjust the intensity when you are feeling it is too hard.
Over lunch I watched the Poznan and Lucerne World Cup singles races on YouTube. I am really impressed by Manson’s boat skills at 38spm. He is my favorite for winning the world title in Sarasota, even though I live in the land of Synek. I am also going to cheer for Annika van der Meer (in the Mix 2x Para event) and Marieke Keyser (LW 1x), both from the Netherlands. For the eights, I am neutral. I think the Dutch eight is not good enough (yet) for a big win. But there are a lot of very good heavyweight sweep rowing men in NL. Hoping they can prepare something spectacular for Tokyo.
Oh, and I will cheer for the Czech Women’s 2x, and hoping the Dutch will take silver.
Sep 26 2017
Unexpected focus on boat run
Because I had swapped Friday and Saturday, messing up my three day schedule of hard/easy/easy workouts, I had another hard distance row to do on Monday. Saturday was 8km. This time it would be the 7k. Probably a bit shorter. I wanted to row it without 180 degree stop and turn interruptions. From the 90 degree turn close to Veveří castle to Sirka is 6.5km.
Doing so many of these makes it easier to churn out another one. One gets used to it.
Arriving at the rowing club, I discovered that I had forgotten my SpeedCoach. No power values. I would have to row this one purely on ‘boat feel’. Well, that actually wouldn’t be a bad idea, and the flat water on the river part of the 6.5km would help keeping a focus on technique.
I used the Garmin Forerunner as my reliable data recording tool. On the Android phone, I had a choice between Quiske RowP, but that doesn’t export sessions yet, a non activated version of CrewNerd, and an app I had never personally used: BoatCoach. Well, my rowsandall support for this app was long overdue, so why not try out that one.
So the row started by crossing the lake and then a 5 km paddle through the gorges. On the lake I noticed a stiff tailwind, which would be a headwind battle on the hard distance part of this session. In the gorge, there was no wind and mirror flat water. Cool. Also cool was that some of the tree are slowly turning yellow.
I didn’t get BoatCoach to give me reliable information about stroke rate. The value kept jumping up and down between 10spm (missing to register a stroke) and 40 spm (registering boat movements as strokes). I tried several settings combinations, playing with stroke sensitivity and phone orientation. Nothing helped.
That is how I arrived at the castle, rowed up to the turn, and turned the boat. A few moments of doubt snd contemplation, and then I set off.
I wasn’t sure what pace to hold so I tried to row on feel, but I was happy to see faster than 2:10 at a pace that seemed sustainable. As spm on BoatCoach was unreliable, now and then I counted strokes over 30 second intervals. Thirteen to fourteen strokes consistently, so 26 to 28 spm.
It was fun. I had the comfort of my rear view mirror. Although I still had to look now and then to make sure, because the contrast between the reflection of the trees in the water and the trees on the bank wasn’t great, it allowed me to turn, pick a course, and row 10 to 20 strokes without checking, focusing purely on letting the boat run, getting that springy lightness into the catch, sitting up straight, and generally showing the wildlife how good rowing looks. (Or so I pretended.)
In the narrow and twisty part I had to hug the bank to avoid an oncoming big tourist boat. I also noticed that the reported pace showed values below 2:00. Looking at the GPS trace, the cause is clear. This is not me needing a steering clinic:
The GPS of the phone apparently didn’t like rowing under the trees in the gorge.
Coming on to the lake I was still holding a 2:09 average and feeling good. This row was a blast!
After the nude beach (without nudes) I hit the headwind. Pace slowed down to 2:20 as I battled through that. Towards Rokle the lake started to be a bit more shielded. I wound up the rate. The water was flat again, and boat speed responded positively.
I wasn’t too exhausted after this row, and my heart rate values are in a nice range, slightly lower than on the previous few hard distance rows.
Paddled home happily. In the locker room, I casually mentioned that I did a full out 6k. Actually, a 6.5k.
By sanderroosendaal • Uncategorized • 7 • Tags: head race prep, lake, OTW, river, rowing, single