Training for Red Bull Head of Prague – turning an eight

So we signed up for this race, to be held next weekend.

The course is interesting: U turn rowing

Four kilometers downstream towards the center of Prague, then a U turn (in the eight) and finally two kilometers against the stream.

They also have a fun video with beautiful shots of eights racing into the great Prague skyline:

We will compete in the Mixed category. So on today’s session we decided to

  • Row a 3k at head race pace
  • Work on our turning technique

First, we did a 2k warming up:

warming up

Then on to the 3k:

hard 3k in the eight

Workout Summary – media/20171022-1625510o.csv
Workout Details

That was a good workout, and I think we found a sustainable pace for the 6k, especially given that we have some team members who are significantly older than I.

The next part was trying out the turns, which looked pretty spectacular as a few times we came quite close to one of the big tourist boats, our cox demanded a turn in three, two, one, and we did a water splashing turn. Quite a few of the tourists took pictures. Here is our course:

practicing turns

practicing turns

We had the feeling that we were improving, but looking at the close-up charts, the turn took us around 30 seconds every time. In the first one, we started going straight too early, though.

turn 1

turn 2


That was fun! Doing the turn, we have to remember to lean on stroke side so that the bow side can take quick strokes and actually turn the boat, while we on stroke side are trying to keep our blades and oarshaft under water and help. Big risk of ejection crabs for us on stroke side.

There was another fun aspect of this row. I recorded it with my NK SpeedCoach, then used the NK Android app to download the data to the phone and send it to by email. By the time I was showered, I had the workouts on the site, including the charts, and I have been able to write this blog including the charts on the iPad, without the need to boot up the computer to run the LiNK PC software. There had been a NK app for over a year, but it didn’t export the Empower metrics, nor did it export coordinates. I like a little map with my Row, and I like to look at Empower data (although today they weren’t there, as the eight is not equipped with Empower oarlocks). The export worked like a charm. I find that very cool, although I must say that the user interface in the app is not the most intuitive. (Which may be a case of the pot telling the kettle it’s black, as the user interface has been criticized as well.)

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