Sep 9 2016
5 reasons to exercise in the very early morning
Admittedly, I constructed today’s blog title as click bait. Hopefully the content will satisfy you.
Here are my five reasons:
- You get to see the sunrise
- Less wind, which is a big deal on our lake.
- You have the lake for yourself (or just share it with other rowers). No swimmers. No ferries. No paddle boats
- On hot days, the temperatures are better
- It energizes me for the working day. One positive thing done first thing in the morning sets the direction for the rest of the day
Today was a shorter session than on Wednesday. For logistics reasons, Saturday’s session of 2x3km at head race pace had to be moved to Friday. The problem is that that is just two days after another heavy session, so would I be fully recovered? I wasn’t sure, but I figured the negative effect of not doing a session is stronger than the negative effect of doing a heavy session when not fully rested (and potentially not doing it as hard as it should be done).
I did an interesting experiment with myself. I promised myself to focus strongly on technique whenever my stroke pace would be higher than the average pace. So on the first 3k I set out at 2:03, and take a glance at the SpeedCoach every few strokes. If I would see 2:05 or 2:06 (or worse) I would focus on tap down, back swing or length at the catch instead of pushing harder with the legs. So just focus on technique, not working harder, especially not in the first part of the stroke.
It worked! Either the wind gods played with me and increased the tailwind (or decreased headwind) slightly to bring the desired outcome, or it really worked. I am going to settle for the second explanation.
Stroke rates were still only at 25 spm, but that will be the focus a couple of weeks from now. First, I need to build a good basic head race stroke.
01|03000| 12:28 |02:04.7| 25.0| 173 | 181 | 9.6
02|03000| 13:16 |02:12.7| 25.7| 177 | 182 | 8.8
--|06000| 25:44 | 2:08.7| 25.4| 175 | 182 | 9.2
During the tailwind interval I thought that I was rowing very well in what I thought was just a very light tailwind. It was a bit disappointing to see my pace hovering around 2:13 / 500m in the headwind interval. In that one, pace drifted to 2:16 when I didn’t focus on technique and I managed to get it back to 2:09-2:11 when I did.
Both 3km intervals went by much faster than I thought they would. Actually, they were rather enjoyable. Painful they were of course, but no thought of giving up. I guess the technique focus kept my mind focused on something else than the pain.
Sep 17 2016
No training on Friday. I am in recovery week. Also, somehow the business trip and Thursday’s 10 minute intervals made me very tired.
Romana is racing in Bratislava, Slovakia, today. A race in eights from Devin to Bratislava, 11 km on the Morava river with the current.
I got a text message that her eight has won and she is bringing a cup home. Great!
Because Romana was racing in Slovakia, I got to manage the girls 15/16 training today. My daughter Lenka is not fit to row, so she got to do stretching and some light spinning in the gym. With the two other girls, I set out to do a 2x3km in singles, to prepare for the 6km race in 3 weeks.
The weather: 18 degrees C and drizzle. Quite a change after a week of 30-35 degrees and sunshine.
Two girls, a 15 year old and a 16 year old. I let them start side by side, because they tend to be competitive and race like that. On this headwind 3km, I started myself three minutes after the girls.
I took over Tereza (15) with 500m to go. Iva (16) was already waiting at the 3km mark “Sirka”. I asked her how long she had been waiting. Two minutes, was the answer.
Three minutes after I finished (and about 2:15 after Tereza finished) we all started together for the second 3km interval.
A tailwind row. I quickly took the lead and rowed away from Iva, but somehow the mojo wasn’t there. The stroke rate was at the prescribed 25/26 spm but I didn’t pull too hard. Even had two “handle down” moments, and certainly didn’t have energy to finish strong.
After completing my second 3km interval, I waited for the girls to arrive and had them count heart beats with their fingers on their neck. Iva (16) counted without hesitation, 24 beats in 10 seconds, so a 144 pulse.
With Tereza, it was a bit more difficult. She had gone much deeper during the row, and she is younger and not yet used to structured trainings. I had to explain to her how to measure heart beats with your fingers on your neck. In the end she got it, and counted 26 beats in 10 seconds. So, how much is 26 times 6, I asked her. You should have seen the look on her face. Counting on her fingers, she got to the correct answer eventually.
After the training, during the stretching, I explained a bit about training programs, that every week there are one or two hard sessions, where the coach expects them to go really deep. Iva told me that Romana had set a stroke rate cap of 24 and I had told her to take a light stroke. Yes, she has to work on technique and take light strokes, but endurance wise she is ready to do this at 28spm. For the younger girl, Tereza, all this was a new world and she did go deep (having difficulty to hold 24 spm). Anyway, it was fun to work with the girls and (hopefully) help them be better rowers. A very welcome change to my normal solo (narcissistic?) sessions.
Here’s the session in images and statistics:
01|03000| 13:54 |02:19.0| 25.0| 174 | 183 | 8.6
02|03000| 12:54 |02:09.0| 25.0| 173 | 178 | 9.3
--|06000| 26:48 | 2:14.0| 25.0| 174 | 183 | 9.0
I measured wind speed on the dock after the session. An average over a 2 minute measurement was 2.9 m/s, with a peak of 4.0 m/s. I used these values to calculate power. There may have been a slightly lighter wind during the session, but I still think the power plot is an accurate representation of what I did.
The second 3km got recorded on Strava as a valid time for the “Sirka-Rokle” segment that I defined, and I am leading the leaderboard with it. I don’t think this is fair. I was helped by the 3m/s tailwind and I think this is one of my worst efforts on this segment. It shows that Strava and rowing is difficult. Wind is a big factor. The first interval didn’t get recorded for the segment “Rokle-Sirka”, probably because I was too far off the course. Rowing Strava intervals on a lake is not straightforward.
After the training, my son Robin and I went to Kunstat, a small town in the highlands, about 30 minutes from Brno, to visit a pottery fair. Unfortunately, we didn’t find what we wanted, but we had a great time.
By sanderroosendaal • Uncategorized • 4 • Tags: 2x3km, lake, OTW, rowing, single, training