Monday: High Rates in the rain

I think this picture says it all about conditions today.

2015-06-15 08.11.05

Rain, heavy at times, 60F, wind 5mph ESE (cross / tail wind going down river).  It was nice to know that most of my competition had probably decided that today would make a good day to do a session on the erg instead of going out on the river.

Plan:  Try out another one of Sander’s 1K prep workouts.  This time Session #3: The Small Pyramid.  This workout is to try to get some practice in at higher than race rates.  The workout is:

20″ @ 38 / 20″ paddle

40″ @ 36 / 40″ paddle

60″ @ 34 / 60″ paddle

40″ @ 36 / 40″ paddle

20″ @ 38 and that’s it.

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 9.59.20 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 9.59.40 AM

03909_|_0095_|_00:21_|_1:47.9_|_013___|_38.0_|_07.3_|_145___|_20″ at 38
04174_|_0126_|_00:28_|_1:49.5_|_017___|_37.0_|_07.4_|_161___|_caught thumb
04426_|_0179_|_00:39_|_1:50.3_|_023___|_34.9_|_07.8_|_159___|_40″ at 36
04777_|_0261_|_00:59_|_1:52.8_|_034___|_34.6_|_07.7_|_157___|_60″ at 34
05187_|_0173_|_00:37_|_1:47.8_|_023___|_37.0_|_07.5_|_161___|_40″ at 36
05480_|_0107_|_00:23_|_1:49.8_|_015___|_38.3_|_07.1_|_162___|_20″ at 38
05587_|_4152_|_23:46_|_2:51.8_|_516___|_21.7_|_08.0_|_148___|_steady state

00941_|_03:27_|_1:50.1_|_125___|_36.2_|_07.5_|_158___|_Main set
04152_|_23:46_|_2:51.8_|_516___|_21.7_|_08.0_|_148___|_Steady State
00917_|_05:49_|_3:10.5_|_112___|_19.2_|_08.2_|_149___|_rest meters

To start, I did the extensive Rojabo warmup, and tried to really max out the stroke rate during that last 20 stroke burst. I was amazed to see that I actually could get the stroke rate up to 37 or 38.  Here are the last 4 bursts at 26, 28, 30 and 37 spm.

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 10.05.55 AM

Then it was time to face the demons.  I had no idea what to expect.  The intervals were so short, but the intensity was so high, I had no clue whether this workout would be easy or impossible or somewhere in between.

Per instructions, I did each interval with a rolling start.  So, to get going I took 3 or 4 good strokes and then dove into the first interval, trying to keep my layback to a minimum and my catches clean.  It went better than I would have hoped and I actually had to try to slow it down from 40 to 38.  But when I finished I was really winded.

I went right into the 40″ interval and I was hurting from the start.  The 24 or so strokes at 36 seemed, suddenly to be a very large number of strokes.  Around the 5th stroke, I caught my thumb in my shirt and, essentially, chose to not try to recover.  I took 40″ paddle and tried again.  This time I didn’t have any form problems, but I was really struggling and gave up with 10 seconds to go.

I gave myself a little pep talk.  The important thing was getting the practice in at the rate, so lighten up a bit on the pressure and focus on hitting the rate.  I repeated the 40″ @36 interval with a bit less pressure and it went fine.  Then 40″ of paddle turned into closer to a minute as I turned the boat around and then took off for the 60″ at 34.

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 10.06.12 AM

After the previous intervals, 34 felt almost sedate, but not quite.  It was quite a anaerobic load and I was counting the strokes down as I went to stay focused.  Then a minute of paddling, including another turn of the boat and I was off for the 40″ @ 36.  Felt good.  Then a quick 40″ paddle and into the last one, 20″ at 38.  This one felt great.

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 10.06.29 AM

I had a drink in the rain and let my HR calm down a bit then I set out for home.  I was at the far end of the river and I was going to do 4K of steady state.  I started up and I immediately noticed that the speedcoach pace was a lot slower than normal.  I was rowing upriver, so the speedcoach should be reading about 2 to 5 seconds faster than the gps derived pace on the RIM app.  It was reading about 10 to 15 seconds slower.  I stopped twice to feel around the impeller to see if it was fouled but there didn’t seem to be anything there.  It was really hard to row to the HR cap with the insanely slow pace staring at me, even though I knew it was wrong.  I ended up pushing a bit too hard.

Tomorrow:  Steady State plus a hard 1K.


3 thoughts on “Monday: High Rates in the rain

  1. sanderroosendaal says:

    So when you took the boat out of the water, did you notice anything wrong with the impeller?
    Great execution, Greg. The point of the workout is to get used to the higher rates and make 34spm “feel” like good race pace rate. I read from your report that you nailed that.

    Making some of the rest periods a bit longer or repeating a rep when you have an accident is no problem with this workout. Hope it helps for your races next weekend!


    • gregsmith01748 says:

      There was a little bit of weed that had been twisted around the impeller shaft under the impeller. I worked it back and forth with my fingernail and it came off. I was glad that there was a reason for it to read slow!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Boris says:

    “It was nice to know that most of my competition had probably decided that today would make a good day to do a session on the erg instead of going out on the river.” Yay! The river only for you. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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