Weather: Sunny and Hot 75F, 75% RH. Light breeze 1-2mph from the NW. This was basically a cross wind, although it was at it’s strongest and a bit of a head wind during the final rep.
I have used the same taper plan for racing for the past couple of years and I really like it. It’s documented here. It’s very simple. The theory is to maintain intensity, and reduce volume as you approach the race. Today, I did 4 – 500m intervals, tomorrow I’ll do 3, then 2 on Friday, one on Saturday, and race on Sunday. The approach was shown in the linked study to improve the time to exhaustion at 1500m running pace by 22% (from 250 seconds to 320 seconds) when compared to taking rest days and 14% compared to a low intensity taper. I like it because it gives me the chance to keep practicing starts and work on race pacing.
So today’s plan:
- Long Rojabo style warmup finishing with 20 strokes at faster than race pace.
- A few practice starts
- 4 x 500m intervals
- 1:55 pace
- 30-32 spm
- Long rests
- Cool down
Here’s a map view of the whole session. The river level is quite low and the water is getting really murky. There are a lot of floating weeds, but I didn’t have any issues with them today.
The warmup was uneventful. I was hitting some sweet paces, and I felt like I was rowing clean. I was having some intestinal troubles. These continued through the whole session. I hate that.
After the warmup, I did 4 practice starts. None of the four were disastrous, none of them were great either. The last one was the best one.
Then into the intervals. I pushed the first one really hard, and really smashed into the lactate wall at about 50 strokes, the last 15 really hurt. I had massive shivers after I finished. On CrewNerd, it was a 1:57 pace, upstream. On the speedcoach, it was a 1:54.1. That was definitely a bit too fast.
I was an idiot on the second interval. I got all set up, did my start and settle, and then looked at the iphone. That’s when I noticed that I didn’t set up a 500 interval and I didn’t know where I was. I bailed out around 250m. It was a pretty good 1:55 pace though.
I took a couple minutes to get my breath back and then setup CrewNerd for another 500m. Off I went, and I was determined to get a good start and settle aggressively to my target rate at 30 spm. This one was another 1:57 on CrewNerd, but 1:55.8 on Speedcoach (still upstream, but less current here). The lactate wave was less debilitating in this interval. In think this is a better pace target for me.
Then I paddled around, had a drink, spun and setup for interval number 3. This one was downstream, and what wind there was, was a bit of a tail wind. I had high hopes. This one was a disappointing 1:59 on CrewNerd because I stopped about a stroke too soon. On Speedcoach it was a 1:57.5. Good rate discipline.
I setup for the fourth interval, now heading up river. The breeze was a little fresher and was a headwind about 30 degrees off the bow. I got a good start, and then settled. The boat felt heavier even though the headwind was light, only about 2mph. The settle took my pace above 2:00. I tried to focus on holding the rate and taking long strokes. Around the 40 stroke point, I noticed that I was a bit off course and needed to do some steering. I counted out to 60 strokes and looked at the iphone to see how much distance I had left, expecting to see about 30 meters or so. Instead, I saw 112 meters and the display was not updating. The frigging thing had frozen! I took another 2 strokes and guessed that I had finished the 500m. Turns out I was off by about 30m. This interval was at 2:00.5 pace. Part of it was head wind. Part of it was fatigue. It was close to a maximal effort.
It looks like Crewnerd kept working in the background, despite the display being frozen. And once I brought up a Just Row and started it, the display was live again. I was pretty irked. This kind of freeze had not happened to me unless I was using the Dual GPS before. I am edging closer and closer the buying a Speedcoach GPS.
After the last interval, I pulled my feet out of the shoes and rowed back to the dock concentrating on trying to get perfect finishes.
Tomorrow: Same thing, but 3 intervals.
Finally, apropos to nothing, but while I was driving to the lake on Saturday morning, the sun was rising behind me and the shadow of my boat on my car was kind of cool.