Almost 70 degrees today…able to sneak in a couple of more rows before shutting down for the winter. This is my new ride as my Fluid was badly damaged when a rack blew over. I decided to go back to Hudson, which is the hull I won most of my medals in over the years. I thought it would be hard to row after being in the Fluid, but it wasn’t. It’s actually great in the blustery wind we are having today, as with the skeg set far back it yaws far less than the Fluid. This is an elite hull and is super-stiff, so the power transfer is extremely responsive and I was able to get up to 28-30 with no problem. It’s kind of a brain-twister going back to a stern rigger, but once I stop trying to put the boat in stern-first, this is going to be a very sweet boat to race!
To anyone out there who wants to watch some live rowing, the Head of the Charles regatta is running this Saturday and Sunday. There is a live webcam from Cambridge Boat Club, that shows crews coming down the last mile of the course and through the narrow bridge where all the spectacular crashes happen.
The webcam link is at http://www.hocr.org/the-regatta/live-webcast/
The regatta schedule is at https://www.regattacentral.com/regatta/events/index.jsp?job_id=3644&org_id=0
If you want to see world-class athletes in action, your best bets are events 28-29 at the end of the day on Saturday, and events 46-49 on Sunday.
Personally I will be in event #8 at 10:46 on Saturday, rowing for bow #9, Ever Green Boat Club, in bow seat, and I will be in the Reunion Village on Saturday afternoon if anyone wants to meet up.
See you there or online!
I recently received a question on whether there is a translation formula to convert Calories, commonly prescribed in CrossFit WODs that involve rowing, into 500m split times or watts, more commonly used by rowers to gauge pace. CrossFit workouts use Calories on the Concept2 performance monitor to approximate “reps” when combining rowing with barbell movements or other rep-centric movements.
There is a complex formula behind the Calories measurement, and it does not translate directly into meters or watts because it is a measure of energy burned for a theoretical 175-lb. individual instead of mechanical work (i.e. distance the chain travels).
As a rower, however, I have a sense of the “pace” I need to maintain in Calories for certain WODs to generate desired results. For example, in Fight Gone Bad I know that I should target a 1500-Calorie pace for the 1-minute rowing intervals in order to finish at 25+ Calories for the interval.
I decided to experiment a little to see if I could generate approximate Calories-to-pace conversions for 500m pace times from 2:00 down to 1:25 in 5-second intervals. I did this by setting up 100-meter fixed distance intervals with 1 minute rest at drag factor 125, putting the display on average 500m pace, and trying to end each interval at exactly the target pace I desired. For example, for the 1:45 pace target interval, I rowed for 100m, varying my pressure to try to end at exactly 1:45.0 average pace. Then I could switch the display to Calories to see what that translated to. It is of course impossible to hit the target average splits exactly, but here’s what I came up with:
As you can see, Calories increases faster with pace than watts – it is not a linear relationship.
I hope this helps as a guideline for those integrating rowing with CrossFit!
This is amazing – a local high schooler completed a swim around Manhattan, across the Catalina Channel, and now across the English Channel. Congrats Charlotte – an amazing athletic accomplishment at any age, let alone being the youngest to attempt it!
This week I began transitioning into 5k race training in the single on the water. One of the go-to workouts is stringing together a set of short intervals into a single long piece, and this happens to coincide with the CrossFit Endurance single-sport mainsite WOD for this week as well.
The type of workout I am targeting is roughly 250m on, 1’ off. This can be executed in a variety of forms:
- 1’ on, 1’ off
- 250m on, 1’ off
- 30 strokes on, 20 strokes off
I repeat this between 10 and 30 intervals depending on target intensity and workout duration. In order to be able to do the power strokes with quality, I decided to start off trying to find max speed in the single and then using that to gauge intensity for the short interval workouts in the future. This is also called “Lactic Acid Tolerance – low intensity” work – meaning that you are building lactate on each interval but you have equal rest to dissipate it so that it accumulates slowly, allowing you to maintain near max intensity for each interval.
One thing to remember is that there is a difference between max intensity and max speed. You can row with poor technique and reach max physical intensity, but still not move the boat at max speed. In rowing you want the two “maxes” to correlate. One way to get them to do so is to progressively work on different technical elements in the first 10 or so intervals. For example:
Intervals 1-2: 1:50 pace, 30 spm. Groove in the basic stroke.
Intervals 3-4: 1:48 pace, focus on length.
Intervals 5-6: 1:45-1:46 pace, focus on rolling from the balls of the feet at the catch to the heels during the mid-drive.
Intervals 7-8: 1:42-1:44 pace, focus on keeping the pressure on the last couple of inches at the finish and rolling the blade out square.
Intervals 9-10: 1:38-1:40 pace, focus on keeping all of the above technical elements at a much higher rating (36-38).
I’ve followed this sequence for a couple of workouts and right now I’m confident that my max speed / max intensity combination is 1:38 pace at 36-38 spm. Using this as the baseline I can ensure I am maintaining the correct intensity during the intervals of a longer workout while also maximizing boat speed.
Hope this is helpful in your training.
This is a first in 15+ years on the Concept2 logbook. Paul Buchanan pointed out that my profile got selected as the “Profile of the Day.” I have been exclusively on-water this summer so I haven’t been checking the logbook, and I forgot I even had a CrossFit-specific profile, which I use for logging meters when CrossFit Ignite participates in C2 competitions.
The picture is from the 2000 Head of the Charles championship single, rowing for North Bay Rowing Club.
This past weekend I did my first “real” sprint race of the season on a buoyed course, racing both 1K and 2K. This was the first real test of my strategy this spring of de-emphasizing CrossFit in favor of on-water rowing whenever possible.
The positive result is that I came in 3rd, which may not seem that great on the surface, but I managed to beat two guys I have been racing against for 5 years and never before have beaten. Granted, there were a couple of fast younger newcomers that I’ll have to work on for next time I was able to get a fast clean start and maintain gentle, quick catches, ratio in the body swing, and solid, strong finishes throughout the race despite a stiff headwind.
The downside is that I found it harder to recover than in previous years when I was integrating more CrossFit into my spring training, and I am much more sore the day after. I raced the open single an hour later over 2K and really ran out of steam about halfway through the race when I started getting quite a bit of wake from officials’ boats returning to the start (I was on the inside lane). I led for 500m and was in 2nd at the 1000, but shortly thereafter started to get bounced around and got really tired, coming in 4th.
Overall I rowed much better technically than the past two years, had better cardiovascular conditioning, but slightly less muscular endurance. Now that the pressure of this June checkpoint is off, I will spend July integrating more strength and endurance training into my regimen, including rounding out my overall strength by getting back into the CrossFit box.