So I had a weird experience today. Since mid-October when I did my last peak power test on the Concept 2 rowing machine, I rowed in the Head of the Charles regatta and then really dialed back my rowing time to do more running and strength/mobility conditioning at Crossfit Ignite. Today it was storming and unrowable, so I did the Crossfit Endurance WOD indoors, followed by a peak power test at drag factor 160 (damper setting at about 7.5). On my 5th attempt, I was able to nail a 1:17 split, which is about 760 watts, which means I’ve made about a 10% gain in 45 days over my October peak test of 682 watts! This is a proportionately huge gain in a short period of time during which I’ve been doing a lot of non-specific training. So why the good result?
In the same period I have logged both a new deadlift PR (340 lbs.) and a new back squat PR (255 lbs.). I believe that racing this fall in team boats has improved my technique to eliminate a little early back opening at the catch, and the strength work has helped me be strong enough to make this effective at a relatively high drag factor on the erg. In the past I believe I compensated for lack of strength in the shoulder girdle by engaging the back a little early with the heavier loads on the erg, and looking at my stroke in the mirror today I noticed a much better and more horizontal connection. Plus, the fact that my lats felt the same as after a session of heavy deads would seem to confirm this.
I look forward to entering winter training at a high level of strength and fitness, instead of using winter training to compensate. For the second time, I need to revise my 1-year goal on the whiteboard to hit a 1:15 peak power split by New Years !