Where Did These Rowing Workout Numbers Come From?

I tend to write a lot about struggles. Hard stuff is easy. Challenges people relate to. They’re interesting.

But this rowing “diary blog” entry isn’t about a tough time. Consider yourself warned.

Today’s workout was a Utilization workout, a “hard steady state.” 1 x 40m @ 20-22-24-22-20, rate change every 2 minutes, and repeat. Drag 120.

After not erging for two days, I planned to skew on the easier side with 60-70% effort. The last time I erged, my wrist started clicking painfully. I’d fallen a few days ago and seriously tweaked it. After the clicking episode, I switched Tuesday’s workout to a run/bike/weightlift series.

Usually I erg in the mornings, but today I took Caelan to visit his grandparents. This workout was at 4pm. I felt tired and weary. Almost contemplated not working out at all.

All that is to say, I didn’t have any big expectations. I thought I’d row by feel. If the wrist acted up, I’d back off and do something else.

Short 8 minute warm up: picks, reverse, and some 10-stroke pressure series, up to 26 spm. Stretch.

Set the monitor. Begin.

The first pyramid is still warming up. It’s finding a rhythm. Remembering the stroke pace, breathing, checking in. How’s the back? How’s the wrist? How’s the shoulder? It’s technique: drive fast with the legs, keep the pressure out of the back, square the shoulders, pull all the way through to the release.

Second pyramid everything’s a little faster. I’ve determined a base watts pace to target. Still lots of checking in technically. Doing a bunch of 10’s for different things: exaggerating the shoulder squeeze, keeping my weight even on the butt cheeks, not leaning one way or other, leg drive, quads squeeze, drive speed. Staying nice and relaxed. Reminding myself not to care about the watts but to keep it above the minimum drive speed I’ve set for each rate.

The Apple Music playlist “Rock Workout” is jamming. An actual good mix. I slide right into the third pyramid, not really paying too much attention other than to all the stuff I’ve mentioned.

At 10:30 to go I glance down at my iPhone. I see the meters. I double take. What? I think that’s…that’s actually…like good. Like really good for 30 minutes low rate. I watch it countdown to 10:00 to go and make a mental note of the meters: 6755.

Now that I think I’m banging out this workout, of course I do the last 10 minutes with a little more punch. But, I still don’t really know how good it is. The main display is on watts and the iPhone’s counting cals. I don’t pay attention again to the meters because I’m zeroed in on the average watts.

Workout’s over. Hit “display” and “units” a couple of times, until I see this:

Erging results. 9032 meters

Damn. Where did this come from? 

Couldn’t believe it. Workouts have been scattered, I did mat pilates yesterday, a 30 minute bike and 15 minute jog the day before, and I just averaged 2:12.8 at a lower stroke rate and 60-70% for 40 minutes? What the heck?

But in a good way.

‘Course I looked up the 30-minute test on Concept 2’s logbook. For all women in 2019, 6755 meters would be 80th percentile. For USA women 30-39, it’d rank 14th right now.

Damn. And I wasn’t even trying. Crazy.

So, yeah, fist bump me. Feeling good right now.



About camckenna

I write; I row.
This entry was posted in Home, Training, Triumphs and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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