Rowing Update: trending upwards

Between lab testing, ergo challenges, time trials and skill session it feels like we are on a pretty good improvement curve. From this day dreamers perspective I found yesterday when I jumped on the wattbike in the garage that I was projecting forward some 9 months. Have to say I was feeling excited and in a way revealing in the thoughts of what lay ahead. This sense of anticipation came after a pretty solid and reasonably well executed two weeks of training and testing. Let me say this I can be a bit of a sceptic at times when I hear numbers or data that doesn’t seem to fit a pattern from previous samples. Let me explain… Last weeks lab test at the VIS had me enjoying some good numbers but also questioning a few things. It’s early days but things have started well. The numbers I am referring to include: VO2 Max at 6.5L with 72 ml/kg at 89.7kg (put this into perspective when I was cycling VO2 was 6.2 and Body WT got down to 77kg so 80.5 ml/kg) * the top cyclist in the World are reported to be 82 – 88 with some reports of 90 + ** now body weight plays a big part and so rowers while they have huge VO2 once related to body weight came back on the scale *** Josh Dunkley Smith has recorded 7L at the AIS and down here last week got 7.5L which is huge, and given he is 100kg then that puts him at 74ml/kg What, stop the press did I say 89.7kg? Yes that’s right and add to this I clocked in at 90.5kg before yesterday’s time trails in Carrum. So when I say ‘trending upwards’ I mean pretty much everything is going that way. Body weight, VO2 and outputs in terms of better scores. What can I say, at 36 years old I feel like I am enjoying and seeing some great gains. During the week we did a 6km test at 95% and although I was on sliders on the ergo which I have mentioned before that I believe makes it easier, I did 18 min 57sec with a lactate of 4.2mml which has me right on threshold. For me this is very good and I feel like the work over the last 18 months is really starting to pay off. Effectively this means that for this type of session I am feeling and having less cost for what I have to do. Being able to back up is important and staying motivated I think directly relates to how hard I feel like I am having to work. Things then are getting easier and my capacity to recover is much better. Now onto the weekend and our time trials at Carrum. First up was the single and after forgetting my oars and narrowing another set after Cam McKenzie McHarg finished his TT, I adjusted the length and inboard and jump on the water. About three week before I did 14min 26 sec and this time 14 min 11 sec and have to say that because we have been back in pairs and fours I only got to have a paddle once the Thur night before. Having elected to gear the boat up and deciding keeping the rate up is key rather than getting bogged down I sat on 30 strokes per minute and rather than rowing hard just stayed fast and easy. Then we went out in the pairs and after having a few dodgy sessions this week due to fatigue it was great to be able to put together a fair effort with Josh in the pair. Length and athletism were the orders or should I say just keep it light and easy. What are we working on? Simple really… 1. Effective length and sequencing 2. One push, hips then body swing in one smooth motion 3. Platform of the boat to be able to work well and stability within to make the match up and timing easy We are getting to the end of October and the bases by which we will get out best performances is being created. As I say things are trending upwards for me personally and I am reminding my self that if this is my last time round the circus then I want to be the best I can be and have plenty of fun with it.

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