Whistled round my 4.6miles in record time today. Hadn't been out for a couple of days, got up earlier and it was cooler, almost dark. Didn't get as hot as usual (pretty humid down in in Fl) and after setting my best time over the first 3rd decided to ignore my heart monitor's beeps and go above the training rate. I normally slow down at 136bpm but let it drift (Ha) up to 148. I could see from the Speedoach the difference it was making to ave pace so carried on; After 41m06s crossed my finish line with my best time so far. I got on one of these HIGI monitors at the local supermarket yesterday and it wasn't impressed with my weight or blood pressure so I think I'll up my training rate band on the watch permanently. There can't be many more pleasant ways of taking vigourous excercise than bashing away on an Edon in the early light with complete calm and the sun lighting up the horizon in salmon pink. Onwards!
Just got back from my 100th row in the Edon. Pretty pleased as my time was my 2nd best ever and conditions wern't ideal. I've lately been feeling that my hands have been on too high a plane and accordingly I tried raisng the oarlocks about 3/8" - feels much more horizontal and the times have generally improved with less exertion (well lower HR avg anyway).
Although I had the training floats off for a while, I put them back on just for safety's sake and they are still on. I wouldn't like to fall in right now - I think it's alligator mating season :-)
Thinking about something else and forgot about the last piling before clear water. Struck the oar first between orarlock and hull then the rigger. Luckily I'm still using the floats or I would have got wet (and there are alligators in the lake).
From the sound of the impact I thought I'd ripped the mounting out of the hull. Apart from a tiny mark on the (Dreher) oar, no damage. Try that in a regular composite shell.. I'm further impressed with these Edons.
Another minute off of my 4.3mile course (beautiful morning here in FL, sun just coming up, no wind, mist on the water (a bit like the end of Phantom down under the Opera House)) - again with the FLOATS ON. Geting more comfortable with the changes to the stroke - basically hands away earlier and lower, more core compression and a little longer reach at catch, followed by a more horizontal stroke.
Anyway the point of this post is to say how pleased I am with the Nielsen Kellerman Speedcoach XL2 It is just SO useful to be able to get immediate feedback on how effective the last stroke was. I've been using that along with a cheap ($50 Amazon) Polar HR monitor. I row along just under the top of my training rate (136bpm) and try out changes to the stroke. The XL2 displays the HR which makes it easy.
I'd never paid much attention to the average pace display (an option you can set) up until now but as I can now get around the whole 4.3 miles without stopping for a wheeze, it's a huge incentive to be able to know that if you just keep the SR better that the last average, your time around the course will be better. Obvious! Doh.
A big point to make is this works from an impeller in the water - while this is not as accurate at measuring distance, it is the only way of getting accurate info on that last stroke. GPS based systems (even the latest) just aren't accurate enough over the distance covered by one stroke.
Loving this rowing thing.
When I "graduated" to removing the floats, I thought they'd just gather dust. I was a beginner no more! Well, it's winter down here in Florida and that means the water is cooler (65deg) but more importantly my normally perfectly smooth conditions have been replaced by breezy and somewhat choppy areas in places.
I've been trying to improve my stroke to get hands away and keep my knees together. It's slowly getting better as I get a bit fitter and the inches away around my waist reduce. Anyway, one result of this is a longer stroke but a feeling of insecurity just before the catch when its choppy. Together with the wind getting under the blades on the recovery (especially in a side wind) this made me think I'd try the stabilisers again for a while. I was amazed (the Speedcoach doesn't lie) to find my pace improving with a lower heart and stroke rate. I've been out three times now with the floats on and have recorded my best times ever around my 4.3 mile course. Interesting huh?
Just a little update - to all those ancient (I'm 60) and unfit peeps taking up rowing late in life - don't overdo it! I was so enthusiastic I was going out every morning and rowing to my HR limits for 45 mins. In November I could hardly row at all - my legs had this really weird feeling. The back of my right thigh could hardly rest on the seat of my car without pain.
I stopped rowing completely (quite worried) for over a month and have just finished about 6 wks of every other day, gentle rowing. Starting to get back to where I was when I started... doh.
After Monday's paddling about with no stabilizers and staying dry, went out in the canal without them again this morning. I was pleased to find from the Speedcoach that I was a little faster around my regular route for a lot less heartbeats and strokes.. I'm beginning to feel the boat's balance with the subtle outwards pressure on the oarlocks. Thanks to the post on the rowing illustrated board.
I think the floats will be off most of the fair weather time from now on. I like this rowing thing.
After the last quick circle and back without the wheels I was keen to try again - this time without the boat being full of water (I'd just fallen in - see previous video). We again went down to a lovely spot just off of the Gulf of Mexico wher the water is clean and smooth and alligators *shouldn't* be too common (I'm told they don't like salty water - well I've seen one there before..)
After a few minutes of being quite stiff and rigid I managed to relax and *really* enjoyed myself for a couple of hours. The boat cuts through the water much better. I didn't have my Speedcoach hooked up so it's probably all in the mind but it felt great.
As the Edon has a thick, polyethylene foam sandwich, hull the impeller sensor has to go into either the front or rear compartments. To ensure watertight integrity I decided to install it using a Blue Sea clam fitting. I also needed a longer T bracket to install the unit just below the rigger. Here's a couple of pics. It's all working nicely. I just have to decide on the final wiring routing so it's out of the way. More later.
The unit mounted to the back of the foot stretcher. There's a large gap for the heart rate sensor plug (not shown) to fit without stressing the cable
The sensor wire going into the front compartment. I decided on mounting the impeller at the front (on the side actually) so it wouldn't get knocked off when I pull the boat out of the water at the beach or onto the carpet I have canal-side.
and I thought I was actually going quite fast! Ha... the awful truth is revealed by a calibrated Speed Coach - I'm old, unfit and have terrible technique..