Two and a half days and five workouts later, I'm finding my groove here in Connecticut. After some solid napping and sleeping, I've ...

Training in CT

Two and a half days and five workouts later, I'm finding my groove here in Connecticut. After some solid napping and sleeping, I've made it onto East Coast time. There has been some wind and some cold and some rain, but nothing atypical of an East Coast spring.

The boathouse is located on a huge piece of property that used to be a tobacco farm. A large number of the boats are stored inside the old tobacco barn, along with all of the weight equipment and the ergs. There are also two small offices and a huge old house on the property. I'm staying on site, so the dock is less than 200 meters from the front door.

Although there was only one workout schedule for Sunday, we ended up getting on the ergs in the evening for a lactate test. I made huge gains from my last lactate test in January--I can produce much higher wattage for the same blood lactate level, a sign that I'm getting fitter and faster.

As part of the lactate testing, we are also given heart rate zones for each workout type, from the long, slow easy workouts that make up the bulk of our training, to the hard sprint work we do mostly just before racing. I use my Garmin to monitor my heart rate, as well as track all of my workouts. (Thanks Dan!) Although I'm not always happy with the speed I produce at a given heart rate, I know that staying in the prescribed zones helps me get fitter without pushing my body too hard.

Monday morning started with a nice long easy row in the single. I re-familiarized myself with the course and enjoy the new, lower heart rate zones. I was definitely cold--I couldn't feel my fingers very well. It made me glad I came out early and have an opportunity to adjust to the cold before racing.

During the day, the three high performance athletes that are here at the moment all just sat around the office, watching the Boston Marathon. We had actually tuned out and all gone to take naps/eat lunch when the bombing occurred; I found out later that evening. It was very inspiring to see the elites running the course, especially the women's race.

Monday afternoon, we headed out on the water with a gaggle of junior rowers. Lots of fun racing against all sorts of different boat classes and boat speeds, even if we only did short bursts of speed. It was also fun being on the water twice in a day! We rarely go out twice in one day at CRC, usually opting for cross-training or erging for the second session.

This morning, I had a work phone call scheduled for 9am, so I headed out in the wee hours of the morning to row. It wasn't as cold as the previous day, but it still took me the vast majority of the row to really warm-up; I need to get back in the habit of warming up on land, inside, before heading onto the water.

The day was spent sleeping and working. I'm lucky to have a job that lets me telecommute, and a job that's fun and engaging enough that four hours fly by. I've been trying to increase my hours without interfering with training--after all, if I'm not giving my training the focus it deserves, then why am I training at all?

In the afternoon, we hit the weight room. Lifting is definitely not my favorite part of the sport, but I'm learning how to manage it. I've found that eating well and consuming enough calories prior to lifting is really helpful--it makes the whole experience less miserable. Lifting the right amount of weight is also important, and I'm learning to ask my coaches how to pick a starting weight and how to best increase weight and/or repetitions.

Tonight, I'm hoping for an early bedtime, so I can be up bright and early for 1000m pieces in the single, plus speedwork in the afternoon.

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