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Showing posts from October, 2010

New boat - Kirton Mystere

Ad and I have been paddling most mornings and all-in-all, it's gone very well. Due to reasons beyond our control we have got back into the Discovery as the K1's we have been paddling have not been available. All we have been doing is a quick 45 minute paddle each morning focussing purely on technique. Ad has got really comfortable in the Disco so it seemed time to move up a step an get into a wobblier boat, so today we went out for our first paddle in a Kirton Mystere. The first thing that was noticeable was how much more space Adam had in the back cockpit and the seats were a lot lower which would help lower our centre of gravity.  The steering was also a lot lighter and more responsive which made my work considerably easier as we ploughed between Walton and Sunbury.We had a couple of wobbles as we pushed out but we put down some splash supports and once we got going the boat felt very stable and by the end of the 45 minutes we had stayed dry and it was another massive feathe…

CP20

Last week was a good week. September had been a month of me trying to ignore the fact that my achilles does not want to play ball as far as attempting running a marathon is concerned and it's taken me a while to reconcile that fact but from that I have managed to focus on the other things that I need to be doing, completing a solid 14 hours this week. A few months ago I bought a heart rate monitor with the intention of using heart rate zones to inform my training more accurately instead of my usual, 'That feels like the right pace / tempo / cadence' etc. I learnt a lesson about buying second hand goods off the internet the hard way when the monitor turned up intact but with the operating instructions in French. :-/   It then took me the best part of six weeks to finally get it synched up so that I could actually download the data to my laptop and analyse what I was seeing. Doh... So this week I started the process of collecting some data by doing a CP20 test on the turbo a…

Happy holidays

I had an absolute blast yesterday. It's been a good few weeks since I have got out for a long ride and with the weather perking up a bit, the kids at school and me on holiday I found myself with a couple of hours to spare. I was a bit worried about it because I have only been doing my commute rides with a turbo session once per week doing some threshold intervals so I felt that I had probably lost some aerobic endurance over the last month. During my commute rides I have been working very hard as well, at a rough guess I would say that I try to go at slightly sub-olympic distance pace, so definitely not dawdling, but at only 20 minutes in duration it seemed that this would not really be enough to maintain my bike fitness. I was only planning to do 2 hours but I soon found myself enjoying the hills around Dorking, sprinting up  them and revelling in the quiet and, for once dry roads that allowed me to stay off the brakes on the descents. The only problem was that I suddenly found m…

The Wobble Factor

Another paddle last night and it's been a bit of a make or break time with the sudden drop in air temperature meaning that the prospect of either Adam or I capsizing could prove very uncomfortable. It was also important for Ad to start feeling that things were improving and he was getting to grips with his K1. I felt it was important that we tried to take the difficult he had with steering out of the equation so that he would just be concentrating only on stability and stroke technique and the best way to do that was for him to stop paddling if he was straying off course and stern rudder the boat back into line, then start again.

We got to the boathouse to find the K1 I normally use unserviceable, so I decided to take out a Marsport Hobby and we had a good look at the control wires and found the nut holding the main pulley loose which was causing the rudder to slip; almost definitely not helping Ad's steering issues. We put in at Sunbury and as I edged the hobby out as I waited…

Lost weekend

A song by Lloyd Cole and the Commotions if I recall correctly? Really showing my age now. ;-)
I would like to report some big numbers in my training hours but I would be lying. All week I have felt under the weather. For most of it I have been able to get out and train but not with any enthusiasm even though I have my brand new spreadsheet detailing the sessions that I should be doing. It came to a head on Saturday when I had a headache all day and just couldn't keep my eyes open, so ended up taking myself off to bed at 7.30. I slept like the dead and woke up to go for an early morning paddle with Adam. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) he had a sickness bug for the previous 48 hours so he text me to say that he was going to cry off. I crawled back into bed and didn't resurface until 10.30, which is absolutely unheard of for me. I spent the rest of the day being broody, annoyed and frustrated that I could not get out to catch the last of the autumn sunshine to do something, …

K1 carnage

So we have been having problems with a lean that has been causing us to capsize and therefore it was time to get in a K1 so that Ad could work on his stability and technique independently. Sometimes, it can be the position of the seat that can cause a lean if it has shifted out of line, but it was obvious that was not the case so we have decided to spend the next 2 weeks or so solely in K1's, working on technique. I know that my paddling technique is far from perfect so it was going to be good for me to spend some time doing some drills and smoothing out the bumps.

The focus was going to be on Ad's paddle entry and exit and keeping his hips relaxed. On previous paddles we had worked on keeping a straight, high arm so now it was time to think about getting the blade in near the hull at a good, steep angle and then ensuring that the paddle came out at the hips. I figured that if these two points could be improved, particularly the exit then he would be much less likely to tip i…

2 steps forward; one step back

Adam and I ventured out for our first paddle in daylight and while the wind had picked up and here was a little more flow around the conditions seemed pretty good. A quick portage over Sunbury and we bashed our way up towards Walton Bridge fairly uneventfully. I had left my usual boat shoes at home in my early morning stupor so had to try and steer while wearing crocs; not exactly ideal and I was finding it harder than usual in the slightly increased flow. Despite that, we made it into the Desborough cut feeling good, passing a few rowers and enjoying the scenery. It was then that we took a swim completely out the blue :-( After emptying the boat we got back in only to be swimming again 30 seconds later. That was it, confidence completely shot, we plodded back to Sunbury with the wind rising all the time.

Basically, we have a lean problem and we are going to need to do some work to correct this, probably by going out in the K1 boats a lot more. I am leaning right to compensate for Ada…

Good news, good swim, great paddle.

Important stuff first. After scaring the begeezus out of us I'm really pleased that my mother's back at home and on the mend. Last week and the start of this week was not good and she's still got a lot of recovering to do but she's now in her own house and getting some decent sleep.

Cycling has been more commuting with most of it being at Olympic bike pace (ish) and I manged to extend my ride on Tuesday evening so that I ended up cycling to Hampton Court before gunning it back home.

Wednesday became swim night. :-) My focus over the next three months is going to be focussed purely on technique, concentrating on the drills that I can execute fairly well. The problem with doing drills on your own is of course, that you cannot actually see what you are doing and therefore it's fairly difficult to be able to correct your errors which is the whole point of doing drills. Somewhat a catch 22. :-/ That is where the club swim sessions will come into play, with the swim co…