Today is the sixth row since getting back on the erg following 120 days of recovery from a trashed sacroilliac performed while sculling in early November. Easy-does-it is the rule for the first week — with the usual sore shoulder and back muscles as my body gets back into the unique cycle of rowing.
Yesterday was a rest day — NYC and travel — so coming off the rest I was a lot faster and set my personal best for the week, 20 minutes, 20 seconds for the 5,000 meter segment, averaging 2:01 minutes per 500 meter split. Not bad for week one, and a four second split improvement from my 2:05 on day one. Keep in mind that in full shape I am generally cruising in the 1:45-1:55 range (think of splits as the basis “mile per hour” measure in indoor rowing.
I do a 500 meter warm up at a very easy pace, loosening up for the most part. The 5,000 is when I turn on the iPod and crank at a loping 24 stroke per minute pace, focusing on length, a long recovery (the return part of the stroke) and a solid drive, taking great pains to focus on posture and back alignment. I program the RowPro to keep me in a 25 spm band, and a 150 heart beat per minute band, that generally sees me peak around 170-180 bpm during the final sprint.
Feels good to be back on the wheel of pain.