Fri 15 June 2012
To escape the frustration of no internet access, I headed out for a paddle. After missing the 'Ben Thursday night session' I was motivated to do a good session to make up for it. There was virtually no wind and it was a high tide during the early afternoon. I headed out in my Grafton Bandit for a lap of my 7.2km Midway Point course.
With perfect conditions I thought that I had a reasonable chance of a PB. My best previous time was 38.10 in my Grafton Chrono.
I went for a short warm up to establish which way the tidal current was going. There was about a 0.5 to 1.0 km/h approx incoming flow under the bridge. I headed off at a solid, steady pace for the 2.5km down to Woody Island in flat conditions at 10 to 11km/h against a variable strength current.
The tide was unusually high and I could paddle closely around Woody Island without suffering from the bottom drag that normally slows me to 9km/h.
From Woody to Barren Island there were patches of 13km/h to lift my average pace but this slowed as the water became shallow again near the island. Once the drag released me I put in the big ones to the left end gap of McGee's Bridge, went through, turned right and finished hard along the north side of it to the end of the bridge where I finish. Along the final stretch next to the bridge, I was glancing down at the stopwatch and I could see that I would be close to a fastest time.
I tried to lift but also keep my stroke efficient and struggled to the end in 37m55s - a PB by 15 seconds. My times for this course vary a lot due to wind, current, waves and low tide. In the worst conditions, with low tide (& more bottom drag) my times are generally 42.30 to 43mins.
I like this training course because you usually get wind & waves from different angles and you also have to put in effort in the increased drag of the shallow water. In a lot of sessions that people do they head off directly into the wind and come back directly with the wind and they don't do enough side-on work and 45° up or downwind. When you have a fixed triangle or rectangular course (anything except up & back straight into the wind) you will get a great variety in your sessions as the wind comes from different directions.