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Old 10-24-2011, 04:03 PM   #1
James Hanley
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Why do 500m x3 row intervals suck so much...?

Serious question - they kill me more than anything else. Did the following today:

Row Intervals on C2:
500m x3 w/ 90 sec recovery

1) 1m 31.5s
2) 1m 41s
3) 1m 46.6s


...and it knocked the absolute hell outta me. Had the most horrible feeling in my chest after, now 90 minutes later it still feels heavy, the lactate build up was horrific and I had the most terrible metallic taste in my mouth (<---that's the big one I'm wondering about).

The weirdest part is that over the total 8 minutes my HR averaged 170bpm and maxed at 183bpm. I've been far higher with weight based metcons over the same time period (maxed at circa 190bpm) but never felt as bad.

So - why do they suck so hard, and why does my mouth feel like I was sucking a penny?
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:33 PM   #2
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: Why do 500m x3 row intervals suck so much...?

Heart rate correlates poorly with effort and suck factor and training intelligence.
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:15 AM   #3
James Hanley
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Re: Why do 500m x3 row intervals suck so much...?

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Originally Posted by Lincoln Brigham View Post
Heart rate correlates poorly with effort and suck factor and training intelligence.
Lulz I've been thru the L1, i've heard the HR speech. Was hoping for an actual reason or somewhere I could learn more about it rather than just mindlessly accepting it cos the cert said so!!!

Anyone got anything?!
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:21 AM   #4
Matt Haxmeier
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Re: Why do 500m x3 row intervals suck so much...?

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Originally Posted by James Hanley View Post
Lulz I've been thru the L1, i've heard the HR speech. Was hoping for an actual reason or somewhere I could learn more about it rather than just mindlessly accepting it cos the cert said so!!!

Anyone got anything?!
Lincoln isn't saying that because he is mindlessly accepting what he was told at a crossfit cert. He's saying to stop worrying about your heart rate because it's not a very valuable tool for measuring exercise effectiveness. And probably that a workout is not good simply because it's hard or gives you a higher heart rate than another.

Intervals are really hard because you're going at maximum or near maximum output with insufficient rest. And you're effectively covering 1500m in a period of time much faster than you could actually do 1500m (the sum of each 500m)

As for the taste of blood, it is believed to be due to exercise-induced arterial hypoxemia which is essentially an issue that's encountered with the transfer of oxygen from the lungs to the blood. It happens in other animals too such as racehorses. Why is somewhat of a mystery but the second link below hypothesizes that airways "have an upper limit to flow rate, especially on expiration,"

http://jap.physiology.org/content/90/6/2371.full (WFS)
http://jap.physiology.org/content/87/6/1997.full (WFS)

Last edited by Matt Haxmeier : 10-25-2011 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:31 AM   #5
James Hanley
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Re: Why do 500m x3 row intervals suck so much...?

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Originally Posted by Matt Haxmeier View Post
Lincoln isn't saying that because he is mindlessly accepting what he was told at a crossfit cert. He's saying to stop worrying about your heart rate because it's not a very valuable tool for measuring exercise effectiveness. And probably that a workout is not good simply because it's hard.

Intervals are really hard because you're going at maximum or near maximum output with insufficient rest. And you're effectively covering 1500m in a period of time much faster than you could actually do 1500m (the sum of each 500m)

As for the taste of blood, it is believed to be due to exercise-induced arterial hypoxemia which is essentially an issue that's encountered with the transfer of oxygen from the lungs to the blood. It happens in other animals too such as racehorses. Why is somewhat of a mystery but the second link below hypothesizes that airways "have an upper limit to flow rate, especially on expiration,"

http://jap.physiology.org/content/90/6/2371.full (WFS)
http://jap.physiology.org/content/87/6/1997.full (WFS)
Alright awesome... I'll have a read about that - thank you

I went rooting on the C2 site, and they have a thing about heart rate on it. Apparently MHR is going to be noticably different when running (upright), rowing (seated) or swimming (prone). So even tho you may be working at your limited, max HR will be different as a result, so it's exercsise dependent. Which kind of clarifies my issue as to why HR wasn't as high as expected.

I wasn't freaking out thinking I had a poor workout cos my HR was lower than I expected, my entire being was telling me different - I was just curious as to the reason behind it.

I do find when I'm working on aerobic endurance (it's a weak point of mine that I spend time concentrating on every now and again), HR becomes a good measure as a means to pace myself.
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Old 10-25-2011, 12:24 PM   #6
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: Why do 500m x3 row intervals suck so much...?

It's true, I have long track record of mindlessly accepting whatever they fed me at the L1 cert. (Except when my Alzheimers kicks in and I can't remember what they told 6 years ago.)



In all seriousness, the whole maximum heart rate thing sounded like bullcrap when I first heard about it 30 years ago. I was dissing the MHR theory decades before I ever went to the L1 cert.

There was an article on the Crossfit Journal on this subject just the other day.
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:21 PM   #7
James Hanley
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Re: Why do 500m x3 row intervals suck so much...?

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Originally Posted by Lincoln Brigham View Post
It's true, I have long track record of mindlessly accepting whatever they fed me at the L1 cert. (Except when my Alzheimers kicks in and I can't remember what they told 6 years ago.)
I wasn't suggesting that was what YOU did, just that it wasn't what I was prepared to do!


Quote:
In all seriousness, the whole maximum heart rate thing sounded like bullcrap when I first heard about it 30 years ago. I was dissing the MHR theory decades before I ever went to the L1 cert.

There was an article on the Crossfit Journal on this subject just the other day.
Well yes... but I'm not talking about the 220-age formula.

I was talking about what my HRM recorded during a weight based triplet, versus what it recorded during a rowing WOD, and even tho I felt like I was working harder on the row intervals it wasn't reflected on my HRM.

Which seems to be a result of what I read on the C2 site, with MHR varying in an individual depending whether they're doing standing, seated or lying exercise!!
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:37 PM   #8
Tim Nakashima
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Re: Why do 500m x3 row intervals suck so much...?

Check your max HR during a 3000m row. Or, check your HR during a metcon which takes you 1:30 to complete. I'll bet you find a similarity regarding the discrepancy you were curious about.

The 220 minus age thing has always been crap. Anybody who ever based their training solely on that obviously didn't have a clue. However, I don't agree with what they're putting out about how HR doesn't mean jack when exercising.

Last edited by Tim Nakashima : 10-29-2011 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:31 PM   #9
Steven Low
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Re: Why do 500m x3 row intervals suck so much...?

Rowing 500m is like running 800m.

They both are the most horrible distances metabolically in both sports
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:05 AM   #10
Lewis Dunn
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Re: Why do 500m x3 row intervals suck so much...?

Another factor affecting the MHR you reached could be your warmup. On an workout like that, my MHR will be higher the longer I take to ramp up to the actually work period. Related to that is the fact that you slowed down quite a bit over your 3 intervals. My guess is you would see a higher MHR if you started a bit slower and made your last interval your fastest.

Additionally, that's not a long workout to get your HR up to a max. I often do a workout (I think from the C2 website) that is 9 intervals of 500m. Three minutes between each 500, but take six minutes after each round of 3 500's. If I go for the fastest even splits I can do, my HR will rise with every interval. The increase is getting marginally smaller toward the end, but it takes pretty much 9 intervals for me to think I am seeing my rowing MHR.
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