After my great 60min row yesterday I was trying to remember the first time I broke 17k in 60mins. It was on 26th December 2003 when I rowed 17035m – that’s right, the day after Christmas. I recalled that I had set my 30min personal best row very soon after that first 17k hour, perhaps even the day after. As luck would have it, I have written training logs right back to 2002 in my cupboard at work, so I pulled out the 2003 training diary and found the 17035m row on Dec 26th, and looked 2 days forwards to find my 30min row, 8750m / 1:42.8 split. This must be destiny, I thought. Very nearly 5 years since I first broke 17k for the hour I’d done it again yesterday, so it must be time to break that 5 year old 30min pb. I didn’t consider the significance this morning, in my haste to break this longstanding pb, of the 1 rest day between the two rows in December 2003.
So off I set to the gym just after 11am this morning with the simple plan of, similar to yesterday’s 60min, setting 5min splits and aiming to keep each one at or under 1:43.0, knowing that the small margin I might be behind with that race plan I could make up in the final few minutes. I did a very short warm up, just 500m (that is 500m more than I did yesterday), set the 30mins, and off I went.
1:42.6 / 30
1:42.8 / 30
1:43.0 / 30
1:43.0 / 30
20mins = 5850m / 1:42.8 / 30
I became acutely aware of the significance of the rest day between the rows in 2003 as I approached the half way point. I was on target, but my legs did not have the same zip they had yesterday. This is no surprise of course, yesterday was a pretty maximal row, and I was exhausted for the rest of the day. Rather than battle on for a few more minutes then try to pull the split back down at the end, which wouldn’t have been pretty, I decided the best plan was to call it a good 20min row, and leave the pb for another day.
I always advise recovery days between hard rows, and the alternate “easy day – hard day” principle. Sometimes it’s not as easy to follow your own advice as to give it out though. This pb is there for the taking on a good day though. I know now how I need to feel going through half way to get through the crucial stage from 15mins to 5mins to go, and then be on for the pb. It would of course be a bad plan to go again tomorrow, but who knows how great I might feel tomorrow after only rowing for 20mins today?