3 week ago today I had my final attempt at the June CTC of 5 x 5mins / 2min rest. I managed the first 4 reps in 1:40.0 and a final rep at 1:39.7.
Today I did the Pete Plan session of 5 x 1500m / 5min rest. Effectively the same session (at my sort of pace) but with 2.5x the rest period. It has to be faster for the same effort, right? Although I went into this session with the intention of it not being maximal, what is the reason I was so far off the pace of that session 3 weeks ago? The week off training last week? Residual jetlag? The heat and particularly humidity? A combination of the above?
5 x 1500m / 5min rest:
1:43.8 / 27
1:42.9 / 28
1:41.9 / 29
1:41.7 / 29
1:39.8 / 30
25:30.8 / 1:42.0 / 28
I didn’t set myself up to go as fast, so obviously the pace difference is a little more extreme. But going into the session with this pacing plan I honestly expected to have a lot left and want to blast the last rep much faster than I did it.
The temperature and humidity in my work gym at lunchtime is pretty extreme, so that certainly made a big difference. Still, if rep 4 would have been 0.8 faster on the pace it would look like a very controlled negative split session. As I have said to a number of people I coach before, after having a short time off training on holiday, it is the mental side that takes a little while to get back rather than losing anything physically in just a week off training. The fact that I did the final rep under 1:40 pace means that I wasn’t pushing as hard as I felt I was earlier in the session. The other major factor for me is stroke rate. For 1:40 pace I am most efficient at 30spm. If I rate lower I go slower for the same effort level. A 5min rest period is far more than I need to recover CV wise from this type of effort, but from muscular fatigue it takes a lot longer, and using rate you can minimise this.
I think I made a comment here about the erging related positive test for performance enhancing drugs. I’ve had a few people email me to ask for more details. Until anything is announced officially, or the person concerned comments on it, I won’t name names. The evidence seems to be that a fairly high profile person in the erging world tested positive for EPO at a cycling race earlier this year, and further that this was unlikely to have been a single occurance. I won’t currently say any more detail than that currently.