Since Concept2 introduced the challenge series 3 seasons ago I have taken part in every monthly event. I like the idea behind it, providing a motivational challenge that people can complete in their own gym, garage or back bedroom, and submit their time online to compare with others around the country. Plus you get a free t-shirt if you complete all of the monthly challenges. The participation seems to have gradually increased over the 3 years it has run so far, and the standard, certainly in the 30+ category, has steadily improved. I think the series has got a little long now with 9 rounds, and so running for 9 months, but then it is only 1 session in the month.
The challenge for March is a single timed row of 16mins and 19secs, the significance being that this is the record for the boat race. In 2 months time this would be a strong event for me as my training is focusing on a 5k race in mid May. Right now it was a case of picking a realistic pacing plan in order to use it as a good middle distance training row. With the standard this season in the challenge series I am not in a medal position, so I don’t need to dedicate a rested session to the challenge. So the timing wasn’t ideal for a fast attempt, as I did a hard session yesterday, but I like to use the weekend for a steady session Saturday then a rest day Sunday to be fully fresh and ready to attack my primary core interval session on a Monday.
The plan for today’s row was to break 4700m, which is roughly 1:44 pace. To do this I planned simply to flat pace the row at 1:44 until I was in the final stages, then speed up to the line. The data was set up to record 4 split times for the row:
4:05 = 1:43.9 / 29
8:10 = 1:43.9 / 29
12:15 = 1:43.9 / 28
16:19 = 1:43.0 / 29
Total: 16:19 = 4718m / 1:43.7 / 28
Not fast for me, but at this stage of training, and fatigued from a number of hard sessions this week, I’m happy with it. I expect to be doing twice this distance at this pace within the next 2 months.