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The Pete Plan blog

Archive for March 14th, 2008

The mind is willing

Posted by thepeteplan on March 14, 2008

A busy morning meant that my gym session had to wait until after I had eaten lunch, which is never ideal. Today was one of those days where my mind was willing to test my body, and so I decided on 10k as my hard distance piece for this week, and set out looking for a pb to beat my long standing 34:22.2.


0-2k = 1:42.9 / 30spm

2-4k = 1:43.6 / 29spm

4-6k = 1:47.1 / 26spm

6-7k ~ 1:47 / 26spm

Stopped at 7k with the average split just hitting 1:45.0. The mind was willing, but physically it wasn’t there today. I was struggling after only 3k or so, and thought that by backing off a bit after 4k I might be able to recover a little and push on in the second half. It wasn’t to be, and discretion being the better part of valour, I decided it was better to save it for another day than to push on over the final 3k just to get a time within 30seconds or so of a pb.

When I set my 10k pb it actually took 2 or 3 attempts where I held my target pace through to between 7 and 8k before blowing badly and not even being able to finish. Then one day I got to that point and was still going, and once past the 30min point the end is in sight.

Stroke rates:

A question was asked on the concept2 training forum about the benefits of low verses high stroke ratings in training:

This is always a contentious issue whenever it is discussed because there are many people sitting firmly on one side or the other of this issue. Both sides will strongly contend that their training method is superior, and quite rightly so. Belief in your chosen training method is very important, and so I believe it is vital to either know the reasoning behind the way you train, or have a high amount of confidence in the person who prescribed the training (and preferably both).

I have always been on the side of higher rate training, or at least in not buying into the virtues of a large amount of low rate training. Low rate training in itself can be a useful exercise, but done to excess I believe can be damaging, at least to your 2k ability. The numberĀ 1 priority in erg training, or in any fitness training, is structure. If you follow a structured training method you will improve. What that structure consists of is less important, but will still dictate the amount by which you can improve.

If you are training primarily to row a fast erg 2k then most coaches and athletes would agree that an optimal stroke rating for almost anyone will be in the range 30-34spm. There are exceptions of course, but that’s a good range to aim for. Therefore your training has to allow you to row at your optimum (fastest) pace you can hold over 2k within that stroke rate range. If your best time comes below that range then your training isn’t quite right, in my opinion.

I will add to this my thoughts on the structure of the Pete Plan, and why I think this is optimal for 2k performance for people only able to train for around 5 or less hours per week, in a later blog entry.

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