Lunch hour

The Pete Plan blog

I love it when a plan comes together

Posted by thepeteplan on July 17, 2008

But I pity the fool who ergs without a plan.

I didn’t go to the gym at lunchtime. I’ve felt tired all week, and I had a headache all day today. I had no intention of getting on the erg this evening, but I decided to look on rowpro and see if there was anything to take my fancy. A 10k in 6mins time? That’s not long to get ready. The erg was in the living room though, so I connected the laptop, put some shorts on, registered, and set off with no plan what so ever, no warm up, and that’s not a good combination.

2k splits:
1:44.1 / 28
1:44.2 / 27
1:45.2 / 27
1:45.9 / 27
1:45.0 / 27
10k = 34:57.5 / 1:44.9 / 27

That’ll help me be nice and rested for the Tour De ‘arry starting tomorrow.

I’m a big believer in psychology and positive mental attitude when training, and especially when racing. People have often said to me that I don’t look like I’m trying too hard in racing, and sometimes in training too. When I race I find that if I give the outward impression that the effort is not too hard it does two things – it helps me believe that it’s not too hard, and it makes other people (the opposition) think that you have more to give. Also screwing up your face and making stupid noises just uses energy you don’t need to use. Most of the people who do it in the gym do it for show “look at me, I’m working out really hard, how tough am I?” – no, you’re a jackass, and it just makes me think “you have to try that hard to get that mediocre performance?”. I should know, I’ve caught myself doing it in the past.

Talking of things you do in training, and showing off, what is it with the obsession with low rate rowing, and getting huge power per stroke? I understand the reasoning behind doing long distance work at low rates, but doing things like CTC challenges at (very) low rates, what’s that all about? And why are people impressed by it? Especially when they try to make out it is somehow restricted, implying it is somehow less effort, so doesn’t impact their training programme. If people were honest and said “I don’t have the fitness to do myself justice at higher rate, so I did the 8 x 500m at r24” that would be fine, but to imply that you could do it significantly faster by increasing the rate belittles the performances of those faster than you, unless you deliver on that prediction later in the month.

Really my frustation comes from the belief that people train the wrong way to utilise their talents to produce the best 2k performance. Afterall, that is what the majority of erg racers are interested in, producing the fastest 2k possible come race day. Nothing else matter, noone cares who stroke rate you did it at, whether your stroke looks good, just the final time.

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2 Responses to “I love it when a plan comes together”

  1. alan said

    I know what you mean Pete 😀

    I was doing the CTC-unrestricted-and one of the gym’s muscle men got on the next erg- he lasted 3 of them, all slower.

    He was 22 years younger than me !

    Best of luck on the tour

    QED

  2. Jamie Pfeffer said

    Because of all my back issues, I try to avoid low-rate rowing. So if I row a piece at fewer than 22 s/p/m, I cap it at about two minutes. And I do think it’s helped me have a relatively healthy year. Plus, since ergo rowing doesn’t require as many technical challenges as does OTW, I don’t think low-rate pieces are as important for indoor rowers.

    For a good read on the subject, check Terry O’Neil’s work in the C2 training guide.

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