Lunch hour

The Pete Plan blog

All the ergs are busy

Posted by thepeteplan on August 8, 2008

Or at least there were all busy at lunchtime today as 4 of us got together for a 10k row at work. Tom, who I used to train with most days a few years ago, went back to his old sport of running. He has realised that he just doesn’t get the same level of overall fitness from running as he used to from the erg though. Helen is using the gym to get fit, and was challenged by the gym manager to row 10k once a week over a 5 week period on the erg. Caroline is a water rower who uses the erg because she knows it is more fun than the river really. I emailed Tom to see if today was Helen’s challenge day, as Tom is rowing the 10k’s with her, and said that I was doing 10k today, either a steady one at 1:52 pace, or a fast one at 1:45. Except to me 1:45 means 1:44.9, and in my email to Tom I rounded this to 1:44. Tom’s reply was that yes he and Helen were rowing the 10k today, and Caroline too was up for a steady 10k. On the comment of deciding between the 1:52 or 1:44 pace plan Tom’s response was “Pete, with all these class rowers round you today, it has to be 1:44’s!” This was the answer I wanted really, as if I did the steady 10k today that would have left the fast 10k to tomorrow.

So that was at 0930 this morning. Over the space of the next two hours, before an 1130 scheduled row time, my 1:44.9 target that I had rounded to 1:44 in my email to Tom became a “well, 1:44 is pretty close to my 1:43.5 seasons best pace, which in turn is pretty close to my 1:43.1 personal best pace”, and somehow I’d decided this was going to be a pb attempt! This is not the best decision to do a spur of the moment pb attempt the day after my hardest session of the week, and probably my best interval session of the past couple of months. But that’s what I had decided on in my mind, so that’s what I set off for. This is how it went:

10k = 34:48.6 / 1:44.4 / 27
1k splits:
1:42.6 / 30 <– even too fast for a pb attempt!
1:43.2 / 29 <– through 2k still under 1:43, seems like a bad idea, but feels ok
1:43.3 / 28 <– rate is dropping each k, never a good sign, and there is a long way to go
1:43.7 / 28 <– through the first third at pb pace, but I would quite like to stop soon, thanks
1:44.2 / 28 <– ok, half way now, can’t stop with the others rowing so aim for initial target
1:45.4 / 27 <– would they notice if I stopped?
1:46.0 / 27 <– I feel like I have stopped
1:46.2 / 27 <– at least I’m sure of sub 1:45, and it actually feels ok again now
1:45.9 / 27 <– into the final 2k, the end is in sight
1:43.7 / 28 <– got there in the end, but I wish I’d just started at 1:44 / 1:45

Really after the hard session yesterday I was pleased to get through the first third of the 10k at pb pace, and then not back off too much to the half way point. From there I knew I “only” needed around 1:46.5 for the second half to make the initial target, and anything under that was a bonus. So for the next 4k the aim was to keep the pace under 1:46.5 to ensure making the original target. As noted above, this reduction in pace was actually enough that I was feeling pretty good again by the final quarter. I could have pushed on harder from there, but the pb was out of reach, and there was no great benefit to be had by pushing right to the limit. All in all a pretty solid 10k row, and now I can afford to have a slow and steady day tomorrow, and hopefully get out on the bike if the weather is ok.

The others all did solid times. Helen, only her second ever 10k on the erg, did an impressive 48:50, around 30seconds faster than her first ever 10k last week.

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3 Responses to “All the ergs are busy”

  1. Nosmo said

    Why did you pace it like that? Don’t you try for negative splits?
    The first few Ks should have been at a 1:44 or so. You comment “at least I’m sure of sub 1:45, and it actually feels ok again now”, indicates you had to slow down to recover from the fast start.

    You did something similar in you last 10K attempt. Both would have been faster if you started a bit slower.

  2. thepeteplan said

    Nosmo – yes ideally on a fast 10k I would do slight negative splits. If I was to do the first half, say, at 1:44, that would mean the second half would need to be 1:42 to do a pb, and that won’t happen. For distances this long I need to get to half way in sight of a pb, not with a lot to pull back. Yes I did have to slow down yesterday to recover from the fast start – it was too fast after a hard week. If I had felt good after 3k though I would have maintained the pace – apart from a fast first 200m, the first 3k was about where it would need to be to get a pb.

  3. Nosmo said

    I said the first few K’s at a 1:44. Your would have only gone into a 2 or 3 second hole after 2 or 3K. That is not a lot of pull back, and is easy enough to make up in the second half if you are having a decent row. Then you hold PB pace for the next few K’s and speed up in the second half if you can. You might not have gotten the PB but you would have been faster and suffered less.

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