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The Pete Plan blog

Some middle distance work

Posted by thepeteplan on September 24, 2008

The weekend began with a trip into London to visit David, one of the PP08 group, who was planning to do a 2k test on his own at home. As I couldn’t think of anything worse than doing a 2k test on your own at home, I thought I would go and join him. David went first with a 6:27.9 pb to beat, set in competition. He was always going to beat it because his training has been going well, but needed a confidence boost  rather than going too far into the unknown come BIRC in 5 weeks time. A very well paced 6:24.4 got him a good chunk off his pb, and showed that he is well on target to meet his aim of sub 6:24 at BIRC.

Watching someone row a good pb gives you good motivation to do a good row yourself, so I decided to do a sub maximal 2k. A short (5min) warm up and then set off with the simple aim of beating each 500m split of David’s row:

2k = 6:22.2 / 1:35.5 / 32
1:35.0 / 33
1:36.5 / 32
1:36.6 / 32
1:34.1 / 34

It’s a shame in some ways I didn’t go just a little harder through the middle of the row to break 6:20, as it is quite some time since I’ve done that. However, the row felt good and nicely in control, so it’s still a good confidence booster.

In the afternoon I met some old school friends for a drink for someone’s 30th birthday. Unfortunately a quick drink at 3pm led to getting the very last train back from Waterloo at 1am, and not getting into bed until after 2am. Sunday was then a complete training write off. Monday I made the mistake of trying to stick to the training plan with a 4 x 1k / 4min rest session. The weekend had left me tired and lethargic, so it was always going to be a struggle. One rep at 3:09.9 (1:34.9 pace) and I didn’t even begin the second rep.

Tuesday still feeling a bit run down (am I getting old that it takes so long to recover for a night of moderate drinking?) I decided that a negative splitted 10k was the best session to get back into it:

10k = 35:44.8 / 1:47.2 / 26
2k splits:
1:51.7 / 24
1:49.5 / 24
1:47.4 / 26
1:45.6 / 27
1:41.8 / 29

A pretty solid pace by the end, so a solid session overall. Definitely too fast for an easy distance session though, which meant that today had to be a more moderately paced distance session, which turned out to be:

11k = 40:25 / 1:50.1 / 24spm
10min splits:
1:51.9 / 23
1:50.9 / 24
1:49.7 / 25
1:48.4 / 25

Again negative splits, partly because I don’t warm up before these type of distance rows so feel better as I get into it, and partly because it maintains my interest better with something to concentrate on.

Reponse to comments:

Shirley commented on my last entry that the toughest training session is not any particular session on its own, but rather any session that you try to repeat just a few days after what you considered to be a very good effort. I agree Shirley, repeating a session just a week later when you thought you did well at it the previous attempt is difficult. Most training programmes, mine included, would not have you repeat a hard session more often than about every 3 weeks for this reason. After 3 weeks you both have had chance to improve your fitness, and to forget how hard the session was last time… But what if for some reason you do have to repeat a session for a challenge, or a race? How do you approach that? Analyse both how you rowed the session last time, and how you prepared for it. Look for anything you could do better. Did you sleep well the night before? Did you eat well? Were you fully hydrated? Was the temperature ok? Were you fast at the end of the session, or did you go too fast at the beginning? If nothing comes out as not the perfect preparation and execution of the session then accept that you may not be able to improve on your previous performance, and approach it in the same way as a standalone training session and see how you do.

2 Responses to “Some middle distance work”

  1. shirleygkn said

    Good points Pete – I can see 2 or 3 of those would have contributed. Last Friday’s neg split session was a prime example and should have been obvious before I started – I went out too fast, completely misjudged where I should have started from. Contrary to what you might say, I’m going to attempt that same 60min again tomorrow, start the pace a little slower and hopefully nail it!!
    I have put in mind that it’s not a disaster if I don’t achieve it, it will still be a good hard workout no matter the outcome… 😉

  2. Kenneth said

    This is why I am in awe of athletes like Phelps who are able to tackle multiple events in such a short window of days and attempt to achieve PBs in them all. The mental toughness that requires, I feel, is far greater than of the physical conditioning.

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