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The Pete Plan blog

If at first you don’t succeed…

Posted by thepeteplan on December 13, 2008

After attempting to break my 5 year old 30min pb on both Wednesday (stopping at 20mins) and Thursday (finishing, but 39m off the pb) I took a rest day yesterday. Going for a 3rd attempt today could have gone one of two ways – fail to break it again and I’m digging myself a hole – break it and I can leave it alone again and move on with proper training.

I’m much better at racing than time trialling. A lot of the people who watching “that 5k” at the Norfolk IRC in the summer of 2005 say that it is the one race that showed them that erg racing can be exciting. When I get in a close race the effort, the pain, and the splits are no longer relevant, it’s all about winning the race. Time trialling is completely different, and you need a different method of motivation – if you’re time trialling to your limits there will be a period during the piece where your brain will be telling you there is no way you will finish. Expect that, and have a plan to get through it.

On this 30min piece getting to 5k on each of the previous 2 attempts hasn’t been a problem. With the target pace of 1:42.8 that means a first 5k of 17:08, and I know I can do that any time. It is then the time from there to the point when I know I can finish that is the really tough bit, and where I need a plan to make it through.

So this morning I went to the gym for attempt 3, and this is how it went:

5min split:
1:42.4 / 31
1:43.0 / 30
1:43.0 / 30
1:43.0 / 30
1:43.6 / 30
1:41.2 / 31

30mins = 8762m / 1:42.7 / 30

A pb by a massive 12m! What a stupid sport, I break my oldest pb, set in December 2003, 5 years ago, by 12m. Not exactly a lot is it? But at least I can say my 30min pb was set in December 2008 now.

First of all I convinced myself at the 5k point to keep the pressure on to 20mins, and that went ok, but at 10mins to go it still seems a long way, and there is still the temptation to back off the pace. I knew if I backed off too much I’d leave too much to do at the end, so I did alternate minutes at 1:44’s and 1:43’s from there, so 30strokes at 1:44 then 30 @ 1:43 and so on. I did this right down to 3mins to go, and then I knew the pb was on, and knew I didn’t need another “slow” minute at 1:44’s. So I held the 1:43’s through from 3mins to about 1:30 to go, then slowly increased the pressure to the end. A 1:41.2 final 5mins makes it appear I had some in reserve, but as I say, I’m much better at racing than time trialling, so once the line is in sight, and it’s just a race against myself and that old pb, the effort and the pace are no longer relevant, it’s just about winning the race.

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One Response to “If at first you don’t succeed…”

  1. jamiepfeffer said

    Yes! Brilliant row, Pete. Now let’s take the picture, hang this on the wall, and move forward with pride. You’ve earned the massive boost of confidence this should give you. Well done.

    Best,
    Jamie

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