Lunch hour

The Pete Plan blog

Easy distance, heart rate and a grudge match

Posted by thepeteplan on December 16, 2008


46:35.7 / 12506m / 1:51.7 / 24

Grudge match:

The day I set my 2k pb, in January 2004, a documentary series was filmed at the race featuring the “world number 1” Nik Fleming, and the “new boy” Graham Benton. There is a 7min clip on youtube of the show here:

I remember it well, including the fake medal ceremony after the real ones had finished. I’m the guy on the erg to Nik’s left, boat 7 when they show the big screen. I’m surprised how fresh I still look after rowing my second fastest ever 2k (that’s another story, the faster one).

Heart rate training:

As most people know, I don’t train by heart rate at all. I occasionally put my heart rate monitor on if I row at home just to see what it is, but I would never judge my training pace by heart rate. I don’t have an issue with people training by heart rate though, as long as they know why they’re training in a particular heart rate band, and that heart rate band is appropriate for the benefit they want from the workout. I think the majority of people who train by heart rate in the sport of indoor rowing  just pick a random heart rate though and pick a name for it, like UT2 or UT2, when physiologically it has no real relation to these bands. If you have regular testing to know where your anaerobic threshold is, and know what level of lactic acid you have in your blood at different heart rate to accurately know where UT2 ends and UT1 begins, great. If you don’t, what’s the point? What if you’ve got fitter since you last were tested, or worse still you’ve never been tested? What if the 150 hr you use as the transition between UT2 and UT1 is actually now only producing 1.5mmol of lactic acid and so you’re training far slower than you need to? What if your fitness has dropped, and so has your AT, and that exact 172 hr you think is your AT is actually 168, and by sticking to a limit of 171 for your long distance pieces you are getting the wrong training benefit, and compromising your recovery?

Even if you have the HR bands absolutely correct from testing, how do you then use them? Do you get up to the limit as quickly as possible then slow down to keep the HR the same? Do you pick a pace that should get you to the top end of your band by the end?

I also think that a lot of the advocates of HR training comes from a background in other sports, sports where the events are generally a lot longer, and training and racing by HR can be vital to how well you perform. For a power endurance sport when the main event lasts between 6 and 8 mins this is very different to a 3 hour cycling race, or an ironman triathlon.

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