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The Pete Plan blog

Archive for January, 2009

Training update

Posted by thepeteplan on January 26, 2009


For some reason on Saturday, because I couldn’t decide quite what training to do, I went for a 30r20, as in 30minutes at 20spm. It didn’t go well from the start because I pushed the pace a little too hard which for some reason left me sitting constantly on 21spm rather than 20spm. I eased the pressure off over the first 15mins but still I kept in the 21spm rhythm. So I decided to hold onto the average pace in the second half and let the rate increase a little instead:

5min splits:
1:44.9 / 21
1:46.2 / 21
1:46.9 / 21
1:46.0 / 24
1:46.0 / 25
1:45.1 / 25

30mins = 8501m / 1:45.8 / 22

A solid pace at that stroke rate for me.


I am going to be away for the next 3 days in Cornwall working. This meant two things – I probably won’t get much, if any, training in over the next 3 days, but also that I had a fair amount of stuff to do today. So I opted for a fast piece, but not too taxing in terms of duration. Ok, so I did make that decision after beginning a steady distance piece…

3500m warm up = 1:50.0 / 25

1250m = 3:50.0 / 1:32.0 / 35
250m splits:
1:30.6 / 37
1:33.0 / 34
1:32.6 / 35
1:33.0 / 35
1:31.0 / 36

50 “Jamie’s”
Then 3 sets of “Waddell’s” with 1 set being 5 single legs each side then 7 both legs. The single leg ones are pretty tough.

The 6 x 500m session:

I had a reply on the 6 x 500m blog post, I think from Merv, saying that he has used a workout of 2 sets of 6 x 500m / 1min rest, with a 10min rest between the two sets, as a 2k pace prediction workout. I have been thinking this workout over in my head the past few days wondering how the pace on that session would relate to the one I did last week, and what that would mean to the 2k pace. On the 6 x 500m / 1min rest I average 1:33.0. Do I honestly think that I am in shape to row 1:33.0 pace for a 2k today? On the same effort level, I think so, yes. But how much slower would a second set be with a 10min break? I don’t think there would actually be as much in it as it might first seem. 10mins is a long rest, and I certainly think would be recovery enough to get through another 3 or maybe 4 at the same pace. If the first set was a little slower, just a few tenths (less than a second), I think I could get through both sets. Yes, perhaps I will have to try and see, but it just doesn’t sound that tempting, 2 x (6 x 500m / 1min rest) / 10min rest, does it?


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My nemesis session

Posted by thepeteplan on January 23, 2009

Does anyone else have a “nemesis” training session? One that you just never seem to get the right day to break through that barrier you have with it. Mine was today’s session. One that I don’t really do often enough, and never at the right time it seems, to break this barrier.

4 x 2k / 5min rest:
6:39.5 / 1:39.8 / 31
6:39.8 / 1:39.9 / 31
6:39.9 / 1:39.9 / 31
6:45.0 / 1:41.2 / 31

26:44.1 = 8000m / 1:40.2 / 31

The target is obvious, 4 reps all under 6:40. I’m training quite hard at the moment with Boston about a month away, and I felt fatigued from the start of the session today. The third rep felt pretty much maximal, but I have the temperament at the moment that every session must be completed, and I take each session one rep at a time. The final rep was tough, with a period actually pulling 1:45’s in the middle. I finished strongly (pulling 1:30’s in the final straight), so I do wonder what element is mental, and what physical. There is no doubt this was a physically very tough session, but if everything depended on it…..

Finished off with 50 Jamie’s and then just 5 one legged Waddell’s on each leg.

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2k prediction workout?

Posted by thepeteplan on January 21, 2009

One of the only workouts I have consistantly heard talk of as a good 2k predictor workout is the 6 x 500m with 1min rest session. Today’s plan was to complete this workout, tagetting my 2k pb pace of 1:33.0.

Warm up:
11:18.1 = 3009m / 1:52.6 / 25

6 x 500m / 1R:
1:32.9 / 34
1:32.8 / 34
1:32.8 / 34
1:32.8 / 34
1:33.4 / 35
1:33.4 / 34

3000m = 9:18.1 / 1:33.0 / 34
[688m in the recovery intervals, 1000m slow cool down]

If you’ve never tried this workout before, give it a go. You won’t thank me for it though. 2 reps in you think it’s easy, and you’ll be blasting the final rep way under target. 3 reps in your confidence starts to go. 4 reps in you don’t want to finish. 5 reps in you would stop if you had enough oxygen getting to your brain to make a decision. 6 reps in and your quads want to explode. Right on pb average, but a slight tail off in pace over the last 2 reps. If you get past 4 reps and you aren’t questioning both whether you’ll be able to finish, and why you’re putting yourself through this, you could have gone faster.

Finished off with the usual erg abs routine:
70 Jamie’s and 3 x 12 Waddell’s

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Steady distance work

Posted by thepeteplan on January 19, 2009

I  seem to have a very loose interpretation of the word “steady”.  My training is generally alternating days of harder and easier sessions – not necessary flat out and very easy, but I try to keep a clear constrast between the two. So today’s “steady” distance piece would generally be around 1:50-1:53 pace. Sometimes though I just can’t help but start at the fast end of steady, and still negative split. I also find that if I get into a pattern with the splits I don’t want to break the pattern – once the second 2k split was about a second faster than the first the precedence was set.

10k = 35:56.4 / 1:47.8 / 25
2k splits:
1:49.9 / 24
1:48.8 / 25
1:47.7 / 25
1:46.9 / 26
1:45.6 / 27

So A good solid training piece, but a little on the fast side for a steady day. If I was to do all of my steady pieces at this sort of level it would begin to impact on the quality of the harder pieces during the week.

Again finished off with 60 Jamie’s and 3 x 12 Waddell’s. Will commented to my previous entry to ask what these exercises are – I have described them a couple of times before in previous entries, and I do still intend to get hold of a video camera at some point to upload a demonstration. They are just two abdominal exercises done on the erg, one a sit up from the normal erg position, the other done in a press up position with your toes on the seat, hands on the floor behind the rower.

Edit: Here is a link to a previous description of the two exercises:

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5 weeks (and 500m) to go…

Posted by thepeteplan on January 17, 2009


41:15.2 = 11005m / 1:52.4 / 23spm

Friday: Rest


Warm up:
13:08.6 = 3515m / 1:52.1 / 25

1500m = 4:37.5 / 1:32.5 / 35

200m splits:
1:30.2 / 38
1:32.7 / 36
1:32.5 / 36
1:33.0 / 35
1:33.2 / 34
1:33.5 / 35
1:33.0 / 35
1:31.5 / 36

1k slow cool down (really slow)

Finished off with 66 “Jamie’s” and 3 x 12 “Waddell’s”.

Over the past 5 or so weeks I have progressed from 1000m to 1500m at my aimed 2k pace. I started off being strict about the pacing and making each 200m under the 1:32.5, but as the distance gets longer, and so the piece gets harder, the aim is to try to keep each 200m at or under 1:33 (nearly but not quite) and finish on 1:32.5 average. So for a 6:10 2k there is 500m, or 92.5seconds left to go. A 1:32.4 500m following this would finish in 6:09.9, or a 1:34.3 would see me equal my pb. I think once I get to 1700m, and there is under 1min left to the 2k, then I’ll be confident of a pb in Boston, 500m is still a long way to go.

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Speed work

Posted by thepeteplan on January 14, 2009

2500m w/u = 1:53.5 / 25

5 x 750m / 3min rest:
2:19.8 / 1:33.2 / 35
2:19.9 / 1:33.2 / 34
2:20.2 / 1:33.4 / 34
2:20.9 / 1:33.9 / 34
2:21.0 / 1:34.0 / 35

11:41.8 = 3750m / 1:33.5 / 34

Rest intervals = 1820m

Warm down = 1k

Followed by 60 “Jamie’s”.

A comment to the last entry asked what I recommend for warm ups and cool downs, specifically for the beginner programme on this site. In general warm up should be proportional to the pace of the session – the faster you’ll be going, the more you should warm up. It is also dictated by the time you have available though. For steady distance work I do none, but a couple of minutes would be better. For fast distance work (30mins up) I tend to do about 1k, but really I think 10mins+ would be better. For 5k paced work (5k, 4 x 2k and the like) I tend to do around 2k warm up, but again 10mins+ would be better. For speed work (2k pace or s0) I tend to do between 2500m and 4k depending on time, and I think 15 to 20mins is good for this intensity.

Cool downs are something I neglect, and I don’t think that’s a good thing. I do believe they promote recovery and are very beneficial, but generally time, and motivation after a hard session, stop me doing them. I think in general the longer the better, but nice and slow, is good. In an ideal world I would do 10 to 20mins of very easy rowing after every session.

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Posted by thepeteplan on January 13, 2009

Monday training:

I started off with a solid 3k warm up, but it was one of those days that I knew that my legs were feeling fatigued. I really should change the plan on these days, and do a steady distance piece instead. However, the plan was to do a 2k with the first 1500m even paced at 1:35.0 then a fast final 500m. I started it twice, and on each occasion didn’t get as far as 500m in. The 60mins on Sunday was too fast for a steady distance piece, with the last 20mins of it pushed reasonably hard, so it was no wonder really.

Tuesday training:

Today I decided to have a first go at the CTC for this month, which is a 30min piece. I set a pb for the 30mins in December, so I’m in pretty good shape for a fast one. For a first attempt I decided to go for 1:45 steady until 5mins to go, then push hard over the final 5mins. It went like this:

30mins = 8632m / 1:44.2 / 28
5min splits:
1:44.7 / 29
1:44.8 / 28
1:44.8 / 28
1:44.8 / 28
1:44.6 / 29
1:41.8 / 30

A pretty solid row all in all, and although by no means easy it felt good.

Other training:

I have also donned my cycling gear this week and cycled to work both yesterday and today. It’s only a short journey each way (3miles), but a good way to ease back into the road cycling (not that I really did all that much last year!).

I also finished off today’s workout with 60 Jamie’s and 3 x 10 Waddell’s, as I do for half my sessions now.


I made the decision to go to Boston, so on Sunday 22nd February 2009 I will be competing in the 30-39 heavy weight category in the World Indoor Rowing Championships. That is just 40days away.

For anyone else going I, and many of the other UK people competing, will be staying here:

Ask for the “Crash B / Concept2” rate, and it’s a lot cheaper than the website rate. Is anyone else planning on being there?

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Distance rowing

Posted by thepeteplan on January 11, 2009

60mins = 16217m / 1:51.0 / 24

10min splits:
1:54.9 / 22
1:52.6 / 23
1:51.6 / 25
1:51.0 / 25
1:48.7 / 26
1:47.3 / 26

Followed by 60 Jamie’s.

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5 x 1500m

Posted by thepeteplan on January 9, 2009

1k warm up = 1:55.5 / 24

500m = 1:39.9 then c-breeze came off, so put it back on and restarted the session.

5 x 1500m / 5min rest:
4:59.6 / 1:39.8 / 31
4:59.6 / 1:39.8 / 31
4:59.6 / 1:39.8 / 31
4:59.8 / 1:39.9 / 31
4:53.8 / 1:37.9 / 32

24:52.4 = 7500m / 1:39.4 / 31

Total recovery interval = 4005m

It felt tough all the way through, but the question I kept asking myself was “if this was the last rep could you go faster?”. The answer was always yes, so there was never an excuse to slow down on a rep. I pace these differently to the shorter intervals – get the average on 1:39.9 straight away and just hold it there. I wasn’t confident enough of making the target on the final rep so was at 1:39.6 at 500m in then neg split from there, so the final average is pretty good I think.

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Steady rowing, erg abs, bikes

Posted by thepeteplan on January 8, 2009

Lunchtime training today:

41:19.2 = 11103m / 1:51.6 / 25
10min splits:
1:52.2 / 25
1:51.6 / 25
1:51.4 / 25
1:51.2 / 25

Just a nice steady “just row” piece, again with 10k as a minimum. Once I got to 10k I decided to do the last couple of minutes to 40mins, and then round it out to 11k. 10% over the minimum is always good.

Erg abs routine:

I think the addition of the short erg abs routine is working and beginning to give me better core strength and definition. I increased the number of reps of each exercise today to do:

60 “Jamie’s”

3 x 12 “Waddell’s”

I’m in two minds of where to take this little addition to my erging. I could do the Jamie’s with a weight plate held on my chest for some resistance, or I could keep increasing the reps. I am inclined to keep increasing the reps because it is more akin to erging then, and I like the muscular workout and definition you get in the main rowing muscles solely from erg training, rather than heavy weight training. The core muscles are already somewhat pre-fatigued doing this workout after the erging, so it would be a different matter doing it fresh.

When I get access to a video camera I’ve made a short video of these exercises and post it so you can see exactly what I’ve doing.


I got some good winter cycling clothing for Christmas, I now need to get the motivation to use it and start cycling to work. In terms of a workout it’s not much as the ride to work is only about 3miles each way. It will take longer to get changed when I get to work than it will to get to work. 6miles a day in the car for what is an easy cycle ride still adds up on petrol and miles to the car though, so that is my main motivation. When it’s below freezing it also takes as long to clear the ice off the car in the morning as to cycle to work. The two things that put me off are the slick tyres on my road bike versus the ice and grit on the roads, and also carrying my gym training kit, and work clothes, in a rucksack on the bike. I will aim to cycle to work at least 2 days a week from next week though. I’ve said it now.

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