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The Pete Plan blog

Archive for March, 2009

60mins and quick update

Posted by thepeteplan on March 29, 2009

The lack of blog entries for the past 10 days or so has been due to being very busy having a house guest (my brother in law) and doing lots of tourist stuff in the spare time I’ve had. As well as blogging, training has also been lacking a little.

Today was a training day / barbeque at a friends house in Wiltshire however, and due to the lack of training I picked the longest distance anyone was rowing today:

60mins = 16973m / 1:46.0 / 28

10min splits:
1:46.0 / 28
1:46.0 / 28
1:46.5 / 28
1:46.6 / 28
1:46.4 / 28
1:44.6 / 29

An enjoyable row with 5 of us rowing the hour side by side.


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C2 challenge, final attempt?

Posted by thepeteplan on March 15, 2009

On Saturday I decided to have another attempt at the 16min19 concept2 challenge. Last time I negative splitted to a 1:44.1 average, this time I decided I wanted to go under 1:42 (the equivalent of a sub 17min for 5k) throughout.

1k warm up = 1:52.5 / 24

16min19sec = 4820m / 1:41.5 / 29

4min splits:
1:41.7 / 29
1:41.7 / 29
1:42.0 / 29
1:41.1 / 29
1:36.9 / 32 (last 19sec)

From the way this felt I think I’m about in shape to go under 1:40 for a 5k at the moment, which is great news with a couple of months prep work before the 5k competition in Farnborough on 30th May. Now I just need to hope that the hotel confirm with me this week that the room is booked so arrangements for the competition can go ahead.

Sunday just a short session:

20mins = 5386m / 1:51.3 / 24
90sec rest
20mins = 5390m / 1:51.3 / 24

I was tired, so did less than planned.

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The Cross Team Challenge

Posted by thepeteplan on March 13, 2009

I really don’t enjoy workouts like this. They favour the tall / heavy rowers who can go proportionally faster than they can on single distance pieces. It’s also one of those workouts where if you get the pacing wrong the second half can be truely horrible. As it was I think I got the pacing just about spot on today:

Warm up = 11:23.9 / 3018m / 1:53.9 / 24

CTC 10 x 1min / 1min rest:
329m / 1:31.1 / 36
329m / 1:31.1 / 36
329m / 1:31.1 / 35
329m / 1:31.1 / 36
329m / 1:31.1 / 36
329m / 1:31.1 / 36
330m / 1:30.9 / 37
329m / 1:31.1 / 36
329m / 1:31.1 / 36
334m / 1:29.8 / 37

10mins = 3297m / 1:30.9 / 36

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3 x 20mins, varying drag

Posted by thepeteplan on March 11, 2009

3 x 20mins / 5 mins rest:

1. 130drag = 5411m / 1:50.8 / 25
2. 160drag = 5518m / 1:48.7 / 25
3. 120drag = 5508m / 1:48.9 / 26

Total = 60mins / 16438m / 1:49.5 / 25

This is a session I have only done once before, with Jamie P when I visited him in New York. It was a moderate effort level overall. It’s an interesting and different way to get through 60mins on the erg. The second 20mins feels pretty heavy when you’re not used to higher drag (so is probably good muscular training?), and then the final rep feels like there is nothing to pull against to begin with, and feels really light.

I picked this session today as I wanted to make sure I stayed hydrated after doing some easy exercise this morning in the thermal chamber at work. The first of 6 sessions in the chamber over the next 3 weeks each consisting of around 3 hours of intervals on a treadmill at temperatures up to about 50 degrees C wearing full military kit. Who says work can’t be fun?

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Staying one step ahead

Posted by thepeteplan on March 10, 2009

Training Saturday:

1 hour Body Balance class

12 lengths swim

2k warm up = 1:56.0 / 24

Concept2 challenge series:

16:19.0 = 4701m / 1:44.1 / 29
4min splits:
1:45.7 / 27
1:44.8 / 28
1:43.9 / 29
1:42.8 / 29
1:34.0 / 31

I started off Saturday by trying out a Body Balance class at the gym. It is essentially a mixture of yoga and pilates, and seems like it could be a good core stability and flexibility session. In the afternoon I then decided to put in a slightly faster score for the c2 challenge series. I’m not sure whether I will try this flat out this month because I can’t catch Tim and Dave who are in the two places above me in the 30+ table, and because Chris Brett missed last month due to illness I think this is plenty to secure the bronze.

Sunday training:

60:08.4 = 16008m / 1:52.7 / 24
10mins splits:
1:55.4, 1:54.2, 1:53.0, 1:52.1, 1:51.3, 1:50.2

60 Jamie’s (erg sit ups)

16 lengths of the swimming pool

Monday training:

21097m = 1h17m10.4 / 1:49.7

2500m splits:
1:49.7, 1:49.8, 1:49.7, 1:49.8, 1:49.9, 1:49.8, 1:49.9, 1:50.0, 1:47.3

Basically a little trial to figure out how much more work I would need to do in order to row a marathon at sub 1:50 pace. It’s a tough one to judge to be honest – last year I did a marathon at 1:52.3 pace and a half at 1:46.0 pace, so a half at this pace should (and did) feel fairly comfortable. The thought of trying the sub 1:50 paced marathon is making me do a higher mileage at the moment, so it’s all good.

Tuesday training:

Today had to be a fairly short session for two reasons – I was a little tired from the 37k of the past two days, and tomorrow I’m in the heat chamber at work for the first of a series of 6 sessions.

A workout I had set many of the people I coach last week was a 600m piece at their target 2k pace for next winter, with a warm up and warm down piece either side of it (either a 3k or a 4k either side). The idea behind this session is that we will do it on average once every 2 weeks throughout the year, and increase the distance of the race pace piece by up to 100m each time. So after the first one you have 1400m to go, so 28weeks at 100m every 2 weeks to a 2k. Who can’t do just another 10 strokes after 2 weeks more training? In reality it will depend how tough people find the previous piece as to whether they increase by 100m, or as little as 10m the next time. I wanted to stay one step ahead to gauge the progression of the session better, so opted for an 800m starting point – of course I’d already done this progression up to 1500m prior to Crash B’s anyway.

15:13.2 = 4018m / 1:53.6 / 23

800m = 2:27.9 / 1:32.4 / 34

200m splits: 1:31.5/36, 1:33.0/34, 1:33.0/34, 1:32.2/34

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Targets, drag factor, drinking while erging

Posted by thepeteplan on March 7, 2009

Training Friday:

30mins = 8082m / 1:51.4

Thursday’s intense session left me tired for training last night, so I just did a fairly short session to aid recovery a little.

I finished off with 60 Jamie’s and 3 x 12 Waddell’s. I still plan to post a video of these so that everyone can know exactly what they are, and comment on them.


Jeff Brock responded to my “Boston and beyond” entry asking how I set targets to maintain motivation with something to train for. In the UK we have a lot more indoor rowing races through the year than you have in the US, so that makes it much easier. We don’t have as many as we used to when I first started erg racing though, and the last three have been cancelled for various reason, which is why I’m organising my own 5k race. Other than the organised races there are a range of ways I motivate myself:

CTC – the Cross Team Challenge is a monthly inter team challenge –

C2 Challenge series – This has been running for the past 7 months and I have been taking part –

Nonathlon – I haven’t taken part in this for a few years, but a handicapped season’s best ranking system that lets all ages, weights and genders compete together –

And then of course there is the World Rankings compiled each season by Concept2 US –

On top of these I also coach (or write training plans for) 20 erg athletes. Each one of these 20 athletes have then own motivations and goals, and often I try to organise them into groups of some sort so they can help motivate each other with their performances in training, and I can go along with them. My motivation is also to try to keep one step ahead of them – I never set a training session that I wouldn’t do myself.

And finally just setting personal best times is good motivation, so at any one time I can just pick a distance to aim for, and train for that. The past two years I’ve simply worked from long to short through the year starting with a marathon and working down to 2k.

Drag Factor:

Jeff also asked if I have a philosophy for drag factor during training. I race at 130 drag, and in the past I have generally done all my training on 130 drag too. This always seemed to make sense to me as the speed of movement changes on the drive when you change drag, and so it’s hard to become efficient if you’re doing something different each session. However, at the moment I’m looking towards longer distances, and I wonder if my performance at these long distances would be better at lower drag? Also a couple of people I coach, who are experienced rowers and ergers, like to do some sessions each week at very high drag, and I wonder if that could benefit my training, as a specific power type workout. Does anyone reading this have any views on drag factor during training?

Drinking while erging:

Finally, on the subject of looking at longer distance ergs how do you drink while doing longer training rows? I’ve done a couple of marathon, and am happy with drinking when going for a fast time at a long distance, but I wonder if this is the best method is training, or if I would be better to allow myself to take on more water.

The options I see are:

  1. Pre set drink stops, eg setting 5k reps with a 30second rest to take on water.
  2. Simply allow the clock to keep running during drink stops – the average pace will be slower than the pace rowed, so perhaps not reflect the effort of the session.
  3. Row on “just row” and allow the clock to stop counting while you stop to drink.

I don’t think 2 is a good option for me as I get too obsessed by the average pace, and I would end up chasing the average pace back, or not drinking enough – I will need to practice drinking this way before doing a fast marathon though. Any views?

My targets on the long distance erg are:

  1. Marathon – ultimate aim sub 1:50 pace, though beating my pb 1:52.3 will be good (though I did no specific training for that).
  2. Individual 100k – three people in my work gym are doing individual 100k’s in December 2009. I thought this was nuts, but…. The 30-39hwt record is 1:54.9 pace for the 100k, which for over 6 hours on the erg is probably completely unrealistic for me to train up to, isn’t it?

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Farnborough 5k erg comp

Posted by thepeteplan on March 5, 2009


Saturday = 46:32.5 / 12514m / 1:51.6

Sunday = 42:20.8 / 11014m / 1:49.8

Monday = 62:06.6 / 17008m / 1:49.5

Tuesday = 45:38.7 / 12509m / 1:49.4

Wednesday = 61:48.0 / 16514m / 1:52.2

So a good run of solid aerobic work to recover fully from whatever illness I had. Today was then a group session with a couple of other ergers:


10mins = 2706m / 1:51.7 / 25 (warm up)

CTC 10 x 1min / 1min rest: (Cross Team Challenge)
334m / 1:29.8 / 38
332 / 1:30.3 / 37
331 / 1:30.6 / 38
327 / 1:31.7 / 36
325 / 1:32.3 / 36
327 / 1:31.7 / 36
327 / 1:31.7 / 36
325 / 1:32.3 / 36
326 / 1:32.0 / 36
328 / 1:31.4 / 37

10mins = 3280m / 1:31.4 / 36 – CTC

I realised on the first rep that 1:29.9 was not realistic.

Warm down = 16:19.0 = 4503m / 1:48.7 / 27 – C2 challenge to put a score on the board.
4min splits: 1:52.4 / 1:49.6 / 1:49.0 / 1:45.0 / 1:33.1 (last 1m19)

Farnborough 5k indoor rowing competition:

I will be co-organising the first Farnborough indoor rowing competition. The provision date is Saturday 30th May 2009. The main race distance will be 5k, with 1min sprint races running throughout the day between 5k races. The competition will be held in the brand new Village Hotel in Farnborough:

There will be vastly reduced rooms on offer at the hotel for competitors and their family / friends, and there will be a post race dinner on the Saturday night organised in the hotel restaurant for anyone who wants to socialise after the race. There is also a pub serving drinks and food till late (and at lunchtime), a starbucks, and a fully equipped gym and pool within the hotel.

It would be great to see as many people as possible entering – I will post more details here once they are firmed up later this week.

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