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The Pete Plan blog

Archive for May, 2009

Race day approaches

Posted by thepeteplan on May 26, 2009

There is not much time left for hard sessions before the 5k race on Saturday now. I am in the fortunate position of knowing the pb’s of all the people racing, and so knowing who my competition is (this was essential for seeding purposes in the races). In terms of seeded times I should be the second fastest on the day. The fastest guy is in the 20+ race, and has a personal best nearly 1min faster than mine – in 5k terms that is huge. So I put him on the erg next to me in my race so we can try to give each otherĀ  a bit of a race. He is a team mate of mine, but it’s been years since we trained together, so it should be fun. I just need to convince myself there is nothing to lose in going for an aggressive race plan as I should be a fair way clear of the next person behind.

Training – today:

I wasn’t feel well today and nearly ditched the session after the warm up. I decided to take it one rep at a time though and at least get some work done at 5k pace:

8 x 750m / 1min rest:
2:29.7 / 1:39.8 / 31
2:29.6 / 1:39.7 / 31
2:29.6 / 1:39.7 / 31
2:29.5 / 1:39.6 / 31
2:29.3 / 1:39.5 / 31
2:29.5 / 1:39.6 / 31
2:29.3 / 1:39.5 / 31
2:27.9 / 1:38.6 / 31

Ave = 1:39.5 / 31

A good solid session overall.

Training – bank holiday weekend:

Apart from yesterday when I did a steady 10k on the erg (1:50.0 / 25) the weekend was a weekend of first. Saturday morning was my first reasonable length training bike ride of the years, about 20miles in about an hour. Sunday morning was my first run of the year – around 9k in around 40mins (I deliberately didn’t even take a watch). Then I went to the gym in the afternoon to practice something I’d been getting tips on from watching youtube videos – standing on a swiss ball. Rather than being “that guy” in the gym who looks stupid trying to show off doing stuff like this I got a few other people together too so we could look stupid in a group. 2 instructors and 3 gym users all on the mats with people and balls flying in all directions. I managed it though, and by the end of a 40min session was able to stand pretty comfortably on both the large and small swiss balls. I’ll take a camera sometime when the gym is quiet again for evidence…


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Map and timetable, Farnborough 5k

Posted by thepeteplan on May 22, 2009

Map: (right click – “save picture as” if you want to save it to print)

Farnborough 5k Map

Race timetable:

1100 – MH60, MH30 (heat1), MH40 (heat1)
Thomas Yule (60+)
Gerry Keating (60+)
Ian Howse (30+)
Graham Lay (30+)
Nick Marvin (30+)
Dave Speed (30+)
Richard Davey (40+)
David Taylor (40+)

1130 – WH50
Jackie Hicks
Carole Woodward
Georgina Price
Marjorie Roome
Kay Hughes
Heather Yule

1200 – ML20, ML30, ML40
Vincent Brunning (20+)
Julian Norton (30+)
Paul Tullet (40+)
David Plumb (40+)
Andrew Baines (40+)
Kevin Reeves (40+)
Jef Hutchby (40+)
Dougie Lawson (40+)

1245 – WH40, WL40
Carol Lovell
Susan Young
Helen Haggerty
Kelly Sapsford (L)

1315 – MH20, MH30 (heat2)
Rich Blagrove (20+)
Pete Marston (30+)
Ray Lawrence (30+)
Andy Burrows (30+)
Nick Drury (30+)

1345 – WH30
Emma Coone
Hannah Hawkins
Jen Howse
Lindsey Hewitt
Cath Haines

1430 – MH40
Tim Pike
Paul McNeil
Rick Duffield
Steve Smith
Ant Stansbie
Paul Gould
Andrew Stanway

1500 – MH70, ML50, ML60
Roger Bangay (70+)
Charles Morley (70+)
Brian Garner (50+)
Michael Brownjohn (60+)
Joe Keating (60+)
Alan Gilmour (60+)
Chris Hore (60+)

1530 – M50
Richard Cheeseman
William Konarzewski
Rod Chinn
Jeremy Askem
Bruce WIlliamson
Andy Osborn

Registration will be open by 1030am, though the lightweights racing in the 1200 race can weigh in up to 2 hours before their race, from 10am. Other than weigh in registration will simply be ticking your name off the list so we know people have arrived. For the other lightweight races as normal you can weigh in up to 2 hours before your race.

When you arrive at the hotel the gym reception is to the right of the main hotel reception as you go in the front door, and you will have to fill in a form there to enter the gym. If possible I will try to post this form if I can get hold of it before so you can bring it with you ready filled out to save you time. It is just a normal gym visitor type disclaimer form they want us to fill out.

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Working up to the 5k

Posted by thepeteplan on May 22, 2009


This is a session I usually use as a predictor session for the 5k, and one I decided to do earlier than planned to give me the opportunity to do at again before race day if I felt I could have gone faster.

6 x 1k / 1R:
3:21.7 / 1:40.8 / 31
3:21.6 / 1:40.8 / 31
3:21.2 / 1:40.6 / 30
3:20.8 / 1:40.4 / 31 <– feeling ok
3:21.9 / 1:40.9 / 31 <– just making sure the last will be on target
3:19.2 / 1:39.6 / 31 <– didn’t feel harder than the one before

6k = 20:06.3 / 1:40.5 / 31

So if the pace prediction is good that would give me a 16:45 for 5k, which I’d be reasonably happy with, though 16:39 would be a lot better.

I also did a 45minute “fitball” class in the evening. I enjoy working out using the swiss ball (though never do…), so thought it would be a good class to try out for some ideas. Also the class was held in the room we’re racing the 5k’s in next weekend, so a good chance to check out the room (size, temperature etc).


40mins = 10500m / 1:54.2 / 23

A steady aerobic row, nothing more, nothing less.


The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and it’s the Friday before a bank holiday weekend. I didn’t really feel like going to the gym at all, especially the un-airconditioned work gym. I picked a fairly short session to end the hard sessions for the week of 2 x 2k with the first at 5k target pace, and the second a little faster, then put that together into a 4 x 2k workout using first and last as a warm up and cool down.

2k = 7:33.6 / 1:53.4 / 24
3min rest
2k = 6:39.9 / 1:39.9 / 30
6min rest
2k = 6:35.9 / 1:38.9 / 31
3min rest
2k = 7:35.4 / 1:53.8 / 24

On targets, but for the effort level I would have liked the 2nd of the hard 2k’s to have been a few seconds faster. Currently race day target won’t be to go quite as fast as the first 2k at the start though, aiming to get to 2k to go feeling like there is still a chance of finishing (if you’re sure of finishing at this stage of a 5k you didn’t go fast enough!). So the plan as it stands now will be a few hard strokes off the start, settle to 1:40-1:41 and not hit any 1:39’s until 2000m remaining. From there start to bring the pace down, with the ideal aim of getting to about 500m to go on target at 1:40.0 pace, leaving 500m of simply how much guts do you have to make it hurt, and how many seconds can you take off. Last time I went with this strategy was the last time I raced a 5k, and when I set my current pb. I won the race by about a second, and it hurt a lot. I think in all the 5k venue races I’ve ever done I’ve only not won once when I came second to Graham Kirk back in about 2002! Saying that, I think I have only done 4 or 5 venue 5k races… they don’t come around very often.

Of course I am in the bonus situation this time of knowing who the competition is, and what their pb / predicted times are from the entries. Usually this is pretty easy info to find out anyway, but it can always be useful to know. Currently Rich Blagrove is the fastest of the entrants, and is racing in the 19-29 category, so I plan to stick him on the machine next to me (his pb is about a minute faster than mine however!!).

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Entries close…

Posted by thepeteplan on May 19, 2009

Training first:

Lunch time session in the gym at work + no aircon on a humid day = too much sweat.

10k = 36:39.3 / 1:49.9 / 26spm

Splits for those interested: 1:51.2, 1:50.4, 1:50.1, 1:50.0, 1:47.9

I also decided that as I didn’t make it past week 2 of the 100 press ups challenge, for one reason or another, I would go back and start at the beginning. Week 1 Day 1 was 5 sets with 60seconds rest between of 10, 12, 7, 7, 11.

The row was fine apart from too much sweat on a humid day. As regular readers will know I did plan on going for a fast marathon (under the 19-29 British record time, as although I’m 31 the 30-39 was set by a freak of nature) at some point this year, which would need to be done at this pace for a little over 4 times the distance. Hopefully I will still get to that though I will either need to find a seriously airconditioned place, or wait till the winter.

Farnborough 5k:

Today is the close of entries. Up to this point I have no real idea who of the people who said they would enter actually have entered as I have not seen the final entry list yet. Hopefully those of you attending will get to see a number of world class athletes performing through the day in both the main 5k races, and the 1min sprints. Who will be the people to beat? On the male side hopefully we’ll have Rich Blagrove in the 20+ as the man to beat, and Nik Fleming in the 40+ as the man noone will beat (he is the world record holder after all). In the 30+ who will I have to contend with? As Rich, Nik and I all compete for the same team will you let us have a clean sweep of the main male hwt categories?

On the female side I am hoping both Emma Coone and Hannah Hawkins have got their entries in for the 30+. This could be the race to watch and it will be intesting to see how open the two of them are about their training performances over the next couple of weeks. As I coach them both hopefully I will see how they’re going!

Then on the 1min sprints we should have a few of the world record holding sprint relay team going for big scores – of that 2004 WR team we should have Rob Smith (also the 100, 300 and 500 WR holder), Kev Peebles, me, and perhaps Nik will give it a go. Graham Lay will be trying to mix it up with the big boys in the sprint and could cause an upset at the top of the table – I would say sub 1:20 is world class for this event (in terms of pace), but I think it’s going to take close to a 1:15 average to top the table.

I will be picking up the competition ergs from Concept2 in Nottingham the day before the race and hopefully begin setting up on the Friday evening – if you’re staying in the hotel feel free to give me a hand!

On a final point, 5k races are fairly long compared to the more traditional 2k races, so some music during the races might be good. Does anyone have any good motivational mix CD’s they wouldn’t mind us using during the middle of the races? If so drop me an email to Also if anyone is a budding sports commentator and fancy giving it a go during a race or two, also drop me a line and let me know.

See you all there!

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Under 2 weeks to race day

Posted by thepeteplan on May 18, 2009

4 days since the last blog entry is unfortunately due to 3 days of no training. Friday was out for training as I was taking part in a decompression sickness experiment in the altitude chamber at work, so spent a little over half of the day at 21,500ft. A work social event that evening led to Saturday being a recovery day…. The combination led to Sunday being a busy day writing training plans for other people, leaving little time for training. Ok, little motivation for training really, it’s no excuse to say you can’t find just 30mins free during a weekend day to go and use the erg you have in the garage.

So today it was essential to get a good session in, and with now only around 12 days to race day at the Farnborough 5k this meant an interval session at around 5k pace was in order. I’d done the 12 x 500m session from the 5k training plan on this site last week, so the next in the progression is the 10 x 600m (both 1min rest between reps). So 6k total distance, aiming to go at or just under 5k personal best pace (of 1:39.3).

10 x 600m / 1min rest:
1:39.2 / 31
1:39.1 / 31
1:39.1 / 31
1:39.0 / 31
1:39.1 / 31
1:39.2 / 31
1:39.3 / 31
1:39.0 / 31
1:39.2 / 31
1:37.5 / 32

19:48.3 = 6k / 1:39.0 / 31

A good bit faster pace than the 500’s last week, so a good session. Ideally I want to be in good enough shape in 12 days time that I can go under 16:40 (1:40 pace) for the 5k, even with the pressures of organisation on the day. This could well be a tall order though. If it was just a case of turn up, warm up, race I’m reasonably confident I’m about there now.

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10 days off

Posted by thepeteplan on May 14, 2009

I had an enforced 10days off the erg from 1st to 10th May as I was attending a conference in Seattle. The hotel I was staying in did have a fairly good gym, but no ergs unfortunately. I went to a 90min Bikram yoga class on the Saturday, which was surprisingly tough, and made the mistake of doing some body weight squats on the Tuesday which stopped me doing any other exercise for the week. I thought it would be a good leg workout to simulate a 2k by doing 200 deep body weight squats. I didn’t time it, but it is probably similar in duration to a 2k, as well as being similar to the number of strokes taken. It would fairly tough, but manageable. The DOMS for the next 4 days made stairs difficult and walking wasn’t even the most comfortable experience!

The morning before I flew to Seattle I did an initial 5k for the CTC:
5k = 16:59.1 / 1:41.9 / 29

With 1k splits of : 1:41.8, 1:42.6, 1:42.7, 1:42.4, 1:39.9

Since coming back I have done the following:

Monday 11th:

10k = 36:37.7 / 1:49.8

Tuesday 12th:

10k = 36:10.4 / 1:48.5

Wednesday 13th:

12 x 500m / 1R:
1:39.8 / 30
1:39.8 / 31
1:39.7 / 31
1:39.7 / 31
1:39.6 / 31
1:39.7 / 31
1:39.5 / 31
1:39.1 / 31
1:39.2 / 31
1:39.1 / 31
1:39.1 / 31
1:38.7 / 31

6k = 19:53.0 / 1:39.4 / 31

Thursday 14th:

10k = 37:24.9 /1:52.2 / 25

Today’s 10k was fairly slow as I was feeling tired and just wanted a nice easy row. Also I was in the work gym which with no aircon and high humidity it a really sweaty place to train.

Just over 2 weeks to go before the Farnborough 5k, and entries close at the beginning on next week, so get your forms off this week or you could be too late! Rowpro entries are building too.

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