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Archive for October, 2009

A better C2 challenge mile

Posted by thepeteplan on October 31, 2009

It’s the end of the month, and I’d not done a very fast mile for the C2 challenge. Thanks to a reminder from a couple of people I had a look at the leader board and worked out roughly what I thought I needed to get to the top.

w/u = 11:22.8 / 3014m / 1:53.4 / 24

1609m = 5:01.7 / 1:33.7 / 32
200m splits:
1:32.2 / 34
1:34.2 / 33
1:34.5 / 32
1:35.0 / 32
1:34.7 / 32
1:35.0 / 30
1:34.0 / 32
1:30.5 / 35

At least for now I’m at the top of the board after 2 rounds, though I believe people can still put in a time tomorrow. I didn’t want to go all out for a few more second off this as I feel like I have a slight cold lingering again, so need to make sure it doesn’t come to anything with a lot of travelling coming up in a week, and BIRC just 3 weeks away.

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Intervals, steady distance and travel interupts BIRC prep…

Posted by thepeteplan on October 29, 2009

Wednesday evening:

It’s always a learning experience doing a training session with someone much fitter than you, and tonight was no exception. I knew what session Rich had in store for us for a few days – 4 x 5mins, but stupidly assumed it might with a 5min rest between reps as I do for this type of session. It turned out to be a fair bit less than that though, and you can’t argue with a low 5:50’s erger.

4 x 5mins / 2min rest:
1502m / 1:39.8 / 29
1502m / 1:39.8 / 29
1501m / 1:39.9 / 29
1503m / 1:39.8 / 29

20mins = 6008m / 1:39.8 / 29

Would you call that a good consistent session, or say the third rep was off pace and a strong finish on the final rep? :lol:

2mins rest is certainly less than the normal 5mins rest – either it doesn’t make a significant difference or I’m pretty fit at the moment – I certainly didn’t feel like I could do the final rep before it started, but 2mins isn’t enough time to talk yourself out of it.

Thursday evening:

41:09.9 / 11016m / 1:52.1 / 23
10mins = 1:53.7 / 23
20mins = 1:52.6 / 23
30mins = 1:52.5 / 23
40mins = 1:50.6 / 23
41:09.9 = 1:44.3 / 23

A steady “just row” with some power at the end just because…

Travel interupts BIRC prep:

It looks like I won’t be racing the Newark mile in just over a week’s time, and will have a week’s break from BIRC training due to work travel. I’m due to fly to Yuma, Arizona a week from tomorrow, via Halifax, Nova Scotia. Not sure yet how long I will be away as I haven’t made the return leg plans yet – it will be before 6am the following Saturday though just in case Shirley is reading this…

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Another odd interval session…

Posted by thepeteplan on October 24, 2009

I continue to plan out carefully other people’s build up to BIRC, and make mine up as I warm up on the erg at the gym. The problem with making up a session on a Saturday morning while you warm up on the erg is that what seems like a good idea at the time doesn’t seem like such a good idea as you wake up more part way through the session.

10min warm up = 2688m / 1:52.4 / 23

1609m = 5:08.9 / 1:35.9 / 31
6min rest
1000m = 3:11.8 / 1:35.9 / 31
5min rest
750m = 2:23.2 / 1:35.4 / 31
4min rest
500m = 1:34.5 / 32

Totals = 12:18.4 / 3859m / 1:35.6 / 31

The actual plan in my head was 1:36, 1:35, 1:34, 1:33 before I started rep 1. In the first rest period I decided that would inflict too much pain for a Saturday morning!

A strange session this one – the first rep is the length of a normal “5k paced” interval session, but a good 3 to 4 seconds faster pace. Not quite fast enough to make it a lactic acid hell, but enough to get you breathing hard and your legs knowing that they’re on that edge. The subsequent reps you then go through the first 250m thinking “this is easy, I can go much faster”, then the next 250m being glad you that didn’t believe that false feeling! A mentally a physically tough session, but without the planned strong negative split not the painful session it could have so easily been. Don’t get me wrong, I have no plans of trying it any faster any time soon!

Work potentially gets in the way of racing:

The next race I was planning on doing was the Newark mile race on 7th November. Newark is the only race I have attended every year I’ve been doing erg races, since 2001. It will be a shame, but it looks like I will likely miss both that race, and a week of training, due to work commitments! Although the timing is a little awkward, it works quite well as the project then shouldn’t interfere with the final week of BIRC training – as that’s all there would be left when I got back!

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2k @ 28spm

Posted by thepeteplan on October 22, 2009

The next in the sequence. Last weekend was a 6:29.7 rowed at a restricted rate of 26spm. Today was the same again at 28spm.

10min warm up = 2639m / 1:54.4 / 23

2k = 6:25.8 / 1:36.4 / 28
500m splits:
1:36.3 / 28
1:36.5 / 28
1:36.9 / 28
1:36.1 / 28

A good time. Not as good as I would have liked, simply because I didn’t row fast enough. It was one of those rows that felt good and strong throughout, and there was never a point that I felt I would slow down. Of course it’s a fine line between this feeling, and going a little faster and not being able to maintain pace. Still moving in the right direction, and the next step to 30spm should be 6:22 or a bit faster.

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The journey to the illusive 4 x 1k…

Posted by thepeteplan on October 20, 2009

In my opinion the 4 x 1k (5min rest) session is as hard as they come in indoor rowing. Performed just 1 second slower in pace than your 2000m, they are long reps, and double the total race distance. It’s not a session to jump into lightly, and done at the proper pace I believe it is physically harder than a flat out 2k race. So the way I am building up to that fun experience is to begin with a short session:

2500m warm up = 1:53.4 / 23

1000m = 3:07.1 / 1:33.5 / 33
750m = 2:20.0 / 1:33.3 / 33
500m = 1:32.9 / 34
500m = 1:32.6 / 34

2750m = 8:32.4 / 1:33.1 / 33

Each time I do the session I will increase one rep by 250m. Next time therefore will either be 1k, 750, 750, 500 or 1k,1k,500,500, and probably the former. Whether I actually get as far as 4 x 1k before BIRC I don’t know, but it will still be a good progression with 1k reps at pace.

I thought after the long running session yesterday that my legs would feel dulled today. I knew early in the warm up that they felt strong though, and the first rep was testament to that. My initial aim for the session was 1:34, but the first rep felt good to I went that little bit faster. It was then natural to slightly negative split through the session. A good tough session, but not completely maximal.

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Training since 12th Oct….

Posted by thepeteplan on October 19, 2009

I seem to conveniently forget to blog my training when I don’t feel I’ve done training worthy of sharing with whoever reads this (if anyone). I’ve only had one day off since the last session I blogged on 12th October though, so what have I been up to? Well, in reverse order:

Monday 19th Oct:

As my legs felt so tired all day yesterday I decided the best idea was to rest from the erg today. I decided instead to hit the treadmill. I didn’t quite work out how long the session I decided to do would take, so ran a bit further than I intended!

Treadmill run:
5mins warm up @ 12km/h
Then a pyramid with slow and moderate paced alternate pieces, with slow at 12km/h and moderate at 14km/h for the following:
14km/h : 12km/h
1min : 1min
2min : 2min
3min : 3min
4min : 4min
5min : 5min
4min : 4min
3min : 3min
2min : 2min
1min : 1min
This hit 54mins total duration, and around 12.5km, and from there I gradually slowed the pace to cool down finishing with a few mins walking, and a total of 63mins! My legs may ache tomorrow!

Sunday 18th Oct:

I decided to do a better paced 10k than the fast, slow, fast effort I had done for the CTC back on 9th. The plan was 1:47 for the first 2k, 1:46 for the middle 6k, and 1:45 or under for the last 2k. Depending how much was left in my legs in the last 2k would depend if I went faster than the 35:15 I had previously logged.

10k = 35:19.5 / 1:45.9 / 27
2k splits:
1:46.9 / 27
1:46.0 / 27
1:45.9 / 27
1:45.9 / 27
1:45.0 / 28

As is evident, my legs felt heavy throughout, and it was only the exact pacing plan that I didn’t want to mess up that kept me going, otherwise I could have happily slowed down and paddled in from about 4k to go! I finished off after this with a few lengths of the swimming pool to ease my legs a little.

Saturday 17th Oct:

10min warm up = 2648m / 1:54.0 / 23

2k = 6:29.7 / 1:37.4 / 26
500m splits:
1:37.3 / 26
1:37.4 / 26
1:37.6 / 26
1:37.4 / 26

Not quite as fast as I’d hoped to be at 26spm, but a consistent and strong row all the same. So where does this adjust my targets to in terms of this progression? Last time was a 1:38.6 / 24spm, so only a 1.2 increase in pace this time. I didn’t feel quite into it today, so I don’t think this was quite maximal at 26spm, but I have to go with the numbers.

Next target therefore will be 1:36.0 to 1:36.5 at 28spm (6:24 to 6:26), then on to perhaps 1:35.5 (6:22) at 30spm, but I will see how the 28spm goes first.

Friday 16th Oct:  Rest day

Thursday 15th Oct:

A cross training day on Thursday consisting of treadmill, stepper and a few weights. Nothing of note, just a nice easy session.

Wednesday 14th Oct:

An after work training session today with MAD teamers Kev Peebles and John O’Grady. Kev’s coach (me) had put a 6 x 1k / 2:30 rest session on his programme for today with 2min30 rest, so we had to do his session. To make sure we kept in time we converted that to timed reps.

6 x 3min40 / 2min30 rest, restricted to 20spm:
1031 / 1:46.6 / 20
1049 / 1:44.8 / 20
1050 / 1:44.7 / 20
1052 / 1:44.5 / 20
1052 / 1:44.5 / 20
1063 / 1:43.4 / 20

22mins = 6296m / 1:44.8 / 20

Not bad for a little guy who doesn’t generally do any restricted rate rowing I don’t think. Didn’t do much in the way of warm up before the session hence the slower first rep.

Tuesday 13th Oct:

This was the wasted day of the week really. After the 6:23 for 2k on Monday I decided, despite my legs feeling very tired, that I wanted to go a bit faster today. I didn’t warm up enough, and planned on a flat paced 1:35 effort to just dip under 6:20. I got through a whole 500m before 1:36’s started appearing, and knew I hadn’t warmed up enough, so I slowed to a warm up pace and finished out the 2k. Then a re-set 2k and got through 750m the second time before giving up on the erg. The lesson here is that if you plan lots of other people’s training in good detail every week you really should do the same for your own training and not just do what you fancy on the day! You can see why I didn’t think this session worthy of blogging on the day.

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Getting back on the horse

Posted by thepeteplan on October 12, 2009

Cross training day today began with a pretty hard 20min treadmill run, then during the 15mins on the stepper after this I came up with the great idea of finishing off the session with a 2k on the erg. No erg warm up, just straight on, set 2000m, aim for 1:36’s steady, and work from there.

2k = 6:23.8 / 1:35.9 / 31
500m splits:
1:36.0 / 31
1:36.3 / 31
1:36.3 / 31
1:35.2 / 32

Not a particularly fast time, but it’s a 2k time non the less.

As for the rationale for changing the drag on the 100m sprints yesterday, there wasn’t one, I was just playing.

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The 2k that wasn’t to be…

Posted by thepeteplan on October 11, 2009

The plan for today was to do a fast 2k with a group of 4 other people, 3 of which are sub6 ergers. One by one they dropped out over the past week until it was left with just two of us today. As I think I wrote in my last blog entry I had to drop out of the session myself on Thursday due to work travel, but by the end of the day could do it again. The 10k on Friday should perhaps have told me that my mental state for hard efforts isn’t perfect at the moment.

The session went like this:

10mins warm up = 2685m / 1:52.4 / 24
2k attempt:
approx 1450m average 1:34.2
500m splits: 1:33.1 / 34, 1:34.8 / 33
5min rest, then time to make something out of the session.
1609m = 5:10.2 / 1:36.3 / 31
400m splits:
1:36.8 / 30
1:36.2 / 31
1:36.3 / 31
1:36.1 / 31
500m = 1:34.9 / 33
4 x 100m / 1min rest:
1:18.5 / 53 (150drag)
1:19.5 / 49 (160drag)
1:19.5 / 57 (130drag)
1:25.0 / 43 (120drag)
So what went wrong with the 2k? It didn’t feel like a 2k test from the start, my head just wasn’t in it. I started fine, through the first 500m about on pb pace, but then drifted off to 1:35’s. Not the plan, but still setting me up for a good 2k time. It got to half way and the other guy was obviously feeling it less than I was and stopped. Ok, no big deal I feel ok so block that out of my mind. I was still pulling 1:35’s, but was happy to let the pace slowly drift up with thoughts of a fast finish to bring it in at least under 6:16 (1:34.0). I like to me in my own zone on pieces like this, and don’t respond well to encouragement – a race situation with lots of noise is fine, but verbal encouragement directed at me in an otherwise quiet atmosphere just takes away my concentration. Approaching 600m to go I just didn’t have the mental energy to push on for a time I wouldn’t be overly happy with.
Of course I was then annoyed at not finishing the 2k, hence doing a short paddle, then setting 1609m on the clock to put in an initial score for this month’s challenge series. I won’t lie, the second half of that mile felt pretty tough after the hard 1450m before it!
Best to get these bad rows out of the way outside competition! The plan for getting back on the horse is to continue with the 2k rate progression with the 26spm version this week, 28spm next week, then perhaps another free rate 2k test following that.

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10k, potential foreign travel, 2k thoughts

Posted by thepeteplan on October 9, 2009

Yesterday I just had a cross training day, and not a long one at that. A cardio session split between a 10min run, 20mins on the stepper and 15mins on the cross trainer, followed by a little abs work.

Today I decided to leave the gym until after work and go for a faster 10k for this month’s CTC challenge. I picked a hard but manageable pace of 1:45, but didn’t count on the mental effort after a hard week, and having not done any remotely hard middle distance work for some time. It went like this:

1k splits:
1:44.9 / 27
1:45.0 / 27
1:44.9 / 27
1:45.0 / 27
1:45.0 / 27 <– 10k seems a long way at this point
1:47.2 / 26 <– Decide that slowing is better than stopping
1:48.4 / 25
1:47.6 / 26 <– recover till the average hits 1:46.0
1:46.0 / 27 <– then hold it there
1:43.4 / 28 <– then do a slightly stronger finish

10k = 35:15.2 / 1:45.7 / 26

A completely mental thing at half way where another 5k seemed a long way to go. Slowing down and building the pace back up was definitely the better choice than simply stopping and calling it a bad day.


I have a lot of potential travel coming up over the next few months on my current work project. I don’t tend to blog about things other than training, but travel interupts training, so there is a link. The travel I will be doing will be on military aircraft, and all at short notice. It could be to a range of places, some quite a distance away. I was almost off to Cyprus this weekend, and am currently going to Gibraltar next weekend. There has been a lot of planning and training building up to the flying in this project, so it will be good to get started on the proper work. Quite how it will impact training only time will tell, but I’m just keeping my fingers crossed it won’t also impact racing and I’ll be away for BIRC.

Speaking of travel, I will also be spending Christmas and New Year in Seattle, if anyone is around in that area.

2k thoughts:

The current plan is still to do a 2k test this Sunday afternoon. Quite how that will go I don’t think I will know until I warm up and begin. I will try to get myself into the same frame of mind as I did for the mile time trial in Grimsby. I held 1:32.4 pace for 1609m, so 2000m is 391m further, and my pb pace is 1:33.0. It is definitely possible physically to beat it. I held 1:33’s for the majority of the mile, so holding 1:34’s for a large portion of the middle of the 2k should be good enough to break the pb, and make it that little bit easier to get through to the final push. I will write more tomorrow about an exact plan for the time trial.

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2k @ 24spm, trying to keep up

Posted by thepeteplan on October 7, 2009

Or rather trying to catch up a little. A few other people under my instruction have been doing this 2k rate progression with good results, so it was time for me to get on with the next step in the progression.

Previous results were:
12th September – 2k = 6:45.5 / 1:41.2 / 22
6th September – 2k = 6:52.8 / 1:43.2 / 20

So today’s aim for the 2k @ 24spm was another 2second reduction in pace to 1:39.2, though I really wanted to go under 6:36, and that was the aim I went in with.

10min warm up = 1:51.7 / 24 / 2700m

2k = 6:34.4 / 1:38.6 / 24
500m splits:
1:38.2 / 24
1:38.4 / 24
1:38.7 / 25
1:39.1 / 24

Happy with that being a little ahead of target. The next step at 26spm should be comfortably under 6:30 now, and I think I need it to be at least 6:27 to have a chance of breaking 6:20 once I get to the 28spm version.

The great thing about doing this progression of 2ks is that you can bound your capabilities well from the previous row. I looked back in my training diary an hour before going to the gym to find the 2k r22, and because I’d done a 1:41.2 for that I knew I would be faster than that. Sub 1:40 pace had to be a given, and so with a target of 2sec pace improvement for each 2spm rate increase, the 1:39 target couldn’t be far off. Continuing this progression up means that at each step you can work off that previous step in the same way. At worst you know you’ll be faster, even if only by a second in pace, and knowing that in your mind can help you through the middle.

For this 24spm effort I knew it was 2.5seconds per stroke, so I aimed to take each second catch on a 5 or 0, so a catch on 0, 2.5sec, 5, 7.5, 10 and so on. This passed the first half pretty quickly, I then obviously got slightly out of time in the 3rd quarter, but back on track in the 4th. All in all a solid effort that I’m happy with, and happy that I am fully recovered from the cold now and back to 100%.

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