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The Pete Plan blog

Archive for January, 2010

Pete Plan Speed Pyramid

Posted by thepeteplan on January 30, 2010

I would generally advise people not to do two hard sessions in a row, but after the hard 10k yesterday I just couldn’t face a steady distance piece this morning. I decided on some Boston speed work at last, and went for a session I’ve not done in a long time. I set the pace target backwards by going for the pace I want to hit in Boston rather than (correctly) setting it from previous training sessions.

250m = 47.4 / 1:34.8 / 32
1:30 rest
500m = 1:34.7 / 32
3:00 rest
750m = 2:22.2 / 1:34.8 / 32
4:30 rest
1000m = 3:09.9 / 1:34.9 / 32
6:00 rest
750m = 2:22.4 / 1:34.9 / 32
4:30 rest
500m = 1:34.4 / 34
3:00 rest
250m = 44.9 / 1:29.9 / 36

Totals: 4000m = 12:36.0 / 1:34.5 / 33

My legs felt fatigued from the start, so I was glad to hit the target pace throughout. Speed work is really not a lot of fun when you’ve not done much of it for some time.


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A peek into the hurt box

Posted by thepeteplan on January 29, 2010

On the menu for today was a final attempt at the concept2 challenge series 10k. With a best so far of 35:50 (1:47.5), which was actually slightly faster pace than the best 5k I managed last month, the plan was to take a look into the hurt box in preparation for a good 2k in Boston.

The actual pacing plan was to begin at 1:45 / 28 and see how well I could hold that and if I could break 35mins. I always knew this was a very ambitious target to take 2.5seconds off the split of my best recent 10k. Here’s how it went in 2k splits:

7:00.2 / 1:45.0 / 28
7:01.3 / 1:45.3 / 28
7:03.3 / 1:45.8 / 28
7:04.2 / 1:46.0 / 28
6:58.8 / 1:44.7 / 29

10k = 35:07.7 / 1:45.3 / 28

It was certainly the furthest I’ve been into the hurt box in recent times. There wasn’t quite enough there to hold the 1:45’s through the middle, or the balls to risk pushing a 2sec faster pace for the final 2k in order to get under 35. Overall happy with the time and the effort level, and the big improvement on recent distance times.

28 is a good 10k rate for me, but really a little light for this pace. Today was all about getting the best time possible for the challenge series though, so it’s ok to lighten the stroke. The stroke rate was indeed the key today. In the 3rd km when I started dropping to 1:46’s it was when the rate dropped to 27. I find that once you get into a rhythm on these distance pieces the stroking power tends to stay constant, and so if the rate drops so does the pace. To get through the hard middle of this piece I decided that 1:45 or 1:46 was fine, and it was all about getting to the final 2k. An enjoyable row, in a sadistic kind of way.

Phil commented to the previous entry if I’d thought about putting a 10k training plan on the blog. Not a bad idea, and there aren’t many out there, and there are certain types of interval session I like to do in 10k prep, different to those for 5k or 2k prep. What I would like to do is a proper phase of training to peak for a marathon, and if my idea of marathon prep works publish that as an alternative plan. I feel that the erg marathon training plans out there don’t prep you in the best way to row a fast marathon, more to endurance a long distance.

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Alternating pace 10k

Posted by thepeteplan on January 28, 2010

Response to previous comments:

Mike said: “Was inspired by this Pete, so went and did similar myself. As it looked like you’d paced it at approx current 2k-6, I did similar. I then churned out 19×250m/1′ rest @ 1:35.8 (target 1:36) and then did number 20 at 1:28.8. I felt pretty strong and probably had a few more in me, but needed to get home! So, I think my current 2k is soft – I guess 8×500m @1:36 would be a good next session?”

Mike, I’m assuming from this that your current 2k pace is 1:42, hence the 1:36 initial target? If so that’s a well rowed session! What rate did you row at? 500m reps are a lot harder than 250m reps, and despite the fact that you rowed 19 reps I wouldn’t target a pace as fast as this for an 8 x 500m session. Generally 8 x 500m will be at most 3 seconds faster than your current 2k pace, so assuming that you’re actually faster than the 1:42 pace (a prediction, or most recent 2k test?) I’d shoot for 1:37-1:38 for an 8 x 500m. If you manage all reps at 1:37 then you can be confident you can break 6:40 in a 2k test.

Training today:

A variable pace 10k as a moderate session prior to a hard final 10k attempt for the concept2 challenge series tomorrow.

10k = 37:10.8 / 1:51.5 / 24
1k splits:
1:57.9 / 22 (1:58)
1:53.8 / 23 (1:54)
1:49.8 / 25 (1:50)
1:45.8 / 27 (1:46)
1:57.5 / 22 (1:58)
1:53.4 / 24 (1:54)
1:49.6 / 25 (1:50)
1:45.7 / 27 (1:46)
1:55.0 / 23 (1:58/1:54 for 500s)
1:46.6 / 26 (1:50/1:46 for 500s)

The general idea was that each 4th km was at the pace I plan to go tomorrow, and with the last 2k split into 500’s in the same pattern there was 25% of the distance done under 1:46 pace. My best 10k this month is only a 35:50.8 currently, but I feel that physically I can now take a good chunk off this. The plan will be to aim for 34:59 by keeping the rate high to make the pace sustainable. 1:45 / 1:46 for the majority, and if it gets too hard I can always slow during the middle. Even if it turns out that this pace is not sustainable I think this will get me a faster overall time than starting at 1:48. It is going to be a mentally and physically tough row, but I will do all I can.

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10k, negative split

Posted by thepeteplan on January 26, 2010

I plan on doing a fast 10k for the CTC on Thursday or Friday this week, so used today’s steady distance session to bridge the gap to the time I want to get then. The idea was to negative split the 10k , therefore getting through the majority of the distance before it starts getting tough.

10k = 35:50.8 / 1:47.5 / 26
2k splits:
1:49.9 / 26
1:48.8 / 26
1:47.8 / 26
1:46.9 / 27
1:44.1 / 28

It never really got tough physically, but so it shouldn’t at this pace. I can’t wait to get back to the point where I can really push these mid to long distance pieces.  There is nothing quite like battling through the almost overwhelming feeling of wanting to stop because the pace is too tough, and the accomplishment that comes with that when you finish anyway.

Tomorrow may have to be a day off due to work commitments.

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10 x 250m / 1min rest

Posted by thepeteplan on January 25, 2010

With under 3 weeks to go before the 2000m race at the Crash B’s in Boston it is time to start work on getting the stroke rate up so I can row the 2k time I know I am capable of at the moment. Judging by the sessions I’ve done recently I think if the race was tomorrow I’d be within a couple of seconds of 6:25 at around 31spm. The idea for the next couple of weeks is to introduce sessions to enable me to rate 33 through the 2k, and so break 6:20.

The aim of today’s session was to rate a bit above this, and go a bit faster. I picked a target of just under 1:30 pace, and an aim of 8 to 10reps of 250m with 1min rest. Here’s how it went:

10 x 250m / 1min rest:
1:29.8 / 36
1:29.6 / 36
1:29.6 / 36
1:29.6 / 36
1:29.8 / 35
1:29.6 / 36
1:29.6 / 36
1:29.6 / 36
1:29.6 / 36
1:29.0 / 36

2500m = 7:28.0 / 1:29.6 / 36

Good consistent pacing. I could have done one or two more reps, but this was enough for the desired training effect without compromising the rest of the week’s training.

I have a final 10k for the CTC planned for Friday after work. The plan is to pace it for somewhere in the bracket of 35:20 to 35:40 (1:46 to 1:47), and push on in the final 2k if I feel good. That leaves steady distance work for Tuesday and Thursday, and intervals of some description on Wednesday. There is lots of hard work still to put in over the next 20 days, but with the big race looming I’m looking forward to the mental and physical effort it will take.

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It would have been a long pyramid….

Posted by thepeteplan on January 24, 2010

Have you ever set up a session on your monitor only for the realisation to hit you part way into the session how long it would actually take to row the whole session? A session I’ve done a few times before is 5k-4k-3k-2k-1k with 5,4,3,2min rests after. It seemed like a good idea to reverse this and work up from the 1k, but then go back down the other side of the pyramid. This didn’t seem like a good idea getting towards the apex of the pyramid as I’d have been at the gym all day! In the end I did:

1k = 3:44.9 / 1:52.4 / 24
2k = 7:29.4 / 1:52.3 / 24
3k = 11:14.1 / 1:52.3 / 24
4k = 14:58.6 / 1:52.3 / 24
5k = 18:43.0 / 1:52.3 / 24
4k = 14:55.3 / 1:51.9 / 24

Totals: 1h11m05.4s = 19000m / 1:52.2 / 24

Far enough for a Sunday morning I think.

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Second session – intervals

Posted by thepeteplan on January 23, 2010

It’s about time I responded to some of the resent comments on my blog. First the details of my second training session today:

1k = 3:05.1 / 1:32.5 / 33
500m = 1:32.3 / 33
250m = 45.7 / 1:31.4 / 34
250m = 42.0 / 1:24.0 / 44

Initially the idea was to do a better time for the CTC ( as the second session of the day, so as not to “waste” a session doing just a 1k. I didn’t warm up enough for the 1k though, and as such it was somewhat less than maximal effort so I put in some reps after it. The final 250m felt great, and I need to re-learn how to do that on the end of a maximal 2k!

On to the comments:

Phil commented: “Pete – would you advise doing all the shorter and middle distance training pieces on the 5K Pete Plan at 29 or 30 spm, which I think you stated is optimal for a 5K PB attempt?”

For me personally I find 29-30spm optimal for a 5k test, therefore do try to do the reps at 5k pace at this type of rating. In my experience, when it comes to interval training you become efficient at certain rate and pace combinations, so what you do in the training is what you will be best doing in the test.

Tim commented: “Everybody has off days. I was fighting off a chest infection at BIRC (with obvious loss of speed), and it still hasn’t completely cleared. You’re still in the hunt for the Challenge series, as someone has put in a silly time, which means that all the percentages are compressed for that round.”
I did wonder why you were off pace at BIRC, and wasn’t sure if you just didn’t have the competition to need to push harder. It’s odd, as someone who doesn’t get ill often, when the training starts to go downhill before the illness becomes apparent. At the time I did that 5k in 17:47 I thought I was just out of shape and jetlagged!
David commented: “Sounds like you have a good plan. I’m looking for different ways to increase speed and endurance in my runs. Sounds like as much as I don’t like them, intervals may be the way to go. Thanks for sharing!”
Interval training is as effective in increasing running speed as it is on the erg. If you have access to a track it can actually be quite enjoyable doing 400m reps, honestly! On the road (or the treadmill) you can do them either with a stop watch and perceived exertion, or by heart rate.
Gene commented: “Two words: Red Hook. Good luck in Boston.”
Are you saying my trip(s) to the Redhook brewery rather than the gym in Seattle might have had an impact on the few kg I put on, and the few seconds in pace I lost on the erg?

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3 x 20mins endurance work

Posted by thepeteplan on January 23, 2010

In order to increase my fitness and lose the spare for kgs I’m carrying before Boston I need to do some lower level endurance work to increase my overall training volume. This morning attempt at this was:

3 x 20mins / 2R:
5237m / 1:54.5 / 20
5245m / 1:54.3 / 20
5256m / 1:54.1 / 20

Totals = 15738m / 1:54.3 / 20

Three weeks till the race in Boston, and about 17 training days till I fly over there. I really need to get a bit of speed work in before then, but at the moment thinking longer term the base level endurance is more important to me. The target is still sub 6:20 for Boston, and there’s still a lot of work to be done if that will be possible.

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Training with the pros

Posted by thepeteplan on January 22, 2010

Lunchtime training today with one of my MAD Team friends who rows on the GB squad. He wanted to do a fairly short reps session as a pace tester for a 5k test next week. We picked 2 x 6min30 reps, and as he was using it as a 5k pace tester I decided to go for the pace I thought I could do for a 5k currently for the first rep.

My splits were:
1913m / 1:41.9 / 29
1960m / 1:39.4 / 30

His were:
2066m / 1:34.3 / 29
2073m / 1:34.0 / 29

He is taller than me, but currently I think he is lighter than me. Quite a reality check training alongside someone of this standard, who was on his second of three training sessions today. I find it really motivational though to reinforce what is actually possible if you’re willing to put the time and effort in.

Still a way off form at the moment, but feeling good about training and getting that pace back. Also down to 92.6kg this morning from the 93.4 earlier in the week, and still aiming to be sub 90kg again before Boston.

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3 x 20mins

Posted by thepeteplan on January 21, 2010

As I mentioned in the brief entry earlier, I made the decision to go to Boston and race in the World Indoor Rowing championships again this year. As the race takes place on February 14th, a little over 3 weeks away, that doesn’t give a lot of time for getting in race shape. 5 weeks in the US (2 on business, 3 on holiday) in the past 2 months have taken their toll, as has the illness in the last week of the holiday. Not training enough, eating too much of the wrong things, beer, ice cream, you get the idea. I stood on the scales for the first time in a long time on Monday morning and they said 93.4kg. I don’t think I’ve ever raced at over 90kg before, and I don’t intend to start now. Generally I maintain a very steady weight of 87-89kg with normal training and diet, so I think I will get back down there pretty quickly now I’m back into routine. I can feel the extra 4kg though, and it’s not muscle…

So that focussed the steady endurance training today from the staple 10k to a 3 x 20mins to get a bit more distance in, and a few more calories burnt.

3 x 20mins / 2min rest:
5351m / 1:52.1 / 24
5376m / 1:51.6 / 24
5408m / 1:50.9 / 24

60mins = 16135m / 1:51.5 / 24

I’m actually really looking forward to the race in Boston as currently I don’t feel any pressure as I know I’m not in great shape. I think if I was to do a race 2k tomorrow I’d be able to do around a 6:25, and really want to get in shape to be confident of a sub 6:20 come race day. That’s not close to pb territory which takes the pressure off a little.

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