Lunch hour

The Pete Plan blog

Sub3 pacing for 1k

Posted by thepeteplan on April 11, 2010

At the beginning of last week Graham Lay, another 30’s UK erg racer,  rowed a 3:02.5 pb for the 1k. He commented that it put him at 14th position in the world rankings. I responded that it almost made me want to do a 1k to put him down to 15th, as a bit of a dig to the fact that there are lots of other people out there who could go faster. Graham’s response to that of “Pete – you’ve lost your speed mate but I’d love to see you try to go sub 3 mins again….you might actually find it painful” made me decide that I really should do it, and in doing so pace it in the way that I believe Graham needs to pace the 1k to get sub 3.

So for this morning’s gym session I decided to do a sub 3 for 1k. 3500m warm up including 500m at 1:40 pace and 200m at 1:30 pace, then set 1k with 100m splits. Aim for pacing was to go hard for 7 strokes, drop to 1:31’s through the middle, then pick up the pace from about 200m to go to dip under 1:30.0 average at the end.

1k in 100m splits:
1:26.0 / 42
1:31.0 / 36
1:31.5 / 33
1:31.0 / 36
1:31.5 / 33
1:32.0 / 36
1:31.0 / 33
1:30.0 / 37
1:28.5 / 37
1:27.0 / 38

1k = 2:59.8 / 1:29.9 / 36

The rate jumps around a lot with 100m splits depending where the strokes finish compared to the splits, but the middle 600m was mainly 34spm. At 130drag this felt good and controlled, and I wasn’t in doubt that I could pick the pace up enough in the final 200m to make the target.

I don’t normally bother to enter anything in the online logbook or the world rankings, but put this in for a current 10th place position. A couple of people (myself included) commented in Graham’s blog about how we believed it would be optimal to pace the 1k, and Veronique made the very good point that restraint in pacing takes as much mental strength as killing yourself at the end of a row. Pacing something optimally requires knowledge of both your current potential and the confidence that you can deliver on that potential. Without that confidence and restraint you will always be tempted to either blast off thinking that getting a lead on the target will help later, or ease off too much in the middle because you don’t really believe you can do what you set out to do.

I’m sure to some people both this blog entry, and doing the 1k today, will come across as arrogant. The main motivation was to illustrate to Graham how I believe he should pace the sub 3 1k next time he attempts it, as I have 100% confidence he is physically capable of doing this. I sensed a little bit of “you may have done sub3 before, but you can’t do it now and haven’t done it for a long time so you can’t remember how it feels” so needed to back up my advice with delivering the goods. Besides, arrogance is just another term for self confidence in your abilities, and that is a big component in achieving your potential in sports like this.

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