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The Pete Plan blog

Archive for July, 2010

Short on time and energy

Posted by thepeteplan on July 15, 2010

Training was again pushed to after work today, and I was both short of time and energy to do much. I decided on a solid 2k – ie not overly faster, but well under 5k pace. The aim was to go hard at the start, cruise at just under 5k pace, then go hard at the end. After a 2k warm up this is how it went:

2k = 6:31.4 / 1:37.8 / 30

500m splits: 1:35.8 / 31, 1:39.8 / 29, 1:39.8 / 30, 1:36.1 / 31

A short warm down and that was all I had time for today…..

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750m reps, and 2 x 30mins

Posted by thepeteplan on July 14, 2010


5 x 750m / 3:30 rest:
2:23.9 / 1:35.9 / 31
2:23.9 / 1:35.9 / 32
2:24.2 / 1:36.1 / 32
2:23.9 / 1:35.9 / 32
2:23.5 / 1:35.6 / 32


Late evening row as it was all I had time for, in the living room at 9.30pm!

8000m = 1:55 / 22


Again an after work row this time on the patio.

30mins = 8300m / 1:48.4 / 25

I seem to be struggling a bit at the moment. Not so much with motivation, but just with training generally feel hard. It is not surprising I guess when I look at the last 6 weeks or so. There was the 5k race and 100k tandem world record on the weekend of 22 / 23 May. This took a good week to 10 days to feel recovered from. Then there was the 2 week holiday in the US with a lack of normal training volume, 2 long haul flights, and the associated jetlag from the 8 hour time difference. Then in the 2 weeks I’ve been back it has been hot and humid, much more so than any time so far this year. Couple this with a busy that week at work that has forced training late in the day rather than my normal lunchtime slot, and all these factors together are bound to take a bit out of the training “zip”.

So my plan is just to tick along with the training until I get that zip back. I will try to do a 30min easy row as a minimum 6 days per week, and put in a harder session as and when I feel like doing one. If I can keep up 2 harder sessions each week I don’t think I will go backwards, and when I come out of the other end I’ll be flying again.

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It’s all in the head

Posted by thepeteplan on July 10, 2010

In my last blog entry I commented on how fitness could apparently disappear overnight. Of course it can’t really, but external factors can make it appear that way sometimes. I was up early this morning so decided to train early before it gets too hot, so went to the gym when it opened at 8am. The plan for today was to do a mile time trial. I had started doing fairly regular 2k trials before I went on holiday, but as this weekend would have been the Evesham mile event (and a mile is mentally much easier) I thought I would go for that.

The plan was a simple pyramid style pacing with a fast start, holding the rate fairly high, then slowing as much as needed to get through the mentally tough bit in the middle before gradually speeding up again. Here is how it went:

3750m warm up

1609m = 5:07.4 / 1:35.5 / 33
400m splits:
1:34.1 / 33
1:36.6 / 32
1:37.7 / 30
1:33.6 / 32

Pretty slow in the middle, but a solid overall pace. It didn’t feel overly taxing either, which is always a good sign.

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Tough training conditions

Posted by thepeteplan on July 8, 2010

3 week ago today I had my final attempt at the June CTC of 5 x 5mins / 2min rest. I managed the first 4 reps in 1:40.0 and a final rep at 1:39.7.

Today I did the Pete Plan session of 5 x 1500m / 5min rest. Effectively the same session (at my sort of pace) but with 2.5x the rest period. It has to be faster for the same effort, right? Although I went into this session with the intention of it not being maximal, what is the reason I was so far off the pace of that session 3 weeks ago? The week off training last week? Residual jetlag? The heat and particularly humidity? A combination of the above?

5 x 1500m / 5min rest:
1:43.8 / 27
1:42.9 / 28
1:41.9 / 29
1:41.7 / 29
1:39.8 / 30

25:30.8 / 1:42.0 / 28

I didn’t set myself up to go as fast, so obviously the pace difference is a little more extreme. But going into the session with this pacing plan I honestly expected to have a lot left and want to blast the last rep much faster than I did it.

The temperature and humidity in my work gym at lunchtime is pretty extreme, so that certainly made a big difference. Still, if rep 4 would have been 0.8 faster on the pace it would look like a very controlled negative split session. As I have said to a number of people I coach before, after having a short time off training on holiday, it is the mental side that takes a little while to get back rather than losing anything physically in just a week off training. The fact that I did the final rep under 1:40 pace means that I wasn’t pushing as hard as I felt I was earlier in the session. The other major factor for me is stroke rate. For 1:40 pace I am most efficient at 30spm. If I rate lower I go slower for the same effort level. A 5min rest period is far more than I need to recover CV wise from this type of effort, but from muscular fatigue it takes a lot longer, and using rate you can minimise this.

I think I made a comment here about the erging related positive test for performance enhancing drugs. I’ve had a few people email me to ask for more details. Until anything is announced officially, or the person concerned comments on it, I won’t name names. The evidence seems to be that a fairly high profile person in the erging world tested positive for EPO at a cycling race earlier this year, and further that this was unlikely to have been a single occurance. I won’t currently say any more detail than that currently.

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10k – moderate effort

Posted by thepeteplan on July 6, 2010

10k = 38:08.9 / 1:54.4 / 20

2k splits (all 20spm): 1:55.2, 1:54.9, 1:54.6, 1:54.5, 1:52.8

Taking it fairly easy on this one, as I am with training in general this week. The first week back from holiday, when it’s been a big time difference and a lack of training, is always tough. I did train 2 days at the beginning of my time away and 2 days at the end, so only had 6 days off training completely in the middle. Physically, once I’m over the time difference I won’t have lost anything. The temperature at the moment, and perhaps more the humidity, isn’t conducive to very fast erg work anyway, so taking a week or two to get back up to speed isn’t a problem.

There is some interesting news starting to come out with relation to a positive drugs test for a fairly high level indoor rower, which I wonder whether it will have any impact on past competition results and records. The rumoured positive test was following a cycling event (there is no drug testing in indoor rowing currently), but the evidence points to it having been a long running thing. A real shame if this is the case.

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Back to it – 8 x 500m

Posted by thepeteplan on July 5, 2010

What better session to start back with after 2 weeks on holiday having just arrived back in the country yesterday afternoon, with the associated jetlag from the 8 hour time difference, and tiredness from having to get up for work this morning, than an 8 x 500m. Also the first speed intervals session I’ve done in quite a while.

8 x 500m / 3:30 rest:
1:34.8 / 31
1:34.7 / 31
1:34.5 / 32
1:34.3 / 31
1:34.1 / 32
1:33.9 / 32
1:33.8 / 33
1:33.0 / 34

4000m = 12:33.1 / 1:34.1 / 32

(2k warm up, 4162m in the rest periods)

I was aided slightly by the fact that although jetlagged I am fairly well rested. If you ever have about £3.5k to spare I recommend flying back business class on the upper deck of a 747. With 10 people distributed among the 20 or so sleeping pods you can sleep as much as you want, helped by the unlimited supply of wine drunk with your meal first. And no I didn’t have £3.5k to spare, just managed to upgrade using air miles and the princely sum of £27.

Following the session I did with Zach about 10 days ago I didn’t train at all for a week. 3 days of that week was spent at Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast. A great relaxing break staying in a hotel right on the beach. It was a bit of a drive down from Seattle, but driving down the coast is worth it anyway. Other than that the time was spent catching up with the extended in-law family and generally eating, drinking, and relaxing. I could do with a week more of the relaxing at home now before I had to come back to work really…

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