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The Pete Plan blog

Archive for September, 2010

More middle distance reps…

Posted by thepeteplan on September 29, 2010

A short window of time to get to the gym, and this session fit the time available. Timed reps rather than distance as I was doing them with someone else.

5 x 4mins / 4min rest:
1183m / 1:41.4 / 29
1189m / 1:40.9 / 30
1193m / 1:40.5 / 30
1201m / 1:39.9 / 30
1239m / 1:36.8 / 32

20mins = 6008m / 1:39.8 / 30

Happy with this – on average 50m a rep more than Monday’s 1150m reps, and a faster pace for every rep in sequence with a solidly faster final rep and average. The final rep as well as being 0.8sec faster pace than last time was also 89m further, being a timed rep rather than the 1150m of the last set.

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Middle distance reps

Posted by thepeteplan on September 27, 2010

Last week I identified that I had been avoiding the “middle distance reps” sessions that I really think should be core to everyone’s erg training schedule. To jump back into this type of training I started with 5 x 1k reps, and to extend this today I moved on to 1150m reps aiming for roughly the same negative split pattern.

5 x 1150m / 3:30r rest:
3:54.0 / 1:41.7 / 29
3:52.7 / 1:41.1 / 29
3:51.7 / 1:40.7 / 30
3:50.3 / 1:40.1 / 30
3:44.6 / 1:37.6 / 32

5750m = 19:13.2 / 1:40.2 / 30

Reps 1-4 were almost identical pace to last week’s 1k reps (with each being 30seconds longer due to the extra 150m per rep), but the final reps wasn’t quite as fast (although still well under the average for the session, which is what matters). I prefer this method of improvement on interval sessions to increase the distance per rep at the same pace, rather than increase the pace at the same distance, especially when you’re aiming to get back to where you’ve been before. It is much easier to quantify in your head doing 10 to 20 more strokes per rep, and what that means in terms of effort level, than trying to go some set amount of pace faster. With 150m more per rep it was 15 strokes extra, and 15 strokes isn’t much is it? I will try to keep moving this session on each week by adding a little more to the reps each time. The negative split pattern will also help when I start to introduce more speed work into my training in 2 to 3 weeks time in preparation for BIRC which is now fast approaching.

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Friday and Saturday

Posted by thepeteplan on September 26, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I rowed this month’s CTC challenge (10 x 1min / 1min rest) with a colleague in the gym at work. It was his first time attempting a CTC challenge, and seeing himself in the first boat for the independent team it sparked his competitive side, and in the first boat he wanted to stay. An over ambitious second attempt last week saw him blow completely in rep 6 unable to even finish that minute, never mind the session. This week it was time to row it with him again and try to help him stick to plan as well as going through the pain with him.

10 x 1min / 1min rest:
327 / 1:31.7 / 37
327 / 1:31.7 / 37
327 / 1:31.7 / 36
327 / 1:31.7 / 37
327 / 1:31.7 / 36
327 / 1:31.7 / 37
327 / 1:31.7 / 37
328 / 1:31.4 / 37
326 / 1:32.0 / 36
329 / 1:31.1 / 37

10mins = 3276m / 1:31.5 / 36

This is a tough session! This was slightly slower than my previous attempt, which obviously wasn’t the plan. The first half felt good, but quickly it then starts to bite, and it was more about trying to maintain pace than aiming to go any faster. I won’t be attempting this again this month.

Saturday was a simple steady distane piece:

40mins = 10651m / 1:52.8 / 22spm

It started out as a steady 60mins @ 1:55 / 22, but my head just wasn’t in it to carry on for the full 60mins, so I chose instead to push the pace a little more from 30mins, and stop at 40mins.

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1k reps and 2 x 10k

Posted by thepeteplan on September 22, 2010

In reverse order…

Wednesday:
5 x 1k / 3r
3:23.6 / 1:41.8 / 29
3:22.7 / 1:41.3 / 29
3:21.2 / 1:40.6 / 30
3:19.8 / 1:39.9 / 30
3:12.2 / 1:36.1 / 32

16:39.5 / 1:39.9 / 30 = 5k

Tuesday:
10k = 37:50 / 1:53.6 / 23

Monday:
10k = 35:58.2 / 1:47.9 / 25

If asked I would always say that work at around 5k pace is, in my opinion, the key to erging fitness. It’s the one aspect of training that I think should be in your training plan year round even when doing mainly low level aerobic work a long way from competition, or pre race sprint training. It is also about the toughest training when done hard, and something I seem to have neglected doing enough of lately. So today I wanted something in this region, but not overly tough, so picked 1k reps with about 1:1 work to rest (my preferred rest period for this type of session). Rather than go hard throughout the session I went for negative split 1k’s beginning at about my current 5k pace, and aiming for a session average just under 1:40. For the first 4 reps I kept a mental note of what pace I would need on the final rep to make that target average, and it felt good to then open it up in the final rep to meet the target.

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Steady fitness work

Posted by thepeteplan on September 18, 2010

Yesterday was simply a repeat of Wednesday’s steady hour row – more base fitness work.

60mins = 15671m / 1:54.8 / 22
10min splits:
1:54.9, 1:54.9, 1:55.0, 1:54.9, 1:54.8, 1:54.4

Comfortable and enjoyable.

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Fast and slow

Posted by thepeteplan on September 15, 2010

In  answer to the comment on my last blog entry, my plan for the challenge series is to get as close to my pace from last year as possible for the 4min challenge. Yesterday I had my second attempt:

4mins = 1289m / 1:33.0 / 34

1min splits:
1:31.4, 1:34.6, 1:34.6, 1:31.7

A fast start than my first attempt, and keeping the pace just under 1:35 through the middle I was still able to finish strongly. The average pace of 1:33.0 is the same as my all time 2k personal best, and still 1.1 seconds slower pace than I achieved last year during the challenge series. The next attempt I will need to keep the rate higher and I think I can match that pace from last year.

With somewhere around 9 or 10 weeks until the British Championships now my aim for that 2000m race is to break 6min20, or 1:35.0 pace. This row is currently about on track for that, with next month’s challenge of 1609m (1mile) then needing to be 1:34.0 or better. Faster is of course ideal, and the further below 1:33.0 I can do for the 4mins, then the further below 1:34.0 I should be able to achieve for the approximately 5min mile – it then follows that the further I should be able to dip under the 6 and a bit minute 2k.

With that aim in mind, and still this far out from the race, I need to keep up the base fitness work. Today was the first time I attempted the hour at a proper “steady” pace:

60mins = 15655m / 1:54.9 / 22

Every 10min split was either 1:54.9 or 1:55.0, and all at 22spm. This was just what I needed as it has been a physically and mentally tiring week so far outside of the rowing world.

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C2 Challenge Series

Posted by thepeteplan on September 11, 2010

The Concept2 challenge series has begun again in September with a 4min challenge. I wasn’t quite sure how to pitch this for a first attempt, so aimed for 1:34’s steady with a push in the final minute.

4mins = 1282m / 1:33.6 / 33
1min splits:
1:33.7 / 34
1:34.3 / 33
1:33.7 / 33
1:32.3 / 34

Fairly straight forward at this pace, which is a good sign.

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Cross Team Challenge – Take 2

Posted by thepeteplan on September 9, 2010

Yesterday I wrote that I felt fatigued to the extent that I cut a session short to just 25% of it’s planned volume. If anyone I coached said this to me I would tell them to do a very steady session the following day, and for a day or two after that if they didn’t feel fully recovered yet. In the usual form of “do as I say, not as I do” I did the exact opposite today.

CTC attempt2:

10 x 1min / 1minR:
327 / 1:31.7 / 38
328 / 1:31.4 / 38
329 / 1:31.1 / 37
328 / 1:31.4 / 37
327 / 1:31.7 / 37
327 / 1:31.7 / 37
327 / 1:31.7 / 36
327 / 1:31.7 / 37
327 / 1:31.7 / 37
332 / 1:30.3 / 37

10mins = 3285m / 1:31.3 / 37

With a target to beat of 1:31.7 pace from last time my main plan was to try not to do any reps slower than the target average, and the tactic to then improve on the last attempt at the end was simply to keep the stroke rate higher. It worked, I felt better throughout and beat the previous score. Psychologically this attempt was made easier by doing it alongside someone else as well, and he can be my introduction for today.

Craig Hudson, a colleague of mine from work, has been training with me for the odd session since a work trip away in May. As I was going to the gym most days we were away what else could he do but come with me? With technique pointers and increased fitness over that time, probably training on average 2 times per week, Craig has gone below 7:30 for 2k, and set a first ever 60min pb earlier this week. Today’s session, with an average pace of 1:43.1, was his first entry as an independent on the CTC table, so I’m sure this will become a monthly occurance now. His form and fitness shows that it’s only a matter of time before the first sub7 for 2k will come.

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Fatigue catches up

Posted by thepeteplan on September 8, 2010

I have been doing a lot more physical activity during the working day this week than I’m used to, and it wasn’t evident the extent to which this is fatiguing me until I tried a slightly faster paced session today. The session was actually a fairly straight forward one in terms of pacing plan, a 4 x 2k with targets of 6:59, 6:49, 6:39,  and “faster”. In the first rep I could tell it was going to be an unhill slog even on the second rep, so decided to save it for another day. I pushed a bit more inside the final 500m and just called it a strong 2k warm up, lifted some weights, and heading back to the office.

2k = 6:52.4 / 1:43.1 / 28

Weights: Cleans and barbell rows

Another PPC introduction:

The next introduction is for Kevin Peebles. Kev is one of the 6 founding members of the MAD Team indoor rowing club (along with Graham Benton, myself, Steve Sanders, Neil Edge and Mark Cheetham). Graham, Kev, Steve and I were the only people to actually carry on competing through the formal introduction of the MAD Team in 2003. Kev was one of the members of the MAD team setting the 100k small team World Record in January 2004 (again with Graham, Steve and I), a record which still stands today having beaten previous times set by Royce’s Gym and a Leander Club team that included Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell among others. At a 1:15.4 average split, it is a record that will stand for a long time yet. Kev has won a number of national titles during his time racing on the erg, which he has combined with a number of other sports including playing american football to a high level. Kev is the one person I coach who also trains in the same gym as me.

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At this rate I might get fit….

Posted by thepeteplan on September 7, 2010

It has been quite some time since I last did 60min rows on consequtive days, but that’s what I did today. A rerun of the 60min from yesterday using the same tactic of 1:54 / 1:55 for the base pace with 5 hard strokes at 5mins in, 10 at 10mins and so on to 55 hard strokes at 55mins. The final piece looked like this:

60mins = 16030m / 1:52.2 / 24
10min splits:
1:53.8, 1:52.8, 1:52.6, 1:52.3, 1:51.6, 1:50.4

More good solid endurance work. With 11 weeks to go until the British Indoor Rowing championships there is still plenty of time before the real hard 2k paced work needs to start in full force.

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