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The Pete Plan blog

Archive for October, 2010

Steady distance work

Posted by thepeteplan on October 26, 2010

Two days of steady 10k’s so far this week:

10k = 38:16.1 / 1:54.8 / 22

10k = 37:22.2 / 1:52.1 / 24

I don’t normally do two steady distance sessions in a row, but I have a hard session planned for tomorrow (a repeat of the 2k-1k-500m session from last week) with someone else.


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More speed work

Posted by thepeteplan on October 24, 2010

After 3 days off training, for one reason and another, it made sense to do another fast session this morning.

1k = 3:09.8 / 1:34.9 / 33
4min rest
750m = 2:22.1 / 1:34.7 / 33
4min rest
500m = 1:34.4 / 34
4min rest
500m = 1:34.3 / 34

Totals: 2750m = 8:40.5 / 1:34.6 / 33

This was one of those sessions today that just felt like a slog from start to finish. I didn’t finish any rep with the confidence that I could have finished a 2k at that pace. Some days go like this though, and finishing these sessions on target is another big step towards producing performances far in excess of your expectations on the days that it feels much easier.

Blog updates:

There are a number of generic training plans available for free on this blog. There are other documents I would like to produce that have been requested in the past, and I hope to get around to working on these in the next few months. I am commited to providing this information free to anyone who wants to use it via my blog. I have, however, included a button at the bottom of the main training pages where people can make a donation towards the work to produce these training documents Рfeel free to ignore it or use it as you see fit.

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2k – 1k – 500m = mental strength training

Posted by thepeteplan on October 20, 2010

This session is one of my old favorites for 2k race preparation in terms of the mental side. It is great doing hard 2k tests in preparation for a race, but if that is the only piece you’re doing in a training session it both doesn’t seem much, and puts a lot of pressure on the outcome of that one piece. The way I took that single piece pressure off was to extend the session into a 2k – 1k – 500m session, but without prescriptive rest periods. The aim is then to do the 2k pretty close to maximal (within a couple of seconds in pace at least), rest for a short period, equal or better the pace over a 1k, rest for a short period, same again over 500m. Here was the execution today:

2k = 6:25.6 / 1:36.4 / 32
500m splits:
1:35.9 / 32
1:37.2 / 31
1:37.1 / 32
1:35.5 / 32

800m paddle

1k = 3:12.8 / 1:36.4 / 31
500m splits:
1:36.9 / 32
1:35.9 / 31

400m paddle

500m = 1:31.8 / 35

The actual rest period in total was in the bounds of 5 to 7mins between the 2k and 1k, and 3 to 5mins between the 1k and 500m. If I set out to do a 6:25 for 2k on its own it is a really tough piece, but for some reason when you think of it as a rep of an interval session the pressure just isn’t the same.

I felt pretty tired after the 2k, but the great thing about this session is that by doing a 1k after just 5mins or so at the same pace you know the 2k wasn’t maximal. Let’s face it, anyone who has rowed a fully maximal 2k will know that after 5mins your legs aren’t good to stand up, let alone row another 1k at pace. So 1.5seconds off the pace I’m aiming for at BIRC in a little over 4 weeks time, and this confirms that I am there or there abouts on a good day now, and speed work over the next month will ensure I’m in shape to make the target. Sessions like this will be the vital part, as the mental side is often the weak link when it comes to rowing a 2k, and even 1second faster in pace can have you questioning whether you can meet the target very early in a 2k.

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Sprint reps – full BIRC training mode

Posted by thepeteplan on October 17, 2010

Full on BIRC training starts here, 5 weeks out from the race. One component of the training over the next 5 weeks will be hard sprint training, and this is the first session of that component.

25 x 100m / 1min rest – aim is 10seconds under target 2k pace for all reps (so 1:25.0 for me), with rate under control (ie not rating higher than necessary so keeping the reps nice and powerful). I did this on my standard 130 drag as well.

25 x 100m / 1min rest:
2500m = 7:01.3 / 1:24.2 / 41

The idea behind this component of the training is to do some work significantly under 2k pace making the work at around 2k pace seem that much more sub maximal. This type of session will feature once per week over the next 5 weeks leading up to the race, with work at around 2k pace also once per week making the two core focus sessions during this period. 5k paced work will take a back seat to ensure that overall fatigue isn’t too high so as not to knock the immune system too much.

Saturday was a moderately hard 10k, so with 3 fairly hard sessions in a row it is time to take it easy for a day or two now:
10k = 35:53.0 / 1:47.6 / 25
2k splits:
1:48.5 / 25
1:48.3 / 25
1:48.4 / 25
1:48.3 / 25
1:44.5 / 27

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On track for BIRC

Posted by thepeteplan on October 15, 2010

With a little over 5 weeks to go before the British Indoor Rowing Championships it was time to test where I am prior to the start of full on speed training. With a minimum target for the race of 6:19.9 (or marginally under 1:35.0 pace), and the October C2 challenge series being the mile, it made sense to do a 1609m (1mile) time trial for this test. As I’m coming back from a cold I didn’t want to go absolutely to the maximum I think I’m currently capable of, but at this stage break that 1:35.0 pace was the target I wanted anyway. The plan for execution of this was a fast start, a cruise pace of 1:36, and a faster final 400m to push under the 1:35 target average pace.

400m splits:
1:33.8 / 35
1:36.0 / 32
1:36.0 / 31
1:32.8 / 34

1609m = 5:04.6 / 1:34.6 / 33

Nicely on track prior to the beginning of full speed training, which is a good place to be in at this stage. This is also enough under the 1:35 target pace that I would estimate now that I could do more like 1800m on target at this stage, so if all goes to plan it will be a case of how much under 1:35 pace I can finish on at BIRC, not whether I can achieve the target.

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The comeback trail

Posted by thepeteplan on October 13, 2010

It turned out that the lack of motivation I was feeling a week or so ago when I last blogged was actually masking a slight physical illness, which was the root cause. A day or two later a cold came to the surface, and it was evident this was why training had been feeling hard for a week or so to that point. So two complete days of rest was required on Friday and Saturday, followed by a fairly comfortable 5k on Sunday.

Monday was a split session, a 20min slow and steady row, followed by a higher pressure 5k:

20mins = 5246m / 1:54.6 / 23
3min rest
5k = 17:45.0 / 1:46.5 / 26
1k splits:
1:47.5 / 26
1:47.8 / 26
1:48.0 / 26
1:47.9 / 26
1:41.2 / 28

I then decided today that I was ready for some hard metres again, and made a second attempt at the CTC session. The bad decision was to push harder at the start, and I paid for it at the half way point. Pace this session wrongly in the first half and it will punish you once you pass the crest, as 45 seconds rest periods between those long middle reps is just not enough time to recover.

Distance reps with 45sec rest between each:

100 = 1:34.5 / 32
200 = 1:34.7 / 32
300 = 1:35.3 / 31
400 = 1:38.1 / 31
500 = 1:39.3 / 30
600 = 1:39.6 / 30
700 = 1:40.3 / 30
800 = 1:40.4 / 30
900 = 1:41.9 / 30
800 = 1:43.8 / 29
700 = 1:44.0 / 28
600 = 1:42.6 / 29
500 = 1:41.2 / 30
400 = 1:40.8 / 30
300 = 1:38.1 / 32
200 = 1:32.0 / 34
100 = 1:26.0 / 38

8100m = 27:06.0 / 1:40.3 / 30

This felt like a real slog from the 900m onwards, and it doesn’t actually look as tough on paper as it felt doing it. Looking at the results now I did well holding the pace as well as I did in the second half, it would have been easy to stop completely once I knew I wasn’t going to better my previous score, but you have to keep in mind the training effect as the priority, and the challenge results as a secondary motivational factor.

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Lack of motivation

Posted by thepeteplan on October 5, 2010

I was going to write about my current lack of motivation to train hard, but then I read my last blog entry from 4 days ago when I did the October CTC pyramid. That was a tough session, and so I actually don’t feel like I’m lacking motivation any more – this is one of the benefits of blogging your training that it is easy to look back and see exactly what you’ve been doing, and how you felt about it. Following that session I just did one easy 30min row at home over the weekend. Then Monday I didn’t get a chance to go to the gym during the day and was too tired to row when I got home from work, so instead I went out for a 30min run straight when I go in – no stop watch, no pressure.

Another physically tiring day at work today, and hence the feeling of a lack of motivation to train after work. Rather than struggle through a steady distance piece, or fail in the planning for a harder interval session, I pitched the training in the middle. A moderate and steadily negative splitted “steady with breaks” session.

5 x 2k / 2min rest:
7:39.5 / 1:54.8 / 23
7:28.9 / 1:52.2 / 24
7:19.0 / 1:49.7 / 25
7:09.2 / 1:47.3 / 26
6:52.3 / 1:43.0 / 28

10k = 36:29.0 / 1:49.4 / 25

So still 10k in for solid endurance work, with a bit of faster paced work at the end.

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October CTC – it’s a tough one!

Posted by thepeteplan on October 1, 2010

This month’s Cross Team Challenge has already generated a lot of debate in the 24hours since it was announced due to the number of varied distance reps, and so the complexity of setting it on the rowing machine monitor. 17 reps is a lot, but it is actually fairly straight forward to set up on the PM3 or PM4. It is certainly easier to set up than to row anyway!

I decided to put in my first attempt on the first day of the month. There are 45second rest periods between the reps, which really doesn’t seem much as the reps increase in distance during the middle of the session:

100m = 19.2 / 1:36.0 / 37
200m = 39.8 / 1:39.5 / 32
300m = 59.7 / 1:39.5 / 30
400m = 1:19.7 / 1:39.6 / 31
500m = 1:39.7 / 1:39.7 / 31
600m = 1:59.8 / 1:39.8 / 31
700m = 2:19.8 / 1:39.8 / 31
800m = 2:39.8 / 1:39.8 / 31
900m = 3:01.0 / 1:40.5 / 32
800m = 2:41.1 / 1:40.6 / 31
700m = 2:21.2 / 1:40.8 / 30
600m = 2:01.1 / 1:40.9 / 29
500m = 1:40.9 / 1:40.9 / 30
400m = 1:19.7 / 1:39.6 / 30
300m = 58.5 / 1:37.5 / 32
200m = 37.1 / 1:32.7 / 36
100m = 17.8 / 1:29.0 / 37

26:55.9 / 8100m / 1:39.7 / 31

I obviously aimed from the start to keep each rep under 1:40 pace. I nearly made it too, but after the 800m rep on the way up it seemed a long way to go, and I was trying to think of a good excuse for stopping after the 900m!¬† A decrease in pace with an increase it rate shows that it was getting tough on the 900m rep, so the next 4 reps were then really a case of holding on and not giving in. From the 400m onwards it’s really no problem to finish under pace, and I wanted to make sure then to end with the average pace under 1:40. I would put the average pace somewhere around 1 to 2 seconds under current 5k pace, for anyone wondering how to pace this one themselves.

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