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The Pete Plan blog

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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2 Responses to “2k – 1k – 500m = mental strength training”

  1. Rizzio said

    Great session, Pete, and very well explained. Particularly like your comment about a hard 2k somehow seeming almost easier when it’s the first rep in a session, because the pressure is off.

    I definitely want/need to work on my mental strength, and this session seems an excellent way to do so.

    Best, Michael

  2. thepeteplan said

    Michael – this is a sessions I’ll only put in other people’s plans by request in the run up to BIRC. It is a great session for mental toughness, but it can be a bit of a make or break if you don’t make you (slightly sub max) target on the 2k at the beginning of the session. It HAS to be a “final the 2k at all costs” beginning to the session. If you’re up for the challenge we can certainly put it in yours.

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