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The Pete Plan blog

A salvage session

Posted by thepeteplan on December 30, 2010

It is good to have a salvage session in your arsenal of erg training pieces. A salvage session is a short hard (generally interval based) session that you can use to salvage a good training effect out a session that otherwise you have failed to meet your training targets for. Generally these sessions are of use when mentally you just haven’t been up to the task at hand and so don’t complete what you set out to complete.

I should say at this point that the particular session I trialled for the first time today was sent to me by someone else with the recommendation to use it as a weekly 2k prep session for around 6 weeks prior to a 2k race. I know he didn’t intend it’s use for this purpose, but today it fit the bill well and was a good way for a first try of a new session.

When I arrived at the gym this morning I was going to do core session 2 for this week, but a 20min wait for an erg meant that I didn’t really have the time (or rather had lost the will) for that tough interval set. So instead I set 5000m on the monitor and set off with the aim of bettering my previous score for this month’s challenge series. Rather than aim for anything particularly fast I simply looked back at the splits from my previous attempt, ordered them from slowest to fastest, and from that aimed to go 1:44 for the first 1k, 1:43 for the next 1k, low 1:42’s up to 2k to go, and so on from there. I made it up to 1500m to go and I just didn’t have the mental resolve to push on faster from there, so stopped with the average split on 1:43.1. Not a good choice of session when you’re not mentally “feeling it”. So time to salvage a good training effect from the session.

The new session is 8 x 250m with 30seconds passive rest between reps. No paddling during the 30sec recovery intervals, and no rolling starts. For this first attempt I aimed for 1:35’s at roughly 2k rate, just to get a judgement of how fast I could do the session.

8 x 250m / 30sec passive rest:
1:34.4, 1:34.6, 1:34.4, 1:34.2, 1:34.2, 1:34.2, 1:34.0, 1:33.2
Totals = 6:16.6 / 2k / 1:34.1 / 32

To use this as a 2k prep session I was recommended to push it down to more like 3seconds under 2k pace, so this is not fast enough. But it is good to do a new session at a pace you know you can get through it at just to get a better objective judgement both for how fast you can attempt the session next time, and how effective you think it might be in terms of training. A good way to salvage a good session for a fairly poor attempt at a fast 5k I think, and I felt like I’d done a good training session afterwards.

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