Lunch hour

The Pete Plan blog

Good days and bad days

Posted by thepeteplan on January 28, 2011

For the past three seasons I have taken part in the Concept2 challenge series, since it was first introduced. A monthly event running throughout the season from September through to May it’s a good way to motivate more people into healthy competition on the erg. The challenge for January is a 10000m row, and I had this planned for Thursday this week. So I took a rest day on Wednesday to be fresh for the row, and went into it with a target of 1:45 pace for a sub 35 time. Three things went wrong in the preparation, however, that set me up for a bad row. The first was that I just assumed I could match the 10k time I did on 15th December (34:50.7), despite my training having focussed solely on the 2k since then. The second was not taking into account that the row in December was done in a very cool and airy gym in Brighton, and the gym was stuffy and hot yesterday. The third was ignoring a hip pain I’d had since the day before. These three factors together meant that I wasn’t in physical or mental shape to row a straight 1:45 paced 10k yesterday, and I should have started out easier and built the pace during it. If I did this I may well have got pretty close to the original target. As it was I stuck to the target, and only gave in to the realisation that the pace was not achieveable 2500m into the row. As many of you will know, once you get this far into a hard distance row, especially when the pace is actually physically unsustainable on the day (by however small margin), you have to slow down a lot to actually make it somewhat comfortable. It went like this:

0-2000m = 1:45.1 / 29
I rated up slightly as I seem to have done something to a muscle in my side / hip area and it seemed to feel more comfortable. But it didn’t really feel comfortable and I knew by 2k that there was no way I was going to maintain this pace through the 10k.
2000-4000m = 1:46.8 / 27
I tried to find a sustainable pace that I could finish the 10k at. I didn’t want to stop and risk putting Craig (who I was rowing the 10k with) off his row. The temperature in the gym meant that it just felt generally hard now.
4000-6000m = 1:49.6 / 26
I pretty much just dropped to a cruisey pace from here and decided to go for a reasonable sub 36 rather than a fast sub 35.
6000-8000m = 1:50.8 / 26
Just getting through the distance and letting the average creep up to 1:48.
8000-10000m = 1:47.1 / 28

10000m = 35:58.3 / 1:47.9 / 27

I’m glad I finished the distance in a reasonable time, but I think had I begun at 1:47/1:48 pace I would have actually come in within 20seconds of the original target, rather than barely 60seconds inside it.

Whatever the issue was with my hip it felt worse this morning. But I am pretty sure it’s not muscular, more of a nerve issue as it feels more like a dead leg feeling. I decided to go to the gym for a bit of rehab exercise, but decided to start a tentative erg session first. Whether this workout turns out to be kill or cure the next 24 hours will tell. To justify going slower than targets for the next core session for the BIRC to Boston week I decided to do the final 2 core sessions of the week back to back with just a short 5min break between them! First the details of the workout:

4 x 1350m / 5min rest:
4:43.0 / 1:44.8 / 27
4:41.6 / 1:44.2 / 28
4:39.8 / 1:43.6 / 29
4:31.2 / 1:40.4 / 30

Totals = 5400m / 18:35.7 / 1:43.3 / 28

5mins rest then straight into:

25 x 100m / 1min rest:
17.0 / 1:25.0 / 39 = all reps 1-14
16.9 / 1:24.5 / 39 = all reps 15-19
16.8 / 1:24.0 / 39 = rep 20
16.7 / 1:23.5 / 40 = rep 21
16.6 / 1:23.0 / 40 = rep 22
16.5 / 1:22.5 / 44 = rep 23
16.3 / 1:21.5 / 44 = rep 24
15.8 / 1:19.0 / 46 = rep 25

2500m = 7:01.3 / 1:24.2 / 39

My hip certainly doesn’t feel any worse for that workout, and if anything feels a little better. The 1350’s felt good just gently negative splitting through them. It’s amazing how easy 1:45’s feel when you don’t have 10k set on the monitor. The 100m reps felt pretty comfortable at this rate and pace. It’s not a aerobically tough workout, more of a specific power session – better than weights in my opinion as you can’t get more specific than doing the exact movement of the erg stroke, but with high power. This workout should be thought of more like weight training sets than a true erg interval session. They may look very neatly paced, but this is quite simple to do when you’re operating a little below max, and it takes a 0.5 difference in average pace to change the time by 0.1 seconds on a 100m sprint. The performance monitor then delivers the results back as the time, and the pace derived from that time, ie in 0.5 increments.

Fingers crossed that it was a wise choice to workout today rather than rest.

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