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The Pete Plan blog

Archive for January, 2011

A backwards workout

Posted by thepeteplan on January 15, 2011

I left Seattle on Tuesday, arriving back in London on Wednesday afternoon (with the 8 hours lost along the way due to the time difference). The jetlag seemed to hit me hard this time, and trying to get back into a normal sleeping routine is taking time. Once I’ve fully adjusted back the training will get fully back on track. Because of that Friday was the first workout I managed since the final Seattle workout on Monday, and it was a very sleep deprived session then.

4 x 1250m / 5min rest:
4:14.4 / 1:41.7 / 29
4:13.8 / 1:41.5 / 29
4:13.5 / 1:41.4 / 29
4:09.3 / 1:39.7 / 30

16:51.0 / 1:41.1 / 29

This one was really a case of just getting it done, as it was one of the core workouts for the week. The first 3 reps were right on target, but ideally the final rep would have been a couple of second faster in pace.

Today then had to be the final core workout of the week. I made the mistake of deciding to try this one a fair bit faster than target pace, trying to make up for lost training time perhaps. The reason for the title of this blog entry is that if I wrote the splits from this session in reverse order it would look much more like a well negative splitted workout that it does written the way it was rowed. The target should have been a 1:34 start and negative split from there. I decided that I wanted to try the workout faster, but aimed too fast for my current condition (fitness + jetlag etc).

12 x 350m / 2:30 rest:
1:29.8 / 36
1:30.0 / 36
1:29.8 / 35
1:29.8 / 35
1:29.8 / 36
1:29.8 / 36
1:32.1 / 35
1:31.8 / 35
1:33.2 / 35
1:34.4 / 34
1:34.0 / 35
1:31.5 / 36

Total: 4200m = 12:47.6 / 1:31.3 / 35

The average pace would not have been any faster if I rowed it “properly”, and physiologically I arguably got a better training effect doing it this way around. Psychologically this isn’t the ideal way to pace this workout, from the intended purpose of the session, though saying that all reps were under target 2k pace even when my legs decided they didn’t want to play any more, which is a good thing.


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Objective measure of improvement

Posted by thepeteplan on January 10, 2011

Today is my last full day in Seattle, and the final training session over here. The timing worked out well as this one is a step up from the session I did on the first day over here, and hence gives me a good measure of the improvement (or lack of) that I’ve managed over my 2 weeks here.

The session is 1k, 750m, 750m, 500m with a 4min rest between each. The session on the first day was 1k, 750m, 500m, 500m also with a 4min rest. So a 50% increase on the distance of rep 3 is the only difference from the session 2 weeks ago, but an increase from a 500 to a 750m in the penultimate rep of a session like this does add a good chunk to the difficulty.

I always like to have a solid mental approach to any interval session to compare it to a recent session rep for rep, so that if it gets physically really tough I can convince myself that I can get through just the next rep. Today I used the 5 x 750m reps last week as a comparison, even though I failed to maintain pace on the final rep in that session. I’d managed 4 reps then at 1:34.8 pace, and so the 1k, 750 and 750, the tough reps of this session, were compared to the first 3 reps of that session – yes the 1k is 33% longer than the first rep, but it is the first rep. As long as you can get through all but the final rep then the mentally tough part of the session is done. The final rep, as I found in the 750’s, really does come down to physical condition on that day – a 500m final rep is always easier than a 750m last rep though.

1k = 3:09.7 / 1:34.8 / 33
4min rest
750m = 2:22.3 / 1:34.8 / 32
4min rest
750m = 2:22.2 / 1:34.8 / 32
4min rest
500m = 1:33.3 / 33

3000m = 9:27.5 / 1:34.5 / 32

The overall session is 250m, or roughly 48seconds longer at this pace than the session from 2 weeks ago. The average pace was the same as the session 2 weeks ago for the increased distance. The 1k was 0.1 faster, the first 750m the same pace, and the final 500m 0.4 faster. I think I can certainly say, objectively, that I am heading home in at least as good shape (2k pace wise) as when I arrived here 2 weeks ago.

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3 x 2k and a 10k

Posted by thepeteplan on January 9, 2011


Core session 2 of the week was a 3 x 2k / 5min rest session. The plan was 1:42 pace for the first 2, faster last. It didn’t quite go to plan.

3 x 2k / 5min rest:
6:47.4 / 1:41.8 / 29
6:47.6 / 1:41.9 / 29
6:50.0 / 1:42.5 / 30

6k = 20:24.9 / 1:42.0 / 29

The last rep was a struggle, but that’s what it’s like being on holiday and doing no recovery rowing at all, and instread eating and drinking too much by way of recovery. The session was completed, and it wasn’t too far off target.


10k = 36:14.7 / 1:48.7 / 25
2k splits:
1:49.0 / 25
1:49.0 / 25
1:49.0 / 25
1:49.0 / 25
1:47.5 / 26

Nothing more to say about that really. It was a “I didn’t train yesterday, so I need to do something today” moderately hard endurance row. I’d had a big meal at lunchtime, and had a small window of time that I could go to the gym and do something, so I went to the gym and did something. Not that fast, but consistent and paced as I aimed for.

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750m reps and a 2k r28

Posted by thepeteplan on January 5, 2011

I seem to have failed to update my blog so far in 2011. Following the 1650m reps on new year’s eve I took January 1st as the first rep day of my Seattle trip. The first session of 2011 was then some 750m reps for this week’s speed training. The first 750m reps are always a tough session having only done an 8 x 500m session, and then last week’s 1k, 750, 500, 500 reps. 5 x 750m is about 25% greater volume than last week’s reps, but I mentally broke it down as follows, in order to have a stretched target of the same sub 1:35 pace for all reps:

Rep1 = 750m compared to the 1k from last week, so no problem
Rep2 = 750m the same as last week, but you’ve done a shorter first rep
Rep3 = longer than the 500 from last week, but same average rep length to here
Rep4 = through to 500m and it’s the same as last week, then just 250 to go
Rep5 = where it gets tougher and you have to work

And the execution actually went as follows:

5 x 750m / 3:30 rest:
2:22.3 / 1:34.8 / 32
2:22.2 / 1:34.8 / 32
2:22.2 / 1:34.8 / 32
2:22.2 / 1:34.8 / 32
2:27.1 / 1:38.0 / 31

11:56.0 / 3750m / 1:35.4 / 32

So it was slightly too much of a stretch this time. I had to put too much into rep 4 to have a chance of getting rep 5 on target, and so didn’t start out on the rep aiming to be as fast as the first 4.

As every trip to the gym to train on the erg is costing me 10 dollars as a non member I decided to skip the steady distance at the gym yesterday and did 40mins on the exercise bike here in the house instead. First thing this morning it was then back to the gym for some more hard metres. Training is now becoming more of a slog daily as I become accustomed to the time zone, and so early morning training now feeling like early morning training which is wasn’t a week ago. The daily recovery fuel of too much food + wine or beer is also not the best, and today’s session was therefore always going to be a tough, albeit short, one.

2k restricted to 28spm. 2 weeks ago I did a 6:33.4 restricted to 26spm, therefore target 1 was to go under that time today, and target 2 that there was no reason when allowed to do 2 extra strokes each minute to row slower than 1:38 at any point. My aim though was to break 6:30 at this stroke rate, but it wasn’t to be:

2k = 6:32.1 / 1:38.0 / 28
500m splits:
1:37.7 / 28
1:38.2 / 28
1:38.1 / 28
1:38.0 / 28

All the main targets were hit – it was faster than 2 weeks ago at r26, I didn’t do many strokes slower than 1:38, and I stuck to a strict r28 throughout. But there just wasn’t a zip there, and 1:38’s were all I really had there. I have felt pretty wrecked for the whole day today, which I shouldn’t from a very short, and not really overly intense session like this. So tomorrow will be a complete rest day, and started off with a fruit smoothie and oatmeal from Jamba Juice to start the good food for the day to recover properly. Hopefully then on Thursday for the next core erg session the zip will be back.

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