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Archive for February, 2011

5kTG Week 1 = 10 x 1k / 1r

Posted by thepeteplan on February 28, 2011

Session 1 of week 1 of the new 5k training group today.

10 x 1k / 1min rest:
1:46.7 / 26
1:46.3 / 27
1:45.8 / 27
1:45.3 / 27
1:44.8 / 27
1:44.3 / 28
1:43.8 / 28
1:43.3 / 29
1:42.7 / 29
1:40.7 / 29

10k = 34:48.6 / 1:44.4 / 27

The next 12 weeks of 5k focussed training is roughly split as 4 weeks then 8 weeks, with the first 4 weeks focussed more towards 10k type training. The idea behind this is to build us into the more intense 5k focussed interval sessions, and to gain a good base with the longer interval sessions initially. When the step down happens around week 4 / 5 and the volume of the core interval sessions suddenly drops, hopefully everyone will be ready to make a step up in terms of pace.

Roughly this session was targetted as current 10k pace +2 as a starting pace, and I decided before to try to negative split by roughly 0.5seconds per rep. Obviously with a target pace of 10k+2 for a set that is a 10k with 9mins of rest during it is no issue to complete, so it’s just a matter of how much to negative split through the session depending on how hard you want to make it. A good way to gain an initial baseline at this type of training.


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2500m C2 challenge series

Posted by thepeteplan on February 26, 2011

Just a short entry today to blog about a short rowing session. I had to keep my 100% record up for the C2 challenge series, having done every month’s challenge since it was introduced. Ok, for the free t-shirt each year mainly. I’m not in medal contention this year, having finished in the top 3 the past 2 years, as a number of very fast people are taking part in the 30’s event this time. So 6 days after the 2k in Boston, and still feeling pretty drained from the whole event, my heart wasn’t really in doing a very fast time. I will be honest, I did plan on breaking 1:37.5 though, but expected that to come fairly comfortably.

2500m = 8:12.4 / 1:38.4 / 30
500m splits:
1:37.4 / 31
1:38.8 / 30
1:39.2 / 30
1:39.3 / 30
1:37.7 / 31

Then this afternoon I had to do a pure ego row. I was walking through a shopping centre in Southampton and saw a gym promotional stand with 2 ergs. They were running a competition to win a year’s membership to a new gym opening there, and to the winner was the person who could row the furthest in 30seconds. The best so far was 175m, so I couldn’t resist. In my jeans and normal shoes, not a single stroke for warm up, and on the mandatory maximum drag (so around 220 as the ergs were brand new) I set off. Peaking on a 1:13 split I covered 196m at an average pace of 1:16.x, which I believe may be a pb for the little rowed 30sec sprint. Now if I do win what will I do with a year’s membership to a gym about 50miles away? Does anyone live in Southampton?

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3 x 20mins – Steady endurance work

Posted by thepeteplan on February 25, 2011

This coming Monday marks the start of the next training group, this time focused on the 5k. With 34 people in the group it will be a lot of work keeping track of results and setting targets for everyone, but with some very fast people within the group it will provide a lot of motivation for everyone to work hard. Along with this change in training stimulus, taking out the really fast paced work and replacing it with a lot of 5k paced interval work, I want to really work on my base endurance during the next 3 months. I’d quite like to drop a few kgs of body fat at the same time, but that will come if I maintain the training volume I intend to.

So today was the first real session since the Crash B’s last weekend. Basically I’ve just been too tired to do anything meaningful until now. So I started off with some solid endurance work at a fairly low intensity.

3 x 20mins / 2min rest:

  1. 5047m / 1:58.8 / 20
  2. 5090m / 1:57.8 / 20
  3. 5132m / 1:56.9 / 20

Totals: 15270m / 1:57.8 / 20

Tomorrow it is time for my one and only attempt at this month’s C2 challenge, the 2500m. I am not going to be a medal contender in the challenge series this year, so I don’t intend to do this 100% flat out, but it will be completed whatever as I don’t intend to do it twice. No particular targets, I will just see how I feel when I warm up tomorrow.

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Crash B’s 2011

Posted by thepeteplan on February 21, 2011

The World Indoor Rowing Championships are over for another year as I sit in the airport waiting for my flight home. I will just write a fairly brief summary of the weekend in no particular order of events.

The race:
As I blogged before, my plan for the race was a 1:36 steady pace and a fast finish to hopefully bring me as close to 6:20 as possible. Larry Tait, one of the B2B rowers who had raced in the morning, took up the coxing position, and I had his club mate on my left, and one of the Royal Navy Team GB guys on my right. I told him my plan of 1:36’s steady and not to let the average ever get slower than 1:36.3, then to try to speed up in the later stages wanting to be 1:36.0 at 500m to go, and as close to 1:35.0 by the end as possible. I didn’t want to be rigid in wanting 1:36.0 all the way through the first 1500m because allowing a few 1:37’s meant that I wouldn’t be discouraged if the average did slip a little over the desired pace.

I got a good start, and the average was down close to 1:35.0 after 150m. I knew what my training predicted though, so wanted to stick to my plan and not go too fast, so slowed off to 1:36 / 1:37 to let the average drift back where I wanted it. Through 500m it was right on target at 1:36.0. My rate was still a little low, mainly 31spm, but it felt fine so I wasn’t worried. Through half way and it was pretty close between the three of us rowing next to each other, and my average pace was still on track at 1:36.2 (splits for the first half were 1:36.0, 1:36.3). It felt right at half way – tough but sustainable. I think the average peaked at 1:36.3 at about 750m to go, and I stuck with the plan of making the last 750m faster than the first 1250. 500m to go and the average was either 1:36.3 or 1:36.2 and I was watching the relative distances on the monitor to take my mind off my own effort level and try to encourage a fast finish. I was working hard by this point, but I was able to start to put in some 1:35s, and push the last 200m really quite hard to get the average pace right down to 1:35.5. I finished strongly, so maybe had I pushed a bit harder from 750m I could have found those extra 2 seconds, but I felt pretty wrecked at the end so I paced it pretty much right on. Splits for the second half were 1:36.4 and 1:33.2. Final time of 6:22.0, which I am happy enough with. Faster than BIRC, and all other things considered a pretty solid time.

Race day:
I was the last one to race out of the B2B group at 2.45pm, so had a day of racing to watch and build up to get through. I headed to the arena with Larry, Catherine and Anne (all B2B rowers) at 8am. I was coxing Larry’s race at 9.40 for him to return the favour later. A very well paced race, solid throughout and what became the trademark B2B strong finish with a much faster last 500m than the rest of the race, pulling past a lot of people in the process. 6:36 was two seconds slower than last year, but he is about 16lbs lighter and a year older. Anne and Carol were up soon after 10, so we positioned ourselves to watch them. Unfortunately they were on different sides of the arena though racing at the same time, so we could only watch Anne, and see Carol on the screen. Great races from both of them, and two hammers (world champions) for the B2B group! Anne looked comfortable throughout and finished very fast to be only 0.5 outside her pb with a 7:12, and 8 seconds faster than the qualifier 2 weeks ago. Carol rowed a great race to win and again only 2 seconds outside the massive pb she had set in Manchester, which with the travel over here is a great performance. Lots of other great performances through the morning and afternoon including a new pb for Catherine.

Team GB:
I had to prioritise my time on race day to concentrate more on how the B2B athletes were doing than the Team GB people. They had a good support crew with all the Royal Navy people, and Kimberley doing a great job of motivating the team, and the B2B athletes had paid for my coaching. We had a good team meeting on the Saturday though prior to the international competitors lunch and were able to pass on a good amount of info and answer questions from some of the new competitors. It was great that Kimberley arranged this meeting, the kit with Jake’s (from C2 UK) help, and even name badges, because it really made it feel like much more of a team atmosphere than recent years. I had a chance then to chat to some of the team members that I’d not met before over the day – some very talented athletes in there. The lunch was good too, and a good chance to see who some of the top people were and feel both very small next to all the giants, and very slow next to people like Henrik S, the Danish lwt world record holder.

For anyone who hasn’t been to the Crash B’s before I really do recommend it if you get the chance as a unique experience within the annual race calendar. The overall event is just in a different league even to the British Championships, despite possibly having slightly lower competitor numbers. I hope to be able to attend again in 12 momths time.

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2/3rds race simulation

Posted by thepeteplan on February 14, 2011

My planned session for today was a 1k as a simulation of the race plan for the first half of the 2k on Sunday, followed by 8 x 250m reps a bit faster than 2k pace but not pushing too hard. However, on 14th Feb for the past few years there has been a special CTC challenge set up dedicated to a great rowing competitor who sadly died 5 years ago today. Every year for this one day only a 1402m CTC is rowed by many people around the whole as a tribute to Carole. The extra 402m seemed worthwhile to combine the memorial row with my planned session, and so I planned to still row the 1402m roughly as the race plan for Sunday, then just cut down the number of 250’s a little.

My the current plan for the 2k on Sunday is roughly 1:36 for 1250m, slight negative split from there to 200m to go, then sprint to try to get as close to, or just under, 6:20. Therefore the plan for the 1402m today was 1:36 steady, then just a little sprint in the last 200m for confidence. I wanted to get through that first 1200m feeling like I still had enough left to be in a position to carry on at least at that pace for another 400m before sprinting, and so increasing pace a bit for the final 200m today seemed like the best way to be sure. Unless you step on the gas a little you can never be sure whether your brain is being honest with you what there is left.

1402m = 4:28.2 / 1:35.6 / 32
350m splits:
1:36.3 / 32
1:36.1 / 32
1:36.1 / 31
1:34.0 / 33


3 x 250m / 1r:
46.7 / 1:33.4 / 33
46.4 / 1:32.8 / 34
44.8 / 1:29.6 / 36

The 1402m felt about right. Certainly not a comfortable cruise, but never overly tough or in any doubt that I could speed up when it got to 200m to go. This is just how I want to feel when I get to 750m to go in the race on Sunday, to have rowed a little within myself such that I can treat the last 750m just like the final rep of an interval session.

Is it a bit stupid to blog here, less than a week before the world champi0nships, my exact race plan? I don’t think so. When it comes down to it on Sunday it is every man and woman against the machine, trying to cover 2000m as fast as they can. What I plan to do, or what I actually do, will have no effect on what anyone else does, and what anyone else does won’t have an effect on what I do. On a bad day I will be hanging on when I get to 750m to go and might not be able to increase pace much if at all. On a good day I will feel great at 750m to go, will speed up consistently down to 200m to go then sprint for the line. This difference could put me anywhere within about a 10second bracket of 2k pace. The three things I know are that I will do all I can over the next 6 days to ensure Sunday is a good day, I will give the race 100% whatever, and if it comes to a final 250m sprint out for positions on a good day I can out sprint anyone in a 2k final sprint (of comparable 2k time – the type of person who can row 5:45 isn’t going to be in a sprint off with me).

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Final sprint training pre Boston

Posted by thepeteplan on February 13, 2011

The final session of Week 11 of the BIRC to Boston training plan yesterday was the final sprint session of the programme. I averaged 1:26.0 for the 200m reps last week, and 1:24.2 for the 100m reps the week before, so really should have been targetting 1:25 for today’s session. I decided to try to push the session hard from the start though today.

The first 2 reps I felt good – no lactic acid, not too hard CV wise, so best push harder. 3 and 4 were then a little too fast, opps. 5 and 6 – ok I’m going to blow up in a heap if I carry on like this. So I made the decision after 6 reps that I had to drop back to “cruise” a few reps at 1:25s.

15 x 150m / 1min rest:
24.7 / 1:22.3 / 44
24.6 / 1:22.0 / 44
24.3 / 1:21.0 / 45
24.4 / 1:21.3 / 44
24.6 / 1:22.0 / 44
24.8 / 1:22.6 / 44
25.5 / 1:25.0 / 40
25.5 / 1:25.0 / 40
25.5 / 1:25.0 / 40
25.5 / 1:25.0 / 40
25.4 / 1:24.6 / 42
25.5 / 1:25.0 / 40
25.4 / 1:24.6 / 40
24.9 / 1:23.0 / 41
25.1 / 1:23.6 / 41

2250m = 6:15.6 / 1:23.4 / 41

All in all a pretty good session I think. For the pace it is a pretty low rate for me, which has been the case through all these sprint sessions. They do become a little “weird” when you really push them, when 1:25 pace can then feel like a bit of a cruise to recover from the earlier reps. If only it felt like that in something longer than 17 strokes.

And today just a nice steady 30min row:

30mins = 7802m / 1:55.3 / 22

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1 week to go…

Posted by thepeteplan on February 11, 2011

I seem to have neglected blogging my training since the first core session on Monday this week. We are now down to 1 week to go before the world indoor rowing championships, so training is ramping down a little now as we approach the tapering week.

Tuesday I just did an erg warm up then a short weights session. One mistake I have made a few times in the past few years is doing too much in the 2 weeks prior to a big race when the motivation gets high, so I am really trying to avoid it this time. I’m in good shape physically, and I’m not going to make big gains in the last 2 weeks.

Wednesday I then trained twice, mainly due to a kind of failed session in the first. The first session was a moderately hard 30min piece on rowpro, only the software crashed just after 20 minutes, so it turned into a 22min row by the time I realised that the boats on the laptop screen weren’t moving any more. Still, 22mins @ 1:46.0 / 26spm is a good middle distance piece anyway. In the evening I then did a few short 2k paced pieces, no particular format, including a 3:08.0 for 1k.

Thursday was then the final AT type session prior to Boston. Right at the short end of this type of session, but enough for a good mental and physical workout.

4 x 1250m / 5min rest:
4:14.4 / 1:41.7 / 27
4:14.4 / 1:41.7 / 28
4:13.9 / 1:41.5 / 28
4:04.6 / 1:37.8 / 31

5k = 16:47.3 / 1:40.7 / 28

This is the area that my training will be focussing on after Boston, so in a little over 2 weeks time it will be time to move on to the 5k training group.

5k Training Group:

Following on from the success of the BIRC to Boston training group this 5k focussed group will run for 12 weeks from Monday 28th February. We currently have 34 people signed up to take part in this group, which will be very beneficial for all the athletes with lots of people to compare core session progress and splits with. If anyone reading this is still interested in joining us email me asap.

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2k paced reps and a steady hour

Posted by thepeteplan on February 7, 2011


We are now beginning week 11 of 12 in the BIRC to Boston training group, so that means less than 2 weeks left before the World Championships race in Boston. So with the last full week of hard sessions there is no time to waste not trying on the core sessions, and with the first core session of week 11 having the longest single rep at around 2k pace of any session through the 12 weeks it was always going to be a tough session.

1250m = 3:56.9 / 1:34.7 / 33
4min rest
500m = 1:34.7 / 33
4min rest
750m = 2:21.9 / 1:34.6 / 33
4min rest
500m = 1:34.2 / 33

Totals: 9:27.7 / 3000m / 1:34.6 / 33

The key training points here were the long first rep, getting well past the half way point of the 2k at a fast pace, and the 750m third rep. The 500m between them was to be done at the same pace as the 1250, so not a hard rep, and the final 500m just to see what was left after the 750m. The 750m was tough, just as expected, but perhaps more because the 1250 wasn’t that well paced and I started off a bit too fast. I cannot afford to go off that fast for the first 1250m of the 2k race because, although on a good day I am physically fit enough, mentally there is still too far to go. The plan, currently, will be to go more like 1:36 for the first 1250, then try to bring the pace down from there.


60mins = 15435m / 1:56.6 / 21

Just a steady hour row in the living room….

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15 x 200m / 2min rest

Posted by thepeteplan on February 4, 2011

Today was the last core session of Week 10 of B2B. My target for this one was fairly straight forward – for the first time in the programme so far one of the B2B training group, Ian B, beat me on the sprint core session last week. This is one of the benefits of working in a fairly large training group like this and comparing scores for the same core sessions each week, it pushes us all on to put that little extra into the session. Ian had already done this one earlier in the week with a 1:26.6 average. The plan was to get through the first 10 a little slower than that, and hopefully have enough left to push the last 5 faster.

15 x 200m / 2min rest:
1:27.7 / 39
1:27.2 / 38
1:27.2 / 38
1:27.0 / 38
1:27.0 / 38
1:26.7 / 38
1:27.0 / 38
1:26.7 / 38
1:26.5 / 38
1:25.7 / 38
1:24.7 / 39
1:24.7 / 39
1:24.7 / 41
1:24.7 / 39
1:22.7 / 42

3000m = 8:36.3 / 1:26.0 / 38

I am really starting to feel one of my desired training effects of this type of session now. As my legs tire through the session, especially in the final few reps, my technique alters naturally to be able to keep pulling as fast or faster. I have found in the past that if I do the right amount of this type of training leading up to a race this change in technique becomes second nature and enables me to have a really fast sprint at the end of a 2k no matter how tired my legs are. And let’s face it, if you can train yourself to be able to row 1:25 pace for the last 200m of a 2k when your target average pace is 1:35, that means you can row the first 1800m at 1:36 pace. It may not sound like a big difference, but anyone who has rowed a 2k at the limit of their ability will know that 1 second in pace can be the difference between achieving your target and failing badly.

Thursday – 30mins moderate:

30mins = 8262m / 1:48.9 / 25
5min splits:
1:49.9 / 25
1:49.8 / 25
1:49.8 / 25
1:48.8 / 26
1:48.7 / 26
1:46.3 / 27

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Unintentional strong interval set

Posted by thepeteplan on February 2, 2011

You will have to bare with me a little to explain the meaning of the blog title today. Why do I think it was strong, and why was it unintentional? The summary details of the workout look pretty good on paper:

1k = 3:08.2 / 1:34.1 / 36
5min rest
750m = 2:21.0 / 1:34.0 / 32
4min rest
500m = 1:33.2 / 33
3min rest
500m = 1:29.8 / 36

This is around a second faster pace on each rep than the same session 3 weeks ago. The observant reader probably realises something is a little amiss by the rate on the 1k though, what’s going on there? The splits from each rep tell a different story of the session.

The session was actually supposed to simply be a 1k TT, aiming to just break 3mins. This was a confidence thing for me, as I know from experience that if I am in shape to break 3mins for 1k then I am in shape (physically) to break 6:20 for 2k. The 1k went like this:

1k in 100m splits:
1:27.5 / 41
1:30.0 / 37
1:29.5 / 40
1:29.5 / 37
1:30.0 / 37
1:30.0 / 37
1:30.0 / 37
1:30.5 / 36
2:17.0 / 24 (!!!)
1:27.0 / 38

It felt good and strong, but out of nowhere the HD demon jumped out at 200m to go and took me by surprise. In the space of 5 strokes I watched the average drop from 1:29.5 to 1:35.0. Then I HTFU’d and pulled it home fast from there – a complete mental blip, not a physical one. But how can I prove that was the case? Paddle for 3mins then do a 750m at 1:35.0.

750m in 125m splits:
1:35.2 / 32
1:34.8 / 33
1:35.2 / 30
1:35.2 / 33
1:34.8 / 30
1:29.2 / 35

After doing all but 5 strokes of the 1k at 1:30 and under 1:35’s felt like a walk in the park, and just a little bit of pressure in the last 125m and it was back below 1:30 pace. I decided at this point, as I felt strong now, to round out the set with 2 lots of 500m.

First 500m in 250m splits:
1:34.2 / 33
1:32.2 / 33

Just a short paddle then a final 500m:

Second 500m in 250m splits:
1:31.4 / 35
1:28.0 / 38

It is bizarre to completely fail on the target you went into the session with, but to come out of it with probably the strongest interval set of the past few months, and a lot of confidence that I’m actually in really good physical shape. I do have a slight dilemma now though. For the 2min CTC a few days ago I increased the drag to 140. That 2mins at 1:27.9 gave me the confidence to go for a sub3 for 1k. I decided to stick the drag in the middle at 135, half way between the normal 130, and the 140 from the 2min piece. I left it there for the later intervals and didn’t think any more about it. The dilemma is do I do the last few 2k paced sessions at 135 drag and race there in Boston, or stick to 130 drag?

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