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The Pete Plan blog

Archive for March, 2011

2k + CTC challenge = hard work!

Posted by thepeteplan on March 11, 2011

The third session of our second week in the 5k training group was down as a sub maximal 2k. These are in the plan every 3 weeks throughout, maintaining the philosophy of making the 2k into a training session like any other. We’re not doing any 2k specific training during this 12 weeks, but by doing targetted 2k rows every 3 weeks we will keep away any fear of the main race distance, and leave less ground to catch up later on.

I am trying hard to keep my focus on the target, and not get side tracked by other challenges along the way. This session was my best opportunity to tick off this month’s CTC challenge, and so I set off to combine the two. The challenge is a strange one this month – 4k total distance in 4 reps with 2min rest between reps. However, how you format those 4 reps is up to you. Is a simple 4 x 1k best? Are decreasing distances best? Are alternating long and short better for an increased recovery? In order to combine my core session with this challenge I had to do the 2k first, and so it make sense to have a shorter “recovery” rep second. So I put a plan in place to row it as 2k, 500m, 750m, 750m.

2k = 6:31.7 / 1:37.9 / 31
2min rest
500m = 1:37.9 / 31
2min rest
750m = 2:32.8 / 1:41.8 / 28
2min rest
750m = 2:25.8 / 1:37.2 / 32

4k = 13:08.2 / 1:38.5 / 30

In the previous B2B training group I combined sub maximal 2ks into a 2k, 1k, 500m session, but with long rests between the reps. That session was effective in taking the pressure off the 2k, as it is clearly not a maximal piece if there are other aspects of the session to come. Even done at the same pace this just puts you in a different mental zone, and somehow makes it easier. This session was no different. The 2k went by without problem, and was paced completely flat at 1:38s start to finish. 2mins rest after that is short though, and the 500m was quickly on me. I was always going to aim to row this at the same pace, and hope that it just extended the recovery from the 2k. It didn’t feel like it did, and I made the decision to row the first 750m a little slower.

That first 750m was actually the biggest positive from this session. 1:41.8 felt like a good recovery, and I felt good then to do the final 750m back at the pace of the initial 2k. If this pace can feel like a recovery for 750m then it is a good sign to be able to row 5k at least this fast at the end of this training phase. In terms of a fast CTC score it was too slow though, because I did feel too recovered following it. The final 750m felt strong though, and finished off the session well.

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3 x 15mins / 2r (5kTG Week 2)

Posted by thepeteplan on March 9, 2011

The second core session of week 2, and one I thought would be pretty straight forward.

3 x 15mins / 2min rest:
4165m / 1:48.0 / 26
4166m / 1:48.0 / 27
4214m / 1:46.7 / 28

45mins = 12545m / 1:47.6 / 27

I always think that these longer interval sessions will be pretty easy, but they never turn out that way. I am convinced that it’s all mental, because it doesn’t really get any harder physically from towards the end of rep 1 right to the end, but that doesn’t stop me wanting to quit the session from near the start of rep 2. In some ways I think I would find 45mins straight at the same pace mentally easier, but I know that with the short breaks to be able to drink some water and stretch a little it makes recovery from the session quicker, and overall makes the general fatigue from the session less.

Yesterday was just a steady 10k:

10k = 37:58.1 / 1:53.9 / 23

 
I’m still not sure which way to go on the easier sessions either. I’ve had most success in the past from rowing the steady sessions at this sort of rate and pace combination. When I restrict them to 20spm, no matter how slow I go (within reason) I don’t find them as effective in the overall training plan. Or more correctly, if I do the steady sessions at any pace at 20spm then I find them too physically fatiguing and so they impact on the harder sessions. As I find 1:54 / 23 “easier” than 1:59 / 20 I don’t really see the point in going for the slower option. Any views would be welcome, what benefit would I actually get sticking to a lower restricted rate on the steady rows? Bearing in mind that ideally I would like to build back up to rowing 2k races at 33/34spm, so these are still 10spm under race rate. 20spm just seems like an arbitrary rate, and what works for a 6’6 guy who wants to move a boat fast and rows 2k at 30spm is probably different to what should work for a 5’11 guy who just wants to move an erg fast.

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8 x 1250m / 1r = 5kTG Week 2

Posted by thepeteplan on March 7, 2011

The first core session of week 2 of the 5k training group, and moving on from the 10 x 1k of week 1 to an 8 x 1250m session today. So 10k total distance still, but split into 8 reps rather than 10, and still with only 1min rest between each. Last week I had a target of 1:47 start with a negative split allowed, and I ended up averaging 1:44.5. Today that meant that my target was the same 1:47 start, as the reps are 25% longer. I should have listened to the target set by the coach, and not decided this was too easy.

8 x 1250m / 1min rest:
4:23.1 / 1:45.2 / 27
4:22.2 / 1:44.8 / 27
4:21.7 / 1:44.6 / 28
4:21.6 / 1:44.6 / 28
4:21.0 / 1:44.4 / 28
4:21.3 / 1:44.5 / 28
4:21.2 / 1:44.4 / 29
4:16.0 / 1:42.4 / 29

10k = 34:48.0 / 1:44.4 / 28

Yes, I know the person setting the targets is me, but it’s not a very good example to set to the rest of the group by just deciding I can go faster. I did think it would feel easier than it did though. Whether it felt a fair bit harder than the 1k reps last week because the rep were 25% longer, or because I started 1.5sec faster pace, or maybe because I did a weights session on Saturday including deadlifts for the first time, I don’t know. Luckily I just had to go even paced for a couple of reps towards the end, rather than having to slow down, and still put in a good last rep.

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End of week 1 – 5k trial

Posted by thepeteplan on March 4, 2011

As week 1 of the 5k training group comes to an end it was time for the first single distance piece of the plan. Doing moderate to hard single distance pieces is essential during training to do hard middle distance pieces¬†– intervals alone just won’t give you the mental edge required to perform to your potential.

So the first middle distance piece in the 5k training is a 5k, but one specifically targetted to be a little sub maximal. Having done a 4 x 2k mid week the target for the 5k was to do the first 3k at a pace 1second slower than the 4 x 2k target pace, then negative split the final 2k. This way you can mentally see clearly that the first 3k is a little way within your physical capabilities – the first 2k is a second slower than the first 2k of the 4 x 2k, so that has to be fine. From 2k to 3k you had done another 3 x 2k on Wednesday at a faster pace, so getting through the next 1k is again fine. This gets you to 2k to go, a much more managable distance, and you shouldn’t be any more physically (or mentally) tired than prior to the final rep of the 4 x 2k, quite a bit less so in fact.

My target was 1:44 for 3k then negative split. I have 11 more week to build up the confidence to push these middle distance pieces harder:

500m splits:
1:43.9 / 28
1:43.9 / 27
1:43.9 / 28
1:43.9 / 28
1:43.9 / 28
1:43.9 / 28
1:43.7 / 28
1:43.6 / 28
1:43.0 / 28
1:39.2 / 30

5k = 17:13.0 / 1:43.3 / 28

Even for maximal effort 5k pieces this is how I like to split the distance in my mind, a slightly slower first 3k followed by a maximal 2k. Going into the first 3k with an exact target that you can relate to recent training paces is the important part to get you in sight of the end, then it’s all about desire from there and pushing to the limit.

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The importance of targets

Posted by thepeteplan on March 2, 2011

The second core session of the 5k training plan today shows the importance of targets. I carefully set the targets for everyone in the training group on a spreadsheet taking into account recent session performances and the planned aims of the session. Using the same logic applied to other people’s targets for this session my target was 1:43 for 3 reps, and a faster last rep. The normal problem for the self coached athlete though, I thought 1:43 was too close to 6:50 not to just push the first 3 reps under 6:50, but really 1:42.4 pace is quite a bit faster than 1:43.

4 x 2k / 5min rest:
6:49.8 / 1:42.4 / 28
6:49.5 / 1:42.3 / 29
6:49.7 / 1:42.4 / 29
6:51.5 / 1:42.8 / 29

8k = 27:20.5 / 1:42.5 / 28

This session felt tough from the outset, not just mentally but physically. Not so much the pace, but I just felt somewhat lacking in energy. I was having to play mental games as early as rep 2, and rep 3 was hard enough for me to revise my strategy for rep 4. For the final rep I rowed the majority at 1:44 pace, just picking up the pace from about 400m out – not quite enough to bring it right back to target.

I do find that these 5k type reps improve quite quickly though when you’ve not been doing them very hard for a while, so I hope to get this down close to 1:40’s throughout by the end of the 5k TG.

And I know it wasn’t just a mental stuggle as I have the tell tale running nose and sneezing, which always follows a hard interval set for me.

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