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The Pete Plan blog

Basingstoke IRC – 2500m race

Posted by thepeteplan on April 9, 2011

Today was the Basingstoke indoor rowing competition. The main race distance is 2500m, with the only real short course championship races in the UK over 100m and 300m. There was also a rerun of the rowing bleep test, a 1min on / 1min off event with increasing pace targets each level. I only entered the 2500m race as I knew if I entered the bleep test as well it would be an easy excuse not to row the main race as fast, and this one fitted in with my training requirements better anyway.

Being 6 weeks into a 5k training phase I’m not doing any training much below 5k pace, and therefore wouldn’t expect to be very fast over shorter distances at the moment. My aim for the race was to row a flat pace for the first 2k, then gradually speed up over the final 500m. I wanted the pace over the first 2k to be enough faster than target 5k pace to give good confidence that I’m on course, and not too fast as to risk any blow up in the middle. I knew the form of most of the other competitors well, so always expected Rich Blagrove and Si Gough to be a long way out in front, and noone else pushing me too much. So I aimed for low 1:38’s for the first 2k pace, and ideally wanted to speed up enough over the final 500m to just sneak under 6:30 pace (1:37.5).

The race went to form. Si and Rich went out at 1:35s and gradually opened up a good gap ahead. One guy in the U23 went out fast for the first few hundred metres, but then dropped off to 1:40 / 1:41, so once I passed by him I opened up a good lead to the people behind me. From there is was just a matter of pulling 1:38 / 1:39 through the majority of the race. It was hard not to watch the battle up front on my monitor with the lead changing stroke by stroke. I don’t think I saw more than 2m between them up to the final 100m or so, it must have been a great race to watch!

2500m = 8:08.6 / 1:37.7 / 31
500m splits:
1:38.1 / 32
1:38.3 / 31
1:38.4 / 31
1:38.1 / 31
1:35.7 / 33

A little too many 1:39s through the middle of the first 2k which put me a bit too far from the 1:37.5 final target pace. I’m sure I would have made target if I was pushed in the final 500m, but as it was I was just speeding up for my own result with noone close either side. I’m happy with how the race felt, and how I felt at the end though. The 1:37.5  target was a bit arbitrary really so no big deal.

Knowing the sort of form Rich and Si are in currently put it into context for me today how fast I was at my best though. My best 2500m race was at the Nottingham GP race in the 2003 / 2004 season, and my time there would have put me a tenth of a second faster than Si’s time today!

I saw an empty erg in the 100m race a while after my 2500m, so couldn’t resist jumping on for a go. I’m not great at the very short sprints as I don’t have the size or the power to accelerate really fast. I managed to peak at 1:13 splits, and row through the line at 1:15 pace still, but the average split showing on the monitor at the end was 1:19.3 for a 15.9sec final time. Not as fast average pace as the 30sec sprint I did in the Southampton shopping centre a few weeks ago, but the average would have carried on dropping had I rowed another 14seconds today.

A great day out, lots of good racing to watch, and a race I recommend anyone who can make it to attend next year.

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