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The Pete Plan blog

Archive for November, 2011

British Online Rowing Championships (BORC)

Posted by thepeteplan on November 27, 2011


The last core training sessions of the week yesterday, and the end of Week 1 of the 13 week group training schedule leading up to the World indoor rowing championships. I kept to the slower end of my target range for this one due to the unscheduled row coming up on Saturday.

3 x 15mins / 2min rest:
4019m / 1:51.9 / 24
4018m / 1:51.9 / 25
4017m / 1:52.0 / 25


Yesterday was the first British Online Rowing Championships. Regular concept2 racers will know that the British champs normally takes place in November each year at the NIA in Birmingham, but due to circumstances beyond the control of Concept2 the venue was not abailable this year. Those championships have now been combined with the European indoors and are being held in Nottingham in March. C2 got together with digital rowing and put on the British Online Championships yesterday though, giving people the opportunity to race a 2k in November anyway. The racing was done in the usual BIRC race categories (which means 5 year age groups from 30 upwards), and raced over the rowpro race server online.

I do a reasonable amount of online training through rowpro anyway, but still getting yourself motivated for a 2k race in your living room is not easy. I’d only raced a couple of weeks ago in Newark, and so it was a last minute decision that I should take part in this event. My plan was to try to even out the pace I’d rowed in Newark just a little, and so beat the pace of the first 3 x 500m splits with hopefully a similarly fast last quarter to bring me in with a faster time. Here is how it went:

2k = 6:28.1 / 1:37.0 / 31
500m splits:
1:37.2 / 31
1:37.7 / 31
1:37.9 / 31
1:35.3 / 32

So the plan was fine for 1500m, I was faster right from the start until 500m to go. But the desire to push as hard as I could just wasn’t there in the final 500m, so although comfortably the fastest quarter of the race,  the overall time was 0.9seconds slower than the Newark race time. To most people 9 tenths of a second is nothing really, and it wasn’t a maximal row, but it still would have been nice to go marginally faster rather than marginally slower.


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Messing with the schedule – 4 x 2k

Posted by thepeteplan on November 22, 2011

After the 500m reps yesterday today really should have been a steady distance day. But I’m driving back south tomorrow afternoon / evening so may well not get a session in tomorrow at all. I don’t want to do anything hard on Friday as I have the BORC online 2k race on Saturday. So that doesn’t leave much time for any core sessions this week!

So I decided that the 4 x 2k session scheduled for Friday should be done today on tired legs.

4 x 2k / 5min rest: (target 1:45 for 3, faster last)
6:59.7 / 1:44.9 / 27
6:59.6 / 1:44.9 / 27
6:59.4 / 1:44.8 / 28
6:52.0 / 1:43.0 / 29

8k = 27:50.7 / 1:44.4 / 27

Working hard, but not too close to maximal due to doing 2 core sessions in a row. Rest day tomorrow now.

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15 x 500m (5k training)

Posted by thepeteplan on November 21, 2011


Nice easy 30mins yesterday.

30mins = 7530m / 1:59.5 / 20


Today was the start of my new training group. 13 weeks leading up the the Crash Bs / World Indoor Rowing Championships in the USA, split as 5 weeks of 5k training up to Christmas, then 8 weeks of 2k training leading in to the worlds. The first session on the 5k training is a new one for me, with a different progression of sessions this year. In previous years I have successfully done the 5k training through 500s, 600s, 750s and 1ks each with 1min rest and 6k total session distance. This year I’m doing it a little differently, and so the first session is up from 12 to 15reps of 500m.

15 x 500m / 1min rest:
1:41.8 / 28
1:41.8 / 28
1:41.5 / 28
1:41.4 / 29
1:41.1 / 29
1:40.7 / 29
1:40.7 / 29
1:40.5 / 29
1:40.5 / 29
1:40.5 / 30
1:40.4 / 30
1:40.3 / 30
1:39.9 / 30
1:39.8 / 31
1:37.9 / 31

7500m = 25:08.9 / 1:40.5 / 29

This is faster than the target I set other people, and faster than I really should have gone for the intention I have for this progression over the next few weeks. But sometimes I need to push the sessions pretty hard to be sure that the level I pitch them at for the training group is about where I intend. A good session done in a group with two other guys.

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10k on rowpro

Posted by thepeteplan on November 19, 2011

Another good turn out on rowpro this afternoon for a 10k.

10k = 36:52.2 / 1:50.6 / 25
2k splits:
1:51.3 / 24
1:50.8 / 24
1:50.1 / 25
1:50.4 / 25
1:50.4 / 25

Steady 1:50/1:51 all the way. Should really have been an easy row today so this was a bit too fast.

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60mins on rowpro

Posted by thepeteplan on November 18, 2011

A good little crowd on rowpro this lunchtime for a 60mins with Joe Keating, Steve Smith, David Lilly and Keith Allen. I rowed the 60mins as a base pace of 1:58-2:00 then 10+1 strokes harder every 2.5mins. I hadn’t intended doing the harder strokes as quickly as I did through the bulk of the session, but David rowed the same pacing plan along side me for 2/3rds of the row and kept me honest!

60mins = 15838m / 1:53.4 / 24
10min splits:
1:57.3 / 22
1:54.2 / 24
1:53.2 / 24
1:52.5 / 25
1:52.1 / 25
1:51.6 / 25

I kept strict all the way through with the easy portions at 1:58-2:00 never slower or faster, and generally at 22spm. The hard strokes quickly settled to 1:42 give or take 1. It’s a good way to get through 60mins at a pretty fast pace as the time goes quickly. The toughest bit is remembering how many hard strokes you’re supposed to do at the next 2.5min point! Getting into the last 15mins when you’re above 30 hard strokes it is getting close to 1:1 hard to easy rowing, which starts to get tough when you’ve got 15k or so in your legs already.

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7 x 1k / 2min rest

Posted by thepeteplan on November 17, 2011

A new session today trialling for a different new progression of sessions for the first few weeks of my Boston training group that starts next week. As I’d struggled on a 6344m attempt earlier in the week starting at 1:46 pace then dropping back I thought that was the best pace to start at for this session today.

7 x 1k / 2min rest:
1:45.8 / 27
1:45.3 / 27
1:44.7 / 27
1:44.0 / 28
1:43.2 / 28
1:42.9 / 29
1:39.8 / 30

7k = 24:11.8 / 1:43.7 / 28

Gradually got into the session and felt better rep to rep. Despite the poor 6344m on Tuesday it’s been a good training week so far, and the first time I have trained on both my commuting days in the week since I started this job getting on for 7 months ago now.

Looking forward to the start of the new training group on Monday. We have a very strong group of rowers so it will be interesting to see everyone’s progress over the 13 weeks to Crash Bs.

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More training…

Posted by thepeteplan on November 16, 2011


15k = 57:46.0 / 1:55.5 / 22


A slow first attempt at the concept2 challenge series for November – I didn’t intend it to be this slow but realised after 1k that it was not going to be a fast day!

6344m = 22:55.5 / 1:48.4 / 26
1k splits:
1:46.0 / 27
1:48.1 / 26
1:49.9 / 25
1:49.9 / 25
1:49.9 / 25
1:47.9 / 27
1:43.9 / 29 (last 344m)


12k = 45:38.2 / 1:54.0 / 23

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Newark IRC – 2k race

Posted by thepeteplan on November 16, 2011

I blogged in the run up to the Newark IRC that my prep had been far from perfect, mainly due to a chest cold that had taken me out of action for around 2 weeks prior to the race. I wanted to use the event still as a baseline before I begin a 15 week phase next Monday aiming towards the World IRC in February. The plan was therefore to pick a pace that I was sure I could do (well, as sure as you can be having done no real speed work), and aim to race from 500m out for the best position I could get, rather than purely time trialling the distance.

The plan I decided on was a base pace of 1:37-1:38. Why this pace? I knew I was not in shape to get close to 6:20, and wanted to ensure I went under 6:30! The Newark IRC was my first ever race in 2001 where I rowed a 6:30.7, so I had no intention of going slower than that. Here is how the race went:

500m splits:

1:37.8 / 31
1:38.0 / 31
1:37.8 / 31
1:33.6 / 34

2k = 6:27.2 / 1:36.8 / 31

That was good enough for second in the men’s 30+ heavy weight race, with first place in 6:22 and third in 6:29. I didn’t move into 2nd position until about 300m from the line, and put in a good sprint finish from just inside 250m to ensure the position. All in all a baseline performance I am happy with at this stage of training, and with the interupted run-up.

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Crash B / BIRC training group

Posted by thepeteplan on November 9, 2011

The Crash B’s World Indoor Rowing Championships takes place on Sunday 19th February 2012. The British and European Indoor Rowing Championships take place on Sunday 25th March 2012.

I will be running a training group leading up to the Crash B’s starting on Monday 21st November. The 13 week training period will be split between training focusing on the 5k for the first 5 weeks up to Christmas, then 8 weeks focusing on the 2k from Monday 26th December. There will then be an optional 4 week add on for those then going on to race at the British / European competition on 25th March.
If there is interest I can run a parallel training group using the same 13 weeks of training but starting 4 weeks later to lead people solely up to BIRC.

The 13 week training group will be run like the previous training groups with core and optional sessions each week common to everyone in the group, but individual targets for each session emailed in 2 weekly blocks. Generally the cost of these coached groups is £20 per 4 week block, but it didn’t seem worth waiting an extra week to make the full period 12 weeks long, so the cost for the full 13 week coached training period will be £60. I am happy to accept people just for the 8 week block from 26th December at a cost of £40, though I do feel that the 5 week block of 5k training will prepare people well for the final 8 week push into the Crash Bs.

As always there is no obligation to race in the Crash Bs or BIRC to take part in the training group, then are just convenient end targets to aim towards. Any questions just ask, or to register your interest send me an email to

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4 days to go and future training

Posted by thepeteplan on November 8, 2011

There are now 4 potential training days left before the Newark IRC 2k competition on Saturday, and I have done no training worth blogging since my last entry on 28th October. I have always trained by the rules that if a cold is neck and above I train through it (albeit at a lower intensity normally), but if it is below the neck I rest it out. I don’t remember ever actually having to take complete rest before due to a chest cold, but I have had to for much of the past 2 weeks. With only 4 days left before the race it will be all about getting my head in the right place, my body to remember what it has to do, and a plan in place for the race. It will not be a time trial for me now because I am not capable of the sort of time I would want to do, so I will simply be racing for the best position possible on the day. Many people would say that time trialling for the best time is the only good method of achieving that best position, but I don’t think this is always the case for the experienced racer. We’ll see how it works out.

As for future training we are now something like 14 weeks away from the World Indoor Rowing championships in Boston, USA. I will be running a training group for the 12 weeks leading up to the race as I have done the past couple of years, and I believe that means it will begin on Monday 21st November 2011. Email me for details if you are interested.

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