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Archive for January, 2012

2k TT – 20 days to go

Posted by thepeteplan on January 30, 2012

3 weeks before race day (yesterday) I did my final 2k TT before the World Indoor Rowing championships race.

The best I have done in training (or recent racing) has been a 6:27, and so the aim today was to go under 6:26. I decided to set 250m splits and aim to keep them all at or just under 1:37 with a fast first 5 strokes, then a push at the end. I have found a warm up that works well for me for the harder sessions:

3550m warm up as:
1500m @ 1:58
400m @ 1:53
100m @ 1:40
400m @ 1:53
100m @ 1:38
250m @ 2:00
500m @ 1:40
300m @ 2:00

The key part is the 500m portion towards the end at just faster than 5k pace. I then rest for between 5 and 7minutes before the main effort.

2000m = 6:25.3 / 1:36.3 / 32
250m splits:
1:35.6 / 34
1:37.0 / 33
1:37.0 / 31
1:37.0 / 32
1:36.8 / 31
1:37.0 / 32
1:36.8 / 32
1:33.6 / 33

Just treating it as 8 x 250m was a good way to get through it as all I cared about was getting the next 250m on target. It went perfectly, and I know there is more to come on race day. Even with the same first 1500m if I commited more to a final sprint I would be able to take a couple of seconds off this, so not too much tweaking needed now to make the Boston target.

Unfortunately I seem to have injured an intercostal muscle (or something around that area) somehow. I had to skip the steady distance row today because of it and instead do a steady 30mins on my Tacx cycle trainer. The injury became apparent on Thursday last week, and hasn’t really changed since. It didn’t affect the 2k yesterday, but felt too uncomfortable to do a longer distance today.

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16 x 250m – speed work

Posted by thepeteplan on January 25, 2012

Tonight was my final session in The Gym in Liverpool One before I head back south tomorrow for good. I last did this session on 1st October when Eddie Ventress first came over to Farnborough for a session. That time I negative split down from a 1:33 start, and pushed completely maximally to catch up with Eddie’s average by the end. I wanted to even out the splits this time and rather than do 3 slower than 1:30 do all reps sub 1:30 with a fast last if there is anything left.

16 x 250m / 90sec rest:
1:29.8 / 37
1:29.8 / 36
1:29.8 / 37
1:29.8 / 36
1:29.8 / 36
1:29.6 / 36
1:29.8 / 37
1:29.6 / 36
1:29.8 / 36
1:29.8 / 36
1:29.0 / 36
1:29.8 / 37
1:29.8 / 37
1:29.8 / 36
1:29.2 / 38
1:26.6 / 39

4k = 11:55.9 / 1:29.4 / 36

A tough session this one. Felt good after 4, felt hard after 8, got distracted on 11 and ended up going a bit fast, increased the rate on 15 to go a bit quicker, pushed hard on 16 and just kept the starting rate up though the rep. Had I kept the rate at 36/37 I don’t think I would have gone really any quicker on the last 2 reps.

It is a good sharpening and training exercise for us, but you can’t read too much into the pace of the 250s as to 2k potential – it varies a lot between different people. Good training effect though.

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2k paced work – less than 4 weeks to go

Posted by thepeteplan on January 23, 2012

I may not seem to find the time to regularly blog my training here, but I am still training hard when I have the time and energy. Each week my Monday night “core” is the most important session of the week. This is the session that I need to see weekly improvement on to know that my training is moving me in the right direction towards race day – everything else is about enabling me to keep improving on that one session.

Tonights session was a 4 x 1k, last rowed on 27th December, about 4 weeks ago. The paces achieved on 27th Dec are in brackets after today’s:

4 x 1k / 5min rest: (27th Dec result)
3:14.8 / 1:37.4 / 32 — (1:38.0 / 32)
3:14.6 / 1:37.3 / 32 — (1:38.0 / 32)
3:14.9 / 1:37.4 / 33 — (1:37.9 / 32)
3:13.3 / 1:36.6 / 33 — (1:36.8 / 32)

4k = 12:57.6 / 1:37.2 / 32 — (1:37.7 / 32)

A good improvement on the speed reps session that I probably hate the most. They are long reps, they are all equal length, and they hurt! I have done this session a lot over the years though, so I know how it relates to a 2k for me. This result would put me at 6:24 / 6:25 for a 2k at similar effort at the moment.

Last week’s session was a progression from 2 weeks before, when the session had a 1200 / 800 split on the longer reps:

1st Jan: 1200 = 1:35.9 + 800 = 1:35.9; 2k = 6:23.7

For this workout the split in the 2k simply changed by 100m to make the core reps 1300 / 700. The instructions were to push the 1300 and 700 hard. My target was to go at least as fast as the 1200 / 800 last time. Target for the 500s was again 1:38.0.

500m = 1:38.0 / 32
3min rest
1300m = 4:07.6 / 1:35.2 / 33
3min rest
500m = 1:38.0 / 32
3min rest
700m = 2:12.5 / 1:34.6 / 34
3min rest
500m = 1:36.8 / 32

3500m = 11:12.9 / 1:36.1 / 32
1300 + 700 = 6:20.1

So a 3.6second improvement on the combined 2k, with a faster final 500m as well.  So speed work is all moving in the right direction, and with 3 more of these Monday core sessions to go I am still on target to be able to go under 6:22 on race day.

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4 x 2k with Eddie

Posted by thepeteplan on January 13, 2012

I met up with Eddie “Eventfull” Ventress at my gym in Farnborough earlier this afternoon for some 4 x 2k interval fun. I think this is one of the mentally toughest interval sets, and one that you have to be realistic in your target to row it well. I don’t like getting slower in these sets, so like to pace it tough, but with the last rep being the fastest.

4 x 2k / 5min rest:
6:49.7 / 1:42.4 / 29
6:49.7 / 1:42.4 / 29
6:49.6 / 1:42.4 / 30
6:46.4 / 1:41.6 / 30

8k = 27:15.3 / 1:42.2 / 29

Happy with the set, better than I’ve done recently. Eddie is strong, his slowest rep was quicker (by some way) than my fast last, and he is still improving pretty quickly. For those who don’t know Eddie, he is fairly new to the sport and races in the 50+ hwt category. He has already managed a 6:22 for a race 2k in his first few months in the sport, so is a hot tip for major medals in the next few seasons.

I took a rest day yesterday in order to be fairly fresh for this session, but on Wednesday did a fairly strong 8k on rowpro:

8k = 28:24.3 / 1:46.5 / 25
1k splits:
1:47.1 / 25
1:47.6 / 25
1:47.6 / 25
1:47.4 / 25
1:47.2 / 25
1:46.6 / 26
1:45.8 / 27
1:42.8 / 29

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2k time trial – 40 days to race day

Posted by thepeteplan on January 10, 2012

With a little under 6 weeks till race day at the Crash Bs World Indoor Rowing Championships it was time to do a 2k time trial and see objectively how the training is going. Since my last blog on 1st January I have been ticking over with the training due to a bit of a chest cold, so this was the first time to test that out properly since that session.

For me, stroke rate is the key to rowing a good 2k time. If I keep the stroke rate where I need it the pace will follow. If I lose concentration the stroke rate will drop, and soon after the pace will start to suffer. So the aim of today’s TT was to maintain 32spm+ throughout the 2k, and not worry so much about pace. I wanted to be comfortably under 6:30 though, with a “happy with” target of sub 6:28, and a “very happy with” target of under 6:26. So the aim was to try to hold the average pace around 1:37.5 then push on harder towards the end. It went to plan:

2k = 6:27.2 / 1:36.8 / 32
500m splits:
1:37.3 / 33
1:37.9 / 32
1:37.4 / 32
1:34.6 / 34

With the strong finish, and how the pace and rate felt over the first 1500m, I am happy with this at this stage of training. I finished the 2k wishing I had pushed harder earlier, and sprinted properly at the end. In a gym TT it is good to finish knowing you should have pushed harder. The plan from here is to do another 2k TT between now and Boston, and aim for at least under 6:26 to be within 1sec / 500m of my Boston target time (6:21.8). Also speed intervals each week to get used to 1:35 / 1:36 pace so make the cruise pace a bit faster ready for Boston. All looking good so far.

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Week 7 – Core session 1

Posted by thepeteplan on January 1, 2012

A new year means new dedication to the training goals. My first goal this year is to get within 10 seconds of my race pb at the Crash B’s in 7 weeks time, which means 6:21.8 or better. With that in mind, I will be aiming to push the first core session each week harder than I have been doing recently, and so I will try to shift this core session 1 to the Sunday each week rather than Monday so I have more time and am a bit fresher to hit it hard.

Today’s session is a bit of a different one. Variable distance reps each with a 3min rest between. The core of the session is a 2k split into 1200 then 800m reps, but surrounded by 500m reps. Essentially there is a fixed target for the 500s slightly slower than current 2k pace, and the 1200 and 800 are rowed hard – there is a target band, but the instruction is to push the 800 as hard as you can while leaving just enough to get the final 500m on target.

3250m warm up, then:

500m = 1:37.9 / 31
3min rest
1200m = 3:50.2 / 1:35.9 / 33
3min rest
500m = 1:37.9 / 32
3min rest
800m = 2:33.5 / 1:35.9 / 34
3min rest
500m = 1:38.0 / 32

3500m = 11:17.5 / 1:36.7 / 32
[1200+800m reps = 6:23.7]

I am going to be deliberately keeping the stroke rate up on these 2k paced reps as it is the only way I will be able to row a reasonably fast 2k in a few weeks time. Happy enough with this to get the longer reps under 1:36 pace. The 500s at 1:38 pace don’t aid the rest as much as I thought they would.

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