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The Pete Plan blog

Cross team challenge

Posted by thepeteplan on August 19, 2012

My training has been lacking a reason to push hard on the sessions. To give me a reason to push hard on today’s session I decided to do this month’s cross team challenge, and pick a person to beat. The challenge this month is decending distance reps of 1500m, 800m, 400m, 200m, 100m with a 2min passive rest between, and so starting each rep from a static start. This is not my preference for interval training, I prefer to do active rest and take a rolling start into each rep, but for all but the very short sprints I do not find that it impacts the score. So as rules are rules I went with it.

My team mate jd looked like a good person to aim for, and with a 1:37.1 average pace for the set would be a hard target. The plan was roughly 1:40 for the 1500 / 800, 1:30 for the 400, 1:25 for the 200 and 1:20 for the 100, which I thought in total would get me about there to beat jd’s score. It went like this:

1500m = 4:59.2 / 1:39.7 / 31
2min passive rest
800m = 2:38.4 / 1:39.0 / 32
2min passive rest
400m = 1:12.8 / 1:31.0 / 37
2min passive rest
200m = 34.2 / 1:25.5 / 42
2min passive rest
100m = 16.1 / 1:20.5 / 45

3000m = 9:40.7 / 1:36.7 / 37

I knew that a few tenths up on plan in the early reps would buy me a fair bit of leeway in the later reps. It felt good to put some pace down in the final reps too, I’ve not done that for a while! I felt like I was working comfortably hard during the first 2 reps, which means that this was probably about right for my current mental and physical fitness level. There was probably more to be taken physically in the early reps, but it would have had an impact on the later reps.

These decreasing reps are a difficult one to pace for the best overall average pace. The 1500m is half of the overall session distance, and so has the biggest impact on the average pace. But it is also about double the duration of the next longest rep, so pace it too hard and you won’t recover from it. Whether there was too much left in the final reps is very difficult to judge, a short duration high rate sprint is always there if you have reasonable erg sprinting genes.

One Response to “Cross team challenge”

  1. Paul said

    Hi Pete! I’m new to this web-site but have recently been reading some of your blogs and posts on the C2 forum. I’m 51 and only started rowing a few years ago to help lose weight and get a healthier heart & lungs, but I’ve gradually got the bug! In the past I was more into weight training/BB, the only aerobic activity I enjoyed was cycling. The problem I have is that no one at the gym I use seem to be able to offer any technical advice on rowing, and from what I’ve been reading, I need some help! I generally just do a 5k (plus the odd 2k and 10k), but my stroke rate is around 28 or 29, which I understand from the forum is probably too high. But when I slow the rate down to 24 or under, I struggle to keep the pace up. I assume I need to put much more effort into each single stroke, but do it more slowly, but it doesn’t feel natural!
    Anyway, I’m staggered at your level of fitness and the volume of training you do! My best ever 5k is 19:14, and I can only dream about a sub 7 2k. I know it’s all relative, but I feel I must be doing something wrong to not get a better time.
    Also, I’m surprised you don’t use a heart rate monitor. To help break things up a little, I have just started a 2,000m Interactive Programme – I’m hoping this might help, but it’s all based around working in the target HR zone – do you not think this is a good system?
    I have noticed that now I’m into my 50s my strength has decreased quite significantly, but my fitness has improved, so I guess I need to work more on that, which favours more the longer rows and less the shorter ones. I will try to read more of your helpful posts in the meantime and try to improve my technique, thanks for all the material you put up!
    Cheers, Paul

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