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Archive for November, 2013

Another training update

Posted by thepeteplan on November 25, 2013

20th November:

A last chance to get in a score for this month’s challenge series. I wasn’t feeling well on this day, but needed to get it done with BIRC fast approaching. So I went into the row with a simple target of breaking 1:45.0 average pace.

6344m = 22:10.6 / 1:44.8 / 28
1k splits:
1:43.8 / 29
1:45.6 / 28
1:45.6 / 28
1:45.7 / 28
1:45.7 / 28
1:44.8 / 28
1:39.1 / 31 (344m)

22nd November:

Steady distance row.

30mins = 8197m / 1:49.7 / 25

23rd November:

Saturday was a rare opportunity to do a session with one of the athletes in my coaching group. We’re getting on to final sharpening with BIRC fast approaching, so moving down in rep length to 30sec reps, and a pace increase over the 250m reps we did recently.

12 x 30sec / 60sec rest:
6mins = 2081m / 1:26.4 / 38
First 11 reps between 1:26.2 and 1:27.2, final rep 1:23.7

25th November:

Onto today, and the final hard Monday core session, and the longest single rep at race pace. That’s not quite true, as I did a 1609m piece a few weeks ago at the same pace, but as a single max piece. Today the target was the same as the 500, 1250, 500, 500 session from 2 weeks ago, so 1:38.0 for the 1st and 3rd reps, and 1:36.o for the 1500m rep with a fast last 500m. So the 1500m, 500m second and final reps are essentially a split 2k.

500m, 1500m, 500m, 500m / 3min rest:
500m = 1:38.0 / 31
1500m = 4:48.2 / 1:36.0 / 33
500m = 1:37.9 / 32
500m = 1:31.8 / 35

Right on targets throughout the session. It’s hard to be completely objective about this type of session just after it, and analyse how it will relate to the 2k race coming up. Obviously the 1500m at 1:36.0 was not completely maximal, but set 2000m on the clock and could I hit the first 1500m at that same pace and push on in the final 500m?


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6 x 600m / 2min rest

Posted by thepeteplan on November 18, 2013

I began this phase of training with 6 x 600m / 2min rest, averaging 1:36.1. I repeated the session on 1st October, not long before the Bristol race, and improved the average pace down to 1:35.6. Today was the third iteration of this session during the training plan, and so a good measure of improvement and current form. When I’m coaching people on a plan like this I like to vary the sessions more than the standard Pete Plan intervals, but it is still good, both for coach and athlete, to do exact repeat sessions occasionally. This takes all of the subject judgements out of the equation, and gives a true objective measure of the improvements (or not) in performance.

Last time out I had done the first 5 reps around 1:35.9 / 1:36.0, and with a 1:33.8 last rep brought the average down to 1:35.6.  Using standard Pete Plan pacing techniques my plan today was therefore to do the first 5 reps at or just under 1:35.6 and again a fast last final rep.

6 x 600m / 2min rest:
1:54.5 / 1:35.4 / 33
1:54.5 / 1:35.4 / 33
1:54.4 / 1:35.3 / 33
1:54.4 / 1:35.3 / 33
1:54.3 / 1:35.2 / 33
1:51.7 / 1:33.0 / 35

Totals = 11:23.8 / 1:34.9 / 33

This was one of those sessions that just felt tough from the start, like each rep was a bit of a rush. But taking it one rep at a time it didn’t actually get a lot harder rep to rep, so I always knew that the next rep would be achieveable, and that’s all that matters during a session.

So another good improvement on the session. If last time out a 1:35.6 average pace achieved a 1:36.6 average pace in the 2k in Bristol, then for the same differential a 1:34.9 here would achieve a 1:35.9 in a 2k. This seems about right for where I think I am today, but with a good few more core sessions to go, and a taper to arrive fresh on race day, I would like to go a little quicker than that.

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Sharpening for the race

Posted by thepeteplan on November 16, 2013

With the British Indoor Rowing championships on Saturday 7th December it is vital to start to improve the quality of the work effort I am putting in. The right choice of sessions at the right intensities to ensure I arrive at race day in optimal condition to race as fast as my training will allow, and fresh enough to do it. So the sessions have to maximise mental toughness, optimise the efficiency of my rowing at the best stroke rate dictated by the training sessions, and get me to the point on race day where I am fresh both mentally and physically and determined to make the most of the hard sessions I’ve done.

11th November:

Variable intervals with the focus on reps 2 and 4:
500m = 1:38.0 / 31
1250m = 4:00.0 / 1:36.0 / 33
500m = 1:38.1 / 32
750m = 2:23.5 / 1:35.6 / 34

This session is really a split 2k with 1250 and 750m reps. The 500m reps are there to make the session a bit longer, with the first rep ensuring the warmup is adequate, and the third rep there as an extended rest period between the two main reps. These two reps are deliberately targetted 2seconds slower pace for those reasons.

12th November:

30mins = 8050m / 1:51.8 / 23

A good solid steady distance piece.

13th November:

3 x 10mins / 2min rest:
2754m / 1:48.9 / 26
2804m / 1:46.9 / 26
2859m / 1:44.9 / 28

30mins = 8417m / 1:46.9 / 26

Incorporating the warm up into rep 1, then negative splitting the reps by 2seconds each time. This was always targetted as a more moderate session, as the Wednesday core sessions are in the final month before the big race. So moving from 3 hard core sessions a week to 2 hard and 1 moderate session.

15th November:

60mins = 16638m / 1:48.1 / 27
10min splits:
1:49.0 / 26
1:48.9 / 27
1:48.8 / 27
1:48.8 / 27
1:48.5 / 27
1:44.9 / 29

This was an additional session to the core sessions. A good mental strength builder to push the pace for a longer single distance (or time in this case) row. Higher quality on paper certainly than the 3 x 10min session 2 days earlier, but I have always been better at single pieces than longer reps. I like to get into a rhythm and then just keep plugging away and stay there, rather than break the concentration. A pretty comfortable and solid row for the first 50mins, aiming to sit on target to break 16500m. But then I wanted to see how much I really had left and push the last 10mins pretty hard. Overall a satisfying workout – nothing better really than a well executed longer distance row.

16th November:

16 x 250m / 90sec rest:
First 15 reps 1@ 1:29.6, 10@ 1:29.8, 4@ 1:30
Last rep = 1:28.8
Overall average = 4000m / 11:58.2 / 1:29.7 / 37

This was the final core session of the week, and one that probably shouldn’t have been attempted the day after a hard 60mins row. But if I didn’t get it done today then it would impact on next week’s sessions, and that’s not a good thing this close to BIRC. So I accepted that I was fatigued, and just did what was necessary. The idea here is simple – rep after rep at around 5seconds quicker than 2k pace, getting more and more fatigued, but always managing to do just one more 250m rep at pace. The target of 1:30 pace was a little quicker than current form would dictate, but I always like the round number targets so had to go for it. The first 6 reps were tough, feeling pretty fatigued from yesterday. But I took one rep at a time and just kept pushing. The real take away point from this session is the last few reps, and learning how to maintain a pace significantly quicker than 2k pace even when very fatigued, and this will have a knock on effect on the closing stages of a 2k race.

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750m reps and 250m reps

Posted by thepeteplan on November 10, 2013

Tuesday 5th November:

5 x 750m / 3:30 rest:
2:23.8 / 1:35.8 / 33
2:23.9 / 1:35.9 / 33
2:23.8 / 1:35.8 / 33
2:23.7 / 1:35.8 / 33
2:22.2 / 1:34.8 / 34

3750m = 11:57.4 / 1:35.6 / 33

A good 0.5 second improvement on the average pace compared to the last time I’d done the session. I had a sore throat at the time, and didn’t think too much of it. I had a short work trip for the following couple of days, so had some enforced time off training anyway. The 2 days off turned in to 3 days off due to a cold though, and by Saturday morning I wanted to do something just to take away that mental feeling of losing all the fitness you’ve built up. I picked this month’s CTC challenge. How hard can 4 reps of 250m be when you have a long 3min rest between them. I foolishly thought that this session would be nice and easy, and the safe choice when I still have a cold. I was quite wrong it turned out.

Saturday 9th November:

4 x 250m / 3min rest (Cross Team Challenge):
40.7 / 1:21.4 / 44
40.9 / 1:21.8 / 44
41.0 / 1:22.0 / 45
41.4 / 1:22.8 / 43

1000m = 2:43.9 / 1:21.9 / 44

The first 2 reps didn’t feel too bad. By rep 3 the pace was fading a little by the last few strokes though. On rep 4 it really hit hard though. At the half way point I knew the pace was only getting slower. Stroke by stroke the lactic acid flooded my muscles, the stroke became shorter by necessity, my legs delivering less and less power each stroke. There was nothing I could do to maintain the pace. The only thing that kept me going through the final 80m was the overwhelming desire not to have to repeat this session!

Part of this was getting the pacing pretty much spot on such that the final rep was 100% flat out and fading quickly at the end. No doubt having a cold really didn’t help though, especially in the recovery from the session. I normally recover quickly from any training session, but after this one I sat on the stairs for over 10 minutes before my heart rate felt like it was back under about 100bpm (compared to a resting rate of under 45), and my breathing was approaching normal again.

Today I feel pretty much fully recovered, from the cold as well as the session. But I am forcing myself to have another rest day before the hard work begins again, as a prolonged illness is the one thing that can ruin all of the good training with 4 weeks left to go before the British Indoor Rowing Championships.

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10k steady

Posted by thepeteplan on November 3, 2013

10k = 36:38.9 / 1:49.9 / 24

Steady paced 10k in the garage.

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Training update

Posted by thepeteplan on November 2, 2013

Thursday 31st October:

2 x 5k / 5min rest:
17:59.5 / 1:47.9 / 26
17:46.5 / 1:46.6 / 28

10k = 35:46.0 / 1:47.3 / 27

This was a good moderate effort session on a day that I was late home from work and didn’t really feel that much like going out to the garage in the dark and training. These are the sessions that make the difference in the long term, the ones you could easily skip and don’t. All those skipped workouts add up longer term.

Friday 1st November:

40mins = 10800m / 1:51.1 / 25

Steady distance in the gym, my first gym workout in perhaps 3 months just because I fancied a change of surroundings. It was only 3 hours after getting home from the gym that I realised I had left my c-breeze on the erg in the gym, so I had to make another visit there to retrieve it. Luckily noone else knows what it is, so it was still there fitted to the erg as I had left it.

Saturday 2nd November:

4 x 1500m / 4min rest:
5:07.0 / 1:42.3 / 29
5:06.7 / 1:42.2 / 30
5:06.2 / 1:42.0 / 30
4:56.6 / 1:38.8 / 31

6000m = 20:16.4 / 1:41.3 / 30

A good improvement over the last time I did this session 5 weeks ago. Around 0.7 / 0.8 faster pace on the first 3 reps, and 3seconds or so faster pace on the final rep. This is a good sign, as this is the type of training intensity that really makes the difference to me longer term – the quicker I do my 5k type paced reps, the quicker I row 2k paced work and so race 2ks.

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