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The Pete Plan blog

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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