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Archive for August, 2014

5k progress update

Posted by thepeteplan on August 31, 2014

Overall the past couple of weeks have gone very well training wise. With the main aim of this training period being the 5k the single distance or time pieces are the important ones, and those on which progress should be measured. This 10 days has included time trials at both 30mins and 5k, with each being my best performance on the row for at least a couple of years. The 30min row particularly is both pleasing and frustrating in equal measure. The ultimate target for the row was to break 1:45 pace, and as such I didn’t achieve it. But this was always going to be a stretch target, and one that I did not expect to achieve with 10mins left of the row. But I kept strong throughout, and missed out by perhaps just one or two strokes on dipping below 1:45.0 average. There was no fading at the end, so it was there.

A week later the 5km time trial was performed on a day I really didn’t feel up to a hard time trial, so to improve my time from 3 weeks before by 5seconds without having to push it to close to max is again a good sign. With a 5km race to end this phase of training in 3 weeks time I am still confident that a sub 17min performance is there on a good day.

19th August: REST

20th August:

30mins = 8571m / 1:45.0 / 29
3min45 splits:
1:44.5 / 30
1:45.6 / 29
1:45.8 / 29
1:45.8 / 29
1:45.7 / 29
1:45.7 / 29
1:45.3 / 29
1:41.6 / 31

21st August:

30mins = 8024m / 1:52.1 / 24

22nd August: Away with work

23rd August: 13 mile walk in the Peak District

24th August: Travel / rest

25th August:

30mins = 8007m / 1:52.4 / 24

26th August:

4 x 1500m / 5min rest:
5:05.5 / 1:41.8 / 30
5:05.2 / 1:41.7 / 30
5:04.8 / 1:41.6 / 31
5:01.9 / 1:40.6 / 32

Totals: 6000m = 20:17.5 / 1:41.4 / 30

27th August: REST

28th August:

5000m = 17:12.7 / 1:43.2 / 29
500m splits:
1:42.0 / 31
1:44.0 / 29
1:44.1 / 29
1:44.3 / 29
1:44.3 / 29
1:44.3 / 30
1:44.3 / 29
1:44.1 / 29
1:43.7 / 30
1:37.7 / 33

29th August:

30mins = 7922m / 1:53.6 / 24

30th August:

10 x 600m / 1min rest = 19:50.5 / 1:39.2 / 32
(Slowest rep 1:39.5, last rep 1:37.1)

 

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Week 4 part 1

Posted by thepeteplan on August 19, 2014

17th August:

30mins = 8006m / 1:52.4 / 24

18th August:

6 x 1k / 1min rest:
3:23.7 / 1:41.8 / 30
3:23.7 / 1:41.8 / 30
3:23.7 / 1:41.8 / 31
3:23.4 / 1:41.7 / 31
3:23.8 / 1:41.8 / 31
3:21.8 / 1:40.9 / 31

6000m = 20:20.0 / 1:41.6 / 30

The 6 x 1k / 1min rest is usually a pretty good predictor of 5km pace for me. Generally what the workout tells me is to go at a pace 1 second slower than the average for the first 3km of a 5km TT, then speed up over the final 2km where on a good day I will achieve the same average pace as this session. So I am in the right sort of ball park now physically to achieve my target of a sub 17mins for 5k. With 5 weeks still to go before my planned 5km race this is a good sign, as I am a little way from being mentally ready yet, but that will come with another few weeks of these core session.

The next stop this week is a 30min TT tomorrow after work. The ultimate target that I would like to achieve tomorrow is sub 1:45.0 pace, but that will take a strong effort throughout the TT to achieve. If I can keep focused then it is physically achievable.

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5k training – Week 3

Posted by thepeteplan on August 17, 2014

9th August:

30mins = 8000m / 1:52.5 / 24

10th August:

3 x 2000m / 5min rest:
6:49.8 / 1:42.4 / 31
6:49.6 / 1:42.4 / 31
6:45.3 / 1:41.3 / 32

Totals = 6000m / 20:24.6 / 1:42.0 / 31

11th August:

30mins = 8100m / 1:51.1 / 24

12th August: REST

13th August:

CTC August challenge:
1500m = 4:52.3 / 1:37.4 / 33
3min rest
1000m = 3:12.8 / 34
3min rest
500m = 1:31.5 / 37

Total = 3000m / 9:36.6 / 1:36.1 / 34

14th August: REST

15th August:

3500m = 11:52.5 / 1:41.7 / 30

500m splits: 1:41.7, 1:42.7, 1:42.8, 1:42.9, 1:42.2, 1:41.7, 1:38.5

16th August:

5 x 1250m / 3:30 rest = 20:55.0 / 1:40.4 / 32
4:12.3 / 1:40.9 / 31
4:12.1 / 1:40.8 / 32
4:11.9 / 1:40.7 / 32
4:11.6 / 1:40.6 / 32
4:07.0 / 1:38.8 / 33

Through Week 3 and into the beginning of Week 4 yesterday the numbers are all going in the right direction. The 3 x 2k was a good solid score. The CTC, having done nothing quicker than target 5k pace, was probably the most pleasing of the Week 3 sessions. This really shows what fitness can do for you without any specific speed work, and big gains can be made on this with the introduction of speed work in the run up to 2k races later in the year. Prior to that session I would have said that on a good day I could just dip under 6:30 for a 2k at the moment. But in reality the first rep of 1500m at 1:37.4 told me that I was comfortable enough at that point that actually I would be closer to the pace of the 1k rep in that session, or closer to 6:25 for a 2k. This is a great sign at this point in the training process.

The 3500m single distance piece on Friday afternoon was a tester to see how I feel at target 5000m pace for a little over 2/3rds of the distance. Good enough is the answer. Could I row under 17mins for 5k now? No, I don’t think so. Will I be able to at the end of this training phase in another 4 or 5 weeks time? Sure, why not.

The 5 x 1250m reps yesterday were then my first real objective measure of improvement, with a repeat of the session I had done 3 weeks before to begin this training phase. The final result was exactly 1second in pace quicker.

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6000m – end of Week 2

Posted by thepeteplan on August 8, 2014

The final session of Week 2 is another single distance piece. These are important mental training as much as anything. The interval sessions will prepare my body physically for the 5k time trial I am training for, but I need my mind to be ready for the relentless nature of a single distance time trial too. So these single distance pieces need to be done weekly with gradually increasing intensity to get me ready to perform to the optimal level at the end of the training phase.

At the end of Week 1 I did a 5km piece with a set target for the first 3k of around 1:45.5-1:45.7, then a negative split over the last 2k. Today the target for the 6k was to go marginally slower for the first 4k, with a target of 1:45.9 to 1:46.0, then again negative split over the final 2k. The idea here is to pace all but the last 2k of these time trials a little within myself to ensure that I can speed up over the final 2k, and give myself the confidence for next time that I can go quicker.

6000m = 20:57.0 / 1:44.7 / 29

1000m splits:
3:31.8 / 1:45.9 / 29
3:31.9 / 1:45.9 / 29
3:31.8 / 1:45.9 / 30
3:31.8 / 1:45.9 / 29
3:28.6 / 1:44.3 / 30
3:21.1 / 1:40.5 / 32

A good solid first 4k right on target, a decent step up in pace for the 5th km, and a fast last 1km split. All looking good so far in this phase of training.

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5k training – Week 2

Posted by thepeteplan on August 6, 2014

Into Week 2 of this 5k push now, and keeping the pressure on to be able to achieve the sub 17min 5k target at the end of the phase.

Saturday 2nd Aug:

8000m = 1:53,4 / 24

Sunday 3rd Aug:

This session followed on from the 5 x 1250m reps last week, with a target of getting all reps in under the 5k target pace of 1:42.0.

4 x 1500m / 5min rest:
5:05.7 / 1:41.9 / 31
5:05.5 / 1:41.8 / 31
5:05.5 / 1:41.8 / 32
5:02.8 / 1:40.9 / 32

6000m = 20:19.6 / 1:41.6 / 31

Monday 4th Aug:

This was going to be a nice easy and slow 30mins, but I decided that Tuesday would be a rest day and therefore I would push just a little harder on Monday. The day after a hard core session day I like to take it nice and easy unless there will be a rest day afterwards.

30mins = 8065m / 1:51.5 / 25

Tuesday 5th Aug:

As I said above, this was to be a rest day, but time and energy was there for an easy 30mins straight after work, and I don’t like to miss these opportunities.

30mins = 7900m / 1:54.0 / 24

Wednesday 6th Aug:

Onto the second core session of Week 2, and the 10 x 600m from last week moves to an 8 x 750m this week. The same overall session distance of 6k, and the same 1min rest between reps. Last week the target was to do all reps under 1:40 pace, so with 25% more distance per rep this week the target was moved to all reps under 1:41.0. The slightly longer reps combined with the slightly slower target pace actually made this session feel better than the 600m reps last week.

8 x 750m / 1min rest:
2:32.2 / 1:40.8 / 31
2:32.1 / 1:40.7 / 31
2:32.1 / 1:40.7 / 31
2:32.2 / 1:40.8 / 32
2:32.2 / 1:40.8 / 31
2:32.1 / 1:40.7 / 32
2:32.1 / 1:40.7 / 32
2:27.8 / 1:38.5 / 33

6000m = 20:05.8 / 1:40.4 / 31

As with all Pete Plan core sessions, be they on the standard PP 2k plan, the PP 5k plan, the coached sessions I set my athletes, or any core interval session I do myself, I always like to do a “fast last” rep. This is more of a mental exercise than a physical one. It quantifies for me as the coach (and in this case, me as the athlete too) how much I have in reserve. It also trains me to finish a session hard, which translates to any race or time trial piece. When I do this every core session I naturally do this at the end of a race or time trial, I simply can’t help it. I know how to do it, in terms of rate, technique, pacing and feel, and I want to do it to make the distance finish quicker. This fast finish can have a big impact whatever the distance, and it always feels mentally good to know you have this tool at your disposal. Train as you want to race.

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5k training

Posted by thepeteplan on August 1, 2014

Following on from Monday, where I took a step back into hard interval training, I decided firmly to train for the next 8 weeks with the sole focus of a fast 5k time trial at the end. The target for the time trial is 16:59.9 (or quicker), and I plan to achieve that by doing 2 hard interval sessions each week, one fairly hard single distance (or time) piece, plus steady distance work. So basically I will be training along the same lines as the 5k Pete Plan (https://thepeteplan.wordpress.com/5k-training/), although with a slightly different format of sessions.

Week 1 started with the 5 x 1250m / 3:30 rest session on Monday, as blogged in the last entry. The rest of the week has then been:

Tuesday 29th:

30mins = 8002m / 1:52.4 / 24

Wednesday 30th:

10 x 600m / 1min rest = 19:56.3 / 1:39.6 / 31 (last rep 1:38.9 / 33)

Thursday 31st = Rest

Friday 1st:

5k = 17:17.9 / 1:43.7 / 30

500m splits:
1:45.7 / 29
1:45.6 / 29
1:45.6 / 29
1:45.5 / 29
1:45.6 / 29
1:45.5 / 30
1:43.3 / 30
1:42.9 / 30
1:41.8 / 31
1:36.5 / 34

Essentially this is how I believe a 5k time trial should always be rowed, as a 3k then 2k. The first 3k a little sub maximally to allow for a fast final 2k. The idea here in week 1 was just to put down a reasonable benchmark time. So I estimated what I thought my current maximum ability was on a 5k (1:43.5), added 2 seconds to the split (1:45.5), and set that as a “do not exceed” pace for the first 3km of the time trial. I ended up then with an average split just 0.2 seconds off my estimated maximum current ability for the 5k. Is this absolutely optimal pacing? No. I believe optimal pacing on a 5k is to have the first 3k about 1second slower than the final average split. But going that bit slower will allow you to get closer to your potential than going a second too quick in the first 3k. After all, erg performance is as much about mental strategy and belief as it is about physical ability and tolerance. By feeling like you’re holding back and rowing within yourself for 60% of the distance you’re like a fenced off race horse just wanting to sprint off.

This 2seconds differential between current max ability and starting pace for the first 3k is a good way to row a 5k if you’re not mentally conditioned to rowing hard sustained distance above your anaerobic threshold. After a few weeks of conditioning (physical and mental) then I will edge towards the 1sec differential between current ability and first 3k pace. But I will always maintain this 3k / 2k split for a 5k time trial, as I have used very effectively over the years of erg racing and training.

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