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Holiday training time

Posted by thepeteplan on December 24, 2014

There is an update below on my training since my last blog update a little over a month ago. As you can see it is mainly “tick over” training with lots of 30min pieces, and a distinct lack of many interval sessions. Also a number of periods of a few days of no training by the look of it. All in all there are some reasonable quality sessions in there though with a couple of restricted rate 2km tests, a 5km test, and a few fast 30min pieces.

I am now on holiday in the US for the next 2 weeks, with easy erg access the entire time and no excuse not to train pretty much every day.

24th Dec: 10k = 37:29.7 / 1:52.4 / 24

22nd Dec: 10k = 35:57.8 / 1:47.8 / 27

21st Dec: 5k = 17:49.8 / 1:46.9 / 27

20th Dec: 30mins = 8007m / 1:52.4 / 24

17th Dec: 30mins = 8044m / 1:51.8 / 24

16th Dec: 8 x 500m / 2:30 rest = 1:35.2 / 34

15th Dec: 30mins = 8005m / 1:52.4 / 23

14th Dec: 30mins = 8428m / 1:46.7 / 27

13th Dec: Reps of:
1500m = 1:41.9 / 30
5min rest
750m = 1:35.8 / 34
5min rest
250m = 1:19.4 / 50

8th Dec: Reps of:
4 x 1k / 1min rest = 1:41.9 / 30
250m = 1:22.2 / 45

5th Dec: 2000m = 6:39.9 / 1:39.9 / 25

3rd Dec: 5000m = 17:09.9 / 1:42.9 / 29

1st Dec: December CTC challenge 8 x 135m / 1min rest = 1080m / 1:19.9 / 46

30th Nov: 30mins = 8349m / 1:47.7 / 26

29th Nov: 30mins = 8322m / 1:48.1 / 26

28th Nov: November IRL challenge 6344m = 22:04.8 / 1:44.4 / 29

25th Nov: 2000m = 6:44.6 / 1:41.1 / 24

24th Nov: 10k = 36:55.0 / 1:50.7 / 25

21st Nov: 30mins = 8418m / 1:46.9 / 27

18th Nov: 16 x 250m = 1:29.6 / 37

17th Nov: 10k = 36:59.9 / 1:50.9 / 25

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Juggling, as usual

Posted by thepeteplan on November 17, 2014

I spend a lot of time juggling between different priorities, and the past 2 weeks has been no different. Blogging comes far down this list of priorities, hence the infrequency of updates. So what has been getting in the way since the last blog update?

Work travel – I flew out to the US on 2nd November for a work conference. 3 days at the conference including presenting a technical paper on the first day, and manning the work stand most of the rest of the time. Then on the Wednesday afternoon I flew further north for a couple of 1 day visits to customers before flying back home again on 8th November. I arrived home mid morning on Sunday 9th (incidentally my 37th birthday) tired, jetlagged, and having not done any training (erg or otherwise) during the week away.

MSc – I have mentioned before that I’m doing a part time, distance learning, masters degree in my “free time” outside work. All of the taught course are complete, and just the main thesis left to write. The proposal for this is due in at midnight tonight, and was submitted mid morning this morning, hence having time to update my blog now. There is now light at the end of the tunnel and I can see the finish line!

Coaching – I have not run a formal coaching group for a few years now, mainly because of the two reasons above. I do still coach a number of athletes on individual plans though. This is a circular activity though in that it both takes a fair bit of time in itself, but provides motivation to get my own training done. So this one is neutral in the distraction from training, but always comes before blogging about training.

So on to training, and an update on what I’ve done since I last blogged. I always used to keep a written diary to keep track of my sessions, but have resorted to the lazy way of just taking a photo on the monitor on my phone after each session. So in reverse order (going through the photos on my phone):

Mon 17th Nov:
10k = 36:59.9 / 1:50.9 / 25

Sun 16th Nov:
6344m = 22:11.0 / 1:44.9 / 28
This is the indoor rowers league challenge for November from http://www.indoorrowers.org

Sat 15th Nov:
4 x 5mins / 3min rest:
1466m / 1:42.3 / 29
1470m / 1:42.0 / 30
1470m / 1:42.0 / 30
1477m / 1:41.5 / 31
Average = 1:41.9 / 30 / 5883m

Fri 14th Nov:
30mins = 8044m / 1:51.8 / 24

Wed 12th Nov:
CTC for November, 2min rest between reps
777m = 1:35.9 / 34
666m = 1:35.8 / 34
555m = 1:34.7 / 35
444m = 1:33.8 / 35
333m = 1:29.7 / 38
222m = 1:26.2 / 42
111m = 1:21.9 / 46
Totals = 3108m / 9:41.6 / 1:33.5 / 37

Cross team challenge from http://www.c2ctc.com

Sun 9th Nov:
30mins = 8116m / 1:50.8 / 24

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5 x 1500, 30r20 and 1609m

Posted by thepeteplan on October 27, 2014

The last time I rowed a 1500m reps session (apart from an easy effort when recovering from a cold) was in mid August when I managed 4 reps under 1:42 pace. The aim for this session was to do the full standard PP session of 5 reps, and again all under 1:42 pace. A good solid session for a Friday afternoon.

23rd October:
5 x 1500m / 5min rest:
5:05.6 / 1:41.8 / 30
5:05.3 / 1:41.7 / 30
5:05.3 / 1:41.7 / 30
5:05.3 / 1:41.7 / 30
5:05.3 / 1:41.7 / 30
5:03.5 / 1:41.1 / 31
7500m = 25:25.0 / 1:41.6 / 30

Saturday was time for another attempt at the 30r20. After achieving a sub 1:50 average last time (just), my aim this time was to get every split under 1:50. These rows tell me that I am really lacking strength training in my routine as I don’t really feel like there is much more pace in hand, but the sessions don’t actually feel all that hard overall, and recovery is quick.

24th October:
30r20 = 8211m / 1:49.6 / 20
5min splits:
1:49.8 / 20
1:49.8 / 20
1:49.7 / 20
1:49.8 / 20
1:49.6 / 20
1:48.7 / 20

A nice short session for Sunday, and an attempt at the Indoor Rowers League challenge (www.indoorrowers.org) for October which is the mile. My main aim was to average quicker than my 2km split from the recent Bristol IRC (1:36.8), and I planned to achieve this with a “pyramid” style pacing. I have achieved good results in venue races in the past over the mile distance, but not so much over 2k races. The aim here is to go out pretty hard for the first 250m, ease off gradually through to a relative cruise through the middle third, then pick the pace back up to the end. Considering I really did cruise pretty slowly in the middle I was happy with the overall pace, and that it felt relatively easy compared to the much slower 2k pace in Bristol. Certainly a good sign, and tightening up the pace through the middle would almost certainly see me under 1:35 average pace.

25th October:
1609m = 5:07.6 / 1:35.5 / 33
250m splits:
1:31.2 / 37
1:36.4 / 32
1:37.8 / 32
1:38.6 / 30
1;36.8 / 32
1:34.8 / 33
1:31.2 / 36 (last 109m)

After 3 fairly hard days in a row a rest day today. Then I will be back to good solid sessions for the next 5 days before a work trip the US for a week, which will likely involve no erg training at all for 7 days.

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Update inc. 30r20, 30mins free rate and 1500m reps

Posted by thepeteplan on October 24, 2014

Overall it has been a strong training week, even though it didn’t get off to a good start. The first session on my plan was a 14 x 350m reps session with 90sec rest. This was to follow on from the 250m reps earlier in the week. As those were fairly straight forward at a target of all reps sub 1:30 pace I decided on an ambitious pace target for this session of all reps under 1:31 pace. This was certainly somewhat of an underestimation of how much tougher this session would be with the extra 100m per rep! After 4 reps on target, and so 10 reps left to go, I knew it would not be a good day. By rep 5 the rate was rising to keep about on target, then it was downhill from there before I finally called it a day after 10 reps!

18th October:
Aim = 14 x 350m / 90sec rest
Reality = 10 x 350m / 90sec rest:
1:30.2 / 37
1:30.7 / 36
1:30.7 / 37
1:30.8 / 37
1:31.0 / 38
1:32.0 / 36
1:34.7 / 34
1:34,4 / 35
1:34.7 / 35
1:34.7 / 35

The following day it was time for a little redemption with a 30mins restricted to rate 20, and an aim of breaking 1:50 pace. A solid enough row – hard work of course, but I was never in doubt of being able to maintain the pace.

19th October:
30mins = 8183m / 1:49.9 / 20
5min splits:
1:49.9 / 20
1:50.1 / 20
1:50.2 / 20
1:50.4 / 20
1:50.2 / 20
1:48.9 / 20

20th October:
30mins = 8014m / 1:52.3 / 23

21th October: REST

After work on Wednesday I decided to target again a sub 1:45 paced free rate 30mins. I have tried this a couple of times over the past 6 months, but never quite hit the target. I had to work hard, but kept consistent throughout after a quick start, and never let the average split slip over 1:45.1. With the 30r20 results in my mind from a few days before this gave me confidence that the target would be on. The average pace of 1:44.8 is “just” 2.2 seconds slower than my pb row, from around 2008. Although this is a fair margin, it is as close as I have been to a pb row in the past 4 years.

22th October:
30mins = 8581m / 1:44.8 / 28
3min45 splits:
1:43.7 / 29
1:45.3 / 28
1:45.2 / 28
1:45.4 / 28
1:45.4 / 28
1:45.4 / 28
1:45.3 / 28
1:43.1 / 30

23th October: REST

Finally today a standard Pete Plan session of 5 x 1500m, and a target to row all reps under 1:42 pace. I last did 1500m reps on 26th August, but that time only 4 reps with the same pace target.

24th October:
5 x 1500m / 5min rest:
5:05.6 / 1:41.8 / 30
5:05.3 / 1:41.7 / 30
5:05.3 / 1:41.7 / 30
5:05.3 / 1:41.7 / 30
5:03.5 / 1:41.1 / 31
7500m = 25:25.0 / 1:41.6 / 30

So a strong week overall, and things are certainly going in the right direction.

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10k – 30r20 – 16x250m

Posted by thepeteplan on October 15, 2014

The Bristol race logged in the last entry took place on Saturday 11th October.

12th October:
10k = 36:14.2 / 1:48.7 / 26

13th October:
30r20 = 8136m / 1:50.6 / 20

The first 30mins at rate 20 that I’ve done in quite a long time. These sort of restricted rate rows have their place, but in general I believe that if you do a lot of low rate rowing you get good at low rate rowing. This doesn’t necessarily translate to free rate rowing.

14th October:
16 x 250m = 11:52.9 / 1:29.1 / 36
Individual reps:
1st 8 = 1:29.8, 1:29.6, 1:29.8, 1:29.6, 1:29.6, 1:29.6, 1:29.4, 1:29.2
2nd 8 = 1:29.2, 1:29.2, 1:29.0, 1:29.0, 1:29.0, 1:29.2, 1:28.4, 1:26.0

A good solid sprints session with strong reps all the way through, and a controlled rate for the pace. A strong finish shows that this wasn’t right on the line either.

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Bristol race summary

Posted by thepeteplan on October 14, 2014

Race results:

2k = 6:27.2 / 1:36.8 / 33
500m splits: 1:36.3 / 33, 1:37.6 / 32, 1:37.7 / 33, 1:35.6 / 33

1k = 3:03.4 / 1:31.7 / 37
500m splits: 1:31.2 / 38, 1:32.2 / 37

500m = 1:24.1 / 45

All in all it was a good day’s racing. I had planned for / hoped for a slightly faster 2k, but only by a couple of seconds. The 1k and 500m times I am happy with as the second and third races respectively on the same day.

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Day before the 2k race

Posted by thepeteplan on October 10, 2014

My last entry logged my training sessions up to 2nd October. I’d competed in the 5km race, taken some enforced time off training to recover from a cold, then eased back into training. That left me with about a week to prepare for tomorrow’s 2k race, which is reality is actually three races in one day – 2km, 1km and 500m. So what have I done to try to get myself into shape to race tomorrow?

3rd October:

4 x 2k / 5min rest:
6:55.8 / 1:43.9 / 29
6:55.8 / 1:43.9 / 29
6:55.6 / 1:43.9 / 30
6:51.2 / 1:42.8 / 30

8000m = 27:38.4 / 1:43.6 / 29

5th October:

1000m = 3:12.0 / 1:36.0 / 34
3min rest
750m = 2:24.0 / 1:36.0 / 34
2:30 rest
500m = 1:35.8 / 34
2min rest
250m = 47.8 / 1:35.6 / 34
1:30 rest
750m = 2:20.9 / 1:33.9 / 35

3250m = 10:20.5 / 1:35.4 / 34

6th October:

30mins = 7929m / 1:53.5 / 23

8th October:

4 x 750m / 3:30 rest:
2:23.9 / 1:35.9 / 33
2:23.9 / 1:35.9 / 33
2:23.5 / 1:35.6 / 33
2:21.9 / 1:34.6 / 34

3000m = 9:33.3 / 1:35.5 / 33

So a fairly low volume due to work pressures, and due to not wanting to push too hard and risk any illness prior to this race. But some reasonable quality sessions in there. The faster sessions are done at 1:36 pace with an aim of acclimatising myself to this pace as the ultimate target for the 2km race tomorrow. The is the best case aim to break 6:24, where in reality I will be very happy under 6:26, and content under 6:28. The 1km and 500m races are real unknowns, so I will just do what I can at the time. Rough aims would be around 3:05 for the 1k, and 1:25 for the 500m.

The race plan for the 2km will be 7 hard strokes peaking in the low 1:20s, then settling over the next 10 strokes to a mid race pace of 1:37. This should see me pass through 250m at around 1:35.5, and 500m at around 1:36.5 average pace (give or take 0.5 at each point). From there just trying to keep consistent on 1:37s and the odd 1:38 through the middle of the race aiming to keep the average to 1:37.0 at the half way point. Then it’s all about feel as to whether I can begin to increase pace a little with 750m to go, or have to wait until 500m to go, or worst case have to wait until a final sprint at 200m to go. So I am looking for approximate 500m splits of 1:36.5, 1:37.5, 1:37.0, 1:35.0 – with the last two splits being quicker where possible if mind and body allow.

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Illness, recovery and the lead up to a 2k race

Posted by thepeteplan on October 2, 2014

My last post was a review of my 5k race. I mentioned in that post that I’d come down with a cold a couple of days before the race, and surprisingly doing a flat out 5km row made the cold a lot worse and prolonged the recovery by a good few days – who could have predicted that?!?

So what have I done since that 5km race on 20th September? Well first of all I took 2 days complete rest to try to get rid of the cold. I then did 2 days of short and very easy rows, 20mins on 23rd and 30mins on 24th. This didn’t help, so I took another 2 days complete rest, and then resumed tentative training on 27th September with a negative split interval session to test my fitness / recovery, and to push the last of the gunk out.

27th September:

5 x 1500m / 5min rest:
5:23.7 / 1:47.9 / 25
5:20.3 / 1:46.7 / 27
5:17.5 / 1:45.8 / 28
5:13.9 / 1:44.6 / 28
5:04.4 / 1:41.4 / 30

7500m = 26:19.9 / 1:45.3 / 27

This was a good session, and good to finally row a session where I felt better after the session than I did before. Not too high intensity overall, but good pace for the last rep.

28th September:

4min Indoor Rowers League challenge row:

4mins = 1250m / 1:36.0 / 33

The indoor rowers league is a replacement for the Challenge Series, which seems to have been discontinued by indoor sports services, aka The Rowing Company, previous known as Concept2 UK. You can find this new challenge series on the Indoor Rowing website here:
http://indoorrowers.org/en/

29th September:

30mins = 7933m / 1:53.4 / 24

1st October:

2000m = 6:29.7 / 1:37.4 / 31
(500m splits = 1:37.1, 1:37.7, 1:37.5, 1:37.3)

Approx. 5min rest

1000m = 3:14.4 / 1:37.2 / 33
(500m splits = 1:37.2, 1:37.2)

This is a session I’ve done a number of times over the years. The purpose this week was to get a good objective measure of where I am for a 2k pace at the moment, with a race coming up on 11th October in Bristol. There are a few key aspects of this session – it is a slightly sub maximal 2k time trial, with the pressure taken off by making it part of a larger interval session. In this way the absolute time on the 2k is less important, it just needs to be up at 90-95% effort level. Then the aim is to do a 1km rep around 5mins later and to beat the pace of the 2k on this rep. If you can row a 1km rep at a quicker pace than a 2k time trial you did 5mins before then the 2k was not maximal, no matter how it felt. And when you’ve not done any 2k prep, doing a 95% effort 2k will feel like it is maximal. Then again a short rest and a final 500m rep. The objective is simply to do this fast – partly to again get an objective measure that the 1k wasn’t flat out, but primarily as a learning experience of how you adapt (primarily with stroke rate) to go quicker when your body is fatigued.

So my aim here was to just break 6:30 for the 2k, a time I was pretty sure I could achieve but would be tough (and it was). Then to beat that pace on a 1k, which felt easier than the 2k and gave me confidence I have more to give on the 2k. Then to row fast as a higher rate on the 500m – felt much easier, and good and strong. Job done, confidence built, and knowledge of current capabilities vastly improved.

Approx. 3min rest

500m = 1:32.5 / 36
(250m splits = 1:34.0, 1:31.0)

2nd October:

30mins = 7907m / 1:53.8 / 24

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5k race review

Posted by thepeteplan on September 21, 2014

With a cold having taken hold this was always going to be a tough 5k race. I thought about the race plan on the drive to Sussex. This was always going to be a time trial more than a race, with the objective of setting a time that would adequately reflect 8 weeks of solid focused training aiming at this 5km row. My ultimate target was to break 17mins, but with a season’s best of 17:12, and feeling not the best, I decided that I wanted to make sure of breaking 17:10.

So the plan was to go out for the usual 7 hard strokes, settle over the next 10 strokes, then just hit 1:43s and 1:44s and see where that put me with 2km to go. This was always going to be the tell tail point. If I feel good with 2km to go I can push on and take a good margin off the average split, but if I don’t feel good I want to be in a position where I can maintain pace and still achieve a good time.

After a good start I settled to pulling 1:43’s after around 150m, and this saw me pass the 500m mark well ahead of target at 1:41.1. Pulling mostly 1:43s for the next 1000m took me through the 4000m to go point at 1:42.1 average pace, and through 3500m to go at 1:42.5. This is an important point for me in a 5km time trial as it is the half way point to the big marker of 2km to go. I was working hard at this point, harder than I would like to be for the pace, so it was going to have to be about getting to the 2km to go point without losing too much ground. I was nicely ahead of target, with an aim of hitting 2km to go at 1:43.0 to give me the chance of a sub17 on a good day. From this point I was pulling more 1:44s than 1:43s, and went through 3000m to go at 1:42.8, the halfway mark at 1:42.9, and finally reached 2000m to go just about on target with an average split of 1:43.1.

The way I was feeling at this stage holding pace seemed like a tough task, never mind a big increase in pace to try to keep any outside hope of the sub17. So the next 1500m became about damage limitation. Hold the same pace and don’t let the average split slip too far. 1:43.2 at 1500m to go, slipping to 1:43.3 at 1000m to go, and pulling slightly back to 1:43.2 at 500m to go. At this point I knew I could find enough at the end to dip under 17:10, so it was just about picking the right time to step the pace up. 1:43s and a few 1:42s held the average pace through 300m to go, 250m to go, and ready to make the push in the final 200m. A good push over the final 200m saw the average split drop 0.1 about every 50m, and drop to 1:42.8 on the final stroke.

A really hard effort and not a time I would have wanted to settle for even a week ago. But in the circumstances a time I am very happy with.

5000m = 17:08.7 / 1:42.8 / 30
500m splits:
1:41.1 / 31
1:43.2 / 30
1:43.3 / 30
1:43.7 / 29
1:43.5 / 30
1:43.7 / 30
1:43.8 / 29
1:43.7 / 30
1:43.0 / 30
1:39.7 / 31

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The eve of the race

Posted by thepeteplan on September 19, 2014

An up and down final 2 weeks into the 5km race day tomorrow, with only the race tomorrow telling whether it has ended on a down. The last stretch into the race began with a special CTC distance for this month, in honour of one of our fellow indoor rowers Joan Van Blom who has been suffering with a brain tumour. The distance of 7684m is to commemorate Joan’s Olympic rowing medals won at the 1976 and 1984 games. A tough row on an off day, but a good solid pace non the less.

8th September:

7684m = 26:59.3 / 1:45.3 / 29

9th September: REST

The plan for the second core session of last week was for a slightly less intense session. 3 x 2500m with a target of the pace of the CTC effort for the first 2 reps then a quicker final rep. The plan here was not to push too hard in the final 2 weeks to ensure getting to race day fresh and well. More on that later.

10th September:

3 x 2500m / 3:30 rest = 26:00.0 / 1:44.0 / 29
8:42.8 / 1:44.5 / 29
8:42.4 / 1:44.4 / 29
8:34.8 / 1:42.9 / 30

This session felt good, but I felt particularly tired the next day and cut the steady distance short to just 6km.

11th September:

6km = 1:53.5 / 24

A week before race day and time for my favourite 5k race predictor session the 6 x 1k / 1min rest. The target from the previous attempt was 1:41.6, so the plan was to start just below this and push the final rep. A great session, and one that should point to a sub 17 for the 5k.

12th September:

6 x 1k / 1min rest:
1:41.4 / 31
1:41.4 / 31
1:41.4 / 31
1:41.3 / 31
1:41.3 / 31
1:39.0 / 32

6000m = 20:12.1 / 1:41.0 / 31

13th September: REST

14th September: REST

Two days rest, then a session just to stay sharp in the final week. 500m reps with a minutes rest, so shorter reps than any of the prep sessions over the past 2 months. I perhaps pushed the final 4 reps too quickly in this session and hit my immune system a little, because it has been downhill since here.

10 x 500m / 1min rest
5000m = 16:20.7 / 1:38.0 / 32

15th September:

30mins = 7911m / 1:53.7 / 24

16th September: REST

17th September:

Wednesday was scheduled as a moderate 30mins with a target pace of 1:48-1:50. It all went well with good intentions until 5mins to go. It seemed like a good idea at the time to push out the final 5mins at 5km pace for a confidence booster. It was a good confidence boost at the time, but I regretted it the next morning.

30mins = 8304m / 1:48.3 / 26
5min splits:
1:49.8 / 26
1:49.7 / 26
1:49.8 / 26
1:49.4 / 26
1:49.8 / 26
1:42.1 / 30

I woke Thursday morning with a sore throat, and have rested since. The sore throat is still there, but so far has not developed into anything else. Fingers crossed for tomorrow and feeling good on the start line. The ultimate target is still for sub 17 or die trying, but in reality the way I feel today I will be happy with anything under 17:10.

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