Saturday, 24 January 2015

Irish Indoor Rowing Championships - 2015 - 2k & 500m Gold 40+

Well just sitting down reflecting on the day, It didn't go to plan ... again. So time to relax and train without the pressure of a race for a while. There are many small reasons why today didn't go to plan which go back as far as October but lets not dwell on the past.

So today I ended up at the venue a lot later than planned - on fact too late to even complete my 20 minute warm up - running around trying to find water (in a University sports hall!) wasn't ideal either - also had trouble finding the toilets. All adds to it ... So on to the race machine and set the drag at least the headphones seemed to be working. So off we went on row and after 10 reasonable power strokes I backed off to my planned 1:32 - the plan was to hold that to about 1250 and then either push on or take stock - after about 500m or so I felt very comfortable and ended up drifting away - I stopped looking at the monitor completely and just looked around the hall at the spectators - other rowers - people in the background - anything - don't get me wrong I was still hitting my numbers - but just a million miles away. When I did focus back on the job I had a look at second place and looked at the meters between us  and for whatever reason - tiredness - lack of hard training - getting to the venue late I just let it go and did what I needed to do to finish - came in slower than my second 2k from the Euros.

After collecting the medal and T-Shirt :o) the wive and I with the baby went into town so she could get some time doing what she likes - "row - life balance" while there I decided to have two large burgers - err double - so two large double burgers - hmm that didn't sit well for the 500m warm up about two  hours later. So back to the venue and about 2500m with some controlled sprints - the burgers kept coming back to remind me of their taste lol but out onto the race machine and ready to rock. Seemed to be a long delay between looking at the get ready to row and the count down but once it came I found myself pushing 1:18's on the screen without too much pressure. Think I lead from about four or five strokes in and manage to finish strong enough to take a second Gold. Again off form as would of liked to be hitting 1:18 finish.

So time to reflect and relax .... 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Bit of a confidence boost for a nice change - 1250m race start and 250m race finish

Firstly this morning I managed to get into work early enough to do a 40r20 70% HRR which was steady - not sure the HR strap is picking up properly as it was jumping all over the place - but meters done.

At lunchtime I wanted to do 1250m at race pace/rate - usually these types of sessions fall apart with me - today I was tired and went down with a headache ...

hmm - that actually went quite well - that is a worry! 1250m on 1:32's then 500m paddle and finish with sub 1:30 controlled pace - might be closer to PB pace than I thought

note there was no "heroics" ie I wasn't thumping the pace at the end of the 1250's nor at the end of the 2k - all very controlled

Monday, 19 January 2015


Back to training today (aware I haven't blogged my Euro Open Experience but literally haven't had time yet) so today was down as 3by1250 with 8min rest - but due to weekend racing/travel - late night sorting things last night - early start today (managed a 40r20 before work 70% HRR)

and the fact I have a very long day with very early start tomorrow I only planned on doing one 1250 (oh also have the Irish Champs on Sat!) although I figured if i got through it in good stead I would do a second (as you can see from the title that didn't happen) 5k race warm up done I set the session on the monitor only to find a fellow gym member had decided to do some swiss ball work about an inch from the back of the rail (ok maybe 2 inches) waited a minute to see if they shifted. They didn't - so I started - now I had felt pretty good in the warm up but after a few hundred meters I found myself struggling to hold pace - I was actually going to fast - so I backed off - then I was going to slow and that culminated with a HD

hmmmm that's not good so I dialled in a 1k but noticed my HR strap had dropped connection so after messing about with that for about 5 minutes I said "sod it" and put the 1250m back in - get through no matter what the pace - and that's what I did. Target was 1:32 and I did my best to hit that - every time I saw a 1:33 I pushed a little harder - noticed about midway my stroke length was shortening to about 1.48m so with the pace going the wrong way I was determined to put the push on without being ridiculous and although I wasn't able to hit 1:32.0 I was able to control it a lot better. Saying that the second rep was definitely not on and I now have a lovely erg cough!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Euro Indoor Championships 2015

The warm up area - from the inside this time :o) 

Managed to say hello to a few of my European Facebook friends - always good to meet in person

Well the race plan was to go out at 1:31/32 and to hold that to about 500 then drop to 1:34 for middle 1k and finish with a 1:29 - after getting on the erg I found I was having issues with my blue tooth headphones which picked up interference from somewhere - still decided to leave them on and crack on. The guys around picked up the handles so I did - then I looked at the screen and the ready - set - row came up ... in Dutch lol wasn't expecting that - still didn't miss out too badly. Started out OK but then just seemed to be getting mentally tired and without anyone to compete with I allowed myself to slump and just go through the motions, I did pump the last 500m just for kicks and saw a few 1:27's I think but just did what I needed and although I won the Gold in the Masters B came away rather flat from it.

In between the two races I chilled out with Johan and Ralph and had a couple of sandwiches .. each lol then I went off to get myself straight again. Shorter warm up this time and bumped into a guy from London Youth Rowing who had a 18 year old rowing in the under 23's - he came second with a 6:07 - one to watch Sam Nunn. Well the race went pretty similar to the first - started OK and held the drift a little in the middle but no thump at the end as too far from 7th and far enough from 9th to secure 8th position.

Managed to do a photobomb on some GB Gold athletes :o) also signs of the "Russian Blisters" (a blister in a blister in a blister) caused by the previous days wondering around Amsterdam

Must sat the event was fantastic and well run - timely updates on the website and prompt responses to emails - would go again even if it's just National and not Euros. Disappointed with my times but only myself to blame for those.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Couple of bursts at the hotel

Nice gym and lovely ergs!

Nothing heavy - total of under 8k with two 1:30 bursts

 Later on I popped down to see about how to get to the venue and had a look inside at the warm up area

Thursday, 15 January 2015

trial 2k start and finish

Plan was "set the monitor to 2000m, row the first 750m looking for closer to 1:31 average through the first 500m (but you will achieve much of this by the first 150m fast, then 1:32), then 250m at 1:34/5.... paddle down from 1250m to 300m to go, 50m at 1:34/5, then blast the last 250m sub 1:25." I possibly went off to hard - basically counted 15 strokes and then dropped back to 1:34 with 1:35 now and then but saw some 1:36's in there - I find it awkward backing off this far and struggled to get the rhythm and was pretty glad to see 750 gone to regroup - at this point I thought the target of 1:25 for the last 250 was going to be a bit tough - started winding down to it 300m from home then counted 25 strokes at 250 to go - the odd glimpse at the monitor - the stroke was (I think) quite good technique wise and strong through the legs.