Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Prepared to go slow to get quick

One of the biggest problems when committing to a long term rowing plan is the ability to go slow in order to get quick - and also have the understanding of the discipline required and what it changes in you both physically and mentally. It's taken me over five years but I think I made progress... Today was 60r20 75% HRR and the pace ended up being slower than yesterday's r18 (normally I'd expect to be slightly quicker at 20). This can lead to frustration but it's at this point we (i) need to remember that if I want to go as "fast" as I can in twelve months or so then I need to commit to a plan i know work's which is building the "engine" which means keeping it ticked over at also it's important to note that sticking with a rate from start to finish creates a mental discipline which is so important come race day.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Time to go to work

Yesterday's blog was extracted from a longer email to my coach Q who came back fully supporting me and I think he's looking forward to it lol he also mentioned getting in as much 70/75% HRR work as I could (sensibly) at the moment so that's what I did at 8am this morning. 60r18 75% HRR.

Monday, 23 January 2017

A new start 30r20

I've been thinking and made the decision to put everything I can into getting that sub 6 2k -  it's why I started this and although things have come up which have caused me to drift of course and certain life events have come close to finishing me off completely in rowing terms I'm standing strong and determined. In that vein I started today with a 30r20 initially aimed at a 80% HRR to get me back into them and thought I'd be OK to sit sub 1:45 pace at the start and let that drop back to keep the HR limit (160bpm for 80% HRR) however as the attached screen shot shows that wasn't within my current "fitness" level as I was dropped back to 1:50 pace and hr pushing over 170. Rather than deter me it kept me going as I realised that my efforts on Saturday where probably greater than I thought especially that 2k off the back of the 1k. So yes the times weren't that fast but factoring in today's session I feel a lot better about what I accomplished. We have a new baseline and I have twelve months minimum work ahead of me. Just my thoughts at the moment. 

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Irish Indoor Rowing Championship 2017 - triple gold

Well I kinda spoiled the ending to the story....

As I said a few days ago "I would rather go and lose than stay at home and wonder" and as Q said to me "Sometimes racing is about getting to the finishing line... sometimes the victory is getting to the start line. I think turning up and rowing a 2k of any description is a victory - you have been to hell and back. This is not about winning in the eyes of others, it is about winning your battle. That occurs when you take the first stroke. Nothing after that matters..."

I had a not very good session on Thursday I attempted two by 1k on 4min rest first 1k was aimed at 1:33 r30 which I hit (this was target for 2k) the second 1k was to be 1:32 r32 but 400m in I just felt it on the legs and stopped... But I've learned and this didn't completely disrail me but gave me a new target for the day. From looking at the competition I thought the 1k could be around 2:55 so I planned to start at r32 1:28 pace and I would do what I needed to do to win. If I have to bury myself so be it. As it turned out the guy I expected to be the main competition didn't arrive so I changed the plan to 1:30 r30 and see what was happening at halfway. On starting the race I noted that guys from the lower age group where showing on the screen but knew that one of the guys in front of me was in this lower age group and pretty sure that the guy leading was also in the other group. At about 600m gone I saw that I was in second and as I was pretty sure the leading guy on the screen was in the lower group thought I would just sit behind him .... that didn't last long and the pace came up to 1:26's and with about 100m to go I went passed him finishing in 2:57.8 - the second guy came in at 2:59.2 - it turned out he was in the same category as me - phew!


So the 2k plan was aimed at a 6:15 orinally as again I had it planned around another rower being there - for some reason he didn't make it - it was to be r32 and start at 1:35 pace and this was to remain until half way at which point I will decide if I needed to destroy myself to go for the win or if I can save some for the 500m. I ended up rating a little lower than planned at 30 maybe the 1k took more than expected or maybe the recent cold/flu - lack of training etc etc still I had the control and come the final 500m I simply kept the pressure on and controlled it home - a win but I'll be honest slower than I really wanted.

There was quite some crowd there ....

ahh the reason for the crowd :o) O'Donovan brothers 

So then the 500m that itself will be a fly hard from the start and hold on to the wings of the angels. As I was lining up to get to the erg I heard the all so familiar "Attention - This is a emergency - Please evacuate the building" ... err no that's not right its Ready Attention Row! Nope there is was again and at that the arena was cleared and we waited outside for the fire brigade to come on scene and declare it safe - as there was apparently a fire detected in a plant room this took about a half hour or more. Still once back in I was even more pumped for the 500m - on the erg - music on and ... balls forgt to put the phone on airplane mode and the wife was calling - quickly chucked the headphones off and tried to focus - got a good not great start but think I missed first stroke - patiently waited for the pace to come down as I was hitting 1:16's but the average was showing over 1:20... eventually it came down and I was looking at a sub 1:20 finish up to the last few strokes - ended on 1:20.1 and my third Gold. 

Overall I was happy with my day - it was about getting to the start as much as it was about finishing the races and to get three wins made it all the better - talked to some old friends and met some new ones and for that I am grateful. Also got three new t-shirts :-)

Monday, 16 January 2017

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face - 1k controlled TT

As I completed my warm up this afternoon this phrase crossed my mind - believe Mike Tyson said it - "everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face" well in my rowing life that's often the warm up lol I can plan a session in my head days in advance and even up to driving up to the gym that plan stays strong and seems so simple. Then the warm up is complete and your starring down the barrel. The plan today was a 1k rate restricted TT to help build some iron in the mind - this late in the game there is little physiology I can do, training has been all over the place the last year and since new year I've been carrying a bug causing coughing and sneezing fits so all I can do is shore up the mind. After the rate restricted one minutes the other day I figured a 1k TT starting at r30 would be a good idea..... Life over the last few days has had me down so I needed a pick me up - I think I have it.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Irish 2017 - would rather go and lose than stay at home and wonder

So signed up for the Irish a couple of days ago in for the 1k, 2k and 500m sure why not. Had another trip to Dublin and back on Thursday so no training but Friday wanted to get something positive done and went for a horror session unfortunately a stomach cramp set in and the session came to a halt then started thinking if signing up was a mistake. Today was another day and I went in early to do a simple 30r20 aimed at 70% HRR but let it rise up to 80% by the end. Decided to then put some one minute bursts in hoping to hit 1:30 pace on r30 - well lets just say I rather enjoyed that and stretched it from two to three reps. Fairly safe to say I'll be using the power end of the spectrum come Saturday

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

When in doubt - rate 20 it out 4by4min 4r C2CTC r20

When in doubt - rate 20 it out lol. Having been sick since new year and off the erg completely since the 8by500's ten days ago this was simply a case of getting it done with half an eye on the Irish only ten days away I'm not really sure if I'm going to go....