I hit a wall at 54 Minutes... every time.

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I hit a wall at 54 Minutes... every time.

Postby lancecampeau » October 14th, 2017, 1:30 am

Started going to the gym in January 2017. I usually mix it up from day to day. Interval sprints and SS long distance rows, weight training and some cardio on other equipment. I go 2 to 4 times a week depending on how I am feeling. For many months I've been working hard to achieve decent times for almost of the ranked distances on the Concept2, from 100m sprints to the full marathon. Lots of meters rowed at different distances this season and my stamina has dramatically increased as a result.

However.... I have this annoying problem... After 9 months of this, whenever I row a long piece, I hit this weird fatigue plateau between minute 54 and minute 68. Every $#@!& time! Like clockwork, when I hit that 54th minute, I get a fairly strong feeling of fatigue and desire to stop that lasts from 10 to 15 minutes. I have already tried varying the DF and stroke rate but the result is always the same. That damm minute 54 rut pops up. Once I get passed minute 68, the fatigue routinely goes away.

So my question is this... Is there some sort of well known "second wind" phenomenon that I may be experiencing here? I'd like to hear some insight from anyone else who may have had some experience with this kind of issue... (even if it is in another sport). I am amazed with just how consistently this happens, even on days when I am fully rested. :?

Thanks
43y 183cm 105kg
100m/16.1 | 346m/1min | 500m/1:30.0 | 1K/3:15.5 | 1,188m/4:00.0 | 2K/7:06.5 | 5K/18:45.7 | 6K/22:37.8 | 7,731m/30:00.0 | 10K/39:39.6 | 14,807m/60min | HM/1:25:29.6 | FM/3:06:39.8
goals - Sub7, 15k/60min, 360m/1 min, 8k/30min
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Re: I hit a wall at 54 Minutes... every time.

Postby Dangerscouse » October 14th, 2017, 3:14 am

That is interesting. Personally I have never experienced it on my long rows.

I always used to have a lull at 25 mins or 30 mins on a 10km session but I'm convinced that is through conditioning as it got ingrained in my subconscious that was a time that I was going to struggle and that seeped into my conscious thoughts.

I can't think of any reason why you should struggle at 54 mins as you should have enough glycogen for circa 2 hours. I suspect that it's a mental issue as you have identified it and there's a strong subconscious response each time.

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Re: I hit a wall at 54 Minutes... every time.

Postby AndyG » October 14th, 2017, 3:41 am

For me it's usually 12k in that it becomes unbearable, which is about 52-54 minutes in. These are efforts that are about 8-10 seconds per /500 over my PB. My butt starts to cramp around this time. Getting to that point usually revolves around having enough carbs and water to fuel the workout beforehand. I guess the more you do it the easier it should get.

Does anyone think decreasing the pace by about 5 seconds per 500m for 1000m or so would help? Or maybe the whole piece should be a few seconds slower per /500?
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Re: I hit a wall at 54 Minutes... every time.

Postby hjs » October 14th, 2017, 4:13 am

Think its pretty obvious, an hour serious erging is tough work, been years I have rowed that long. Row slower and it will be doable I think. On the other hand why do you row so long? Trainingwise if you can,t handle the load is probably not a good idea.
For myself, think hours or even more would never become easy, or should row very easy.

Do you use hf limits? Most ergers row way to fast on longer rows, every session becomes a time trial. Use a ut2 cap and to you likely need to go a lot slower.
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Re: I hit a wall at 54 Minutes... every time.

Postby Gammmmo » October 14th, 2017, 4:22 am

Dangerscouse wrote:That is interesting. Personally I have never experienced it on my long rows.

I always used to have a lull at 25 mins or 30 mins on a 10km session but I'm convinced that is through conditioning as it got ingrained in my subconscious that was a time that I was going to struggle and that seeped into my conscious thoughts.

I can't think of any reason why you should struggle at 54 mins as you should have enough glycogen for circa 2 hours. I suspect that it's a mental issue as you have identified it and there's a strong subconscious response each time.

Your mind can be your worst enemy


It might be a self perpetutating thing i.e. you have come to EXPECT to feel awful right around the 54min mark (very specific!). (Also, I don't agree about glycogen not being an issue up until 2 hours...I'm well aware that is the amount often cited as being theoretically how much can be stored but I've always found ingesting carbs for flat out exercise lasting much longer than 1 hour is beneficial. The brain may be using the depleted reserves as some sort of protection mechanism and make someone slow down.) To the OP try this: at 54mins when you feel awful, tell yourself the workout will finish in 3 or 5mins time and for that period you must INCREASE the pace. What happens? It's like those experiments they've done on Central Governor Theory where subjects are asked to pedal on bikes to the point where they feel they cannot go on....and then the administrator asks them to sprint. And they can i.e. there is functional reserve and it's a mental thing.
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Re: I hit a wall at 54 Minutes... every time.

Postby Citroen » October 14th, 2017, 4:30 am

Stop all the clocks, cut off the phone, give the dog a bone ... [1]

Simple answer (for a model C or model D), fold the monitor arm so you can't see it. Concentrate on something else rather than clock watching.

Or set the row up as a distance (set it for 15K, slightly over what you can do in 54 minutes), press the bottom grey button to get the LARGE PRINT display. Press [CHANGE UNITS] so that you only get average pace showing. You won't know how long you've been going until you're done. If using Ergdata put your phone upside down on the floor so you can't see it either.


[1] With apologies to W.H. Auden.
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Re: I hit a wall at 54 Minutes... every time.

Postby jamesg » October 14th, 2017, 4:51 am

The classic explanation is you've run out of readily available CHO and have started using fats.

Alternatively think endorphine. The power presumably has to be high enough to get them into action. Too slow and there'll be none at all. One trick to keep the pace up is intervals, 30 seconds slow every so often, concentrate on technique, then go again. Sitting on a fence is unlikely to be comfortable, must choose which side.
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Re: I hit a wall at 54 Minutes... every time.

Postby Gammmmo » October 14th, 2017, 6:08 am

jamesg wrote:The classic explanation is you've run out of readily available CHO and have started using fats.

Alternatively think endorphine. The power presumably has to be high enough to get them into action. Too slow and there'll be none at all. One trick to keep the pace up is intervals, 30 seconds slow every so often, concentrate on technique, then go again. Sitting on a fence is unlikely to be comfortable, must choose which side.


wouldnt explain why he gets a "second wind" (assuming it's still at the same (reasonable) intensity) as unless fat-adapted it'd be more inefficient
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Erg on!
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Re: I hit a wall at 54 Minutes... every time.

Postby edinborogh » October 16th, 2017, 2:23 am

my humble advice -
i felt the wall at first after 5 minutes rowing.
i had this thing where i would add just 60 more seconds to the last session i did.
when i felt better about it, i would do the last extra minute as a full on power ( for as much as i could ) and then 2 -3 more minutes as cooling down.
slowly, the meters and the minutes added up.
i learned in the process what stroke rate is most suitable for me, how not to fly and die, and slowly increase the time before "handle down".
hope it helps.
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Re: I hit a wall at 54 Minutes... every time.

Postby jackarabit » October 16th, 2017, 8:41 am

Considering Lance has been out to 50k continuous and routinely does NOT HD in the 10-15' dead zone, James' hypothesis of a fuel tank switchover seems plausible. Hooding the monitor and checking the time of onset of symptom might be an interesting experiment.
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Re: I hit a wall at 54 Minutes... every time.

Postby lancecampeau » October 16th, 2017, 9:51 pm

jackarabit wrote:Considering Lance has been out to 50k continuous and routinely does NOT HD in the 10-15' dead zone, James' hypothesis of a fuel tank switchover seems plausible. Hooding the monitor and checking the time of onset of symptom might be an interesting experiment.

I'm going to try this idea because it makes a lot of sense...

I don't like heart rate monitors because I find they are a huge, mental distraction. Instead, I'll usually wear dense foam earplugs while rowing so I can hear my heart and breathing rates directly through bone conduction. Its a bit archaic, but I find it to be an effective way to gauge how my body is responding. When working on a hard piece, listening to the auditory cues of breathing and heart rate while simultaneously viewing the Concept2's monitor offers a clearer indication of when to push a bit harder or when to slow down. The more meters logged using this method, the better I get at elevating to the performance sweet spot from session-to-session.

At minute 54, I usually sense a slight elevation in heart rate followed by a need for a bit deeper breath.
43y 183cm 105kg
100m/16.1 | 346m/1min | 500m/1:30.0 | 1K/3:15.5 | 1,188m/4:00.0 | 2K/7:06.5 | 5K/18:45.7 | 6K/22:37.8 | 7,731m/30:00.0 | 10K/39:39.6 | 14,807m/60min | HM/1:25:29.6 | FM/3:06:39.8
goals - Sub7, 15k/60min, 360m/1 min, 8k/30min
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Re: I hit a wall at 54 Minutes... every time.

Postby DavidA » October 17th, 2017, 4:35 pm

Citroen wrote:Simple answer (for a model C or model D), fold the monitor arm so you can't see it. Concentrate on something else rather than clock watching.


I was going to suggest a similar thing - trying rowing where you aren't able to constantly be checking how long you have been rowing. Cover the monitor. Watch or listen to something that distracts you from the passage of time.

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