Devon Indoor Rowing Champs - Exeter 16/9

From the CRASH-B's to an online challenge, discuss the competitive side of erging here.

Re: Devon Indoor Rowing Champs - Exeter 16/9

Postby Gammmmo » September 16th, 2017, 7:01 pm

MPx wrote:Looked to me like you were digging deep from quite early on Paul and I was most impressed how you fought through the middle and end - that looked really tough. I was curious about your start. What advantage do you think you gain from the 10-ish strokes arms only at the beginning? Whatever, it was a tough heat and you held on really well....so congrats.

using the creatine phosphate (energy) system which lasts only 10-15s....I always do that at the start and do use the legs a little. thanks for the kind words ;) how did u get on? cheers.
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Re: Devon Indoor Rowing Champs - Exeter 16/9

Postby MPx » September 17th, 2017, 2:58 am

Gammmmo wrote: how did u get on?
- was just watching in awe for a couple of hours, not my thing to race - inspirational tho!
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Re: Devon Indoor Rowing Champs - Exeter 16/9

Postby hjs » September 17th, 2017, 4:14 am

Gammmmo wrote:And.......exactly the same time as last year - 18:09!! :roll:
Immediately didn't feel good - had planned to go through the first 1000m in ~1:47 and was off that straight away and from there I was seeing alot of 150s and 149s. The average actually slipped to 1:49.7 at one point but sheer pride saw me get that down to 1:48.9 by the end. I finished absolutely spent but during the majority of the effort I felt a little "blocked". The only difference I can point to is I messed up my taper. So....pretty disappointed with that. TBF my PB is beginning to look like a bit of an aberration at the moment!! Prior to that my best scores have been 18:02 (in 2005!), and then 18:06 and 18:08 in the past 3-4 months I guess, then 18:09 in this comp last year. What I need now is to bounce back with a big PB at 30mins....onwards!!

OH clocked 21:10, a PB by 18s, so is getting the newbie gains (fewer than 10 times on an erg!). V proud!!


Mheww. Can,t sugarcoat it..

Think you should rethink your training, you keep on doing the same over and over, and your body is not responding.
To much At stuff. Rethink it, you should be able to get moving again.
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Re: Devon Indoor Rowing Champs - Exeter 16/9

Postby Gammmmo » September 17th, 2017, 4:42 am

hjs wrote:
Gammmmo wrote:And.......exactly the same time as last year - 18:09!! :roll:
Immediately didn't feel good - had planned to go through the first 1000m in ~1:47 and was off that straight away and from there I was seeing alot of 150s and 149s. The average actually slipped to 1:49.7 at one point but sheer pride saw me get that down to 1:48.9 by the end. I finished absolutely spent but during the majority of the effort I felt a little "blocked". The only difference I can point to is I messed up my taper. So....pretty disappointed with that. TBF my PB is beginning to look like a bit of an aberration at the moment!! Prior to that my best scores have been 18:02 (in 2005!), and then 18:06 and 18:08 in the past 3-4 months I guess, then 18:09 in this comp last year. What I need now is to bounce back with a big PB at 30mins....onwards!!

OH clocked 21:10, a PB by 18s, so is getting the newbie gains (fewer than 10 times on an erg!). V proud!!


Mheww. Can,t sugarcoat it..

Think you should rethink your training, you keep on doing the same over and over, and your body is not responding.
To much At stuff. Rethink it, you should be able to get moving again.

Oh I will. :wink: suggestions?

Basically I have been following a regime of alternate hard and easy days. An easy day is 10K-15K@2:00-2:05 typically. Hard days have been either some inteval sessions e.g. 5x1000r60s, 4x1250r60s, 3x1700r180s, 2x2500m, OR sub 1:48/500m for 3-4.3K in one go. It's true, since last year when I clocked 18:09 it's been VERY hard to improve. When I was erging 10-12 years ago like I say I Pbd at 18:02....coincidence? maybe I am reaching a limit?

Another concept I struggle with is when someone says "do XYZ" session at a particular pace and then you should be able to hold "ABC" pace at a particular PB distance.

I have also really noticed quite a bit of variation as to how I feel on a given HIT day (yesterday that 18:09 felt harder than the 17:55 I did a month ago!), so I think sometimes I benefit from simply attempting a PB and sooner or later I feel great and just do it. This is where the code system on the PM5 is great for me because even if the PB is done at home it's still provable...if I waited to competitions to PB I think I'd be struggling more.
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Re: Devon Indoor Rowing Champs - Exeter 16/9

Postby hjs » September 17th, 2017, 5:03 am

Gammmmo wrote:
Mheww. Can,t sugarcoat it..

Think you should rethink your training, you keep on doing the same over and over, and your body is not responding.
To much At stuff. Rethink it, you should be able to get moving again.
Oh I will. :wink: suggestions?

Basically I have been following a regime of alternate hard and easy days. An easy day is 10K-15K@2:00-2:05 typically. Hard days have been either some inteval sessions e.g. 5x1000r60s, 4x1250r60s, 3x1700r180s, 2x2500m, OR sub 1:48/500m for 3-4.3K in one go. It's true, since last year when I clocked 18:09 it's been VERY hard to improve. When I was erging 10-12 years ago like I say I Pbd at 18:02....coincidence? maybe I am reaching a limit?

Another concept I struggle with is when someone says "do XYZ" session at a particular pace and then you should be able to hold "ABC" pace at a particular PB distance.

I have also really noticed quite a bit of variation as to how I feel on a given HIT day, so I think sometimes I benefit from simply attempting a PB and sooner or later I feel great and just do it. This is where the code system on the PM5 is great for me because even if the PB is done at home it's still provable...if I waited to competitions to PB I think I'd be struggling more.


Think you should completely get away from your 5k pace stuff. You work hard, but get no reward. Either focus on much shorter, or much longer. For a while at least.

Think you should get away from interval stuff and start doing serious low rated, longer session as your bread and butter.
Build your endurance and at the same time your stroke.

Doing at work, you always train anaerobe, that always plateau s pretty soon. Get away from it, build your aerobic base.

You are doing the same over and over, and the outcome is ofcourse also the same. No matter what, change and make sure you improve. You are still young enough, erging is very age friendly.
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Re: Devon Indoor Rowing Champs - Exeter 16/9

Postby Droode » September 17th, 2017, 5:08 am

Gammmmo wrote:
hjs wrote:
Gammmmo wrote:And.......exactly the same time as last year - 18:09!! :roll:
Immediately didn't feel good - had planned to go through the first 1000m in ~1:47 and was off that straight away and from there I was seeing alot of 150s and 149s. The average actually slipped to 1:49.7 at one point but sheer pride saw me get that down to 1:48.9 by the end. I finished absolutely spent but during the majority of the effort I felt a little "blocked". The only difference I can point to is I messed up my taper. So....pretty disappointed with that. TBF my PB is beginning to look like a bit of an aberration at the moment!! Prior to that my best scores have been 18:02 (in 2005!), and then 18:06 and 18:08 in the past 3-4 months I guess, then 18:09 in this comp last year. What I need now is to bounce back with a big PB at 30mins....onwards!!

OH clocked 21:10, a PB by 18s, so is getting the newbie gains (fewer than 10 times on an erg!). V proud!!


Mheww. Can,t sugarcoat it..

Think you should rethink your training, you keep on doing the same over and over, and your body is not responding.
To much At stuff. Rethink it, you should be able to get moving again.

Oh I will. :wink: suggestions?

Basically I have been following a regime of alternate hard and easy days. An easy day is 10K-15K@2:00-2:05 typically. Hard days have been either some inteval sessions e.g. 5x1000r60s, 4x1250r60s, 3x1700r180s, 2x2500m, OR sub 1:48/500m for 3-4.3K in one go. It's true, since last year when I clocked 18:09 it's been VERY hard to improve. When I was erging 10-12 years ago like I say I Pbd at 18:02....coincidence? maybe I am reaching a limit?

Another concept I struggle with is when someone says "do XYZ" session at a particular pace and then you should be able to hold "ABC" pace at a particular PB distance.

I have also really noticed quite a bit of variation as to how I feel on a given HIT day (yesterday that 18:09 felt harder than the 17:55 I did a month ago!), so I think sometimes I benefit from simply attempting a PB and sooner or later I feel great and just do it. This is where the code system on the PM5 is great for me because even if the PB is done at home it's still provable...if I waited to competitions to PB I think I'd be struggling more.

Gammmmo, I thought I had read somewhere that you use a 80/20 polarized plan I do the same when I am training with a goal in mind. The one thing that most people do however is overextending on the easy days if you are staying well under 77% of your heart rate max (your session average should be well below this) improvement should come. Also out of that 20% of the hard training no more than about 5% of that per week, month, year should be above anaerobic max effort.
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Re: Devon Indoor Rowing Champs - Exeter 16/9

Postby Gammmmo » September 19th, 2017, 5:39 am

@Droode - thanks for your contribution. Yes, my easy days are at a HR typically starting in the high 120s and finishing in the high 140s (due to cardiac drift etc) and my max is ~193 so don't think those are too hard. FWIW 4x1K r60s would be the hardest session I'd do and they'd be in the 1:45/1:46 range so not what I'd call anaerobic.

hjs wrote:Think you should completely get away from your 5k pace stuff. You work hard, but get no reward. Either focus on much shorter, or much longer. For a while at least.

Think you should get away from interval stuff and start doing serious low rated, longer session as your bread and butter.
Build your endurance and at the same time your stroke.

Doing at work, you always train anaerobe, that always plateau s pretty soon. Get away from it, build your aerobic base.

You are doing the same over and over, and the outcome is ofcourse also the same. No matter what, change and make sure you improve. You are still young enough, erging is very age friendly.


Well, I'd like to think I was not hitting some sort of limit but something does need to change. So, basically you are saying I need to re-invent my technique? It is true that it isn't great - I come far too far forward and my force curve is flat, long and not high at all. In the past when you've commented my stroke rate is low for the times I do and for my build I think this is because my stroke is so long. I think my leg drive is weak...so much so that when I make a point of engaging the legs on an ad hoc session I can feel it the next day...that suggests to me my body is not used to this and there are gains to be made. That's good. Now, the problem I have is two-fold:

1. in the past when I've done low rate work I've ended up hurting my lower back (I had a bad cycling injury in 2014 which rears its head)
2. because I'm unaccustomed to a more classic stroke I strongly suspect the aerobic costs for a given pace are actually higher (that said, until I do some repeated tests with a HRM I won't know) and certainly the RPE seems higher.

- do you think I would benefit from starting deadlifting/squatting in earnest AS WELL? I am struggling to get near 75kg so am clearly not building any new muscle.
- when you say "build your aerobic base" I always thought that was my strong point...surely alot of the work I have done in the 2:00-2:05 has done that or maintained it?

BTW - I hugely appreciate your honesty in this Henry...
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Re: Devon Indoor Rowing Champs - Exeter 16/9

Postby hjs » September 19th, 2017, 7:15 am

Paul, always think being honoust is best. Always being possitive and calling everything great is nice, but gets us nowhere.
You put a lot of effort in your training and the reward atm is great. Which is a pitty.

Re your back. If thats holding back, you should find a way to get stronger. That does not mean you should take big risks but slowly build that strenght.

Strenght work and lower rate work both will be usefull, but be carefull, start out easy and slowly build the weights and the power per stroke. Take time, be patient, you are relative untrained at this point, which is a big plus. You can build extra strenght. I would try 3 months to give that a try, expect to see results around half way in.

Re strokerate, that certainly partially given, but can be trained. You could do sessions with higher rated pieces included, not directly faster in pace, but focus on the recovery, make that faster.

The way I see it, you are now building a peak, at least trying, and don,t look at the basic tools you have. Step away from short term peaking and work on your base. Once you made that stronger/better, build to a new peak.
In rowing stupid raw strength is simply a plus. Think thats your weak point, holding you back.
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Re: Devon Indoor Rowing Champs - Exeter 16/9

Postby Gammmmo » September 24th, 2017, 12:39 pm

Pic from last weekend showing bad form on my part - coming far too far forward and not using the legs explosively. Don't copy this newbies!!

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Re: Devon Indoor Rowing Champs - Exeter 16/9

Postby Cyclist2 » September 24th, 2017, 6:31 pm

Gammmmo wrote:coming far too far forward and not using the legs explosively.

You might solve this by simply raising the flexfeet up a notch or two.

Looks like you're having fun, though!
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Re: Devon Indoor Rowing Champs - Exeter 16/9

Postby hjs » September 25th, 2017, 2:49 am

Extreem, knee goes a full feet over the heal. Will be very very tough to alter this.
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Re: Devon Indoor Rowing Champs - Exeter 16/9

Postby Gammmmo » September 25th, 2017, 2:55 am

Cyclist2 wrote:You might solve this by simply raising the flexfeet up a notch or two.
Looks like you're having fun, though!

Cheers. Will try that.

hjs wrote:Extreem, knee goes a full feet over the heal. Will be very very tough to alter this.

Agreed - so much so, like I say, my perception is it's more efficient (HR/pace) like that. Last week I did 4/5 rows of 5K ish each of low rate work using the legs - it felt fundamentally different but will give it a chance. I have studied some really good ergers and at least some have the lower leg vertical, others (like that Stephansen chap) don't get to that point.
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Re: Devon Indoor Rowing Champs - Exeter 16/9

Postby hjs » September 25th, 2017, 3:29 am

Gammmmo wrote:
Cyclist2 wrote:You might solve this by simply raising the flexfeet up a notch or two.
Looks like you're having fun, though!

Cheers. Will try that.

hjs wrote:Extreem, knee goes a full feet over the heal. Will be very very tough to alter this.

Agreed - so much so, like I say, my perception is it's more efficient (HR/pace) like that. Last week I did 4/5 rows of 5K ish each of low rate work using the legs - it felt fundamentally different but will give it a chance. I have studied some really good ergers and at least some have the lower leg vertical, others (like that Stephansen chap) don't get to that point.


First, there is ofcourse not one single way to row, every body is different and will function differently.
Some people, don,t lift the heal at all, you are fully on the other side of the spectrum, heals are very high lifted.
You say, thats not using your legs, Its the opposite, its very much using the legs and sparing the back. From this deep catch you can slowly start pushing and loading your back. From a less deep position you should start the stroke faster and would put more pressure on your lower back.
At the moment your body is fully used to this current stroke, every change, at this point will feel off and will be slower.
Do think though you should try to keep the heals a bit down, how do you finish the stroke, I bet you don,t lock your knees, this again protects the back.
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