Training advice?

General discussion on Training. How to get better on your erg, how to use your erg to get better at another sport, or anything else about improving your abilities.
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oknussen
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Training advice?

Post by oknussen » January 11th, 2017, 5:46 pm

Hi all,

I am looking for some advice on training. I have been rowing for 6 months after no exercise for 4-5 years (or more). It's been great - I've lost 25 pounds (about 180 lbs now) and love it. My primary goal is fitness and weight loss but I also like making progress on my pace. I row 6 days a week and about logging between 80-90km week (I take 1 day off and from time to time can't get to the gym because of work/travel etc.).

I have looked at and tried a couple different training plans but end up doing something a little weird - I tend to row three 5K's every day (sometimes will do an extra 2 or 3K), with a couple minutes between each - enough time to log time, avg split, spm, watts and cal and my 1K splits. I negative split each 5K (that is each 1K within a 5K is faster than the previous and tend to move to high rate/sprint over the last 500-1000m). I tend to rate 19/20/21/22 for the first 4K then increase the last 1K (last 500 about 28-31). The third 5K does tend to be slower than the first 2. I settled on 5K's after trying 6K's, 30 minutes and other set time/distances which tended to make my back sore.

I have been getting faster and keeping the weight I have lost off - so that's good. At the same time, if I look at the training bands (based on watts), most of my time is spent doing AT work and TR work (based on a 7:38 2K time). The first 1K is often in the 2:09/2:10 area as I warm up (60-70% of my watts maximum) though sometimes in the UT2 range, the middle 3K in the upper end of the AT, the last 1K split between TR and AN (as defined below).

So by my reckoning I am getting steady state and sprint work in every day - and yes, there are days when I go a little slower (not feeling good, ill etc.). This must be not a good idea though as I don't see anybody else doing this kind of thing. My main goal is to keep rowing and not get injured, but my stealth goal is keep making progress in speed and fitness and my secret goal is to break 7:30 (then look towards 7:15). Is my approach nuts? Thanks for any feedback!

Bands based on watts of best 2K time- I can't remember where I found this
BANDS WATTS PACE WATTS PACE
UT2 45%-60% 105 0:02:29 140 0:02:16
UT1 60%-70% 140 0:02:16 163 0:02:09
AT 70%-80% 163 0:02:09 187 0:02:03
TR 80%-105% 187 0:02:03 245 0:01:53
AN 105%-115% 245 0:01:53 268 0:01:49

6 feet 0, 180 pounds, best 5K 20:10, best 2K 7:38

G-dub
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Re: Training advice?

Post by G-dub » January 12th, 2017, 9:57 am

I guess one school of thought is that if it is working for you, you aren't getting hurt or burned out and it remains fun there is nothing wrong with it. You are making lots and lots of meters a week which is commendable. Many wouldn't be able to do that at their AT. Your paces suggest there is lots of room for getting faster too, so what is AT pace today will be UT2 pace tomorrow. Have you a solid understanding of your HR zones as in based on a test or lots and lots of max efforts? How does your HR compare to the zones at various paces and durations?
Glenn Walters: 5'-8" X 192 lbs. Bday 01/09/1962
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gooseflight
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Re: Training advice?

Post by gooseflight » January 12th, 2017, 10:41 am

Great meters. Congrats on the weight loss and commitment.

As Glenn says, it's working!

To progress pace-wise I think you need to make your sessions more distinct. At the moment you seem to be mixing different types of work in a single session.

If I read correctly only your warm-up, 1K, is at UT2 HR, so you're not really doing any steady state work at all. You would be better off doing longer sessions -- 40 minutes or more -- all at UT2/1 HR on say three or four days a week (no need to sprint at the end). Then add a couple of interval sessions to the training week.

If it's more comfortable you can, as many do, still split the steady state work into 20 minute/5K segments.

You shouldn't be getting any back pain so keep the drag low and watch your technique. I'm guessing your back pain stems partly from trying to do AT/TR work still at low rate.
Roy Walter
M55 | 185cm | 90kg | Journeyman Erger
PBs (2004): 6:38 (2K) | 5:22.9 (mile) | 17:39.6 (5K) | 8323 (30 mins) | 36:52 (10K) | 1:22:03 (HM '05)

jamesg
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Re: Training advice?

Post by jamesg » January 13th, 2017, 1:18 am

Bands based on watts of best 2K time- I can't remember where I found this
That comes from the Interactive training plans. https://indoorsportservices.co.uk/training/interactive

You're doing plenty of mileage so must have endurance enough for a good 2k, and 7:38 looks beatable with that amount of work and your size.

For a 7' 2k you'll need a Watt/Rating ratio 10 in a test and probably 8-9 in UT1 work (180-200W at 22).

Rowing like that is mostly legwork, but the erg does not let us use them to full effect without specific techniques and settings:
http://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/t ... que-videos
08-1940, 183cm, 84kg. Last seen MHR 158 in 2k = 220 - 77% of age.
2021-2: stroke 6 W-min. ½k 1:55.5; 1k 4:09.2; 2k 8:42.2; 5k 23:15; 30' 6247; 10k 49:36.

Rod
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Re: Training advice?

Post by Rod » January 13th, 2017, 5:04 am

I'd say the best advice on training is here;

http://thepeteplan.wordpress.com/the-pete-plan/
64 year old, 72 kilo (159lbs), 5'8''/174cm (always the shortest on the podium!) male. Based in Sussex, just south of London, England. Best recent rows 60 mins.....16011 metres. 30 mins.....8215 metres. 100k 7hrs 14 mins.

oknussen
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Re: Training advice?

Post by oknussen » January 13th, 2017, 5:14 pm

Thanks all, for your responses. It's been helpful as I think about how to move forward.

I haven't been basing things on heart rate as a) I don't have a heart monitor and b) hear various things about how heart rate can vary based on environmental conditions, sleep etc. So I've been basing things on the watts - (thanks jamesg for reminding me where I got the info on the training bands).

Thanks, too, gooseflight. You are right about this, I think: "I'm guessing your back pain stems partly from trying to do AT/TR work still at low rate." I am trying to be careful about my back (having a history of back problems) and notice that long sessions at low rate but relatively high watts puts some strain on it (nothing terrible but, as I said, I try to be mindful of it). I've been very slowly moving the DF up as I noticed and read that high DF puts higher strain on the lower back. I've moved the DF up to 125 only because I have found it easier to get faster splits.

I've been more focused on weight loss up to now so have wanted to spend more time on the machine than interval sessions would afford. I've looked at the Pete Plan - perhaps it's time to give that go.

thanks

Silva
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Re: Training advice?

Post by Silva » January 16th, 2017, 2:15 am

"The Pete Plan." I like it, thanks Rod.
You can check out Noocube here today.

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Parky
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Re: Training advice?

Post by Parky » January 16th, 2017, 11:13 am

For the back problems, try the Hip Flexor stretches.. I'm in my 70's and had back problems for years and this is the only exxercise that has worked for me.
Hwt M - 76yrs - 19st 2lbs

Oldcolonial
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Re: Training advice?

Post by Oldcolonial » February 8th, 2017, 9:52 am

Congratulations on the weight loss and consistency!. There is a huge benefit to being consistent and you appear to be enjoying much of that benefit. If your goal is to control / reduce your weight and you are still finding the work enjoyable I would not adjust much. At some point you may not, and then its time to make adjustments. One way to think of what you are doing is that it is an extended period of base building.

If you have some specific goals in the short term, e.g. faster times for a particular distance you could build up your training program to work toward that goal. With this in mind, it probably means working at higher intensity for shorter intervals on some of your work out days. Its hard to say if your "stealth goals" are unreasonable but I suspect they are not. In fact, at 6' and 180# getting below 7:15 should be pretty straightforward and you may even be able to drift down to that without changing what you are doing just by being consistent with your current program.

In terms of simple suggestions, I might suggest replacing one of your workouts every 10 days or so with one that includes up to 5K ( chopped up in intervals) at your TR pace. For instance, 6 to 8 x 500m at TR pace with equal time rest. Also replace one of your workouts every 10 days with an AT workout that has you spending 20 to 25 minutes at a steady AT pace. This might look like 4 to 5 times 5 minutes at AT pace with 1 minute of easy rowing in between each. For both of these do a 1.5 to 2 k easy warm up before and cool down after. In addition, you may want to "spice up" your long 5 K pieces by throwing in 3 or 4 short 15 to 20 second hard pick ups in each. These are just a few strokes where you pull hard. Focus less on specific pace but instead make sure they are nice hard pulls with good form. This may slow down your average pace for the 5 K piece but help prepare your body for harder work associated with the intervals and AT work. If these replacements go well, move to making the replacements once per week.
Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional

oknussen
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Re: Training advice?

Post by oknussen » February 9th, 2017, 7:54 am

Thanks for the comments. I guess there is something to be said for building a base as I did a sub 20m 5K (19:57) the other day the last 2K of which were 7:29. Both were goals that I was hoping to hit in the summer, so I am happy with that. Of course, as I am just starting out (but a couple weeks away from 2M meters) the gains have come quickly and will start to slow. I think I do need vary things to make improvements but am still really enjoy the 3X5K 6 days/week - I am now taking a day for recovery and because my schedule doesn't allow rowing every day) - thanks all for the suggestions. The 4x5 minutes at AT pace is interesting. I do need to do some speed work but the 8x500 scares me a bit - perhaps because I tried it early in this new rowing regime after not exercising for a few years. I didn't get past 4 of them.... :oops: Need to try again....

Thanks jamesg for this:
"For a 7' 2k you'll need a Watt/Rating ratio 10 in a test and probably 8-9 in UT1 work (180-200W at 22). " which has been helpful in focusing my mind.

Oldcolonial
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Re: Training advice?

Post by Oldcolonial » February 9th, 2017, 9:16 am

oknussen wrote:Thanks for the comments. I guess there is something to be said for building a base as I did a sub 20m 5K (19:57) the other day the last 2K of which were 7:29. Both were goals that I was hoping to hit in the summer, so I am happy with that. Of course, as I am just starting out (but a couple weeks away from 2M meters) the gains have come quickly and will start to slow. I think I do need vary things to make improvements but am still really enjoy the 3X5K 6 days/week - I am now taking a day for recovery and because my schedule doesn't allow rowing every day) - thanks all for the suggestions. The 4x5 minutes at AT pace is interesting. I do need to do some speed work but the 8x500 scares me a bit - perhaps because I tried it early in this new rowing regime after not exercising for a few years. I didn't get past 4 of them.... :oops: Need to try again....

Thanks jamesg for this:
"For a 7' 2k you'll need a Watt/Rating ratio 10 in a test and probably 8-9 in UT1 work (180-200W at 22). " which has been helpful in focusing my mind.
Key to the 500 meter intervals is not getting too excited and going too fast on the early ones. If you keep you pace at the slower end of your TR you will be fine.
Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional

oknussen
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Re: Training advice?

Post by oknussen » February 9th, 2017, 10:45 pm

I know, I know.... Sad thing is that I knew that at the time too! And I still went out hopelessly too fast. Hopefully, with a better sense of my target and some meters behind me I'll do better next time (which should be soon)...

oknussen
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Re: Training advice?

Post by oknussen » March 27th, 2017, 10:08 pm

Small update - thanks for everyone's advice. I have been trying to mix up the workouts a bit - have done some 500m interval work, some 1K work, and increased the meters per week. Some takeaways:

1. the speed work is really useful, painful (but in a good way) but/and satisfying. have made progress on pacing 500m intervals now need to do more of them ...
2. I don't know that two half marathons in a row on weekends is a great idea or sustainable just now (especially until I really learn #3)
3. stretching is really important - lack of stretching has put me in some pain (duh) and limited meters last week. am stretching more and starting to feel better
4. times continue to fall - did a 7:18:43 2K - striking distance of 7:15 (not great, I know, but my stealth goal). considering my last 2k was a couple weeks ago and a 7:28:xxx I am thinking the 7:15 will happen. didn't really intend to try for a PR but was feeling good and....
5. i continue to enjoy time on the machine. am curious about rowing on slides but have never seen them in a gym.

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