Endurance erging - A place to discuss 42, 50, 100k upwards.

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.
p_b82
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Re: Endurance erging - A place to discuss 42, 50, 100k upwards.

Post by p_b82 » April 3rd, 2024, 6:34 am

The day after my marathon and my turn for blow-by-blow analysis. I'm sure it will be familiar to many who've done it, or read about it already - I tried to be succinct but it's ended up quite wordy all the same....

I'd planned my food/fuel strategy based on my 30k training row; but hadn't pushed the distance further due to a back injury first week in Feb and so had to compress my training when recovered, I lost about a month all told, at probably the worst point in the "cycle" I'd started after a HM end of November.

Supper the night before was smoked fish+ anchovies, peas, broad beans and pasta
Breakfast at 9am was some "overnight oats" with flaked almonds, desiccated coconut, chopped hazelnuts, dried cranberries, cinnamon and honey; washed down with 2 pints of tea. I'd made too much, so didn't finish it.
I started on the water at this point and had pint or so before an early lunch around 12 - scrambled eggs on sourdough white toast with peanut butter - yes you read that right, it's not as gross as it sounds either....

I mixed up 1.5L of tailwind, 0.5L of that a caffeinated variety I planned to hold off for the last stint; ~1.2L of plain water, a couple of bananas, some dried fruit & some cashews.

On one hand my pre-race food was too much, on the other maybe spot on, as I just didn't want to eat during the row as it turned out - which was the opposite of during my training.

With everything prepped, including taping my fingers in zinc oxide over the sensitive spots + "animal wrap" (self adhesive non glue bandage), I had about a third a pint of fruit juice (straight from the container, because I'm classy) sent a few messages to family to let them know I was about to crack on and at about 1:30 I settled myself and got everything connected.
I was fairly surprised to see my hr in the mid 90's just sat on the erg - that's normally a sign it's going to be a very "tough day on the erg" for me, but I told myself it was just nerves/adrenaline and tried to put it out my mind.

Had my first drink of tailwind at the 20min point, and my hr had settled in the low 160's; a bit higher than ideal - given I was going just under my target pace for a 3:15 marathon (2:19/500m). I really had to keep telling myself to relax at this point, as I could feel I was tense....

At the 45 min point, my usual slump started to kick in, and I knew that once past the next 15 mins, then things would get easier; Hr was starting to drop and I was feeling ok.

At the hour 26 point I knocked over one of my opened water bottles - which needed to be up-righted - grabbing my other water bottle having finished my first tailwind and wanting water.
I was starting to get a numb bum - I'd obviously not quite got my sit bones right, so told myself I could have a break for a re-seat once over half way - also knowing that this would rule out rule out my "gold star" time; as I refused to try to catch it up with so much time left.

At this point the PM5 crashed when I started up again - I can only assume that ergzone sent the "keep awake" ping at the same time I pulled on the handle, as the screen shifted, half the force curve being displayed up top, and half at the bottom, and the main top metrics squished between. It also stopped updating entirely.
My live Hr was the most important metric, as I use that to judge my effort - and I was being very conscious to not push up to the high 160's as I believe that is a sign I'm starting to go anaerobic and with at least 1.5hrs left to go that would be too soon.

I seriously considered stopping, but as ergzone was still going through the splits - grid view - and the average pace was varying as I started up, I just decided to crack on, and flipped the pm5 upright so I couldn't see it as much; luckily I had a couple of things duplicated so I could still get my overall & live pace & live wattage. All other metrics were per split; so I lost the "big" counter.... for better or worse.

Next 40 mins went ok - but the pm5 issues had unsettled me as had the postie banging on my door to deliver a final birthday present - he would have heard the erg going as the windows were open - so I stopped again for a mental reset and unstrapped, things felt ok, but I had no idea if they really were so I'd backed the pace off a bit "just to be sure" - at this point I tried to eat something thinking I should - and just didn't want it, so it felt heavy - even though it was a piece of dried pineapple and a small bite of banana.

I was now entering the unknown as by my (poor) on the fly maths I was looking at the last 15k or so. 3 splits of 4500m + the final short 1700m one

The next 30mins I felt a lot of the voices telling me to stop: the pm5 crashed, so this wont count, why push yourself, you are starting to hurt why keep doing this, your back is going to give out, you can feel it twinging, you'll be laid up for another month, your left hip flexor is sore, it's never done that before.... I also felt really quite nauseous all of a sudden; at this point I was questioning the volume of food I'd eaten before I started, but after a couple of admittedly disgusting burps that were almost more - everything settled after a drink of water.

This was by far the hardest part of the row - mentally mostly, as physically I had a few aches, but no pain or cramp etc.

My mum had arrived at some point during this period, as I'd seen her flash past the doorway to my living room at the end of the corridor out the corner of my eye - but she didn't come and let me know she'd arrived as she didn't want to disturb me. (she'd come to share in my success or in case things had gone tits up, to commiserate/some medial emergency etc, plus she wanted me to see a friendly face on my birthday & to bring me food afterwards so I didn't have to cook)

When I had my last "long" split of 4500 left, I knew I was going to finish - I literally just watched the split distance go up about 9m at a time and just watched it and nothing else, managing to settle back into a rhythm and not pause again - having learnt during that dark 30mins that if I put the handle down even on my lap for a few beats for another rest I was not going to be able to get the flywheel spinning again.

The last split crept round, only 1700m to go and I had to resist digging in too soon; I knew I'd paced it as well as I could, as the legs still felt "ok" and I managed to crank out a short burst of 2:04/500m - though it was a little too early - and I backed off in the last few meters, mostly because there was no point.

On looking at the log afterwards, peak Hr was 170 in that final "sprint" and only crept above 160 in the final 18 mins - I know I wasn't taking in my fluids as well as I had been earlier at that point.

I ended up not having touched any nuts, or the dried fruit beyond the 1 piece of pineapple; and hadn't touched the last tailwind bottle, but I had consumed about a litre of water & 1L of tailwind.

I finished the banana as soon as I stopped, the last of the water, and then poured half a pint of chocolate milkshake - sitting down was very painful - so I wandered around, posted here and a couple of places to mark my achievement and then had a very hot shower and took some paracetamol; before consuming a huge plate of food & a slice of cheesecake.

I was very glad I'd made a playlist of a large number of my favourite songs, and had it on shuffle - so the complete mix of tempo & style really helped me focus on the music for a few mins at a time when it changed, which helped obliterate some of the negative thoughts from being too obtrusive for too long.

I'm feeling pretty second hand all over today - but that's to be expected.

I'm not going to lie, this was harder than I thought it was going to be - I didn't think it was going to be easy, but not this tough mentally. I have a renewed level of appreciation for any-one who goes further than this; this may be me one and done with marathons on the erg, but I'm proud of my achievement given less than 2 years as a total novice.
M 6'4 born:'82
PB's
'23: 6k=25:23.5, HM=1:36:08.0, 30'=7,077m, 60'=13,702m
'24: 500m=1:37.7, 2k=7:44.80, 5k=20:42.9, 10k=42:13.1, FM=3:18:35.4
Logbook

winniewinser
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Re: Endurance erging - A place to discuss 42, 50, 100k upwards.

Post by winniewinser » April 3rd, 2024, 7:20 am

Great write up which I'm sure will be useful to others too. Congrats again on the FM.....I've only done one but this has stoked the embers for another go.
6'2" 52yo
Alex
Recent 2k - 7:19
All time 2k - 6:50.2 (LW)

Dangerscouse
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Re: Endurance erging - A place to discuss 42, 50, 100k upwards.

Post by Dangerscouse » April 3rd, 2024, 12:35 pm

p_b82 wrote:
April 3rd, 2024, 6:34 am
I'm not going to lie, this was harder than I thought it was going to be - I didn't think it was going to be easy, but not this tough mentally.
It's hard to fully appreciate how it feels until you do it, as those irrational, defensive thoughts are very compelling and can be very tough to manage.

Great write up and happy belated birthday
50 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:19; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,488m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

iain
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Re: Endurance erging - A place to discuss 42, 50, 100k upwards.

Post by iain » April 4th, 2024, 6:15 am

Congratulations on getting it done. I know that I would m have struggled with the doubts that I would get a time at the end because of the crash!

FMs vary a lot. The mind is so key that I suspect your experience was much worse than most due to the greater leverage of the dreaded H/D Demons! While I have had experience of an FM that was as bad as yours with pace dropping despite my best efforts to maintain it, I have also done full on FMs that have been incident free except for some muscle soreness. So don't assume all will necessarily be as bad. While a lack of preparation will make the experience worse, unfortunately even being fully prepared doesn't seem to eliminate the possibility of a bad experience, so you shouldn't assume that greater preparation was required.
55, lightweight in pace, trying to get back to Lwt by gravity. Currently training 3 times a week after a break to slowly regain the pitiful fitness I achieved a few years ago. Free Spirit, come join us http://www.freespiritsrowing.com/forum/

Dangerscouse
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Re: Endurance erging - A place to discuss 42, 50, 100k upwards.

Post by Dangerscouse » April 4th, 2024, 12:07 pm

Elizabeth wrote:
March 31st, 2024, 6:17 pm
Speaking for me personally, I would make sure that sleep and nutrition were dialed in before easing off the weights, especially if they're something you enjoy. I lifted right up to my latest 100k without issues. (Normal strength session Friday, individual 100k Sunday).
You're right again Elizabeth. I'm struggling a bit with recovery in recent times, so I'm letting that cloud my judgement and advice. When I was doing ultra distances, I didn't stop lifting weights, or stop doing intense sessions, so it should always be based on what you can recover from.
50 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:19; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,488m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

Dangerscouse
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Joined: April 27th, 2014, 11:11 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Endurance erging - A place to discuss 42, 50, 100k upwards.

Post by Dangerscouse » April 4th, 2024, 12:11 pm

iain wrote:
April 4th, 2024, 6:15 am
FMs vary a lot. The mind is so key that I suspect your experience was much worse than most due to the greater leverage of the dreaded H/D Demons! While I have had experience of an FM that was as bad as yours with pace dropping despite my best efforts to maintain it, I have also done full on FMs that have been incident free except for some muscle soreness. So don't assume all will necessarily be as bad. While a lack of preparation will make the experience worse, unfortunately even being fully prepared doesn't seem to eliminate the possibility of a bad experience, so you shouldn't assume that greater preparation was required.
This is also a very valid point. My mindset recently has been too negative so it's influencing my opinion and thoughts.

FMs definitely aren't always going to be horrendous. There is a high chance that at least part of it will be, but there's never any guarantees that you'll achieve the glory or the gory. As you say Iain, sometimes, like every session, it just all clicks into place and it's almost enjoyable
50 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:19; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,488m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

p_b82
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Joined: August 8th, 2022, 1:24 pm
Location: South Somerset, UK

Re: Endurance erging - A place to discuss 42, 50, 100k upwards.

Post by p_b82 » April 5th, 2024, 6:23 am

I would not go as far as saying it was ever enjoyable for me - but physically it wasn't as bad as I feared it would be. Both in terms of doing it and the recovery.

There were a few aches then pains that built up while going, which I was expecting; bum, back, biceps, hip, hands and legs in probably that order, but nothing was ever sore.
I know that's subjective - but it was a sort of pain that I know and can associate with work/effort and not one to be worried about. As has been said before - I had fully accepted it was going to hurt and so when it did I wasn't in the slightest surprised by it.

Today I feel like I had a tough row yesterday; not a destroyed me hard one - looking at you 2k's - but one of my harder sessions. Which means I'm going to pop in a light row tomorrow so I can get back to my normal schedule again Monday - no point in losing all this cardio work I've done!

I'm fairly sure that had I gone out at 135W (or 2:17.5 splits) which was my upper training pace, I'd have built the buffer I needed for the rests & then I'd have been able to hold the 2:18.9's (131w) in the back half - hindsight is wonderful. I played it safe though rather preferring to just miss out than potentially blow up and and enter a much bigger world of pain in the last stretch.

I was remembering how I felt during some of my HM's which I'd struggled through with a crazy high HR and battled HD demons almost from the offset & just knew if I went that way on this then it would be really really horrible.

In fact the HM I did this time last year is actually quite interesting to look back on, average wattage 124, same as the marathon, with an average Hr of 174 vs 158. Looking at my graph I can see how much "easier" the marathon was both mentally and physically.
M 6'4 born:'82
PB's
'23: 6k=25:23.5, HM=1:36:08.0, 30'=7,077m, 60'=13,702m
'24: 500m=1:37.7, 2k=7:44.80, 5k=20:42.9, 10k=42:13.1, FM=3:18:35.4
Logbook

elpaca
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Re: Endurance erging - A place to discuss 42, 50, 100k upwards.

Post by elpaca » April 5th, 2024, 10:24 pm

Stoked to report that I finished my first full marathon yesterday, and managed to sneak in under the 3hr benchmark that I’d been aiming for!

Since the collective wisdom on this forum has been so valuable to my development and I can honestly say I’d never have a) considered trying one or b) been successful in hitting my goal, I feel obliged to give something back and share some thoughts from the experience. Sorry it got a bit wordy, lots to say :D

Background/Training
I started rowing properly mid 2023, with full focus on a sub 7min 2km. Completed ~7 months of Pete Plan cycles before finally hitting that goal in late Jan. Since then, I backed off the rowing a touch (honestly I needed a mental break and had been missing strength training).. but still tried to get 2-3 15kms in per week. My weekly average in Feb was about 35km.

About a month ago, I decided that finishing a FM was definitely something I wanted to achieve, and with summer approaching in the Pacific Northwest and some outdoor activities planned, I didn’t want to be sweating it out in the garage quite as much when other options were available!

I started out by just adding a longer row in each week (first 20km, then 25km, then 30km) but was kind of struggling and my times weren’t great - for example, my splits on the 30km were 2.13.0. That was about 3wks ago.

Based on some advice on these forums, I dialed back the weights and incorporated some additional middle distance speed work alongside the steady state stuff. I also dialed up the speed on the longer rows just a touch, and held myself accountable to keep them all under that 2.07.9 split that I was looking to achieve.

It's probably worth that noting that since mid ‘23 I’ve covered about 1.65M meters, so was certainly starting from a decent base.

Preparation/Hydration/Nutrition
I had a solid week last week and put in 80km on the rower across six sessions, then took Tuesday/Wednesday off completely. I really tried to load up on carbs across the two days, and probably ate more pasta/oats/bagels than I normally would in a fortnight!

Got quite lucky with good sleep the night before (always a bit of a lottery for me), ate pretty normally through the day (a big bowl of oats + bananas for breakfast, and a bagel + pb for lunch) and made sure to drink a lot of water regularly throughout the day. I almost always work out in the afternoons, and figured that was the best routine to continue for an event like this, so did my normal day of work (luckily it's all remote and desk based) before jumping on the rower at around 4.15pm.

I had 1L of tailwind and 1L of plain water, plus three Gu's ready for me, and my lovely wife was kind enough to come in and check on me every 20mins or so to help me if I needed a drink or some gel. I'd just take 3-4 big strokes in the lead up, I'd rush something down then get back to it. I don't think I lost too much time on any of those, but having someone there to help was incredibly useful!

Overall Strategy
My general approach was to try and build up some kind of buffer through the first half and then cling on once things got tough during the latter portions. I generally find that approach much easier from a mental perspective, and my preferred screen on the c2 app is the one which shows how far I am ahead of the split time boat... so I play little games with that to keep the mind occupied. I like to think of it all a bit like a savings account!

I went out at 2.05-2.06's, and was able to hold that pretty consistently through the first 10-15km. I managed to build up about 215m of buffer by the 20km mark, and everything was feeling relatively manageable. I started to 'give a bit back' from 20km-30km, and was at about 175m of buffer by the time I hit 30km.

I was really nervous of hitting a wall and falling off the cliff with my splits in that last 10km, so worked quite hard to stay in and around that 2.06-2.08 throughout the middle section so that if that occurred I'd hopefully be able to limp home. Not sure if others do this, but I play another game where I divide the km remaining, by how much buffer I have left so that I know how much I could 'lose' per km and still stay on track.

The last 10km didn't bite quite as bad as I'd feared, and was able to hold my splits fairly close to that 2.08 mark so wasn't giving up too much ground. Once I hit the last 2km with 150m in the 'bank' I was confident that I'd really have to blow up catastrophically to not make it, which was a pretty great feeling. Had enough fuel in the tank over the last 750m to really push the envelope, and ended up with a final time of 2.58.59!

Recovery
I got super cold and shakey in the immediate aftermath until I got some food in me which was kind of interesting and something to watch out for - I guess burning 2600+ calories leaves the body in a deficit! Smashed half a 14" pizza for dinner, drank a stack of water and soda and got a decent nights sleep.

I've pulled up okay today, sore in the hamstrings and glutes, but not as brutal as how I'd be feeling after a long run or hike. Got to love the low impact nature of rowing!

Final Thoughts
Entertainment was just a random spotify mix - I'd been considering playing a longer movie like Dune, but my normal set up has been music/audiobooks so didn't want to try something new. Incredibly impressed with folk who maintain faster splits over such a distance - partly just from a mental perspective as much as anything! Keeping the focus was a real challenge.

Definitely wanted to thank the wider community for the knowledge - although you don't know it, you've all been amazingly helpful just by sharing your lessons on here and giving me the confidence that these kind of challenges are possible. I was telling my wife how when I first found this forum a couple years ago and totally new to rowing that I simply couldn't comprehend completing the distances that some folk were talking about on here... and even though my times are nothing special, I'm pretty stoked to at least have made it this far!
M - '87 - 5’7” - 190lb

500m: 1:39.2 (Nov23)
1k: 3:30.5 (Dec23)
2k: 6:59.0 (Jan24)
5k: 19:18.2 (Aug23)
HM: 1:27:38.0 (Nov23)
FM: 2:58:59.5 (Apr24)

"I want you to remember two things. Do it right. Finish it. Very simple. Do it right. Finish it."

Dangerscouse
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Re: Endurance erging - A place to discuss 42, 50, 100k upwards.

Post by Dangerscouse » April 6th, 2024, 12:54 am

elpaca wrote:
April 5th, 2024, 10:24 pm
Definitely wanted to thank the wider community for the knowledge - although you don't know it, you've all been amazingly helpful just by sharing your lessons on here and giving me the confidence that these kind of challenges are possible. I was telling my wife how when I first found this forum a couple years ago and totally new to rowing that I simply couldn't comprehend completing the distances that some folk were talking about on here... and even though my times are nothing special, I'm pretty stoked to at least have made it this far!
First of all, congratulations, a sub three FM is a big milestone to achieve, without even mentioning just completing an FM is also a really commendable effort.

This is a great write up, but I don't want to be reading about how "my times are nothing special", as this is your achievement so it is alwaya something special. For you to have completed this with less than 12 months proper erging is something to be really proud of.

I'm really pleased to hear that the advice from everyone has been helpful, as it's important to take a little bit of all of it and find what works for you. There is no perfect solution for everyone, and definitely finding the correct mind games to reduce your reluctance / fear is a big part of it, ime.

BTW, your HM PB is definitely in need of some attention if you can smash out an FM at that pace.
50 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:19; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,488m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

ahooton
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Re: Endurance erging - A place to discuss 42, 50, 100k upwards.

Post by ahooton » April 6th, 2024, 4:31 am

elpaca wrote:
April 5th, 2024, 10:24 pm
Stoked to report that I finished my first full marathon yesterday, and managed to sneak in under the 3hr benchmark that I’d been aiming for!
That’s brilliant mate, so pleased you went back and beat the demon. Looks like all the training and prep definitely set you up nicely for success.enjoy😊😊😊
M 6’4. 96Kg 43
2k - 6:44.0
5k - 18:20.7
6k - 22:07.9
10k - 37:49
30 mins-8067m
1hr - 15513m
HM - 1:21.44
FM - 2:56.56

p_b82
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Re: Endurance erging - A place to discuss 42, 50, 100k upwards.

Post by p_b82 » April 6th, 2024, 6:15 am

elpaca wrote:
April 5th, 2024, 10:24 pm
Stoked to report that I finished my first full marathon yesterday, and managed to sneak in under the 3hr benchmark that I’d been aiming for!

<snip>
... and even though my times are nothing special, I'm pretty stoked to at least have made it this far!
Congrats - though your "nothing special" is a almost 20 mins better than mine, also there's no way I'd have got to the end of a FM after only 12 months on the erg - so be proud and own your achievement! :)
M 6'4 born:'82
PB's
'23: 6k=25:23.5, HM=1:36:08.0, 30'=7,077m, 60'=13,702m
'24: 500m=1:37.7, 2k=7:44.80, 5k=20:42.9, 10k=42:13.1, FM=3:18:35.4
Logbook

DavidA
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Re: Endurance erging - A place to discuss 42, 50, 100k upwards.

Post by DavidA » April 9th, 2024, 3:02 pm

elpaca wrote:
April 5th, 2024, 10:24 pm
Stoked to report that I finished my first full marathon yesterday, and managed to sneak in under the 3hr benchmark that I’d been aiming for!
Big congratulations!!
Not only on completing a full marathon, but breaking 3 h as well!

David
63 y / 70 kg / 172 cm / 5 kids / 17 grandkids :)
Received my model C erg 18-Dec-1994
my log

carldstevens
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Re: Endurance erging - A place to discuss 42, 50, 100k upwards.

Post by carldstevens » May 10th, 2024, 2:56 pm

RWAGR wrote:
March 10th, 2024, 7:30 am
Yesterday I completed the 100k.

TLDR: 7:43:28.2. Be happy to finish. Unless you are experienced at ultramarathon efforts, don't target a specific time (I'm not, I did, and it almost cost me). ....................

Nice work, I completed my 100k yesterday

RWAGR
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Re: Endurance erging - A place to discuss 42, 50, 100k upwards.

Post by RWAGR » May 15th, 2024, 4:59 am

Well done! It's a monster, eh?
Rob, 40, 6'1", 188 lbs. Potomac, MD, USA (albeit English-Australian originally).

2k: 6:45.4 (2023)
5k: 17:56.3 (2023)
30': 8,182 (2024)
10k: 36:49.9 (2024)
60’: 15,967 (2024)
HM: 1:20:27.4 (2024)
FM: 2:48:21.4 (2024)
100k: 7:43:28.2 (2024)

carldstevens
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Re: Endurance erging - A place to discuss 42, 50, 100k upwards.

Post by carldstevens » June 6th, 2024, 8:12 am

RWAGR wrote:
May 15th, 2024, 4:59 am
Well done! It's a monster, eh?
Certainly is! Next time I'll have more nutrition and hydration nearby, and get a bigger fan to help stay cool.
Carl in Dover

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