Marc Megna podcast

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

Post by ukaserex » April 14th, 2019, 12:01 pm

Recently, Justin Farina, known as The Garage Athlete (coach) was on Megna's podcast. A question was posed that really made me think.

Those of us who have rowed a 2k or a 5k ..or any of the distance/time rows that Concept 2 has a log for...we know how hard it is to endure through a brutal 2k for time, for example. Lungs & legs burn, for many of us, it's also a battle of the mind as well as the flesh.

The question was, when they considered men like Eric Murray and the incredible split times he's put up in his rowing career, do these guys feel the pain/discomfort the same way we do? It's easy to notice one guy might be 6'6" when we see a 5:50 to 6:20 2k time and chalk things up to the genetic lottery. But we also know that a lot of hard work is still necessary to achieve those kinds of results.

But it got me thinking - the guy in the gym with me whose HR Monitor is linked to the tv in the gym where we can all see everyone's HR, I see his split times, and see his HR, and I wonder - is it easier/harder for him than it is for me?

From an apples to apples comparison, if my PR is 6:40, and his is 7:40, does he feel the same pain at that 7:40 as I do at 6:40? Or am I better able to deal with the discomfort and able to push through than he is for any number of reasons that have nothing to do with the training & time I've invested?

This just got me thinking...and thinking...and thinking.
100M - 16.1 1 Min - 370 500M - 1:25.1 1k - 3:10.2 4:00 - 1216 2k 6:37.0 5k 17:58.8 6k - 21:54.1 30 Min. - 8130 10k - 37:49.7

5'10"
205 lbs
52 years old

G-dub
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Re: Marc Megna podcast

Post by G-dub » April 14th, 2019, 8:21 pm

Just watch Eric Murray’s training videos and you can see that he suffers just like the rest of us do. Yes, he has won a genetic lottery and has maximized its benefits through amazingly hard work, but it doesn’t keep him from hurting at his max efforts. Or if you saw the Boat Race this year and saw the spew coming out of Cracknells mouth, clearly that didn’t happen without massive discomfort.

But I think people feel “pain” differently and are able to cope differently. So it cannot really be compared. But whatever you do, don’t assume that us slower wannabe guys don’t suffer either. In fact, the guy you refer to may have more guts than you do
Last edited by G-dub on April 14th, 2019, 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PaulG
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Re: Marc Megna podcast

Post by PaulG » April 14th, 2019, 8:31 pm

It's been explained to me by world class marathoners that it doesn't get easier, you get faster. The major difference may be how fast world class athletes recover.

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jackarabit
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Re: Marc Megna podcast

Post by jackarabit » April 14th, 2019, 8:37 pm

Sort of flattering to imagine that I could get to sub-8’ if I only worked at it. Somehow the self-asphyxiation experience of 2k test gets in the way. I am such a damn sissy! The weakfish may not suffer most but we sure suffer the longest. :lol. We could test this hypothesis. No matter how fast you may be, I’m slower. How ya like them 🍏s?
Last edited by jackarabit on April 14th, 2019, 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Marc Megna podcast

Post by G-dub » April 14th, 2019, 8:49 pm

Yup. Watch how fast an Olympians breathing comes back down. Amazing.

Jack - I knew you were slacking that whole time we were training together :wink: Me too. And Pieman, and Mike, and Blood and....
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jackarabit
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Re: Marc Megna podcast

Post by jackarabit » April 14th, 2019, 8:59 pm

And I thought I covered it so well by pretending to HD. :?
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Gammmmo
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Re: Marc Megna podcast

Post by Gammmmo » April 15th, 2019, 3:04 am

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Paul, 47M, 5'11" 75kg (+10!), ex bike time trialler.
1min=350m Image
Targets: 1:27(500m), 3:12(1K), 6:44(2K), >8200m (30mins), 36:59(10K)

Erg on!

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Gammmmo
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Re: Marc Megna podcast

Post by Gammmmo » April 15th, 2019, 3:26 am

1. OP - thanks for the headsup ...I am an avid consumer of podcasts and will download that one. You might want to listen to the "browshowpodcast" ones too if not aware.

2. Given my experiences on the bike and on the erg (I've done running and tri too but not enough of either to form much opinion there). When I look back on when I did PBs on the erg, it DID feel easier on that day. I'm thinking of my 5K and 1min PBs first of all. I think occasionally and inexplicably you will have days when it does feel easier AND you hit new heights. I've long thought anyone who can accurately predict such days with science will become very rich!! Tools such as HRV and TSS/CTL/ATL etc don't tell the whole story. Cumlmination of many factors, often unexpectedly.

3. Now, I think the OP is talking about the TENDENCY for a hard session to feel harder for a novice or for an elite? I think as per the meme I posted above I think the difficulty is broadly similar. However, there are lots of conflicting factors here that would skew things either way:
a) When you move beyond being a novice, you learn to suffer
b) When you move beyond being a novice, you can learn mental tricks e.g. breaking up an effort, chasing a competitior, using a landmark to accelerate towards - I think the reduced external focus on the erg c/w the bike means I struggle more with the erg esp in competition
c) When you are a novice you don't know how hard you can push or what you're capable of even with limited fitness - this can work either way in that you don't know if you can go harder BUT conversely you don't have any "self limiting" idea of what you SHOULD/CAN do which you often get when you think you know your ability really well.
Paul, 47M, 5'11" 75kg (+10!), ex bike time trialler.
1min=350m Image
Targets: 1:27(500m), 3:12(1K), 6:44(2K), >8200m (30mins), 36:59(10K)

Erg on!

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Re: Marc Megna podcast

Post by ukaserex » April 15th, 2019, 5:00 am

Gammmmo,
Thanks, I think if you listen to the podcast, my question (poorly formed) will make more sense.

I understand that there are a host of factors that can make a 2k time trial slightly easier or slightly harder. Sleep (or lack of it), nutrition, wearing a new pair of shoes with a softer sole, or a shirt that may have shrunk in the wash that you didn't notice until half way through your row, taxes due ...any number of things can impact performance.

When I see videos of - say Cameron Nichol, literally talking through a 6:30 2k...yes, I can hear that he's working hard, and I don't know what his actual personal best is for a 2k (I suspect near the 6:00 mark), but I wonder ..are we all feeling discomfort at about the same level? Is he just better at being comfortable with the discomfort, given his experience?

Experience may be the single factor in performance. You know what to expect, pacing is no longer such a mystery, etc.

Put another way - two people who are rowing a 2k trial, with their respective HR's at 97% Max, all other factors being the same - height, strength, experience ...are they feeling the same amount of discomfort? Obviously, it's an impossible question to answer definitively, but my guess would be "No".

We're all different, so it stands to reason some would have a different threshold for tolerating the misery that comes with a 2k time trial.
100M - 16.1 1 Min - 370 500M - 1:25.1 1k - 3:10.2 4:00 - 1216 2k 6:37.0 5k 17:58.8 6k - 21:54.1 30 Min. - 8130 10k - 37:49.7

5'10"
205 lbs
52 years old

Allan Olesen
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Re: Marc Megna podcast

Post by Allan Olesen » April 15th, 2019, 6:31 am

It will probably be very difficult to quantify the discomfort during an all-out effort across different people.

But what about the type of discomfort? Does that change?

In my own case, when I was relatively untrained, my lungs would burn and I would have a sharp, metallic taste in my mouth during an all-out effort. I am now better trained, mostly by having a much larger aerobic base than before, and I can't remember any of the two symptoms happening to me recently.

Strangely, I can't really explain which areas my discomfort has moved to instead. I think I feel more discomfort in my muscles now.

I guess I am a corner case, because I probably have a disproportionate relationship between my aerobic and anaerobic fitness, compared to what would give me the best 2k times. If I trained the high effort range more, I might be able to once again taste the metal in my mouth. But I wonder if the experience would be the same as when I was untrained.

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Re: Marc Megna podcast

Post by Gammmmo » April 15th, 2019, 6:56 am

ukaserex wrote:
April 15th, 2019, 5:00 am
Put another way - two people who are rowing a 2k trial, with their respective HR's at 97% Max, all other factors being the same - height, strength, experience ...are they feeling the same amount of discomfort? Obviously, it's an impossible question to answer definitively, but my guess would be "No".

We're all different, so it stands to reason some would have a different threshold for tolerating the misery that comes with a 2k time trial.
Yes, different. All about perception of effort - mix of innate and acquired ability. This is the limiting factor that dictates how close we get to our theoretical limit and how it feels along the way at arbitrary %s of that. Have a look at Noakes Central Governor Theory if not aware of. Think Chris Hoy as part of his track cycling training had to learn how to re-set his somewhat to eek out a bit more performance right at his existing perceived limit.
Paul, 47M, 5'11" 75kg (+10!), ex bike time trialler.
1min=350m Image
Targets: 1:27(500m), 3:12(1K), 6:44(2K), >8200m (30mins), 36:59(10K)

Erg on!

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jackarabit
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Re: Marc Megna podcast

Post by jackarabit » April 15th, 2019, 10:06 am

He suffers most who suffers best.
Altho not apparent to the rest
who follow in his wake (the exception being those sitting on Lemond after he crapped in his shorts :cry: ).

Happy to see that Lemond attribution straitened out. Scrappy bastard! (Lemond not Gammmmo)
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Re: Marc Megna podcast

Post by Cyclist2 » April 15th, 2019, 1:06 pm

I have nothing scientific to add, just that Gammmmo's posts pretty much have it right on! In my own experience at "maximal" efforts, I know that I can always push it harder, but getting myself to push through the discomfort (pain) is the hard part - it's all mental at that point.

A little anecdote about that; I was at the Dallas SWEAT indoor race in 2018. I'd already qualified to get the airfare to WRIC, so this was another test piece in conjunction with a visit to my brother. He was my coxwain and I'd told him what sort of pace I wanted to maintain, what to expect, etc. but he was pretty quiet during the race. Until the last 600m or so. I was hurting, as usual. I was in solid 2nd place, no chance of catching #1 but well ahead of #3. I slowed down slightly and shook my head, indicating I wasn't up to the task. He literally yelled at me, "don't shake your head, JUST PULL". It was amazing what that little boost of mental encouragement (adrenaline, maybe?) did. I instantly felt "better" and finished the race right at my goal pace, even making up the lost time when I slowed.

I think at the more-than-novice level in any sport, it's mental. The actual physical feeling of how much one person is hurting or where that pain is concentrated compared to another is not knowable, and is even different for each on each effort. How fast two equally matched people go on any particular day is so variable, there is no way to answer that question. That's what human athletic competition is all about, right?
Mark Underwood. Rower first, cyclist too.

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Gammmmo
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Re: Marc Megna podcast

Post by Gammmmo » April 16th, 2019, 3:02 am

@uksarex - I listened to that podcast this morning. It was quite interesting, infact I'd like to hear more but rowing/erging doesn't seem to be that well supported in the podast world. Now, weights and say, cycling, far more....
Paul, 47M, 5'11" 75kg (+10!), ex bike time trialler.
1min=350m Image
Targets: 1:27(500m), 3:12(1K), 6:44(2K), >8200m (30mins), 36:59(10K)

Erg on!

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