Ergocup Neckarelz

From the CRASH-B's to an online challenge, discuss the competitive side of erging here.
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H2O
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Ergocup Neckarelz

Post by H2O » January 20th, 2019, 5:18 pm

This weekend saw the ergocup in Neckarelz (Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany). This is my favorite race since the conditions are simply perfect: large venue, excellent air quality, ergos spaced 6 feet apart facing the race display.
Moreover it's close to Frankfurt, so only a 90min drive for me.

I was in for the 30 Minutes (also signed up for 2K but thankfully did not get in). Since the conditions are so good I
was hoping to put in a performance close to PB but regrettably during the Christmas holidays my shape deteriorated considerably (no explanation, definitely not sick).

The plan was to hold a stroke rate of 27-29, starting with 29. Lately I spent a lot of effort to get my SPI up and finally managed to get to 11W per stroke in low rated rowing and 10W per stroke on medium distance time trials. I planned to be at about 9.5W stroke in this race (to be on the safe side).

During warmup I hit 10.5W per stroke (did 4 time 1:30 mins at race pace), so told myself that I need to be extra careful not to start too fast. The fiercest competitor were seated right next to me, on the left a rower two years older and to the right a lightweight. In delusional arrogance I thought that I would have no problems, believing that the competition would not row past 8K while I was somewhat optimistic to get past 8200m.

The race starts off and I am immediately startled: I am pulling 32spm but doing only 1:49 (about 260W). At that stroke rate I should be over 300W (1:45). Instead of trying to fix my stroke I put a positive spin on it: rowing like that saves strength. The stroke rate dropped to 30, then 29 while the pace remained at 1:49.

This pace seemed very tolerable but somehow I also knew that I must not go any faster. This meant that I would not get past 8200m and that was already disappointing. I decided to sit on 1:49 to 15 minutes then take stock of the situation again. Meanwhile I was getting ahead slowly building a lead but much more slowly than expected. At 15 minutes I was splitting 1:49.7 and about 55m ahead.

At this point I was still doing alright pondering when I should increase the pace, maybe with 12mins to go?
At 12 minutes to go I was doing less well, so the speedup had to be postponed to 10 mins to go.
At 10 minutes to go I was getting problems, seeing 1:51 now and then (split was still 1:49.9). The speedup had to be postponed again to 7:30 to go. A friend now joined me as a cox urging me to hang on to the pace.

At 7:30 to go any thought of speedup was replaced with a new goal of hanging on. With 5mins to go I had extreme problems only one of which was the slow shrinking of the lead. Stroke by stroke, meter by meter this number became smaller. I was literally dead (quite nauseous) as my cox mercilessly urged me to increase the stroke rate.
The number was now zero and I was within 2 minutes of finish but was completely unable to speed up in any way.

Finally it was over and I was 10m behind: final result 8174m (split 1:50.1). The winner (2 years older) had 8184m
(split 1:49.9). At the end I was so out of it, that I congratulated 3rd place (to my right) on winning the race since I misinterpreted the order of the ergos on the display. Afterwards I discussed the race with the real winner always referring to the winner in the third person unaware that he was right in front of me. This must have made for some akward conversation.

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hjs
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Re: Ergocup Neckarelz

Post by hjs » January 22nd, 2019, 5:39 am

Hard row, good you kept on Fighting. Races are always different from home sessions
For my training see twitter @Hjsrowing

KeithT
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Re: Ergocup Neckarelz

Post by KeithT » January 24th, 2019, 10:24 am

H2O wrote:
January 20th, 2019, 5:18 pm
This weekend saw the ergocup in Neckarelz (Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany). This is my favorite race since the conditions are simply perfect: large venue, excellent air quality, ergos spaced 6 feet apart facing the race display.
Moreover it's close to Frankfurt, so only a 90min drive for me.

I was in for the 30 Minutes (also signed up for 2K but thankfully did not get in). Since the conditions are so good I
was hoping to put in a performance close to PB but regrettably during the Christmas holidays my shape deteriorated considerably (no explanation, definitely not sick).

The plan was to hold a stroke rate of 27-29, starting with 29. Lately I spent a lot of effort to get my SPI up and finally managed to get to 11W per stroke in low rated rowing and 10W per stroke on medium distance time trials. I planned to be at about 9.5W stroke in this race (to be on the safe side).

During warmup I hit 10.5W per stroke (did 4 time 1:30 mins at race pace), so told myself that I need to be extra careful not to start too fast. The fiercest competitor were seated right next to me, on the left a rower two years older and to the right a lightweight. In delusional arrogance I thought that I would have no problems, believing that the competition would not row past 8K while I was somewhat optimistic to get past 8200m.

The race starts off and I am immediately startled: I am pulling 32spm but doing only 1:49 (about 260W). At that stroke rate I should be over 300W (1:45). Instead of trying to fix my stroke I put a positive spin on it: rowing like that saves strength. The stroke rate dropped to 30, then 29 while the pace remained at 1:49.

This pace seemed very tolerable but somehow I also knew that I must not go any faster. This meant that I would not get past 8200m and that was already disappointing. I decided to sit on 1:49 to 15 minutes then take stock of the situation again. Meanwhile I was getting ahead slowly building a lead but much more slowly than expected. At 15 minutes I was splitting 1:49.7 and about 55m ahead.

At this point I was still doing alright pondering when I should increase the pace, maybe with 12mins to go?
At 12 minutes to go I was doing less well, so the speedup had to be postponed to 10 mins to go.
At 10 minutes to go I was getting problems, seeing 1:51 now and then (split was still 1:49.9). The speedup had to be postponed again to 7:30 to go. A friend now joined me as a cox urging me to hang on to the pace.

At 7:30 to go any thought of speedup was replaced with a new goal of hanging on. With 5mins to go I had extreme problems only one of which was the slow shrinking of the lead. Stroke by stroke, meter by meter this number became smaller. I was literally dead (quite nauseous) as my cox mercilessly urged me to increase the stroke rate.
The number was now zero and I was within 2 minutes of finish but was completely unable to speed up in any way.

Finally it was over and I was 10m behind: final result 8174m (split 1:50.1). The winner (2 years older) had 8184m
(split 1:49.9). At the end I was so out of it, that I congratulated 3rd place (to my right) on winning the race since I misinterpreted the order of the ergos on the display. Afterwards I discussed the race with the real winner always referring to the winner in the third person unaware that he was right in front of me. This must have made for some akward conversation.
This was a great read! I have never done anything but a 2K at an ERG comp and I have always wondered what it would be like to do a longer row in a competition. This gave some good insight and I just think it would be so hard to stay calm and within yourself.
51 yo, 6'3" 205#
PBs (all since turning 50):
1 min - 372m, 500m - 1:23.2, 1K - 2:59.8, 4 min - 1265m, 2K - 6:29.9, 5K - 17:27, 30 min - 8277m, 10K - 36:30, 60 min - 16036, HM - 1:20:48

H2O
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Re: Ergocup Neckarelz

Post by H2O » January 25th, 2019, 10:48 am

KeithT wrote:
January 24th, 2019, 10:24 am

I have never done anything but a 2K at an ERG comp and I have always wondered what it would be like to do a longer row in a competition.
From personal experience I recommend not treating such a race as a time trial and getting in a position where you lead being closely followed. If then you slow up you provide a boost to pursuers while the shrinking lead adds to your pain and despair. Better to make it a tactical race.

For the records sake, after seeing the results, the winner in my race did 8186m, the winner in the 50-55 age group 8341m after erging for only 2 weeks (former 400m hurdler), winner 55-60
8262 (despite being sick), 9 men aged 50+ over 8000m, a 60 year old lightweight 7995m, a 50 year old woman 7132m. All in all a good race for us older folks.

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