Crew Class

Hi all

Hope ye enjoyed last night's erg - any thoughts/comments/feedback welcome. (original email sent on Thursday 9th October 2014)

below is a long sciency spiel about the rationale, if anybody is interested! If not, ignore :-)

Something I was planning to suggest (if people are interested) is an outline for a second session each week. So the idea would be that it is complementary to the first - focussing on something slightly different.

The suggestion for that second session is:

2 x 14-16 minutes, on 5 minutes rest, rate 20. RPE 14.

Below is a long sciency spiel about the rationale, if anybody is interested! If not, ignore :-)

Last night we did 3 x 8 minutes with 3 minute rests. The idea behind that was that it was a 'UT1' session - basically, working at a level (the RPE '14' I was trying to get you to think about) which improves your ability to transport and use oxygen - your aerobic energy system. If we had gone at a harder intensity, it would have been more anaerobic - the painful, burning stuff that we usually all do on the erg. That too is really beneficial, but there's a bit of a 'walk before you can run' strategy - it's better to get the solid aerobic base and build that anaerobic work on top of it. If you don't get the aerobic base, your anaerobic work won;t be any harder (it hurst, no matter what), but it will be less effective (you won't go as fast, basically).

I know it's counter intuitive in some ways, because we all want to go as hard as we can, all the time. And that does work, but it reaches a limit if the aerobic base isn't solid underneath it. I'll sketch all this out in a way which will hopefully make more sense, and send it on next week!

Anyway, 8 minute pieces like we did last night are fairly short for that type of intensity, but I wanted to use them to get us used to the idea of getting that pacing and effortt right (somewhere between 'somewhat hard' and 'hard'), and getting the feeling of finishing each piece tired, but knowing that you could have kept it going for a while longer.

So what I would suggest for a second session this week if you were planning to do one would be:

2 x 14-16 minutes, 5 minutes rest, rate 20.

You're still aiming for the same RPE of ~14, but now you're stretching out the length of each piece. Split should be similar enough to last night, or a few seconds quicker if you are doing it feet in, obviously. So the aim here is to increase the total amount of work slightly (to 28-32 minutes) and reduce the rest intervals. At the moment you do it at a managable intensity, and then over the weeks you keep nudging up the time, reducing the rest, and gradually increasing the intensity - but usually it works better to keep the intensity as the last variable to change, after you've got the endurance base.

Sorry if that's too much science - I do get a bit excited about it :-)


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