Here are the sessions for this week.
Wednesday's work piece:
33 minutes, in 3 minute blocks at rates 16/18/20/18/20/22/20/18/20/18/16
- This will be the longest continuous piece we've done so far, so it will be hard, both physical and mentally. However, the aim is not to really be in bits at the end - rather you should be satisfyingly tired. If you've gone out too hard and you are falling to pieces then you've missed out on some of the benefits - you won't have good form, and you will be building anaerobic endurance (which is good, but not at the expense of getting a solid aerobic base underneath it).
- The rate changes keep it interesting (in contrast to last week's deliberately-boring 2 x 18 minutes) - piece a technical focus for each block and really work on grooving that technical aspect into your stroke.
- The repetition of rates across the pyramid allows us to work on our pacing, to ensure that we manage the same splits during each block of the rate. Again the point there is that we pace it so that we still manage good quality and good form right at the end, rather than falling to bits.
- The rate 16 blocks are generally actually pretty tricky to do because it feels so slow; that in itself is a good though because it forces you to really think about your stroke to get the consistency there.
A suggested second session.
You may not like this one....
A baseline 5km piece, capped at rate 20.
If the first crew class was the first time you'd been on an erg in a while, but you've done the 3 crew classes and a couple of extra ergs, this would be session 6 - not a bad time to get a baseline test in.
Then towards christmas time we'll do one as a group on a Wednesday night, and if you have something from now to compare against, you'll be able to see your progress (albeit with the different conditions of the group environment, which of course does make a difference for most people).
Having it rate capped means that we concentrate on getting the distance per stroke, rather than just flying up and down the slide.
I'd encourage everyone to have a go at it - I think we all get very intimidated by 'test' pieces, simply because we don't do them often enough. In fact, think of the fact that you will have rowed 33 minutes straight on Wednesday, so this will be far less than that.
Regardless of the time you do it in, it's a really good exercise in pacing - if you blow up massively when you still have 1500 or 1000 to go then you need to revise the pace you go out at; if on the other hand you finish it feeling like there's still something left in you, you perhaps needed to be a little more ambitious from the start.