Atlanta Erg Sprints

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Alfred_E._Neuman
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Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:03 am

Wife and I spent the morning at the Georgia Tech student athletic complex racing the erg sprints. She was just along for fun and hadn't done any training. I decided a month or so ago to try it and added in some specific speed work over the last 4 weeks on top of a fairly substantial base of 80+k meter weeks the last few months.

She pulled a 8:28.3 for the 2k, 2:07.1 average pace/500. This was on literally zero training.

I got a 6:52.3, for a 1:43.1/500. Good for 4th in the 40-49 group. Was under the 165# limit for lightweight, but they didn't split the results so I don't know were that would have put me. Looking at the other competitors, I may have been in rare company as a LW.
Had at least 5 seconds more in me. Held a 1:44 for the first 1500 meters and took it down from there. I knew I could hold that pace from my training. If I had been a little less worried of fly-n-die, I could have gone out at 1:42-1:43 and dropped the last 500 under 1:40.

I'm thinking of dedicating a year to the thing and seeing what I can do with a real plan.
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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by Cave Canem » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:43 am

Nice job
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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by JohnDoe » Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:27 pm

Not bad at all!

I've got a predictor workout you might like. These numbers are based on a 6:48/1:42.0. Give yourself a solid warmup, more than you think you need, and set the machine for 4' work 1' rest. Put a sticky up somewhere visible with these numbers. Hit exactly these numbers for the 4'. If you're under the assigned watts for 4 strokes in a row, you failed. It's best done 7-12 days before a test, because if you hit the workout, you should get the 2k (100% of the time in my experience). If not, just tweak your goals for the 2k. I've got a spreadsheet with the watts for a range of splits.

4' @ 209 watts (63.4% of 2k)
1' @ easy
4' @ 246 watts (74.5% of 2k)
1' @ easy
4' @ 286 watts (86.7% of 2k)
1' @ easy
4' @ 330 watts (100% of 2k)

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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by syaigh » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:23 pm

Nice job!
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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:22 am

Thanks guys.

JohnDoe, I wouldn't mind picking your brain on what a year long plan would look like with a goal of a 1:40/500 for next year. Types of workouts at specific times of of the year, weight training worth it vs. specific on-erg strength work, etc.

Looking at what my invitation time to the World Indoor Championships, I'd eventually need to pull a 1:37/500 to get a free ride.
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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by JohnDoe » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:20 pm

I'd start with lactate testing if you're serious. Find a reputable lab or coach who has done the testing lots and figure out what your wattage is to stay under 2.0 m/mol. It's usually slower than most realize. Get tested again in 3-4 months. Heart rate, breath work, RPE all fail compared to lactate, especially at the volume you need to keep building your base. The cumulative effect of 2.5+ million meters at .5 or 1 m/mol over is going to destroy your progress. It matters, because, as Caviston says, the base allows you the fitness to complete the hard, rowing specific workouts. Happy to talk more.

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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by Shapecharge » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:34 pm

JD this is some really interesting shit you've posted here. So if I understand you correctly your goal is to keep moving the lactate threshold upward and by knowing at any given time what your LT is you can dial in your training relative to baseline, recovery, and interval to move the LT upward. That sentence is retarded but help me understand better.

Also, is there any self-administered tests/kits that can sorta almost get you there?

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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by dead man walking » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:07 pm

Shapecharge wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:34 pm
JD this is some really interesting shit you've posted here. So if I understand you correctly your goal is to keep moving the lactate threshold upward and by knowing at any given time what your LT is you can dial in your training relative to baseline, recovery, and interval to move the LT upward. That sentence is retarded but help me understand better.

Also, is there any self-administered tests/kits that can sorta almost get you there?
shape,

google home lactate test. plenty to choose from.

"rowing faster," edited by nolte, world class coach, explains lactate shit--testing, threshold, and such.

hr monitor can be a reasonable proxy for lactate testing. good, but not perfect. how scientific and determined are you?

you probably can find online programs and roll your own training. or you can get a good coach. if i could afford a coach, that's what i'd do if i was taking a run at the crash-bs.

there used to be excellent stuff on c2uk site and message board, but that's all gone. c2 message board is weak sauce. not sure if there is a go-to source for ergers today.

i'll bet coach doe can go into more helpful detail.
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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by dead man walking » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:17 pm

Alfred_E._Neuman wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:03 am
I got a 6:52.3, for a 1:43.1/500.
just looked on the c2 rankings, and that's the 25th fastest time in the galaxy for skinny guys your age. that's seriously impressive.
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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:40 pm

dead man walking wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:17 pm
Alfred_E._Neuman wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:03 am
I got a 6:52.3, for a 1:43.1/500.
just looked on the c2 rankings, and that's the 25th fastest time in the galaxy for skinny guys your age. that's seriously impressive.
Many thanks!
That will change tomorrow at 11:40 for sure. That's when my group races at the World Indoor Champs. I'm going to watch the live feed and see what I need to do to feel good about making a trip next year.

I think there's a lot more in the proverbial tank with simply a focus on rating. I pulled the first 1500m at ~27 SPM. Only moved into the low 30s there at the end. A good block of high rating work to sharpen up for a couple of months could produce some significant improvement without moving the force curve/stroke higher.

My basic plan right now is a few months of Pete Plan simply using my 2k and 5k PBs as paces for the two types of interval workouts, then basic UT2 stuff the other days. Bigger rows on the weekends working up to a marathon for the C2 challenge in May. Lots of lower rating strength building to lay a huge base through that time. Maybe a few 30r20's on the Hard Distance days of the PP.
After the marathon challenge I'll go into moving the rating up with a focus on getting it up to a sustainable 32-33.
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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by dead man walking » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:43 pm

alfred,

you stroke rate is fine for a middle-aged woman. jesus, lad. you just embarrassed yourself. have you googled the danish lightweights on you tube? the best rate high 30s.

pete plan alone is ok, so you're on the right track to do more.

as for shape, i think it could be a competitive 50-something female.
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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:30 am

Ha! Yeah, I've never been comfortable at the higher ratings. I can hold ~33 for a couple of minutes but the lungs give out before the muscles. I honestly think a focused effort to get into the higher 30s for a full race distance would put me pretty competitive. I'll start with 250m pieces and work up. I know anything I can maintain for 6 x 2:00 pieces with 3:30 recovery I can do 1 second/500 slower for a full 2k race.
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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by dead man walking » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:08 am

at higher rates, most guys "trade rate for pace." that is, your average watts/stroke declines slightly, but overal power increases because of the additional strokes.

have fun
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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by Shapecharge » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:54 pm

Dang the snark is strong from the DMW but not necessarily wrong. Good info. I've got a left biceps that I just can't heal. I'm going to have it looked at and I know it won't be good.

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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by JohnDoe » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:58 am

Shapecharge wrote: JD this is some really interesting shit you've posted here. So if I understand you correctly your goal is to keep moving the lactate threshold upward and by knowing at any given time what your LT is you can dial in your training relative to baseline, recovery, and interval to move the LT upward. That sentence is retarded but help me understand better.

Also, is there any self-administered tests/kits that can sorta almost get you there?
Lactate Plus (http://www.lactate.com/lp_prices.html) is common-ish, but the procedure is tricky. Any sweat will throw results out the window. That's why a lab would be best. All the triathletes in ATL must have some good labs they use. And yes, you're right. You can go bonkers with lactate, but any non-elite just needs the threshold and then needs to stay below it for ever (for 2k erg tests). The blood doesn't lie, though Caviston has some interesting takes on it.

The three things that move boats are the same that spin ergs--the interplay of length, rate, and power. You need to get to the point where you can focus on length and power, because rate 'should' be normalized across competitors. 27 is too low, but 30-32 is fine. No need to rate around 34+ and the effort required to get there would be better spent on length and power. Stroke rate will come from the base work and a modicum of skill-based high rate work. As you get fitter, you can control the power output better and bang along without necessarily going full pressure. If you're weak on your fitness, the only way to hit a 28 or 30 is to row as hard as you can. Again, base is everything. A brutal workout is 2x20 minutes at 28 spm. You can try it every other week starting at 24 and taking six weeks to work up to the 28 (or longer). It will force you to learn quickness at the front end/catch, but you have to be fit enough to even try it. That said, I'm not sure it's one anyone should try it on their own. Even elites have workouts they won't do alone...

Length is under-appreciated on the erg. Not by changing the geometry drastically by over-compressing or leaning way back, but more on finding your effective length and being connected chain to sprocket as long as possible. Take video from the side and any up or down movement of the handle or chain after you turn around at the catch means you're wasting part of the drive. Most easily fixed with a very loose grip, hips first, and a focus on never letting the handle stop moving. The stroke should be rhythmic, but constant, not rhythmic like pull starting a stubborn lawn mower. I find exhaling into the catch and inhaling into the finish helps to develop rhythm. Harry Mahon and Xeno Mueller both advocated it and Harry's crews are probably the most relaxed rowers you'll ever see.

Try this--focus on never letting the handle stop at the front or back end (catch and finish) at a steady state/UT2 split around a 20. As you make the change, your rate ought to rise to a 21/22. The reason is that you've eliminated the time you were wasting at the catch and finish. Now you can use that time to relax the recovery and generate a more relaxed rhythm.

The same will happen with technical work on your power. With the handle never stopping, start anticipating the turn at the catch and move from your hips. I usually say, 'Move your body, then the handle.' The more you initiate with the hips and the longer you drive with the legs before using the back, the faster your drive will be. The same thing will happen as above where the rate will pop up a beat or two, because you've freed up time, but haven't changed any other factors. Relax more on the recovery and feel your new rhythm.

Another way to think of it is to do the math. 30 spm is 2 seconds per stroke. There are lots of ways to use that 2 seconds. You could waste .1s and .1s at the catch and finish and be limited by strength to getting through the drive in .8s, which leaves 1 second for the recovery. But shrinking the catch time and finish time and using your hips better might get you to 1.2 seconds on the recovery. A 7' 2k at 30 spm is 210 strokes. 210 * .2 = 42 seconds more time on the recovery. Of course ratings vary over a 2k test, but it's more about the idea of freeing up time to relax in the few seconds you've got per stroke.

But then, all this presumes you're sitting on the seat correctly. Straddle the rail, narrow stance, seat resting behind calves. Stand up on your tiptoes as high as you can, stay on them, and start squatting. Stay on your toes, right on the ball under your big toe, back straight. Reach behind you and nudge the seat back a little as you come down. This sequence will put you on your 'butt knuckles' and allow you to pivot properly from the hips. Carefully put your feet in one at at time and stay on those bones.

And now to grade papers....

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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by dead man walking » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:27 pm

JohnDoe wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:58 am
but any non-elite just needs the threshold and then needs to stay below it for ever (for 2k erg tests). The blood doesn't lie
you've confused me.

stay below the lactate threshold for long-steady state. got it.

but what's that parenthetical bit about 2k erg tests?

also, do you have an rule of thumb about how often to train above threshold, and what kind of work is best?
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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by JohnDoe » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:46 pm

dead man walking wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:27 pm
JohnDoe wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:58 am
but any non-elite just needs the threshold and then needs to stay below it for ever (for 2k erg tests). The blood doesn't lie
you've confused me.

stay below the lactate threshold for long-steady state. got it.

but what's that parenthetical bit about 2k erg tests?

also, do you have an rule of thumb about how often to train above threshold, and what kind of work is best?
2ks require far more endurance than people realize. Roughly 80% of the energy comes from the aerobic system, so a minimum of 80% of training should be aerobic base work. To pile onto that, the hard workouts in rowing are so hard that you need to be fit enough to do them, which, again, requires even more of a base in order to recover fully enough during intervals. Consider a XFit workout that required technical excellence and consistency to be considered valid. It would fundamentally change the preparation for the workout. The same is true for rowing. 4x1k w/ 3:45' rest at 2k pace with consistent splits isn't going to happen for the beginner for years possibly, just because it takes that long to learn the efficiency, technique, and fortitude to complete the workout with rowing's definition of success to say nothing of the accompanying physiological changes. Otherwise it's just sloppy and hard.

As far as rule of thumbs, I'd say every 10-12 sessions could include 1 short interval session (>4.0 m/mol) and 2 medium sessions (2-4.0 m/mol). Though I'd probably stretch that even more the further out you are from the event. The aerobic bits take forever to adapt. The anaerobic bits can respond in as little as six weeks.

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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by dead man walking » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:48 am

makes sense. thanks.

i've done 4x1k at 2k pace with 4 min recoveries. it is horrible. actually never managed all 4 at 2k pace. 2k+1 was about the best i could do.
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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:38 pm

Nice, I just tested out at 7:42 2K

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Re: Atlanta Erg Sprints

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:05 pm

That's what I call consistency! =D>
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