4x2km with difficulty

I am in the first week of a 6 week block with a focus on “Aerobic Power” (or AT/VO2 training zone). Today the AEP training was the good old Pete Plan 4x2km, at 5 minutes rest. Here are the training zones I am referring to:

Definition of Training Zones
Definition of Training Zones

The Pete Plan way of doing this is to take a target power (or pace) and try to hold it, then go all out in the final interval. The session average is the new target pace.

A year ago I read books on rowing training (for Masters rowers) and a book on swimming training (Olbrecht). This year I am reading “Watt-Messung im Radsport und Triathlon” (English original “Training and Racing with a Power Meter”) by Allen and Coggan, the guys behind TrainingPeaks.com. The book is focusing on cycling training. They have a different philosophy on intervals and recommend to continue doing the intervals until you are not able to do it at a minimum percentage (of Power) of the third interval. Yes, the third interval. Not the first or the second, but the third. The idea is that in the first two intervals you are searching for the “right” power and in the third one you have found it. Then you continue until you cannot hold

  • 95%-97% of that power for 20 minute intervals
  • 94%-96% for 10 minute intervals
  • 93%-95% for 5 minute intervals
  • 91%-92% for 3 minute intervals
  • 88%-90% for 1 and 2 minute intervals
  • 85%-88% for 30 second intervals

For rowing on the Concept2 erg, where you can keep your Watts in a very narrow band from stroke to stroke, it is easier to find the “right” power already in the first interval, but I decided to stick to the book’s “third interval” rule. In cycling, the power meter swings much more than in OTE rowing, so I guessed that I needed to row with less constant feedback. To simulate that I covered part of the PM5 so I would only see heart rate and meters left,  then checking the average power during the break.

So a 5% drop signals the last interval. When executing the workout I didn’t reread the relevant section of the book and I wrongly remembered a 10% drop. Here is the result:

erg 004

So in Watts, this is

  1. 244W – 104%
  2. 242W – 103%
  3. 234W – 100%
  4. 219W – 93%

It was a very hard workout. I wanted to stop after 2 intervals.

A few pictures have emerged from last weekend’s regatta:

My opponent (the guy I had to catch up with) in the mM 1x race
My opponent (the guy I had to catch up with) in the mM 1x race
Me on 2 seat in the losing eight
Me on 2 seat in the losing eight
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