Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

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Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by plummy » Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:22 pm

I've had a request to create a thread where the common questions (and answers) re attending a race meet (large or small) can be collated together - makes sense to me as little details are easy to forget...
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by gregsmith01748 » Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:46 pm

I posted this on a different thread, but then asked to have a sticky thread to collect this kind of advice so we can find it later.

OK, Here goes.

Indoor races tips:
0. Do a proper taper. The research that I have read says that the most effective taper to maintain intensity and radically cut down volume. My interpretation of this is:
Race day - 5 : normal session
Race day - 4 : race warmup and 4 x 500 at race pace or faster - cool down
Race day - 3 : race warmup and 2 x 500 at race pace or faster - cool down
Race day - 2 : race warmup and 1 x 500 at race pace or faster - cool down
Race day - 1 : If you are nervy do a warmup otherwise nothing.
Race Day : Go get 'em killer.

1. Pack all your stuff the nigh before.

2. What to eat before depends on when your your race is. I like to eat something nice and light about 3 hours before my start time (my choice is a nutella on raisin bread sandwich with a cup of coffee).

3. Go early, very early. Check in early. Get all that stuff our of the way so you can focus on your prep.

4. Scout out bathrooms. I don't know about you, but I get a nervous stomach and before I warm up, I need to spend a little quality time in a bathroom stall. Based on the lines I've seen for the bathrooms, I am not the only one who feels this well.

5. Warm up extra long and extra slow. You will likely end up with a longer wait between warming up and racing than you will normally have in training sessions, so you don't want to be go too easy, but you also don't want to do something to intense and short and then end up fighting off lactic acid hanging around in your quads. This may sound stupid, but practice your warmup. I religiously did my race warmup every single day during my taper for the race.

6. Have a race plan stuck in your brain. Rehearse it, The best rehearsal is to go through the first 1500m of your race about 4 or 5 days prior to the event. Do it exactly as you plan to race your race. Do not sprint the end. Just stop at the 1500m point.

7. As for race plans. Different folks have different ideas. I have always tried to race with flat splits. Just target the split that will give you the time you want and get to that split as quickly as possible. Other folks like the idea of starting a bit fast, then settling a second or two slower for the middle 1000, then crank it up for the last 500.

8. No matter what your race plan is, the important thing is to actually stick to it. Adrenaline will be pumping and you will find that hitting your splits will feel unaturally easy for the first 200m or so. Do not fall for it. You body is a filthy liar and will betray you at the 1000m point if you go with it. Let yourself start fast, but settle to your intended pace with 5 strokes or so.

9. The race start. This is something that I wish I knew more about before my first race. When you erg by yourself, the clock starts when you take your first pull. In an arena race, the clock starts as soon as the word "ROW" appears on your screen. If you hit it right on, then all is good. If you miss it by a fraction of a second, you will see that your average split is abysmally slow. It will combine with the adrenaline effect noted above to convince you that you NEED to row faster than planned to make up for the horror confronting you. Don't worry about it. The fraction of a second will matter less and less as you go along. Stick to the plan, it will work. (Full disclosure: Most people will end up with times in arena races that are a second or so off their best possible because of the arena start. Just accept that this is the case for everyone)

10. If you can possibly get one, use a Cox. Even an arena volunteer, if you don't have someone coming with you. It might actually be better than a non-rower who came with you, unless they know what to expect. With a few words you can tell an experienced cox what your plan is and how to interact with you. My instructions to my ccox were: "I want to hold 1:39 from the start to 1750 and then sprint the last bit. If my rate drops below 30, prompt me to take 10 strokes for form. If I am too fast in the first 1500m, tell me to ease up. Yell at me like crazy in the last 250m. Call me names. Insult my manhood"

11. If you start to feel like you are losing it. Remember this. The pain you feel is going to go away as soon as you finish. If you give up, you will remember giving up for a long time.
Greg - Age: 53 H: 182cm W: 88Kg (should be 83Kg)
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by strider77 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:24 am

Greg this is great, to let you know how great my palms were sweating as I was reading it.

This will be of great help to newbies and oldies alike :wink:
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by gregsmith01748 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:18 pm

One of the decisions that an athlete has to make in preparation for a race is how to taper down training.

I have used, and other rowers who are way better than I am have used what is called a high intensity taper. The idea here is to perform a series of high intensity workouts of shorter and shorter duration during the days prior to the event. It is based on a paper about middle distance runners, so it is pretty much spot of for 2K rowing events.

I implemented the taper as follows:
race - 5 days: 5x800/3'30" rest
race - 4 days: 4x500/3'30" rest
race - 3 days: 3x500/3'30" rest
race - 2 days: 2x500/3'30" rest
race - 1 day: 1x500

There is a very good journal article on the topic. Here are a couple of excepts. The thing that impressed me was the increased time to fatigue and the way that the taper maintained a high blood volume.

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What works for other folks?
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by dr3do » Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:18 pm

Very interesting information, Greg! :idea:

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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by edward4492 » Sun Dec 28, 2014 1:02 am

Greg nailed, it great post! I like to do a1300m 3-4 days before an event, go out at my starting pace and try and settle in to my cruise pace with no sprint (just like Greg mentioned with 1500m). In a race when I'm down to 700m to go I know I can make it. If youŕe in doubt about how hard to go in the days before an event, er on the side of going easy. You will be okay if youŕe a tad over rested.... training too much will hurt you.

If youŕe a lightweight who sits right on 165 lbs (like myself) do yourself a favor. Lose the weight early, get serious and get your eating under control. Also, eating right will be beneficial for your training. I like to be sitting on 161-162 going into my last week prior to an event so there's no stress. At a proper event, weigh ins are between 1 and 2 hours prior to your event. Get there and weigh in as early as they allow. Now you can relax, eat something light, and drink a bottle of water. No water with 45min or so to go; no need for a last minute bladder run. If youŕe on the edge, bring something extremely light to wear at the weigh in like a pair of cycling bibs. This next one is a little crude, I apologize in advance, but I keep a Fleet in my racing bag in case I'm cutting it too close. It can be good for 1-2 pounds. If youŕe traveling and youŕe not careful a bad meal could throw things off. I pack my own food and eat extremely plain, bland food if I have to ear out. Sorry if that was TMI; but if youŕe at the biggest event of the year; youĺl want to have every method possible at your disposal. What you do not want to do is be like a high school wrestler trying desperately to ¨make weight¨through various means of dehydration (exercising in a plastic suit, spitting constantly into a cup, etc.). If you can't comfortably cruise into LWT status by losing 3 or 4 pounds over the course of several weeks, may be time to re-think what class youŕe in.

Again Greg mentioned it.Dont freak out if your split looks too low out of the gate. Pull your normal race start, adrenaline will carry you another 3-4 strokes and get you on pace. You developed an intelligent plan through training, stick to it. I always race my plan till 500m to go, then race the other boats. Its a death sentence to chase a guy thats 10s faster than you.You should have checked out your competition on line and know who you cant beat and who you can. Think you can go 10s faster on race day? You cant.....not if your training has been honest. If you row a PR or with-in a second or two....youĺl get a placing you can be proud of.

One last thing...do the math. If you blow up it might not be that bad. For every 100m, a five second drop in pace results in a one second loss in time. So if youŕe targeting 7:00 and you're pulling at 1:45 and you know youŕe dieing and can't do it.....back off to a 1:55 for 100m. If you can get back on pace youĺl finish at 7:02. Not what you wanted....but way better than panicking and driving your self in so deep that you cant save it and limp in at 7:30. Work out various senarios prior to the event so you have a survival plan.

Remember, your target time is what it is and is the result of your training the past several months. You can't change it several days before the event or on race day. So take care of every other possible senario. I was totally shocked by the number of guys I talked to at CRASH B's last year who had a crap time because they "went out too fast". Inexcusable! You should blow up from time to time in your training intervals, find your breakpoint.

And get your PR with your final sprint

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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by Paul Victory » Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:45 am

Great post Edward and welcome to Free Spirits. Some really excellent advice on this thread.
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by dr3do » Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:03 pm

edward4492 wrote: One last thing...do the math. If you blow up it might not be that bad. For every 100m, a five second drop in pace results in a one second loss in time. So if youŕe targeting 7:00 and you're pulling at 1:45 and you know youŕe dieing and can't do it.....back off to a 1:55 for 100m. If you can get back on pace youĺl finish at 7:02. Not what you wanted....but way better than panicking and driving your self in so deep that you cant save it and limp in at 7:30. Work out various senarios prior to the event so you have a survival plan.
Thanks Edward, haven't read/heard/knew this before. It will help me getting my intervals done better.

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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by Paul Victory » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:12 am

I'm now at race day minus 5. I intend to do the PP 4 x 2k today, although I'm not really in the mood for it.

I see the advice about practising my warm up and that it should be extra long and extra slow. I typically do 15 minutes warm up at around 2:00 pace. Would it be better to do 20 minutes at around 2:05 pace or should I look at doing an even longer warm up? I want to strike the right balance between making sure I'm properly warmed up and doing so much that I tire myself out before the race.

I'm also in two minds about doing 4 x 500 tomorrow. The alternative would be to do 1500m at race pace, with no final sprint. I guess that's a matter of personal preference, but would welcome any thoughts on the pros and cons.

At this stage, I'm probably overanalysing things. This may be due to having had a few too many drinks last night and being somewhat hungover this morning. I was off the drink completely last week and had planned not to drink until after the IIRC, but had a couple of glasses and one thing led to another. :roll: :oops: Anyway, definitely no more alcohol for me until Saturday night and maybe not even then, with BRIC on two weeks later.
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by plummy » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:06 pm

I still use the Eddie Fletcher warm guide (although I admit it I abridge it somewhat):

http://www.fletchersportscience.co.uk/u ... 735681.pdf

I do
4 mins @ 2:12
4 mins @ 2:08
3 mins @ 2:04
30 seconds at mid 1:50's
2 mins back at 2:12
30 seconds at race pace
2 mins back at 2:12
..then I get bored and worried I'm using too much energy. I don't stick to the SPM advice.

Obviously the pace is relative to your anticipated finishing time
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by gregsmith01748 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:31 pm

Paul Victory wrote:I'm now at race day minus 5. I intend to do the PP 4 x 2k today, although I'm not really in the mood for it.0
Then do 3x2k. There really is no additional training benefit that you will get for an event this weekend. Give yourself a bit of a break mentally.
I see the advice about practising my warm up and that it should be extra long and extra slow. I typically do 15 minutes warm up at around 2:00 pace. Would it be better to do 20 minutes at around 2:05 pace or should I look at doing an even longer warm up? I want to strike the right balance between making sure I'm properly warmed up and doing so much that I tire myself out before the race.
15 minutes should be plenty long. But I think varying the pace and rate is an important thing to do. I use the Fletcher warmup, like Plummy, but doing 15 minutes where you start at 2:10, build to 2:00, do 30 sec at race pace and rate a couple of times. I think the Fletcher is designed to push a bit harder than a normal warmup because the time between warmup and race is longer in arenas than in normal training, so you have 15 minutes or longer to recover and stretch after you finish.
I'm also in two minds about doing 4 x 500 tomorrow. The alternative would be to do 1500m at race pace, with no final sprint. I guess that's a matter of personal preference, but would welcome any thoughts on the pros and cons.
Either should be fine but I prefer the 500s. Remember the 500s should be at race pace, not as fast as you can do them. The point is to keep yourself sharp and increasingly well rested as the week goes on. I have had VERY bad luck doing 1500m (or mile) testers the week prior to competitions. I can't recall a single time when it went well for me. And then I spend the rest of the week worrying. One thing to keep in mind, you would be trying to do 1500m at race pace the day after a hard 4 (or 3) x 2K versus doing 2K at race pace with a full taper. I suspect the chance of blowing up in the 1500 would be higher, but I could be wrong.

Glad you had a good time last night. Sorry you are feeling the effects today.
Nothing like a brisk set of 2k to clear your head? :twisted:
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by Paul Victory » Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:24 pm

Thanks Greg. I think I'll follow your advice and do the 500s. Maybe I should set them up on RowPro so that I can practice my race starts. I made a complete mess of the start in the last IIRC I entered in late 2011. I'll also look at doing a shortened modified Fletcher warm up. I used to do the full one, but found that it took a lot out of me.

I was feeling pretty rotten today and my 15 minutes warm up did nothing to blow away the cobwebs. I set the PM4 to 2k intervals with 5 minutes rest, but knew after less than 1k that I just wasn't going to feel any better and decided to slow down and change my 4 x 2k to 1 x 2k, which I did @ 1:51.7 pace. I did 17 minutes cool down to bring my total meters for the day to just over 10k in aid of the VTC.

It was probably no harm for me to do a relatively easy session today in any event, but I definitely learned that mixing your drinks is not conducive to doing a good training session on the morning after. :shock: :roll: :oops: #-o
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by edward4492 » Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:35 am

Paul....stop training! (4) x 2500's ?I wouldn't do them at anything other than recovery pace. You cannot possibly get any fitter with four days to go...but you can sure get a lot more tired. I may get some push back from other posters(no problem guys, this forum is for the open exchange of ideas). My first event is on 1/31, my last hard interval session will be a week out, probably a (3) x1000m at my racing target pace (1:45). Three days out I'll do one 1300m with a racing start and settle in and attempt to relax and cruise to the end, no sprint. Everything else is 7500 to 10k nice and easy (for me 20r, 2:10 pace). The day before, some easy meters with maybe two 100m race pace efforts and thats it. This past week I did a practice 2k at 7:04, hard enough but not a life or death effort. I'm lookng to go under 7:00, so I'm in pretty good shape.

In all my years of bike racing (300+ races in 10 years) and my new found addiction to erging (eight events, misc PR's etc) I never entered an event feeling TOO rested; but I've hit a lot of them feeling to tired. Bike racers are nuts, we race every weekend, lots of sat and sun events. With racing I like to prioritize "A" and "B" events. The difference is the "A" events get a proper taper and rest and a "B" event is simply part of the training schedule; you train right through it. In the USA the erg season lasts about six weeks culminating with CRASH B's. I'm tapering for my first event on 1/31, then I'll do three more events with no real taper, just make them my hard work out for the week, then a slight taper again for Boston. Worked out well for me last year.

And lastly, I try and eliminate as much mental garbage as possible. Don't pick any fights at work or at home. Wrap up any lose ends at work, get your plate cleaned off so your heading to your race with pure focus. No mental baggage! Every peice of the puzzle helps to put you in a position to nail a good time.

Again, just my ideas on the approach I like to take.

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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by Paul Victory » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:04 am

Thanks Edward. With hindsight, doing a flat out 4 x 2k only 5 days before a race was probably not a great idea. I'm part of a Pete Plan training group and was trying to keep in line with this week's scheduled sessions, but I think it was a clear case of skewed priorities. :roll:

Anyway, I'm going to take things relatively easy over the next four days. I was going to do a trial run over 1300m or 1500m at race pace, but I think I'll take Greg's advice and avoid this in case it goes pear shaped and wrecks my confidence so close to race day. So my plan is to do a taper along the lines suggested by Greg, with my pre race warm up followed by a reducing number of 500s at race pace. I might set up tomorrow's session on RowPro in order to practice my race starts, but it takes a while to set things up on RowPro (because of logistical issues due to where my erg is located) and I have some commitments today that put me under a bit of time pressure.

I still have to decide whether I'm going to stay in Limerick on Friday night or drive down on Saturday morning. It's about a two hour drive and my 2k race is at 10:39 a.m. Originally the race was scheduled to start about 30 minutes later and I'm torn between being in more control of what I have to eat on Friday night and being able to sleep in my own bed on the one hand and being more rested in the morning, but possibly not sleeping that well if the bed in the hotel is not comfortable on the other hand.

I'm also entered for a 500m race, which is not on until 3:22 p.m. I understand the need for a decent gap between the two races, but nearly five hours is ridiculous. It's too long to hang around in sweaty gear, so I'll probably shower and go for lunch somewhere nearby. There are some hotels very close to the venue and I guess if I do go down on Friday night and if I can book a room with a late checkout, I go could back to the hotel and get some rest between races. Decisions, decisions....
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by strider77 » Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:10 am

Throwing my hat into the ring on this one.

Paul you are in awesome shape, I would recommend nothing at all for the last 2 days before your comp.

Gregs suggestion of 4 x 500 is good, I would do this today, have an easy paddle tomorrow then rest.

You have done the work, you will feel the build up of unease at not training over the last few days, interpret this as money going into the bank and you will take out the deposit in one go on race day and smash it I have absolutely no doubt at all mate :D
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by Paul Victory » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:49 pm

I did 4 x 500m today, as suggested. I decided to do a Fletcher type warm up for 15 minutes beforehand. I did most of the warm up at 2:00 pace or thereabouts, but did three 30 second bursts after 9, 11 and 13 minutes at 1:50, 1:45 and 1:40 pace respectively. This got be nicely warmed up, with my HR at 144 at the end, having reached 152 at the end of the 1:40 burst.

I decided to do the 500s at 1:43 pace, which is more or less my r=target pace for Saturday. As this is around 2 seconds slower than the 8 x 500 I did on Saturday, I figured it shouldn't be too stressful. My objective was to do 6 or 7 hard strokes at the start to get my average pace down to around 1:42 and then try to keep the pace at 1:43. It wasn't quite as easy as I expected and I saw a lot of 1:44s.

I decided to do the session as 4 standalone 500s rather than intervals as I didn't want to distort the start. I didn't time the rest intervals precisely, but I figure they were around 2 minutes to 2:30. I finished all 4 at 1:43 or less, but it wasn't a particularly east=y session. Having said this, I felt quite strong in my 15 minute cool down, which I did at just under 1:57 pace (although my HR was high enough, so maybe I should have done a slower cool down).

Overall session was as follows:

Warm up 3822m in 14:59.0 @ 1:57.6 pace AHR133/MHR144(152)
500m 1:42.9 31 SPM HR 137/147
500m 1:42.8 32 SPM HR 140/151
500m 1:42.6 32 SPM HR 142/153
500m 1:43.0 32 SPM HR 141/154
Cool down 3855m in 15:00.0 @ 1:56.7 pace HR150/154

I'll try doing the same warm up tomorrow and will stick with it on Saturday if it seems to be working OK.

Paul V
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by CamiCrew » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:53 pm

Paul -- so excited for your race! How great to go into it with the caliber of training you've done. If Friday night is the night prior, my favorite little race tip would be for you to plan a great night's sleep Thursday. Head to bed early!

With that 2 nights' ahead rest, you will have less worry about not getting proper rest Friday. The night before you'll be keyed up, so likely to toss & turn whether in your own bed or the hotel. That's an interesting decision too -- I love my own bed and will often opt to stay in it despite a 2 hour morning drive. However I almost equally like the distraction-free zone of a decent hotel room so if it saves me waking up in the 3 am or 4 am timeframe, I strongly consider it.

Oh and because I'm a mom, I have to tell you to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, honey! :lol: Seriously I've heard excellent hydration helps your circulatory system and staves off some of the pain during the race. However if you do this right, the 2 hour drive to the venue will require a pit stop!

YAY PAUL -- GO FREE SPIRITS! \:D/
-barbara

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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by Paul Victory » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:21 pm

Thanks for the encouragement and advice Barbara. The weather forecast doesn't look too bad, so I'm leaning towards travelling down on Saturday morning. I'll need to get up around 7 a.m., but that's not THAT early (although since I've retired, I don't tend to surface much before 9 a.m. :roll: ).

I did my 'modified Fletcher' warm up again today, followed by 3 x 500m, followed by 20 minutes cool down. I set the 500s up as an interval session with 3:30 rest, but did a standing start. As with yesterday, it didn't feel THAT easy and I struggled to keep the pace on 1:43, with a lot of 1:44s creeping in. But I managed to complete the session without mishap.

Overall session was as follows:

Warm up 3810m in 15:02.1 @ 1:58.4 pace

500m 1:43.0 32 SPM
500m 1:43.0 31 SPM
500m 1:42.8 32 SPM

Cool down 5103m in 20:01.5 @ 1:57.7 pace

My plan tomorrow is to do 2 x 500m and then I'm thinking of having a rest day on Friday. I'll see how I feel on the day.

Paul V
M 65 6'1" 124kg (May05), 92kg (Feb06), 122kg (Aug10), 95kg (Sep11), 117kg (Jun13), now 92kg
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Iain
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by Iain » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:30 pm

As anyone around this forum for a while knows, I am no great racer. BUt my thoughts and perspective on the above:

Erg racing is very friendly. Unless you are in the running for silverwear, failing weight is no big deal. Every race I entered allowed those overweight to compete, just reported themoutside of the race, but you still get the great day and experience, so I was never good enough to consider a Fleet!

3 x 1k at 2k pace is a really tough session that I wouldn't contemplate within 10 days of a race. FWIW Pete's suggested final session 2 days before race day was (a few years ago anyway), 4 x 500 r3' done at the same pace as expected during the race, but without the full on sprint at the end.

There is a further strategy for the race, that of Mike Caviston of WP fame. He proposed negatively splitting. His preferred split was 2k+1 for 800m, 2k for 600m, 2k-1 for 400m and 2k-2 for 200m. I modified this to 1000m at 2k+1, 400m at 2k, 300m at 2k-1, 200m at 2k-2 and 100m nominally at 2k-3. That was simply because I find 600-800 to be a mentally fragile part of the race and (admittedly only tried in training) knowing I had to up the pace at the end of it was too tough. Somehow halfway helped. Also I finish at 40+ SPM so the final split is easy (if I haven't been broken), while 200m is just too long!

For a race warmup, I always liked at least 5min very steady at the end.

I strongly advise to ditch the HRM on the day, nerves will up the rate to levels that would normally indicate illness and can cause panic!

For Lwts, a Pasta Party the night before is only for those well underweight! Also liquid takes a long time to shift, so unless you have a clear couple of pounds, don't drink for the 2 hours prior to weigh in, then drink a lot in the next 30 mins.

Build memories coming up to race day. Imprint on your mind learning experiences. Running up to my PB at BIRC, I H/down in the final interval of 3x1kr5' PP session a month before at 250m. But got going again after a couple of seconds to beat the previous splits. I can still recall the contrast from abject failure to elation from this recovery, teh perfect memory to recall when in the "deadzone" of the 3rd 500m! I have similar memories of feeling awful before successful sessions to fall back on when feeling bad on the morning of the race.

Get familiar with the screens on the PM4 when racing, they are different! IIRC there are 2 possible settings. Loss of the projected finish through me at my first race!

Do some sprints in the final 3 weeks before the race. 20 x 100m r 80" was Pete's suggested session. Warning these can be embarassing in public as the rower will move if not held down, you may well end up coming off your seat and what you are doing is not regarded as rowing by the purists! I get close to 80 SPM! Towards the end you will not be able to maintain speed of leg drive and the (lack of?) technique involves starting the back and arm drives earlier and using reduced slide length at the end (when I approach 80SPM). The point of these is to have a backup plan when your legs give out (they should nearly at the end in a maximal effort). This also increases the pace you can do the last 150 - 200m.

It is normal to trade rate for pace. If you try and up the flagging pace at halfway by driving harder at the same rate, your legs will give out earlier. Different people find their body gives up differently, so it may be that this is fine for you as otherwise your legs will still have something left at the end. But for me I expect that my legs will be shot at 1500m. By raising the rate (and importantly not allowing the rate to drop as I tire), I can stop this happening earlier. The final 500m is done at slowly declining slide more than compensated by incresing the rate at 500, 300, 200 and 100 to go.

Decide on a minimum acceptable split at the beginning. Adrenalin will allow you to go very fast very early with no apparent effort. Personally I have paid for too quicker start even in the first 20". Due to the lag at the start, purely concentrating on average pace may lead you to row like you were doing 500m and build lactate too rapidly. Unlike OTW there is not the advantage of holding a lead, its all on the monitor without turning 'round!

finally, I would agree that it is the sleep before the day before raceday that matters. We all have sleepless nights the immediate night before, this does not seem to have an impact for 24hrs for me at least.

Best of luck all

Go FreeSpirits!
50 year old Lwt (in ability and weight) trying to develop a technique that doesn't cause hysterics and get back to regular rowing.
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by Paul Victory » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:04 am

Thanks for the advice Iain. I did 2 x 500m at my planned race pace (1:43) today and I'm planning to have a rest day tomorrow. As with yesterday and Tuesday, 1:43 pace didn't feel all that comfortable and I kept sliding out to 1:44. But if I can keep the pace from going above 1:44 on Saturday, I should be able to average around 1:43 with a few fast strokes at the start (not too many, I know :roll: ) and a sprint finish.

This may not be enough to win, but I will be happy if I can get an SB (it's currently 6:55.5). I just noticed that one of my competitors in both the 2000m and the 500m posted a faster time than my 500m SB yesterday and also posted a near 7 minutes 2k on the same day. He's an ex-marine fitness instructor based in Malta who's just turned 60, so he may well be capable of going a lot faster. If he takes off like a train on Saturday, I will have to resist the urge to try hanging onto his shirttails. :roll:

Anyway, I'm off to bed now (a bit later than planned) and I'm hoping to get that good night's sleep that everyone is recommending.

Paul V
M 65 6'1" 124kg (May05), 92kg (Feb06), 122kg (Aug10), 95kg (Sep11), 117kg (Jun13), now 92kg
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by edward4492 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:14 am

Great post Iain. i think the lightweights are a fringe sub-species in a fringe sport. We do all the crazy stuff that "full time" (for lack of a better word) ergers do plus throw in the stress of weighing in. I've been successful going extremely strict so I enter the last week fairly light (162.8 today with eight days to go) to avoid any un-natural dehydration or the need to use any other extreme measures. I find that once i get on track with the eating, it becomes very easy to eat clean and I feel incredible. And I'm never to far away from my target weight, the heaviest I allow myself is 170 and my normal day to day weight is 167 - 168. I;ve always been of the opinion that the best masters lwt's fit a certain template, tallish (I'm 6') and right on the 165 bubble. To light and you give away too much. Too much weight to lose and you come in weak (In think I read that BIRC is at 160 this year).

Anyway, you can have your thread back Paul, Good Luck!

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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by commodoreann » Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:03 am

Best of luck Paul.
I am sure you will come out on top with all of you training and great fitness.

Ann :fsbgrin:
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by Jill » Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:40 am

Good luck for tomorrow Paul - be proud of yourself for working so hard on your fitness and training.

Jill :)

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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by dr3do » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:00 pm

Good luck and my best wishes, Paul. Rock it! 8) :fsbgrin:

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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by gregsmith01748 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:37 pm

Best of luck Paul!

May your erg be smooth, the air rich with oxygen and the crowd enthusiastic!
Greg - Age: 53 H: 182cm W: 88Kg (should be 83Kg)
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