Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

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

Post by Paul Victory » Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:42 pm

Thanks folks. As I have reported the build up on this thread, I decided to post the results here as well.

I won my race in 6:53.0, 2.5 seconds inside my SB and 3.2 seconds slower than my PB from 2011. Also an Irish record for 60-64 by 4.7 seconds. Time was more or less in line with expectations, although I was hoping to get a bit closer to 6:50. My main opposition didn't show, so I won my race by over 30 seconds. I have a 500m race at 3:25 and I've just had lunch. I'll probably go for a walk and head back to the sports centre around 2:45.

Stan Nkawa won the MHWT 50-59 in 6:34.x. There were three false starts in this race, which I'm sure didn't help any of the contestants. The guy who finished second to Stan was rowing next to me, but was 6:4x.x, so Stan won by a comfortable margin.

I'll send another report after the 500m.

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

Post by dr3do » Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:48 pm

You are king!! Woooohooooooo. =D> ^O^ \:D/

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

Post by gregsmith01748 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:00 pm

Paul: congratulations! Great result. Good luck in the 500.
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by Paul Victory » Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:48 pm

Thanks Boris and Greg.

I also won the 500m in a time of 1:31.0. This was 0.1 seconds outside my SB, but considering the fact that the first split I saw was 5:3x after yet another botched race start, I can't really complain. Second place was 1:34.3 so comfortable enough in the end, but I was only 1 meter ahead with around 200m to go.

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

Post by commodoreann » Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:19 pm

Paul,

Congratulations on both events! I guess your lunch was good before the 500m event.
Wow, a new Irish record for your age group. =D>
You are truly inspirational. O:) \:D/ \:D/

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

Post by CamiCrew » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:31 pm

Excellent day of racing, Paul. =D> =D>
-barbara

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

Post by Terra Firma » Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:46 pm

Good racing, Paul! Nice job in both events. Excellent tips on this thread.
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by Paul Victory » Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:48 pm

Thank you Ann, Barbara and Chris. Ann, I had a nice piece of salmon for lunch - just what was needed to replenish those lost minerals.

I'm tempted to have another go at the 500m when I can do it without a race start, but I think I'll wait a couple of days. I think a recovery row is called for tomorrow after 4 hours of driving and two races today, plus several glasses of wine tonight. Well, I was quite well behaved in this regard during the past week (with one notable exception :oops: #-o ), so I figure I'm entitled to a night off. :^o

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

Post by Jill » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:33 am

Well done Paul. =D> \:D/
Paul Victory wrote: plus several glasses of wine tonight
:-$ :-$ Paul. No one need know.

Jill :)

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

Post by Paul Victory » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:03 pm

Thanks everyone for your comments and for all the helpful tips on preparation. I think it really helped me to get my head around getting the preparation right and approaching things correctly on the day.

The only element that I messed up was the start. I'm not sure if this belongs here or in a separate thread, but I guess it can be moved, if appropriate.

In both yesterday's rows, the first split I saw was 5:3x.x. I'm trying to figure out what this means in terms of delay and how I can improve this.

I pick up the handle at sit ready, lean forward shortly after attention comes up and then pull as hard as I can when ROW comes up. I figure there should be at most a gap of 1 second between row appearing and me reacting. I guess it might take another second or so to pull back the handle and the monitor to register a pace. Even if we allow a second and a half for the first half stroke, it still seem I'm losing a lot of time at the start.

If we assume I will have covered around 4 or 5 meters by the time the pace registers, this means that I will have taken between 2.7 and 3.3 seconds to get from the word ROW appearing to the end of my first half stroke and equates to a loss of time of around 1.8 to 2.4 seconds. Does this calculation seem about right and, if so, has anyone any tips on how to improve this?

In yesterday's 500m, I was pulling 1:28s and 1:29s and the average speed was still showing at 1:33.x after around 200m. Kind of disheartening. I'd really love to be able to do a better start, but I don't want to be THAT guy who causes a false start. As I mentioned yesterday, in my 2k race I was sitting beside someone in the MHWT 50-59 race which had three false starts.

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

Post by strider77 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:48 am

Fantastic job Paul double Irish Champion and Record Holder brilliant mate =D> =D> ^O^ ^O^
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by edward4492 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:01 am

First....well done! very fine job indeed. In regards to starts, I totally ignore the splits at the beginning of a race. Even at home where the PM starts when it senses the pull it takes a bit for the splits to come down. 2k starts don't have to be overly aggressive. No need to false start or jump off the seat. For me it's three short, sharp pulls at about half slide, then I dive in deep and grab as much chain as I can for three long hard pulls, then settle in at my starting pace. If you did your homework and you know who your competition is and they're an experienced erger that you can (possibly) beat keep them in site. Don't key on someone whose 15s faster, you'll get hung out to dry. And ignore the slower guys. they'll fade. By 1500m things have sorted out and you're into the middle 1000m, the blackhole of erging.Stay on your plan and don't give up your pace.

I don't do too many 500's, but the start is more critical. You can afford to get a little more aggressive. I try and go hard for the first 30s, way more aggressive than a 2k, cruise the next 30s (but it's still extremely hard), then pull it down in the final 30s with a 10-15s finishing sprint. It's the only (IMO) distance where a slight fly and die can work. My fastest 500m (not blazing by any means, 1:33.4) I was dieing the last 100m.You can't recover from a conservative start on a 500m.

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

Post by Paul Victory » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:02 pm

Thanks Edward. The stroke data was published today and I did an analysis of this data. After 1.5 seconds, I had covered 0.5 meters in the 2k and 1.1 meters in the 500m. This equates to a loss of 1.4 seconds in the 2k and 1.3 seconds in the 500m.

I've already published my splits in the 2k and my splits in the 500m were as follows:

Distance Time Pace
100 0:19.21 1:36.1
200 0:17.81 1:29.0
300 0:17.76 1:28.8
400 0:18.00 1:30.0
500 0:18.22 1:31.1

500 1:31.0 1:31.0
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by edward4492 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:50 am

Out of curiousity I dug out my training log and looked at my 500m PR from 6/19/14:

100m 1:31.5 49r
200m 1:31.5 43r
300m 1;34.0 38r
400m 1:34.0 45r
500m 1:36.0 49r

1:33.4

Call this one a textbook "fly n' die". i went out hard, drove it through 200m, settled in through 400m, and the wheels came off in the final 100m stretch. But....it was and is a PR. I haven't done one since, bad memories. This was taken off my home machines PM, not at a race venue. My 2k starts are much more relaxed and consistent. I wonder how much of your loss up front was attributed to the race venue hook up and reaction time. On the 2k's I discipline myself not to get greedy and go for those couple of extra pulls, as soon as i.m on pace i pull one more time and start to settle in.

One other work out i do is when I'm doing 1000m intervals I do 'em different ways. I'll do a deliberate fly and die so I can practice recovering from an overly aggressive start while not giving up too much pace. And I'll do a very conservative start where i settle into pace as early as possible. I seem to prefer getting a small "lead" off the start so i can slow down a hair as I drop into race pace. I'm sure this is a psychological ploy, but it's where I'm comfortable.

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

Post by Paul Victory » Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:44 am

Thanks Edward. I did a 500m SB on Monday and it fell into the classic fly and die category. The initial split that I saw on Monday was 2:07 and I was down to 1:29 split (running, not cumulative) after 4 strokes. I'd estimate that the 'cost' of a standard start (i.e. the loss of pace while overcoming the initial inertia of the flywheel) is probably slightly less than half a second. The remaining second or so would therefore be attributable to the race venue hook up and reaction time.

There's probably not a huge amount I can do about this, but if I could shave half a second or so off my reaction time, it could prove significant in the event of a close finish.
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by edward4492 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:56 pm

I was reading a very interesting sports science book (I'll have to dig it out and give you the title,etc) and they noted that the actual true reaction time between a major league baseball player and the average person off the street is negligible. It's actually impossible to react to a fastball in flight. What they suppose is that a seasoned hitter is keying on all types of subliminal micro signals that his brain recognizes in the pitcher, in other words the wheels are already set in motion long before the ball is in the air. A given pitcher will have some sort of "tells" that are different between a fastball and a slider. Pretty interesting stuff.

I guess in erging if you race often enough your reaction time will improve just from practice. Probably not as critical in a 2k, but for a 500m it's something to consdier.

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

Post by Paul Victory » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:50 pm

Interesting point Edward. I decided to look at Paul Buchanan's stroke data (Paul is a multi record holder and close to 6 minutes for 2k) to see how much faster his reaction was than mine. After 1.5 seconds, I had covered 0.5 meters in the 2k and 0.1 meters in the 500m. Paul B had covered 2.5 and 3.7 meters respectively. That equates to about 0.4 seconds on the 2k and 0.6 seconds on the 500m. So there's definitely some room for improvement. But the guys I was racing against all had similar starts to me, so it may just be that reaction times get slower as you get older. #-o
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by stumpy » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:53 pm

Just seen this Paul, brilliant result mate, all that hard work gave its just rewards. I hope you had plenty to eat aftwards :wink:
well done again =D> =D> =D> =D>

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

Post by Paul Victory » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:56 pm

stumpy wrote:Just seen this Paul, brilliant result mate, all that hard work gave its just rewards. I hope you had plenty to eat aftwards :wink:
well done again =D> =D> =D> =D>

Colin B.
Thanks Colin

Great to hear from you and hope to see you at Madchester in June. I made sure I got plenty to eat after the 2k - I had a salmon fillet with all the trimmings for lunch. I was determined to avoid a repeat of the somewhat surreal aftermath of Grimsby. :roll: :lol:

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

Post by Paul Victory » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:28 am

After my experience at BIRC, I think we should add one further point to the list of things to do on race day.

12. If, for any reason, you are not ready to start rowing when the countdown starts on the monitor, pull the handle immediately to cause a false start. This will allow you enough time to get ready for the re-start.

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

Post by kirbyt » Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:19 pm

I don't think I have much to add here cause Greg's posts were comprehensive.
The title brought me here. I thought the thread was going to be advice on how to meet people at races. I am pretty shy and socially awkward so I would have found that kind of useful. I guess I'll just keep sitting in the stands by myself. :(
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Re: Race Meeting Advice (For Newbies and Old Hands Alike)

Post by richardjews » Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:59 pm

The pain you feel is going to go away as soon as you finish

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