Thursday, November 8, 2007

"Potentially Doable"

I received a troubling e-mail from an old coach. I asked him for a training plan for my upcoming 2k race in Sendai. I told him I need to row a 6:15 and I have a month to get ready.

He said "Nate, I think a 6:15 is potentially doable."

I'm not sure what to make of that. This guy does not speak in half-measures. The freshman recruit who decided to go to Harvard didn't do so because it was a better fit, he did it because he was "a complete retard who couldn't read." This is a guy who didn't just want us to win races, he wanted us to "win by so much that the other team's parents were ashamed of their children." I was never told that rowing with slightly canted knees was a bit awkward, I was told that "it looks like babies are going to fall out of your ass at the catch."

So either the corporate world has forced tact upon his speech, or he thinks I've set myself an impossible goal. Because the guy I used to know would have said, if I even had a 50% chance of hitting my target, that I would absolutely kill the piece, get off, make myself a sandwich, and still have time to laugh at the poor bastard coming in second.

Time will tell. I did 8x 500 meters with 1 minute rest and kept the split around 1:33 today, which is around where I should be.


Matthew O said...

And may the Freshman coach we all knew and loved rest in piece...

Sam said...

1:33 would get you a 6:12. I'd say if you can hold that for 8x500 with 1 minute rest, you're pretty damn close to being able to pull a 6:15.

Are you gonna use the tried and true Nick Haley converged 500s technique where each week you do a set of 500 meter pieces but each week there's less rest and one less 500 to do until at the end you're doing 4x500 with no rest?

I always liked that method. Just make sure you hold 1:33 or lower for all your training pieces until you get to the final 2k. That will give you a strong mental advantage over the 1:33.75 that you'll need to hold. Of course, remember not to go out at that pace for your actual 2k or you'll die. I'd hold these splits for each 500 of the 2k:
1: 1:34.5
2: 1:34.0
3: 1:33.5
4: 1:33.0

You'll only have to do one 500 at your training pace. On one hand, that'll be the most difficult 500 because it's the last but on the other hand, it'll be the pace at which you're most comfortable. Also, I don't know how much sprint you're going to have in you but this plan eliminates the need for a sprint. The nice thing about that is that if you get behind on your pace, you can just pull out a gut-busting sprint in the last 300 meters to catch up.

I don't know what Hot Carlson was thinking; this is gonna be like stealing candy from a baby, or a Mountain Child.

Nate said...

Yeah, said freshman coach suggested that I row mid-1:30s splits for most of the piece and then find some dark corner of my soul that would let me row the last 500 at 1:30.

Since I wasn't abused enough as a child to tap into that kind of pain and intensity and summon a colon-shattering last 500 out of thin air, I'll probably do exactly what you're suggesting, Sam.

I rowed a 6:25 at the tail-end of a 20k workout today without too much trouble, so I'm on pace.