It’s day 2 of 2012 and have to say its been a slow day. The temp is close to 40 degree’s and I am not planning on any training until the evening. The last week or more has been interesting with some ups and downs. Not just from the extra riding I have been doing on the road but also some of the ergo work.
The hardest session being an hour test on the machine. Can say it was not much fun and it prompted many questions. Hearing about the New Zealander Eric Murray doing his World record dynamic ergo effort and some of the tweets I read from a few people like Martin Cross. While Eric went 18728m on the new dynamic ergo Martin messaged that his best was 17834m but Jean Christophe Rolland, French Olympic champion in 2000 in the pair still does a daily hour on the ergo. Martin said at 43 Rolland is still cranking out 1.38 splits for the hour. So I asked my coach to put the test on our Christmas training program for some fun. How stupid was I? So after explaining all that let me add the World record on the stationary 18221m by Graham Benton with Mahe Drysdale 18128m.
Well I set off planning to post my first serious hour effort since way back in 1994 when I recall doing one with av split 1.45 and thinking then I would never do one again. Damn I have been lured into this mad World of further pain and suffering. So not long after I started I was sitting on 1.38’s and feeling pretty good. Got to the 20min mark and started to question why I would be even doing this. By the 30min mark my back side was killing me and I was starting to see 1.40 splits and probably not long after this I started to struggle. The grind had begun and even a moments pause when I thought I would stop but yet kept moving and realised the pain in my rear end was going to be the limiting factor. I recall seeing 27min left on the display I saying to myself it was my choice. The load of the stationary ergo felt heavy and yet I was trying to keep the rate alive and around 26-28 stroke per minute. Now this was no record attempt just a personal test. As my heart rate started touching the 170’s I was content to manage my effort while my right glut muscle was screaming stop.
Getting into the final 10mins I set myself the task I getting as close to 18000m as possible. The first 20min set me up well but the middle 20min I had lost my way. So by the time the clock started to get close to 5min I had to start to get the numbers back under control. I started working into the 1.37’s and final finished with a mid to low 1.30’s. My heart rate climbed to 180 and with the heat in the garage climbing I was noticing just how bloody hot my body was. The distance I covered was 17931m, 1.40.3 split with av HR 164 and I can say it was such a mental challenge. When I got off the machine my ass was so sore and as I stood up it felt like I had a corked muscle. The hour is a significant test being able to race it takes it to a whole new level I am sure. For now I was happy to push to have the challenge and experience it. I would like to think next time I can go further by some way. The benchmark above by Eric Murray is a different activity with the dynamic ergo, but still doing 1.36’s for an hour is huge.
For more about my training over this break I have enjoyed spending some great time back out on the bike. Staying down at my Dad’s farm and spending many hours in the rolling hills inland have been a great way to train but also freshen up. The other ergo sessions have been nothing like the hour test but very much targeted to ensure when we start back in a couple of days I will be ready to go.
The new year has begun and I can say I am very much looking forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead. We have been informed about which athletes in the mens sweep squad will be targeted towards which boats. At this stage I am in line to trail for the four and I am motivated to help the group make it the fastest boat we can.