Thursday, 1 August 2013

August CTC (amendment)

There has been a change to the Sub 7 CTC row. Ignore the previous August CTC post!

Aug 2013 - The Sub 7 mixed stroke rate 8 x 500m / 2 minutes rest.

This challenge was chosen by SUB7 IRC.

You need to row 8 * 500m reps with 2 minutes rest.

Any 4 reps at 20SPM or below
Any 4 reps at 30SPM and above
The order those reps are done isn't important, you could row all the 30SPM reps then all the 20SPM reps.

You could alternate, you could do them randomly.

There's a one second penalty per SPM if you exceed rate 20 on the 20SPM reps or fail to rate 30 on the 30SPM reps.

Example: Rate 21 incurs a 1 second penalty per rep, Rate 22 incurs a 2 second penalty, and so on. Likewise, Rate 29 incurs a 1 second penalty, Rate 28 incurs a 2 second penalty, and so on.

Standing / Static start for the first rep. Standing or rolling for the 2nd to 8th reps. You are not allowed to row without taking the rest.

Record your final time including penalties for 4000m, do not include the rest time.


  1. Blimey, this is a bit fiddly. To be honest, I was looking for to a regular aerobic challenge - this one is going to have to wait for a well-rested weekend.

  2. Yes I thought that myself - I was hoping for a straight forward session - but it appears Sub 7 have decided to create a rather over-complex row for this months CTC.

  3. Me too, I was looking forward to something straightforward!

    I've just had a practice at this and now sit proudly at the bottom of the leaderboard with 15:24.3 (average 1:55.5)!!

    I think I can do better but just wanted to get a feel of how to pace myself (this is only the second set of intervals I've ever done, the first being the June CTC). I alternated between 20spm and 30 spm reps, not sure if this is the right way to do it and was tentative at first not knowing if I'd blow up. I didn't find a problem keeping within the stroke rate rules, however I don't like rowing at 30spm.

    On reflection next time I will be braver and start a bit quicker!

  4. Phil - Sounds like you have gone about this in the right way - early in the month to see how you fare.
    Yes, the difference between 30spm / 20spm is quite marked but hopefully this should be an entertaining session (if not a bit mind-boggling on the calculations at the end).

  5. Whilst failing to sleep in the steam room that was my bedroom last night, I thought about this for a bit.

    If you stick to a constant stroke rate between 20 and 30, you will always get a 40 second penalty, so that's an option if people simply want to get a time in without resorting to the calculator.

    It's also quite possible that going for 24/26 or something like that may net a better time than hitting the extremes. Sadly, this challenge is likely to be too debilitating to experiment with it a lot.

    I was amused to see the caveats about having to take your rest periods and the standing start, after the rather brutal discussion in the sub7 forum topic about "cheating" on last month's challenge.

    It's only a game, right?

    I see that Mark's set what looks to be a blistering time - good stuff!

  6. Dave B
    Yes, it can all get a bit 'messy' on the forum when people discuss the standing vs rolling starts. Let's leave it to the experts to fight it out!!

  7. Well I did my attempt at this month's CTC. I managed only an 8-second penalty which was quite surprising. I was not expecting to fare as well as I did on the 30+ spm rounds. I went 21,28,28,20,21,29,20,29. If I do this again I will probably do it the same way.

    My big time-killer was the 7th round as I did a 1:52. Then after the 8th round in which I clicked off a 1:39, I had to roll off the erg and lie on the ground for a few minutes. I really don't do anything more than 4 intervals of any distance. These high intervals kill me. But I'm sure I'll give it a few more attempts.

  8. Great work there Joe S!!
    Sounds like you have a decent battle plan for next time there....

  9. So good to hear everyone's stories about how they approached this, I guess I should share mine!

    It was like the old times as Ric and I prepared to row today. Neither of us had rowed since 11th July, and even then that wasn't together. I can't remember the last time we did a piece together, so it was a real blast from the past after all the running we've been doing. This week I ran 8km on Mon, 9.5km on Tues, rested Weds and ran a 'fast' 5km yesterday. I've never run seriously before, so this is all new to me!!

    We decided that we'd play it safe - 4x20- then 4x30+. My theory was that the 20s would tire us out, so the 30s would feel like a release, like we'd been let off the leash.

    That's exactly how it went! Ric struggled a bit, but finished them all. My legs felt like jelly at the end, but I'm glad that the running seems to be keeping my fitness up. I did 20,20,20,20,32,32,33,33 @ 44.5/44.4/44.0/44.0/39.0/38.2/39.3/38.8. It was solid all the way, and you can see how much I sped up once 'released'!! That faster pace reminded me of my racing 2ks, I know some struggle to go that fast, but I was even holding back a bit!!

    I'm definitely having another go, I might stick to Friday's on the erg now, it seems to work well :D

  10. Oh yeah, my hernia disappeared too! I think my body must have been missing the erg!

  11. Mark - Good news on the disappearing hernia! It was obviously a little C2 erg-friend that had been growing out of your body to remind you how much you miss the erg!! : }
    I like Ric / your rowing plan for this CTC session - I wish I had read it before embarking on mine this evening... Not so good....

  12. Phil-
    Sorry - I bumped you off the bottom of the leaderboard for ETT.

    After last month's CTC, no problem holding 20 spm for the first four intervals - but I really struggled trying to hold 30 spm for the last four. Next time, I will try the four 30 spm intervals first. I did standing starts for the first four, but started about 10 seconds early for the last four - seems like it makes sense to get the flywheel moving before the time starts. I improved my times in both the June and July CTC's after a couple tries to work out a strategy that worked for me, so I hope I can improve on this challenge as well.

    As far as these "overly complex" challenges, I like them. They help get me out of my comfort zone. My default workouts are 5k, 30 minutes, and (rarely) 10k. I had never tried any interval training until the June CTC - seems like I sweat and breathe twice as hard, so I assume it must be helping my overall fitness.

    On another note, I learned of Shox Box a couple months ago when I was reading a "rower of the day" profile on the C2 website. (You place your erg on two boxes - each with a platform floating on springs.) My back had started hurting after longer workouts, so I ordered a set. I've used them for a month now and haven't had any soreness.

    Mark K

  13. Cool some. Never heard of anybody who has used the floating platforms before but seen them at C2 / erging events. Sounds like a great piece of kit Mark K.
    Well, I have bumped you out of the bottom slot in the team!! So you and Phil are now not the last man standing anymore ; )

  14. Caroline, I am sure you will improve you score significantly next time. It won't be long until someone comes along to take your crown, but you are currently the second female! It is good to see the leader board dominated by orange and some great performances.

    I will have another tilt at this on Monday or Tuesday. I may try a different order for my reps, but to be honest I thought it was ok doing them alternatively starting with 20 spm. Interestingly my 'fast stroke' splits were about 6 seconds quicker than my slow ones, which ties in with Mark B's results (although he is much quicker than me of course!)

    Mark K, I fully agree with your comments about the challenges putting you out of your comfort zone. I tend to row fairly aimlessly sometimes and depending on how I feel just do 5k, 30 minutes or 10k. Sometimes these will be close to my maximum, sometimes I feel like I'm just dossing! I was disappointed when the challenge was changed from 6999m, but I think I've more chance of becoming a better rower doing these interval type challenges.

    Also, I agree that the previous challenge has made rowing at 20spm more natural - my slow reps went 20, 19, 19 and 18. I actually had difficulty getting up to 30 and ended up rowing what seemed like very short strokes (spm 31,32,31,31).

    Good luck with this challenge everybody!!

  15. Thanks for that Phil, I will definitely improve on my next session now I know what to expect.
    You have rowed a great CTC there and it is interesting how last months restricted 20spm has helped us all with this months CTC, although with the higher 30spm interval I was able to get a much better pace than on the 20spm.

  16. Thanks for the welcome.

    As it's my first full day as part of the team, I thought I would have a go at the CTC and show a bit of commitment. It's quite some time since I have done one, and an interesting one at that.

    I tend to lower rate stuff as find my fitness isn't really where it should be for the 30+ stroke rates, but this was a full out effort.

    Better than expected, with the plan being one of the fast SPM's to start with as it was a standing start and then leave the rest to the end, result:

    1. 500m, 1:39.4, 34spm
    2. 500m, 1:46.3, 20spm
    3. 500m, 1:47.7, 20spm
    4. 500m, 1:47.1, 20spm
    5. 500m, 1:46.6, 20spm
    6. 500m, 1:40.9, 32spm
    7. 500m, 1:42.6, 32spm
    8. 500m, 1:41.8, 31spm
    T. 4,000m, 13:52.4, 1:44.0

    So no time penalties.

    I look forward to rowing with you all in the future.


  17. What a great first day in the team Jonathan!
    Looks like a good session there with the bonus of no time penalties too : )