Simple, solid 5k plan for semi-noob (feedback please)

General discussion on Training. How to get better on your erg, how to use your erg to get better at another sport, or anything else about improving your abilities.
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Cassius
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Simple, solid 5k plan for semi-noob (feedback please)

Post by Cassius » January 13th, 2022, 10:24 am

First time poster, long-time ERGer, but completely uncoached. 43, male, 178cm, ~70kg. 2k PB 7:16.

I've used the ERG for years, feel I grasp the basics, and have had some success with various online programmes like the Interactive Plan, but know I'm likely missing or misunderstanding a lot of nuance about what will work best. In the past I've felt I've put in a lot of work, made progress, but then got stuck. I've looked around and found lots of partial information, but rarely anything that explains how all the different variables (split, stroke rate, workout type/duration...) fit together to get the job done, why you should do each type of workout, what to prioritise, etc. Basically I don't know what I don't know.

I wanted a 5k training plan that's straightforward without being too cookie-cutter, and will be flexible when I need it to be, and ideally that I can do in 4-5 sessions per week. I've drawn heavily on the Pete Plan (it's somewhere between PP and BPP in terms of commitment). I'd value feedback on this approach, and particularly the numbers. My starting point is a recent 19:40 5k, 1:58 splits. Obviously I'll adjust split rates as fitness increases.

Workouts in any order but probably best long/interval/long/interval/long.

1. 30 minutes, s16-18, pace 2:05. Purpose = strength, technique.
2. 500m x 12 / 750 x 8 / 1k x 6 r1. Probably 1:55 or less. Don't worry about stroke rate. Speed/improve aerobic threshold.
3. 10k s24 or so, ~2:08. Recovery, aerobic fitness. Or just rest.
4. 1500 x 4 / 2k x 3 / 3k x 2 r4. ~1:57. Speed/improve aerobic threshold. Stroke rate not important.
5. 10k or 1h, s18-20, 2:08. Aerobic fitness/stamina.

Some questions I have:
Is the pace of each workout about right for the benchmark 5k @ 1:58 split?
Is the proportion of intervals to longer rows about right?
Why do I need short/fast intervals as well as longer ones?
Did I miss anything, and what improvements could I reasonably make without overcomplicating things?

Thanks in advance.
43, male, 178cm, ~70kg
2k: 7:16 (2019)

Dangerscouse
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Posts: 6628
Joined: April 27th, 2014, 11:11 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Simple, solid 5k plan for semi-noob (feedback please)

Post by Dangerscouse » January 13th, 2022, 1:15 pm

Cassius wrote:
January 13th, 2022, 10:24 am
First time poster, long-time ERGer, but completely uncoached. 43, male, 178cm, ~70kg. 2k PB 7:16.

I've used the ERG for years, feel I grasp the basics, and have had some success with various online programmes like the Interactive Plan, but know I'm likely missing or misunderstanding a lot of nuance about what will work best. In the past I've felt I've put in a lot of work, made progress, but then got stuck. I've looked around and found lots of partial information, but rarely anything that explains how all the different variables (split, stroke rate, workout type/duration...) fit together to get the job done, why you should do each type of workout, what to prioritise, etc. Basically I don't know what I don't know.

I wanted a 5k training plan that's straightforward without being too cookie-cutter, and will be flexible when I need it to be, and ideally that I can do in 4-5 sessions per week. I've drawn heavily on the Pete Plan (it's somewhere between PP and BPP in terms of commitment). I'd value feedback on this approach, and particularly the numbers. My starting point is a recent 19:40 5k, 1:58 splits. Obviously I'll adjust split rates as fitness increases.

Workouts in any order but probably best long/interval/long/interval/long.

1. 30 minutes, s16-18, pace 2:05. Purpose = strength, technique.
2. 500m x 12 / 750 x 8 / 1k x 6 r1. Probably 1:55 or less. Don't worry about stroke rate. Speed/improve aerobic threshold.
3. 10k s24 or so, ~2:08. Recovery, aerobic fitness. Or just rest.
4. 1500 x 4 / 2k x 3 / 3k x 2 r4. ~1:57. Speed/improve aerobic threshold. Stroke rate not important.
5. 10k or 1h, s18-20, 2:08. Aerobic fitness/stamina.

Some questions I have:
Is the pace of each workout about right for the benchmark 5k @ 1:58 split?
Is the proportion of intervals to longer rows about right?
Why do I need short/fast intervals as well as longer ones?
Did I miss anything, and what improvements could I reasonably make without overcomplicating things?

Thanks in advance.
Welcome to the forum.

Your recovery / aerobic pace is a bit too fast. I'd be aiming, as a general guide, to be going at 5k PB + 16/18. This should almost feel too slow, with you knowing that you can go faster but you're not going to as that's not the intention. This is how you (slowly) build your mitochondria and your fitness adapts without stealing your ability to recover.

Your anaerobic pace is probably about right, but you'll soon find out! I'd rest for longer than one minute too. The longer rest seems like cheating, but it gives you the chance to properly be ready for the next rep. I don't respond very well to longer rests, but 3 mins or 3:30 is common for most. 6 x 1k is a tough session on one min rest. Shorter intervals need to be done at a faster pace ie 500s should be at circa 5k - 9, as this will get you used to the intrinsic intensity and discomfort.

Your proportion of faster / slower sessions is good, but you need to assess based on your ability to recover and adjust if necessary.

Short / fast and longer sessions work on different systems in your body, so you need to build aerobic fitness and lactate tolerance. They also help to callous the mind too, as you accept the loading that you're asking for.

I think for now, this is fine and you just need to keep asking questions as you proceed. Good luck
48 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:19; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,488m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

Cassius
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Posts: 8
Joined: January 13th, 2022, 10:20 am

Re: Simple, solid 5k plan for semi-noob (feedback please)

Post by Cassius » January 13th, 2022, 1:54 pm

Thank you, that's helpful.

+16-18 for all longer workouts (~2:15), or is there a case for doing one faster? (One pacing suggestion I saw for the PP ended the week with an all-out 10k; others keep it all slower as you recommend.) And I'm assuming that keeping stroke rate down as far as possible is good.

I did the short interval workout today (500m r1) and yes, it felt too easy at 1:54 average. Pretty sure -9s (1:49) is going to hurt a LOT though. Longer intervals a couple of days ago, 1500x4 with 4 minute rests was about right at 1:57.
43, male, 178cm, ~70kg
2k: 7:16 (2019)

jamesg
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Posts: 3314
Joined: March 18th, 2006, 3:44 am
Location: Trentino Italy

Re: Simple, solid 5k plan for semi-noob (feedback please)

Post by jamesg » January 13th, 2022, 4:08 pm

5k is a distance that is used in Head of the River type races, on the way to 2ks in race season. Same type of work is seen in erg plans half way though an Interactive (AT).

Suggest you just do it, already having a good 2k as reference (you'll need to know the Watts and Rating). Use a rating 4-5 points lower than the 2k and see what happens.

In eights we held the 2k rating at 32-33, and 27-28 for the longer distances. 27-28 gives a comfortable rhythm, so keeps the crew happy. Ratings afloat today are much higher, but on the erg they still apply. You'll need to develop a stroke that's big enough to give you the result you want. For example a 9W stroke at 27 is 243W or 1:53 Pace, just under 19 minute 5k.

There's only one way to train a stroke, use it at all ratings and distances, the more the better. If you base your work on pace, HR or whatever, in any case you need to know just what you are doing in terms of power and work.
08-1940, 183cm, 84kg. Last seen MHR 158 in 2k = 220 - 77% of age.
2021-2: stroke 6 W-min. ½k 1:55.5; 1k 4:09.2; 2k 8:42.2; 5k 23:15; 30' 6247; 10k 49:36.

Dangerscouse
Marathon Poster
Posts: 6628
Joined: April 27th, 2014, 11:11 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Simple, solid 5k plan for semi-noob (feedback please)

Post by Dangerscouse » January 14th, 2022, 11:03 am

Cassius wrote:
January 13th, 2022, 1:54 pm
Thank you, that's helpful.

+16-18 for all longer workouts (~2:15), or is there a case for doing one faster? (One pacing suggestion I saw for the PP ended the week with an all-out 10k; others keep it all slower as you recommend.) And I'm assuming that keeping stroke rate down as far as possible is good.

I did the short interval workout today (500m r1) and yes, it felt too easy at 1:54 average. Pretty sure -9s (1:49) is going to hurt a LOT though. Longer intervals a couple of days ago, 1500x4 with 4 minute rests was about right at 1:57.
I like to do some occasional grey zone paces ie not too fast, but also not slow and probably around 85-90% HR. These aren't sustainable for the longer term, but they let you adjust to a harder pace without really draining you.

They also feed the ego, as it's faster than normal and you can do more of them / go for longer, so be careful they don't start creeping into your decisions too often. An all out assault is something you need to too, as it's important to keep stressing your body and mind, so it doesn't get too settled, but you could decide on the day if you feel up for something harder or not. A little bit of what you fancy every now and again does you no harm, and it can keep your interest / motivation alive too.
48 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:19; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,488m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

Cassius
Paddler
Posts: 8
Joined: January 13th, 2022, 10:20 am

Re: Simple, solid 5k plan for semi-noob (feedback please)

Post by Cassius » January 14th, 2022, 11:30 am

Thanks, that makes sense. Basically stick to the plan, be disciplined about the longer, slower sessions, but let yourself off the leash once in a while.
I plan to throw in the odd 5k time trial and have a go at e.g. a sub-40min 10k along the way, so that should work well.
43, male, 178cm, ~70kg
2k: 7:16 (2019)

Dangerscouse
Marathon Poster
Posts: 6628
Joined: April 27th, 2014, 11:11 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Simple, solid 5k plan for semi-noob (feedback please)

Post by Dangerscouse » January 14th, 2022, 3:22 pm

Cassius wrote:
January 14th, 2022, 11:30 am
Thanks, that makes sense. Basically stick to the plan, be disciplined about the longer, slower sessions, but let yourself off the leash once in a while.
I plan to throw in the odd 5k time trial and have a go at e.g. a sub-40min 10k along the way, so that should work well.
Exactly that, as some variety is really useful.
48 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:19; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,488m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

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