Q - Power

Indoor Rowing Team

News (2013)

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Below: Paul racing at the 2013 Irish Championships in the M30-39 event.

Above: the boys in action in Bristol 
(M30-39); 1st 2nd and 3rd

Below: job done

Below: so perhaps we should have practiced the changeovers (Bristol)

Below: Gas exchange testing in May 2013

Above: Q-Power in Boston

Below: Post-race data analysis in Boston after racing at the World Championships

7th December 2013

Q-Power sent 7 athletes to the 2013 British Indoor Rowing Championships in Cardiff to compete in what is another stepping stone towards the 2014 World Championships. Having partially peaked some 7 weeks earlier at the season opener in Bristol, the team went into the event mid training cycle. The team entered 7 athletes in 8 events and in predictably tough conditions and brought home 8 medals - 4 gold and 4 silver. We also secured the Champion of Champions trophy, with Paul Buchanan adding his name to those who have won it before him, including Lisa Schlenker, Sir Matthew Pinsent and Graham Benton.

First up was Paul who surprised some with a late entry into the Men's Heavyweight Open event. Rowing in the back ranks away from the top seeds he dominated the race leading from the off holding a steady pace throughout. Resisting any pressure from the opposition, he finished over 12 seconds ahead of 2nd place and took the gold, opening up the team's medal haul.

Next up was Jen who opened the women’s account with a tactical performance. Using her experience she tracked the leader through the first half of the race before squeezing out in front and putting the pressure on in the final 500m. The pressure was too much for the opposition as she finished comfortably and took the gold in the Women’s Heavyweight 35-39.

Paul then stepped back up less than hour after his first race and set in for another row in the Men’s Heavyweight 35-39. Led out by a number of athletes he settled into a rhythm and looked to pick off the numbers one by one. A storming finish was not enough to catch the leader but on tired legs he still blew the chasers away as he secured the silver.

Staying with the heavyweight men, Ollie then entered the arena in the M30-34 event. A ferocious battle endured as he sat behind the leader all the way. Waiting to strike he launched an aggressive assault in the last 400m but it was not enough to catch the leader but took a respectable silver.

Back with the women, this time the lightweights, and first up was Clare. In only her second race she led by a huge margin and crossed the line less than 1.5 second off the British record and taking gold. Plenty more to come from this athlete having only joined Q-Power 6 weeks ago. At the same time, Jo was racing in the Women’s Lightweight 45-49. A conservative start eying up the opposition she sat on the leader before turning it on proving too strong and cruised through to take the gold and the title.

James Howard was next up in the LM50-54. Led out from the start,  James rowed a steady race staying ahead of the chasing pack whilst sitting off the leader. The charge intensified in the closing stages as the leader slowed but the line arrived sooner and James took a deserved silver and earned a permanent place on the Q-Power team, having been trialing in recent weeks.

The final race was a late entry from Eddie who, having endured a difficult few months, looked to see what he was capable of in the M50-54 event. A tit-for-tat battle took place with the leader before opening up in what was a frantic final 500m. Missing the win by 0.4 seconds he took silver in a race that could have gone either way.

Entering the festive period, the team are now deep in training as the volume and intensity of training once again lifts. Next stop is Boston in less than 10 weeks for the 2014 World Championships where the team looks to claim yet more silverware. Times and positions available here.

7th - 23rd November 2013
The last few weeks have produced some solid results as we move into the the last quarter of the 2013/14 season. 

Ollie raced on 7th November 2013 at the Royal Navy Championships. After a very good showing in Bristol, it transpired that there was more to come. Ollie won gold in Portsmouth with the fastest time of the day and a new PB of 6:07.6. Some 21 seconds clear of second place, it was a confident performance. 

Standard training continued thereafter with a plethora of personal bests in training time trials and interval sessions. Q-Power's newest member, Clare, has been finding her feet and adjusting to having computer technology assisting her. A new British Record of 7,880m over 30 minutes and a 7:14.0 2k time trial indicated a favourable response to the new regime and bodes well for the future. 

However the latest medal haul has been provided by Paul after a successful trip to the Irish Championships on 23rd November 2013. After various interruptions to training this season which had made Bristol a less than straightforward affair, service was resumed with a gold, a new PB of 6:06.0 in the M30-39 event, setting a new Championship Record and pulling the fastest time of the day (a point not lost on the Irish "on the water" community - see here). 

After a quick rest and a refuel, it was time for the 500m sprint competition. Paul was racing in the Open and given the focus on training for 2,000m racing, it was uncertain how much of a dent would have been put into his 500m capabilities. Not much, it appeared, with another gold in 1:19.6, some 2.3 seconds faster than Bristol.

Some members of the team will be racing partially peaked at the British Championships although the main goal of the season remains the World Championships in February 2014.

25th October 2013

Jen kept Q-Power's national record scoreboard ticking over today by reclaiming her 30 minute record (W30-39) with a distance of 7,876m (1:54.2).

19th October 2013

The whole of the UK based part of the team competed at the Bristol Indoor Rowing Challenge and produced a slew of very solid performances. Paul won the Open in a time of 6:11.4 which was quickly followed by a shutout in the M30-39 event (1st - Ollie 6:09.4 and a new PB; 2nd - Dave 6:16.9; 3rd - Paul 6:22.0). Eddie then stepped up in the M50-59 winning with a very well paced 6:17.5 and giving the team the 1st, 2nd, 3rd 4th and 5th fastest times of the day in the 2k individual racing.

As always at Q-Power, the girls were not going to be outdone and produced rows which amounted to a significant step forward for both of them. Jen won silver in a time of 7:08.9, her first time below 7:10 and a PB by 5.0 seconds. Jo then raced in the LW40-49, breaking her PB by 4.0 seconds in a time of 7:42.9, winning the gold and also beating all the heavyweight competitors in the same age group.

The serious work over, it was time for some fun and games in the 4 man 2k relay. There was certainly no shortage of power as the team got off the line with a 1:05 split, but the changeovers had observers scratching their heads and a team manager tearing his hair out. The team came home first in a time of 5:17.6 and in good spirits. 

The afternoon saw Paul and Dave race over 1000m and 500m to complete their entry in the Triple Challenge (2k, 1k, 500m), picking up gold and silver respectively. After two 2ks, the relay and a 1k, Paul's 500m time of 1:21.9 was a solid performance on tired legs and Dave's 2:59.2 1k (a PB) was a very smooth affair and a sneak preview of things to come. 

Full breakdowns of the split times and stroke data are available.

6th October 2013

Very many congratulations to Shirley who has had a storming weekend at the South Islands Masters Games in New Zealand. Undeterred by the lack of entrants in her events, Shirley once again targeted national records and was once again successful.

First up was the 2k. A smooth 1:58 cruise revealed the effects of 6 months of training, notwithstanding a few injuries this season. A slight lift at 500m and again at 200m saw a new national record of 7:50.0 (1:57.5). This broke Shirley’s PB of 7:51.5, but this was set some three years ago. In this age group, a really impressive victory over nature’s effects of age.

Unfortunately there was little time to recover, and the 1,000m came next. With the 2k in her legs it was tough going, but a time of 3:51.7 (1:55.8) saw the second national record of the day.It seemed a shame not to go for a hat trick and so the 500m became the next target. A slow start was less than ideal, but Shirley’s power got her through and with it her third national record in the space of a few hours – 1:52.0.

A fantastic performance and testament to the fact that (subject to a few subtle alterations in the training program), improvement can always be found.

3rd September 2013

After 6 months of long-term development work, the team is now starting to turn its attention to racing in 7 weeks time in Bristol. The last training cycle saw some good 2k time trials, with Jo and Jen setting new PBs of 7:46.9 and 7:13.9 respectively. Jo's time was 18.8 seconds faster than Boston earlier this year.

Not satisfied with last week's world record, Paul too is transitioning in preparation for Bristol. Monday saw him set a pair of new Irish national records over 30 minutes in the Open and M30-39 categories with a distance of 8,941m (1:40.7). Then yesterday came a new PB in the 6x1:00[1:00] training session with an average split of 1:26.3.

Dave Sheehan has joined the team and everyone is working hard, not only towards their individual 2k races but also for the team 2k event in Bristol which should be entertaining if nothing else.

24th August 2013

Very many congratulations to Paul who today set Q-Power's first world record (albeit that other team members already hold some). Still keen to pursue an ultra-distance record after Row24 last summer, Paul targeted the M30-39 100km event in which Glen Goodman's time of 6:22:56.0 has stood as the benchmark for over 15 years, having been set on 1st February 1998. A full report of Paul's row is set out here.

6th July 2013

The pre-season mid-distance ding-dong between Ollie and Paul continued yesterday with a response by Ollie to Paul's recent 30 minute Irish record on 12th June (8,870m). Ollie's previous PB was 8,826m but today he produced a perfectly executed time trial, smashing his own best and just nudging Paul with a distance of 8,889m. With a split differential between them of 0.11s/500m, the battle looks set to continue.

1st July 2013

Apparently setting records is contagious. Since joining the team about 9 weeks ago, Jen has been training steadily and putting in the long base building rows. With regular improvements to her 30 minute time trial performance, it was in many respects simply a matter of time. Today she set a new British Record over 30 minutes (Open and W30-39) with a distance of 7,845m (1:54.7). Given the rate of improvement and the focus on low intensity training at this time of year, it seems likely that there is a lot more to come.  

30th June 2013

Another week and another three national records (well, technically four). On 24th June Jo added another decent chunk onto her British Record over the hour (LW40-49) with a new distance of 14,219 (2:06.6).

Two days later and it was Paul's turn to sharpen up his 5k Irish Record which, after his recent performances, was looking vulnerable. He smashed the previous time of 16:47.5 (1:40.8) by 23.6 seconds with a new time of 16:23.9 (1:38.4).

Then today Paul participated in a charity event arising out of the tragic bombing of the Boston Marathon. The row was itself a marathon (42,195m) and Paul had his sights firmly set not just on beating his own M30-39 and Open Irish National Records, but to row a sub 1:50 split for the piece. Despite testing conditions (23C; 70%RH) he broke his own records by 3 minutes 20 seconds setting a new record time of 2:34:34.9. We asked Paul for his own account of the row: "I rowed - it hurt - I kept rowing - it hurt more - I kept rowing - I broke a national record - sorry, two national records ;) ". Perhaps a career in journalism would have been the right choice after all.... 

19th June 2013

...and again. Setting his third national record in a week, today Paul set a new Irish Record over 10,000m in a time of 34:12.8. Once again this is not only an age group record, bettering that already held by Paul (M30-39), but it also takes the Open record over the distance.

16th June 2013

Well, following on from our news item on 12th June, it seems we were right. Today Paul set a new Irish Record for the hour with a distance of 17,137m. Not only does this better the age group record already held by Paul (M30-39) but it also takes the Open record.

12th June 2013

The amicable tit-for-tat between Ollie and Paul continued today with Paul setting yet another new Irish Record over 30 minutes, putting a further 60m onto his score from a couple of days ago. The new record now stands at 8,870m (1:41.5) and he has edged a slight lead over Ollie. With 30 minute pieces being done from time to time as part of training, we almost certainly have not seen the end of this.

10th June 2013

It has been a busy couple of weeks at Q-Power with quite a bit of news to report.

We have just completed our latest set of gas exchange testing which gives us some useful information about how athletes are performing at sub-maximal intensities as well as when they are operating flat out. By measuring changes in carbon dioxide output against oxygen update as intensity progressively increases, we can draw conclusions about lactate production at the sorts of intensity that most of our training is done at. We use the very capable and professional services of Mark Clarke at TrainSmart who provides us with the equipment we need and assists us with the testing. You can read his thoughts on the day here.

At the end of the last training cycle we had off-season 2k testing. These are never particularly pleasant being rowed almost exclusively off the athletes' aerobic bases with relatively little top end work which is so important in 2k racing. However great progress has been made aerobically with many athletes being comfortingly close to PB form even at this time of year.

Jo has managed to break her own British Record over 1 hour in the LW40-49 event (this time by 3m having taken the record initially by 1m). We remain grateful to the ever-patient Jake at Concept2 who is tasked with managing the record books.

The last few days have seen some hard 30 minute rows being done as part of ordinary training. Congratulations to Jen who has broken her PB twice in the last month. In the big boys category, Ollie and Paul have been exchanging early blows in putting down markers for next season's Challenge Series. Ollie had traditionally been stronger in the mid-distance work and rowed a 30 minute PB of 8,826m (1:42.0). However Paul, now some 6kg lighter than he was a couple of months ago, countered this morning with a score of 8,810m (1:42.1), breaking his own Irish Record by a colossal 124m. Each believes there is more in the tank. It should be interesting. 

1st June 2013
The 2012/2013 C2 Challenge Series league came to an end this month after 9 months of time trialing over various distances. Whilst not all distances were attacked whilst holding a race peak and were rowed in the misleadingly named "off-season", Ollie Osborne took gold in the Men’s Heavyweight 30-39 category.

Leading from round 1 (which started back in September 2012) Ollie dominated the league, never disturbed  from top spot. Winning 5 out of the 9 rounds, Ollie set a few PB’s along the way, including a 6:11.0 2km, a 16:25.2 5km and a 1:20.6 500m. Ollie also took gold in the Royal Navy/Royal Marines league for the second time in three years.

The 2013/2014 league starts again in September with the competition likely to be tough once more, this time with the return of team mate and 2011/2012 Champion Paul Buchanan. The battle between the two of them should be promising.

29th May 2013

Special congratulations today go to Jo Allsebrook. Jo approached Q-Power in Boston at the World Championships in February 2013 looking for a training environment that would help her become all she could be. Since then progress has been fast and furious. In the last 14 weeks she has settled comfortably into the way we train, taken a remarkable 4 seconds/500m off her 30 minute time trial PB and today set her what we hope is the first of many British records - the LW40-49 1 hour record with a distance of 14,170m (2:07.0/500m). Jo is currently at the very end of her age group at 49.   

3rd May 2013

It has been another week of record breaking at Q-Power, albeit that it was unintentional. Buried in the heart of off-season training, records are rarely a target which makes it all the more rewarding when they are produced off tired legs in the middle of ordinary training. 

This week the honours go to Paul with a 30r20 PB on 1st May 2013 (improving from 8,562m to 8,585m). Two days later came a half marathon PB, taking 45 seconds off his time of 1:15:50 to set a new National Record with 1:15:05 (1:46.8).

27th April 2013

Congratulations to both Jo Allsebrook and Jen Howse who have joined Q-Power and are now training for the 2014 World Championships in Boston, USA.

3rd April 2013  &  30th March 2013

Off-season training is generally unremarkable and although it provides a vital foundation for next year's racing, it rarely serves to produce a great deal of news. That said, on occasion it can. Jordan has been training steadily over the last couple of months and on 30th March 2013 rowed an off-season 2k. Having set a PB for 4x750[3:00] earlier in the week at an average split of 1:29.5 (a quick sharpener for the 2k), he set a 2k PB in a time of 6:05.7, taking 6.7 seconds off his previous best set in mid-February 2013. This was followed by a score of 402m over 60 seconds on 3rd April 2013 (a 1:14.6 split).

27th February 2013

Today saw lab testing today for Ollie at the Institute of Naval Medicine in Gosport. About 4 hours from start to finish with a lot of measuring and poking around, together with two sets of gas exchange testing. We collected some intriguing data which we can take away and use to make some adjustments to the training program moving forward over the next year. You can watch the video of part of the testing here.

23rd February 2013

Congratulations to Carolyn who set a new American record in the first of her post-World's time trials. Breaking her own national record, she rowed the 6,000m course in a time of 20:06.7, Q-Power's 25th national record.

17th February 2013

Typically tough racing conditions at the Agannis Areana in Boston made the World Championships challenging, eventful but a ultimately a very worthwhile trip for Q-Power. 

Carolyn Gersh raced in the LW30-39 event against stiff international competition. A sensibly paced start did not see her take the lead until 1400m to go, her relentless pace opening a distance on most of the field. The Mexican J.Hernandez was pushed into 3rd, some 25m behind, but Amy Philips stayed with her, Carolyn maintained a 2m lead until 300m. However Amy's finished proved too strong and she moved through to take the gold, leaving Carolyn with her first world silver medal.

Ollie Osborne raced in the M30-39 in a race to remember. A careful start saw him in 8th after 200m tucked in behind Toby Ayer, with the enormous German Jens Raab leading. By 1400m to go Ollie had moved up into 6th, showing a mix of 1:33s and 1:34s. By 750m to go he had pushed up into 4th as others dropped off the pace, but a difficult finish ultimately left him in a creditable 5th. It transpired that the race had taken a considerable amount out of him and paramedics had to attend with oxygen to get him back on his feet.

Post race analysis provided some invaluable data, and both Ollie and Carolyn are going to the lab for testing in 10 days time. The next two weeks brings a series of post-season time trials in an effort to set some PBs off the back of the World's peak and then its back to the grind getting ready for next year.

9th/10th February 2013

With just a week to go before the World Championships, the two Q-Power athletes who are racing are putting the finish touches to their preparations. The work is largely completed and now its down to rest, recovery and staying sharp.

As part of that process Carolyn rowed a 1,000m piece on 9th February and smashed her own American record with a time of 3:36.9, increasing the standard by 1.4 seconds.

The following day was Ollie's turn and he did not disappoint, breaking his personal best of 2:54.4 by 0.7 seconds to record a time of 2:53.7 which was also a new Q-Power record.

Both athletes are showing all the signs of coming into form on schedule for the biggest race of the year in Boston on 17th February 2013.

27th January 2013

Congratulations to Ollie who won the Men's 30-39 event at the English Championships. The race formed part of Ollie's preparation for the Worlds in three weeks time and, although the conditions were challenging, he won gold in a personal best time of 6:11.0, taking 0.5 seconds off the time he set in a free-standing time trial two months ago. 

1st January 2013

Q-Power is pleased to welcome Jordan as a new member to the team. We wish him luck with his training.
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