It is now midway through August, which in the rowing world is a divided period in training for many athletes. Some are focussed on the last block of their training in the lead up to the world championships, and others are taking a bit of time to gather themselves and kick back after the largest club competition in North America, the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta that took place at the beginning of the month.
I find myself doing neither this year. While some are entering their final phase of training for world champs and others are taking some time off, I have just started to gear up my training in preparation for the National Championships in November. I am very excited about this, for a few different reasons.
First, since the last two months have been a period fairly low volume of training for me with a major focus on technique, I am excited to see how the technical gains I have made will translate over to speed as the volume and intensity come up.
Second, I am excited to ramp up my training because I am taking a new approach that is much more focussed on monitoring my response to training in real time. It allows my body to dictate the heavy and low periods of volume, as well as the length of each training block. Consisting of a standardized training structure, or series of workouts, we can monitor how my body recovers and responds to training after each session.
This is something very new to me, and I am very excited to see how it progresses. It has made some aspects of everyday life more challenging, while simplifying others. The nature of the training is quite predictable, with many sessions repeated multiple times. Although this can be a bit tedious at times, it is also nice because I know what margins of improvement I am striving for each day, how to prepare for each workout, as well as how to recover from each session. I see it as a way to take out some of the “guess work”, involved in more traditionally periodized training.
Knowing which sessions will be tough, and which ones will be a bit easier allows me to mentally and physically prepare for those tough ones, and to really enjoy the more technical lower intensity ones. This has helped with my nutrition as well, since I have been able to prepare food efficiently for pre/post sessions, as well as to experiment with some new recipes (Cacao-oatmeal pancakes!) to mix things up a bit.
The next two and a half months of training will involve a lot of work and learning, but I am very positive and excited about what they will bring come Nationals, and I trust that they will put me in a good position to give the best performance that I can!
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