With the end of the OTW racing season, it’s time to take stock and decide where to go from here.
First, a quick assessment of how this season went. Basically, it was a pretty up and down experience. I did much better this year avoiding injury, but I still struggled balance work, life and training. Here’s what that looks like from a training load perspective.
A few key markers. Went into July of 2017 in pretty good shape, then between travel and vacation, I lost fitness. I jumped back in and hurt my back and struggled through the rest of the season, recovering just a little bit by late October, when I had my disappointing HOCR outing.
In November I did fitness testing to get a baseline and started working with Marlene Royle. Over the next couple of months, things went well and I redid the 20′ and 75′ tests, gaining 15W on the 20′ test and 7W on the 75′ test.
After January 1st, I was plunged into a very heavy period at work and I struggled to train consistently. This pattern continued all the way to the beginning of OTW season and although I was hoping to do focus on some sprint training and do a 1k event in early July. But, my work kept me so busy that my training was still a mess. I was so frustrated with the lack of training time that I cancelled out of the races.
I was so strung out that I contemplated quitting. But I decided that rowing was something that was keeping me sane, and the competitive part of it was the most motivation thing for me. But what was the right way to deal with balancing it all out. I decided that I needed to set my goals on doing one head race. I was hoping it would be the HOCR, but I’d be OK with any head race. And I put together a short, simple training plan to work on middle distances.
Luckily, that also coincided with a period of a bit less travel at work, and I managed to get more consistency in my training volume. I posted these ideas on August 14th. And from there, things started clicking. I formalized the plan into a weekly schedule by the end of August. And from there, I did a pretty good job following the plan. The following table shows the number of sessions planned of each type and what I actually did. So over 8 weeks, I missed 2 short interval sessions, 1 long interval session, 1 steady state session (if you count cross training as steady state). I had 4 extra “rest” days, but in actuality, many of the rest days were actually travel days, which don’t have any training value nor do they have any recovery value.
The result was a steady improvement in fitness through September and October.
I was happy with my performance in the Snake Race, and then did a round of fitness tests. These tests showed that I was in better shape than last year by a fair margin.
Compared to a year ago.
- Peak power: +21W
- 1000m: +20W
- 20′ test: +15W
- 75′ test: +13W
So, a strong end to a pretty spotty season.
So, what’s next?
Step 1: Decide on goals.
Planned testing and races
- End of Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb: 20′ test
- End of March: Fitness Tests (Peak Power, 1K, 20′, 75′)
- Early June: Provincetown Coastal Regatta (8km, Head race)
- Mid October: Quinsigamond Snake Race (4km, Head Race)
- Late October: HOCR (5km, Head Race)
Additional Goal: My weight is up to 209lbs. I would like to weigh less than 195 when I get back on the water on April. I will start tracking weight.
Step 2: Rough Training blocks
- November – January: General Prep
- January – March: Optimize 10km erg performance
- April – June: OTW, develop plan for optimal 40′ perf
- July – October: Head Racing Prep
Step 3: Plan out each block
I’m only going to plan out block 1 right now. In this block I would like to reduce my erg volume and add in core and strength training. The rough outline is:
- Monday: rest
- Tuesday: Core, Strength, optional 30′ SS
- Wednesday: Alternate Long and short intervals by week
- Thursday: Core, Strength, optional 30′ SS
- Friday: Core, 60′ steady state
- Saturday: Hard Distance
- Sunday: 80’+ Steady State
Any of the steady state sessions can be replaced with cross training.
More details on the strength plan coming soon.