Training well improves your performance.
The more you train the better you will be!
But at some point your lifestyle gets in the way and you struggle to get enough recovery. It is usually how well you recover that limits your ability to do more training.
So how do you know if it’s ok to keep training, not train or even just adapt your programme?
Especially as all you want to do is complete what is on the programme!!
Because rowing training is pretty relentless it breeds a mentality of ‘just toughen up’. Of Course you need to be tough if you want to be successful in rowing, but you also need to have the toughness/confidence to do the right thing.
Sometimes having a few numbers to refer to helps you make those judgements. This is a good reason to do some morning monitoring.
Select a few standard tests that you do each day. You must also do them in exactly the same way and at the same time each day. No test is perfect, but doing them regularly does give you some consistency and a reasonable reference point.
Here is an example of an athlete who was in training last year. I have plotted all their morning monitoring from the middle of March until the end of May. You can see some quite obvious variations over time, it also becomes powerful when you take the time to look at both graphs. An interesting part of the graph is 11th-24th May.
During this period you can see that from the 14th to the 15th the athlete lost 1kg of body mass overnight (1.3% drop in body weight). You can also notice that on the 13th (the day before), their standing heart rate was elevated by 8bpm (10%) and waking heart rate was elevated by 4bpm (5.5%). Plus on those 3 days the athlete’s sleep was disrupted.
If the athlete had taken notice that their heart rate was so elevated, and had they not trained that day, perhaps they would not have lost that weight and would have had better sleep. PLus would have trained better.
The change in heart rate was an early indication that their body was struggling to recover from the training.
So why did they struggle? Was it a particular training session they had done? Were they very busy at work? Did they not manage to eat/drink enough?
It would be good to look back and see, maybe next time they would know that if they have a had a busy day at work, and the next morning their heart rate is elevated; maybe they should change their training for a day or two to cope better.
Remembering to record your morning stats takes a bit of time to get used to, but once you do it is a powerful tool to keep an eye on how you are coping with the training and how well you are looking after yourself.
The parameters that the rower used were:
Hours of Sleep – number of hours of sleep the previous night
Quality of Sleep – how well the athlete slept during those hours (out of 100%)
Perceived Shape – how well you feel today (out of 100%)
Waking Heart Rate – your heart rate, measured in lying down in bed before you get up
Standing Heart Rate – after standing up out of bed, stand still and then after 1 minute take you heart rate
Body Mass – measure on the same scales what your body mass is ideally before going to the loo and before you eat or drink anything.