In we have given you the ability to select several training ranges to assign to your sessions. I would like to explain them here, giving you the opportunity to comment and let us know what you think.

It is important to realise that when one energy system can be trained, whilst another system can be recovering. This is especially true with the higher intensities. Ironically people tend to train with too much intensity. Making sure you get a good amount of low level extensive endurance training under your belt is hugely important. It helps with the efficiency of your rowing stroke and to row longer. It also gives you a chance to build your robustness, endurance capacity and lets your anaerobic and neurological systems recover.



We can break training zones down into several areas as seen above, and explained below.



This really is a day away from training. It is not the same as active recovery! It is not only a break from the physical training, it is also a mental break. Sometimes both athletes and coaches need to clear their minds.



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You can train and still be recovering. In blue we have created rehab and recovery. Recovery means it is very easy, but still active. Remembering this session does not have to be in the boat, it can be any method of training. For instance if your athlete is a good swimmer, then a nice 30 minute swim at the beach might do them wonders.

You may have an athlete who is a bit fragile and as such, may need rehab exercises to keep them in one piece. You can also prescribe this for them. Despite being colour coded the same to show that it is not full training, they are different sessions.

TIP – recovery from the stimulus of training makes you fit, not training alone.




Here you are focusing on enabling the athlete to produce as much power as possible whilst still using oxygen for that energy. The debate will always continue as to what is the right balance of extensive aerobic work (UT2) and intensive aerobic work (UT1). That is something we will leave you to decide, bearing in mind that all this work is aerobic and builds the foundation of any great physiology.

TIP – too much UT1 at the wrong time, can destroy a season.




This is where it starts to sting a bit. A fair amount of this training zone does still have an aerobic component to it, but the amount of lactic acid is beginning to build in your cells. Eventually you will stop, either once your brain or body has had enough. Anaerobic Threshold (AT) is training at a power output that means you are at or about the point which you start to accumulate lactic acid faster than you can metabolise it. If you push just  bit harder and keep going, you will blow up! Transport (TR) or Oxygen transport is the training zone that pushes your circulatory system the most. Here your heart and lungs are tested to see if they can deliver enough to keep your muscles going. Lactate tolerance (LT) is the equivalent to the old fashioned Fartlek. It is made up of short very high intense intervals (>100% GMT) with varying rest depending on what the aim of the session is.

TIP – rowing is the only sport where blood oxygen concentration decreases during maximal performance, how that impacts your training will be in a subsequent blog




This is a non-metabolic training session. The aim is to really apply lots of power for very short bursts (10-20 strokes) these can be MAX. With plenty of rest in between the bursts so as to avoid accumulating any lactic acid.




Both of these sessions are flat out efforts, combining all the components of your physiology. These are either training tests to monitor your development, just a race. After all that is why you are training.

TIP – the determining factor in rowing performance is not VO2Max, it is power at VO2Max


Strength and Conditioning


This training has within it, it’s own training ranges. Each is intended to focus on differing areas of strength development, from Learning to lift (Technical), to Hypertrophy (build muscle) to Maintenance (keep strength during racing phases). These are very specific. In order to get the best out of your strength training, we would advise to get some help. After all it is an Olympic sport in its own right, and probably the most technical.

Strength Endurance
Max Strength

 day 14 and day 32

We hope this has been interesting and useful. Good luck with your training programme!!