|1996 Olympics, Derek Porter, Xeno Muller, Thomas Lange, Olympic record 6:44.85|
In order to achieve maximum results from training, the mind and body need to be in harmony. From personal experience as an Olympic gold/silver medalist and coach I have noticed that athletes too often forget to look for the connection between the two. Such disconnect can be caused from guilt and competitive paranoya of the "what if I don't train..." Athletes are guilty of this as much as coaches. Coaches who don't understand the importance of limiting hard workouts and neglecting to observe the rowers demeanor during and outside of the workouts, fall into a situation in which more injuries appear and morale of the crew becomes gloomy. Slowing down is not in the nature of motivated people it must therefore learned and accepted in order to improve fitness.
Believing that achieving new personal bests is mainly caused when the mind gets stronger... another problem.
I have heard it many times from club and university rowers. As training "progresses" coaches chose to test their crew members to confirm that their training plan delivers better 2K, 6K, and more boat speed. Some of these coaches also tend to favor harder workouts instead of aerobic training sessions. When too few personal bests are recorded the coaches' answer are more high intensity training with team meetings denouncing that the crews are not pushing hard enough and that it is a matter of getting mentally tougher to sustain more pain. For rowers with less coaching interference a similar situation exists. All-out-effort-self-testing becomes a form of security blanket. Unfortunately the blanket is sometimes used in moments of doubt, for example when coming out of sickness such as the flu. In such cases the test which ought to show improvement ends up informing the rower of how much the illness impacted their fitness. More often than not, the result of the test is less than satisfactory and leads the rower down a path of self-doubt mixed with impatience that lead to harder workouts, because of the idea lost time from being ill needs to be made up.
"No pain, no gain, no Spain." Learn from other endurance disciplines, look outside the box.
This was a headline in Sport Illustrated back in 1992 as the world was preparing for the Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. Rowing is known to be one of the toughest sports and therefore it is easy to imagine that training has to be filled with intensity and pain. Many rowers and coaches believe that rowing success comes from going through hell on water and land. This concept of training is so wrong, it makes me cringe. My coaches' adopted training methods from different disciplines such as cross country skiing, flat water kayak, cycling, and Olympic weight lifting. Learning from mistakes and successes of other successful.
|Training on Lake Sarnen, Switzerland|
Now go and puke your gut out at CRASH-B and its satellite regattas.
Xeno, Olympic gold and silver medalist, Olympic record holder. Row2go, XenoRowingCoach, Digital Workouts.