Adjusting my training

General discussion on Training. How to get better on your erg, how to use your erg to get better at another sport, or anything else about improving your abilities.
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EarthRower
1k Poster
Posts: 170
Joined: December 8th, 2022, 2:15 pm

Adjusting my training

Post by EarthRower » May 15th, 2024, 10:00 am

I put my first rowing session on my Erg log on 8/21/2022. I soon found the Pete plan and followed it faithfully until the end of 2023. I also added 3 sessions of TRX weight training per week in mid-2023. My rowing performance continued to improve until September 2023. My 2k, 5k, and 30min all reached the 79th—80th percentile despite being a relatively disadvantaged rower because of my height and weight.

My scores plateaued by September 2023, and I tried to train harder, but it didn't help. What's more, I always felt lethargic in the late morning and needed a mid-day nap to stay awake in the afternoon and be safe when driving home after work. I also got the most colds and flu in the family.

I only realized very recently that I was likely overtrained. I am now strictly rowing at a heart rate between 123-125 bpm for all my sessions (6 x 1h/week). My power output is very low at this point (~113W); however, I feel much more energized during the day since I started this low-heart-rate training a week ago. I will keep doing this for at least 6 months before I attempt any higher-intensity exercise. I am curious to see what will happen.
First Erg September 2022, 41M, 5'6'' (169 cm), 148lbs (67 kg)
First 2k (1/22/2023) 7:41.5
Second 2k (2/5/2023) 7:33.5
Third 2k (4/21/2023) 7:27.1
Forth 2k (7/10/2023) 7:18.5
30min (8/2023) 7538
5k (9/2023) 19:22

Sakly
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 2830
Joined: January 13th, 2022, 10:49 am

Re: Adjusting my training

Post by Sakly » May 15th, 2024, 10:35 am

Probably your adjustment is pointing to the wrong direction.
If you face kind of overtraining, you can surely say that recovery is not enough. If you did all 5 PP sessions and added 3 Trx trainings, it is a lot of volume. To deal with it, you need to focus on - really plan - your recovery. Sleep has to be on point, nutrition absolutely the same.
If this isn't working out, the solution for further improvement can't be to dial back in intensity, but stay on horrendous volume - stay on three Trx sessions and go for 6 60min low power sessions on the rower won't give you sufficient outcome training wise, but probably get you out of the overtraining-feel.

I would suggest to dial back on the Trx sessions, do only two of them.
I would suggest to dial back on rowing volume, do at least one session less than before. Go for one really hard session, short intervals, one mid hard middle distance intervals, 2 steadies up to an hour (assuming you did 5 sessions). You could combine one of the intervals with a Trx session to get another complete rest day.
Check your nutrition (how much you eat and also what you eat! Recovery is much depending on it). Get good sleep.

The solution should be to reduce overall volume, tweak intensity to a level you can recover from until next session. Not to maintain volume without any intensity.
Male - '80 - 82kg - 177cm - Start rowErg Jan 2022
1': 355m
4': 1217m
30'r20: 8068m
30': 8,283m
60': 16,222m
100m: 0:16.1
500m: 1:27.1
1k: 3:07.8
2k: 6:37.1
5k: 17:39.6
6k: 21:15.3
10k: 36:01.5
HM: 1:18:40.1
FM: 2:52:32.6
My log

hikeplusrow
2k Poster
Posts: 245
Joined: September 16th, 2023, 8:07 am
Location: Lincolnshire, UK

Re: Adjusting my training

Post by hikeplusrow » May 15th, 2024, 10:55 am

I was attracted to this post as my watts relative to HR are similar to your own. I'm also on the small side. When you mentioned lethargy, colds etc, I immediately thought fueling could be an issue, especially as all your work is currently low intensity - higher intensity stuff is difficult if you're not eating enough. Great advice from Sakly.

alex9026
2k Poster
Posts: 236
Joined: September 11th, 2022, 1:24 pm

Re: Adjusting my training

Post by alex9026 » May 15th, 2024, 11:16 am

Sakly wrote:
May 15th, 2024, 10:35 am
The solution should be to reduce overall volume, tweak intensity to a level you can recover from until next session. Not to maintain volume without any intensity.
This, the novelty of doing the same old low intensity steady state stuff for six months will soon wear off.
33 6'2 93kg
1min 362m 500m 1:26 2k 6:31 5k 17:52

Sakly
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 2830
Joined: January 13th, 2022, 10:49 am

Re: Adjusting my training

Post by Sakly » May 15th, 2024, 11:29 am

alex9026 wrote:
May 15th, 2024, 11:16 am
Sakly wrote:
May 15th, 2024, 10:35 am
The solution should be to reduce overall volume, tweak intensity to a level you can recover from until next session. Not to maintain volume without any intensity.
This, the novelty of doing the same old low intensity steady state stuff for six months will soon wear off.
Hm, not sure :lol:

Generally, nothing wrong with it. You can go low intensity for month or years and be fine. But as soon as you expect any useful performance improvements, you are on the wrong side of the spectrum...
Male - '80 - 82kg - 177cm - Start rowErg Jan 2022
1': 355m
4': 1217m
30'r20: 8068m
30': 8,283m
60': 16,222m
100m: 0:16.1
500m: 1:27.1
1k: 3:07.8
2k: 6:37.1
5k: 17:39.6
6k: 21:15.3
10k: 36:01.5
HM: 1:18:40.1
FM: 2:52:32.6
My log

EarthRower
1k Poster
Posts: 170
Joined: December 8th, 2022, 2:15 pm

Re: Adjusting my training

Post by EarthRower » May 15th, 2024, 12:52 pm

Sakly wrote:
May 15th, 2024, 10:35 am
Probably your adjustment is pointing to the wrong direction.
If you face kind of overtraining, you can surely say that recovery is not enough. If you did all 5 PP sessions and added 3 Trx trainings, it is a lot of volume. To deal with it, you need to focus on - really plan - your recovery. Sleep has to be on point, nutrition absolutely the same.
If this isn't working out, the solution for further improvement can't be to dial back in intensity, but stay on horrendous volume - stay on three Trx sessions and go for 6 60min low power sessions on the rower won't give you sufficient outcome training wise, but probably get you out of the overtraining-feel.

I would suggest to dial back on the Trx sessions, do only two of them.
I would suggest to dial back on rowing volume, do at least one session less than before. Go for one really hard session, short intervals, one mid hard middle distance intervals, 2 steadies up to an hour (assuming you did 5 sessions). You could combine one of the intervals with a Trx session to get another complete rest day.
Check your nutrition (how much you eat and also what you eat! Recovery is much depending on it). Get good sleep.

The solution should be to reduce overall volume, tweak intensity to a level you can recover from until next session. Not to maintain volume without any intensity.
Thanks! Indeed, my sleep was lousy, nutrition intake was not balanced, wand recovery was not optimal :oops: . At this point, I am not aiming to improve performance at all. The low heart rate training, as you might tell, is taken from the Maffetone training approach. I understand that this approach is good for running but not for rowing if the goal is to improve performance because rowing is a power endurance sport.

However, I am rethinking what I am really trying to get out of rowing. I had been interested in improving my ranking despite knowing that, because of my body size, there was no hope of being at the elite level. I think this mentality pushed me to an unhealthy pursuit.

I have followed this low-heart-rate regimen for a week and found that recovery is no longer an issue. I don't feel sleepy at all during the day. I will also stop TRX for 8 weeks to see what happens.

I expect my performance will suffer but I am telling myself "it's ok" :lol:
First Erg September 2022, 41M, 5'6'' (169 cm), 148lbs (67 kg)
First 2k (1/22/2023) 7:41.5
Second 2k (2/5/2023) 7:33.5
Third 2k (4/21/2023) 7:27.1
Forth 2k (7/10/2023) 7:18.5
30min (8/2023) 7538
5k (9/2023) 19:22

alex9026
2k Poster
Posts: 236
Joined: September 11th, 2022, 1:24 pm

Re: Adjusting my training

Post by alex9026 » May 15th, 2024, 1:55 pm

Sakly wrote:
May 15th, 2024, 11:29 am
Hm, not sure :lol:

Generally, nothing wrong with it. You can go low intensity for month or years and be fine. But as soon as you expect any useful performance improvements, you are on the wrong side of the spectrum...
Depends what the OP wants, I should've maybe got more clarification on that than being so dismissive of it, but honestly, six months of *just* steady state low intensity? I admire anyone who can stick with that!
EarthRower wrote:
May 15th, 2024, 12:52 pm
The low heart rate training, as you might tell, is taken from the Maffetone training approach. I understand that this approach is good for running but not for rowing if the goal is to improve performance because rowing is a power endurance sport.
I have never met a runner who has had success with the Maffetone approach, but that's not a discussion for a rowing forum :lol: sounds like your body needed a bit of a reset and you're going about it the right way, though I would allow some flexibility with your six month commitment to it if you feel inclined to.
33 6'2 93kg
1min 362m 500m 1:26 2k 6:31 5k 17:52

jamesg
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 4055
Joined: March 18th, 2006, 3:44 am
Location: Trentino Italy

Re: Adjusting my training

Post by jamesg » May 15th, 2024, 1:58 pm

I expect my performance will suffer
Not necessarily. All we need do is pull about 2000-2500 strokes a week, maintaining quality even at low rates. I use the C2 WODs, mostly at 20-22, which add up to about 100 minutes a week.

Production of power needs quality control, like any production, if we want results. Watts/kg and Watts/Rating tell all.
08-1940, 183cm, 83kg. Last seen MHR 140.
2024: stroke 6 W-min @ 20-21. No times yet, now using WODs.

Sakly
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 2830
Joined: January 13th, 2022, 10:49 am

Re: Adjusting my training

Post by Sakly » May 15th, 2024, 3:36 pm

EarthRower wrote:
May 15th, 2024, 12:52 pm
However, I am rethinking what I am really trying to get out of rowing. I had been interested in improving my ranking despite knowing that, because of my body size, there was no hope of being at the elite level. I think this mentality pushed me to an unhealthy pursuit.
I'm on the other side - heavyweight - but on the lower end around 80kg and not very tall as well. But I have to fight against 6 feet + 90-100kg guys in the rankings. And I do so. My ranked distances in my first full season from 2k upwards were all 95 percentile +, so body proportions are only half of the truth. You have to put in the work, to get out the results. If you lack strength, you need to train it. If you lack cardio, you need to train that. But you need to do it in the right manner, intensity and volume.
EarthRower wrote:
May 15th, 2024, 12:52 pm
I have followed this low-heart-rate regimen for a week and found that recovery is no longer an issue. I don't feel sleepy at all during the day. I will also stop TRX for 8 weeks to see what happens.

I expect my performance will suffer but I am telling myself "it's ok" :lol:
As long as you are aware of what will happen and you are fine with it, again - nothing wrong with it.
I only don't understand people, who expect great results within a short amount of time, but putting in the lowest amount of work possible.
Male - '80 - 82kg - 177cm - Start rowErg Jan 2022
1': 355m
4': 1217m
30'r20: 8068m
30': 8,283m
60': 16,222m
100m: 0:16.1
500m: 1:27.1
1k: 3:07.8
2k: 6:37.1
5k: 17:39.6
6k: 21:15.3
10k: 36:01.5
HM: 1:18:40.1
FM: 2:52:32.6
My log

Tsnor
10k Poster
Posts: 1130
Joined: November 18th, 2020, 1:21 pm

Re: Adjusting my training

Post by Tsnor » May 15th, 2024, 4:25 pm

EarthRower wrote:
May 15th, 2024, 10:00 am

My scores plateaued by September 2023, and I tried to train harder, but it didn't help. What's more, I always felt lethargic in the late morning and needed a mid-day nap to stay awake in the afternoon and be safe when driving home after work. I also got the most colds and flu in the family.

I only realized very recently that I was likely overtrained....
These are classic overreach/overtraining symptoms. Hopefully overreach not overtraining. See a doctor so you can rule out OTS or learn how bad things are. If actually overtraining then you are likely still doing too much.

Assuming overreach not overtraining: Short term getting past overreach is key. Note: I'm not a doctor. This is a medical condition. Lots of good advice on the web like this one from webmd: "Many athletes take this decline in performance as a reason to train harder. Continuing to work out while your body goes through OTS will only do more damage to your body and make your necessary recovery time longer. Letting your body properly recover from overtraining could take weeks or months of rest without training." https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/ ... ertraining Some of the refs have recovery from mild overreach in a few weeks. This may help: https://www.fasttalklabs.com/fast-talk/ ... d-burnout/ Cleveland clinic says "a general rule is a set of steps, including: (1) Stopping high-intensity training (sessions designed to push your limits or max out your performance). (2) Reducing your training intensity and how often you do it (usually anywhere from 50% to 70%). (3) Complete rest (stop training and competing). https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/d ... g-syndrome

Dropping to only long/slow is a very reasonable approach if you hit a minor non-functional overreach. So is complete rest. Pushing through is generally not a good idea. Maybe even reduce from the 6x 1 hour long slow your are doing down to 2x or 3x until you feel back to normal. Suggest you read/listen to web info and maybe see a sport doctor, then follow a plan to get back to where you should be, hopefully in weeks and not months. If you know/track your resting heart rate that is a good indicator, it'll be higher than normal right now and will come back down when you are recovered. HRV is supposed to help too if you track it, yours will be low right now and will bounce back up. Your Max heartrate is likely depressed right now too, if you know your max heartrate from when things were good then you can use max effort heartrate as a cross check when you think you are recovered.

Suggest you transition from your overreach recovery workload to a normal workload when the overreach symptoms go away rather than after 6 months. There is research showing a clear training advantage to having at least one hard day vs all long/slow, and research that shows that it takes a long time to catch up from an all long/slow workout training plan to have similar performance as people who mixed in a hard workout each week even after you add in the hard sessions.

Once recovered, Long term 2 x hard days, 4 x long/slow days and 1 x rest day is a very reasonable training direction, but there are many approaches that work including those posted above, and you need to pick one that works for you. Many of the workouts from posts above are targeted at the best workout once you are back from overreach. They are not typically what is used to recover from overreach.

jamesg
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 4055
Joined: March 18th, 2006, 3:44 am
Location: Trentino Italy

Re: Adjusting my training

Post by jamesg » May 16th, 2024, 1:52 am

I only don't understand people, who expect great results within a short amount of time, but putting in the lowest amount of work possible.
This approach appears in the Interactives, in the central part of (example) a 26-week 5-day level-3 2k race schedule, when the race stroke has been developed and is in constant use:

10 20'UT1 - 2x8'AT - 2x2'TR - 3x2'TR = 60' total
11 2x12'UT1 - 2x10'AT - 4x2'TR - 2x7'AT - 2x4'TR = 74'
12 3x12'UT1 - 3x7'AT - 5x2'TR - 2x9'AT - 3x3'TR = 94'
13 TEST - 2x9'AT - 2x2'TR - 2x8'AT - 3x2'TR = 57'
14 2x16'UT1 - 3x7'AT - 4x2'TR - 2x8'AT - 2x4'TR = 85'.

It's similar to the WODs which total about 100 minutes a week, enough to cause a need for one or two rest days if done fast. Time is limited, not Work; AT means rates 25-28.

I do the WODs at low rates (20-22) with a 6W stroke. Results are good enough.
08-1940, 183cm, 83kg. Last seen MHR 140.
2024: stroke 6 W-min @ 20-21. No times yet, now using WODs.

Sakly
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 2830
Joined: January 13th, 2022, 10:49 am

Re: Adjusting my training

Post by Sakly » May 16th, 2024, 2:23 am

jamesg wrote:
May 16th, 2024, 1:52 am
I only don't understand people, who expect great results within a short amount of time, but putting in the lowest amount of work possible.
This approach appears in the Interactives, in the central part of (example) a 26-week 5-day level-3 2k race schedule, when the race stroke has been developed and is in constant use:

10 20'UT1 - 2x8'AT - 2x2'TR - 3x2'TR = 60' total
11 2x12'UT1 - 2x10'AT - 4x2'TR - 2x7'AT - 2x4'TR = 74'
12 3x12'UT1 - 3x7'AT - 5x2'TR - 2x9'AT - 3x3'TR = 94'
13 TEST - 2x9'AT - 2x2'TR - 2x8'AT - 3x2'TR = 57'
14 2x16'UT1 - 3x7'AT - 4x2'TR - 2x8'AT - 2x4'TR = 85'.

It's similar to the WODs which total about 100 minutes a week, enough to cause a need for one or two rest days if done fast. Time is limited, not Work; AT means rates 25-28.

I do the WODs at low rates (20-22) with a 6W stroke. Results are good enough.
This is why I'm specifically using the word "work".
If you put in the proper work at appropriate intensities, even for short time, then you get the benefits, as you write.
Male - '80 - 82kg - 177cm - Start rowErg Jan 2022
1': 355m
4': 1217m
30'r20: 8068m
30': 8,283m
60': 16,222m
100m: 0:16.1
500m: 1:27.1
1k: 3:07.8
2k: 6:37.1
5k: 17:39.6
6k: 21:15.3
10k: 36:01.5
HM: 1:18:40.1
FM: 2:52:32.6
My log

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