So far in this series of articles I’ve discussed how best to design your training programme to build endurance and strength for rowing. This article will take a different angle and focus on the use of training camps within an elite training programme and what you should consider when planning both the camps you undertake and the training programme you do when you’re there.
Home or away?
Training camps have long been a mainstay of most elite programmes. Being able to get away from life’s distractions, row long distances, eat good food that’s cooked for you and never being further than 10 minutes from your bed are seen as more than enough reason to have them in your planning.
However, they are a significant expense and travelling to locations in Europe post-Brexit has added further financial costs as well as a paperwork burden.
If finance is a limiting factor, you can still use the concept at home, either elsewhere in the UK (Oxford Brookes University have famously used Wimbleball lake for many years), or by creating a training camp atmosphere at your usual training base.
The main physiological purpose of a training camp is to overload the athletes to achieve super-compensation and this is made far easier if motivation is higher (hence nice European venues!), but if you are limited to staying at home then encourage athletes who live further away to move in with those who are nearer by; take it in turns to make big vats of food for everyone; organize activities in the afternoons such as film nights or a meal out; and plan different sessions than you normally would such as education (nutrition, race plans etc) or fartlek/interval or racing starts sessions.(more…)
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