Q - Power

Indoor Rowing Team

James (3 of 4)

Thereafter James's aim was to gain as much useful weight as possible. He rowed at Henley Royal Regatta in the summer of 1995 but then took a break from rowing to concentrate on his degree (well, start his degree).

"By 2000 I found myself working in the legal industry in the City but quickly became conscious of the need to find some form of exercise to compliment (and to some extent negate) the stresses and strains of work. Water rowing was not a viable option given the last-minute nature of much of my professional commitments together with the additional time used mucking about waiting for crew mates and rigging boats. However one very obvious possibility presented itself in the form of the indoor rowing circuit."

Re-training started gradually having had a break for a few years, but with a particular focus on training for performance in circumstances where time was valuable and the capacity to recover and adapt from training was more limited than it had once been.  

"My interest in the efficiency and efficacy of training grew, leading me to try to get my hands on suitable reading material. I read as much as I could, a task made very much easier by the internet. Some of my friends at university had read biochemistry whilst I was sleeping in the law library recovering from training, so a few raids on cardboard boxes in their lofts gave me some useful texts, and Amazon covered the rest. My wife remains perplexed that I lie on the beach on holiday reading textbooks revising for a degree that I am not doing - I am not convinced my law tutors would see the irony."

By 2004/5 performance was coming back and attention started to turn to racing once again.

"I adopted a rather different strategy to my training by this stage. I was acutely conscious that volume had to be controlled and kept a close eye on my fatigue levels, although this was largely qualitative which struck me as being very inadequate. I kept an eye on my resting HR from day to day (it was about 34 at the time - it had been 31 in 1995, although the very low body fat had probably dragged it down a bit) and if it was a bit high in the morning I assumed that I was tired. I shudder looking back at the crudeness of it, but this was before heart rate variability (HRV) became generally accessible outside a medical environment."

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