Q - Power

Indoor Rowing Team

How We Train

Q-Power athletes have to balance training with their professional and family commitments, together with everything else that life has to throw at them. However team members have set themselves challenging (although realistic) targets. Although in their first year training will typically fit into 6 sessions each week of up to 120 minutes at a time, as athletes progress the prescribed training volume increases substantially. Distances of 8 million meters in a training year become common in more developed athletes, together with an annually periodised weight training program to develop hypertrophy, strength, power and power endurance.

Training is planned over a long time frame (several years) with regard to the goals of the athlete and the improvements that need to be made to his or her personal physiology. Thereafter annual goals are determined and an annual periodized training schedule written, typically distributed in 4 week blocks. 

Great care is taken to balance the greatest possible training load against the fundamental need for rest and recovery so as to permit time for adaptation. We monitor heart rate variability (HRV) in each training session and athletes perform a separate HRV test every morning allowing them to keep a close eye themselves on how their bodies are coping with the load. The purpose of training is not to get tired for the sake of it, but rather to stimulate change. If the body is not given the time it needs to mend and improve, the training is of itself pointless.

Although fatigue levels can be anticipated to some extent by the training load itself, there is too much day to day variation in the stresses of life for this to provide a sufficiently accurate picture. Accordingly the HRV data is used to make subtle adjustments to the schedule on a day to day, week to week basis as needed.

Heart rate data from every training session is emailed to Q weekly (although athletes are tought how to look for problem signs themselves). The data includes the gap between every heart beat in the session (recorded to the nearest 1/1000th of a second) which allows HRV analysis to be done by computer in a few seconds. This, together with a healthy dose of judgement and experience, permits ad hoc adjustments to the schedule to be made to allow the athlete to train as hard as his or her body can manage, but not so hard it becomes detrimental.

Physiological development is only a part of the work that the team undertakes. As much effort goes into mental preparation to ensure that athletes arrive on the start line in the right frame of mind to get the very best from themselves - that takes as much practice as the physical side. The team works daily as a close knit community with most team members communicating daily with the rest of the team through our private forum. The end result is that athletes can use the team as a source of energy and support to draw on, whether in training or with 800m to go in a 2k race.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the team environment has given rise to some close friendships founded on mutual respect and common goals. 
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