This month I thought I would write about how my training has been going recently compared to this time last year as well as how I am managing to keep up my training during the Leaving Certificate.
This time last year I had finished school at the end of May when I went to the European Junior Rowing Championships in the Czech Republic. When I returned home I had a month and a half before our national championships in mid July. This year I do not finish my exams until June 24th so my training program is a little different. I am unable to train twice everyday like I did last year but I am still managing to train eight times a week. I don’t believe people need to take time off from training when they have exams, they just need to manage their time better. Unfortunately that means a little less sleep and relaxation time and more studying before and after training. I have found it quite difficult to stay awake the last few weeks so without resorting to coffee I have simply started to drink more chocolate milk and energise drinks for extra sugar. I find this helps me stay awake when I am studying.
The floods this year posed a big problem for my training. I was unable to row for a period of ten weeks which meant I was on the rowing machine and wattbike in Athlone RSC a lot more this year instead of out on the water. The hard training I did over the winter this year really paid off. I pulled a personal best of my ‘2k’ ergo test, however when I returned to the water I found I couldn’t generate the speed on the water that I had built up over the winter. In the last few weeks after facing some disappointing results and hard training sessions on the water, my coach and I realised the rigging (set up) on my boat was all wrong. Once I rectified this the change in my boat speed has been enormous.
The speed of my boat on the water has increased dramatically in the last few weeks and I finally feel as fast if not faster than I was last year. The benefits of a hard winters training are now beginning to show. I am just a little worried the poor rowing sessions I did for a couple of months may have affected me too much to recover from. Either way I have learnt this lesson the hard way and I feel I am a now a more confident and better athlete because of it.
The mark of a top athlete is how they react to set backs. The day after I finish my Leaving Cert I have the final trial to see if I can represent Ireland at the Home International Regatta in Scotland at senior level. There are three spots available and I plan to give my all to secure a spot on this year’s team.
I will race at the Irish national championships in July with another club in a few different boat classes along with my single. I am looking forward to finishing my exams and getting back to focussing 100% on my rowing.
This is my first blog for the Athlone RSC Ambassador webpage and I thought that this month I would tell you a little about my training and nutrition.
For rowing I have ten training sessions per week – seven fitness sessions and three weights sessions. With rowing being an endurance sport, my main source of food is carbohydrates. My diet consists of 60% carbohydrates, 20% protein, 20% fats and I consume between 5-6000 calories each day.
Each rowing session lasts for 1.5 – 2.5 hours and I can burn up to 2000 calories in a single session. Since my body is constantly training and burning calories I must follow a strict diet to make sure I get enough fuel throughout the today. That way I can manage training and have enough energy to study as well.
I try to eat five or six meals a day with the earlier meals in the day consisting of more carbohydrates than protein and later meals switching to a higher protein and lower carb mix.
Meal 1 – Multivitamin, 120g of porridge oats, 1 scoop of whey protein, 1 banana, a handful of spinach and 700ml of water blended
Meal 2 – 4 slices of whole meal bread, 2 slices of ham, turkey, cheese and mayonnaise
Meal 3 – 200g of brown pasta with ketchup
Meal 4 – Brown rice (2servings), tub of beans and a tin of Tuna
Post training – High GI recovery shake
Meal 5 – Dinner, fish/chicken/meat with potatoes, carrots and broccoli
Meal 6 – 3 eggs and a bowl of crunchy nut
Snacks – Fruit, toffee pops, pizza, nutrigrains and rice cakes.
It is difficult to eat all of this food. However if I don’t, I find I am fatigued and do not perform at my best.
So that’s it for now, looking forward to posting again next month.