How useful is a training diary for rowing?

I got asked to help coach a young athlete to get a rowing scholarship to a USA university.  She is determined to learn to scull, continue with her high school rowing programme and add extra sessions to improve strength so she can hit the ergo target.

Image credit: Nathalieblogt.nl
Image credit: Nathalieblogt.nl

At our first meeting, we talked about how to train alone.  At 17 this is a big challenge – creating the determination to do the work necessary in order to meet a testing situation (erg selection) in the future as fully prepared as possible.

Self determined training

When I was 17 I prepared for university entrance and the situation was similar – I’d left school except for 4 lessons per week.  The rest of my time was revision and reading.

I made a personal pact with myself that if I could take the exams and say with 100% honesty that I’d worked as hard as I could and hadn’t slacked off any of the time, then I would accept the outcome of the exam, good or bad.

That was tough.

How to apply the same to rowing training

It’s best to have some form of accountability when training – someone to whom you ‘report’ your progress.

  1. A training partner (a parent or friend)
  2. A coach
  3. A written record of your training
  4. Your test results as you train through the year

We recommend keeping a Daily Rowing Training Diary (download from the link).

Then share it with your accountability partner on Monday each week.

Any other advice you can offer?

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