I’m looking for some guidance. My son is a junior in high school, and is getting hugely discouraged with erging. He has been extremely focused and has been dedicated each morning for three weeks… trying to get his erg score down. He started out super strong, however he’s having a harder time rowing the same time he did two weeks ago… just gets super winded. He’s in great shape and doesn’t know why he is struggling. We are a brand new start up club, with a very part-time coach (1 day per week)…and the other days it’s just a rower who is really wanting to build a rowing community. My son LOVES the sport and wants to excel, however I simply don’t have the funds to send him to the best camps or an established rowing club. He is pushing hard to keep a great GPA, and plays football (starting varsity)… however he prefers rowing (and I prefer him pursuing rowing). Any help is appreciated more than you know.
Hello and thanks for this question.
Without actually knowing your son and his training regime, it’s hard to make a firm recommendation. BUT I have some suggestions which you can research further.
Firstly – 3 weeks isn’t very much time to train much harder. BUT he’s a young man and is probably still growing and any athletic change in training takes time to bed down.
My question to you is this. Does he have a scheduled rest day every week? I.e. a day with NO TRAINING at all?
I think what you describe may be a symptom of insufficient recovery between training sessions.
Now please remember that any athletic training should be counted in your assessment of his workouts – include cycling to school, any other sports in the school day as well.
Secondly, is your son getting enough nutrition? Eating well for sport is not the same as eating healthily. Do you have a good understanding of the different food groups and what to feed a growing child who’s training hard? I would buy a copy of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook. From memory she has a chapter about feeding kids and it includes suggestions on snacks to eat between meals (on the school bus, mid-afternoon) to keep sugars and carbohydrates and glycogen stores full between exercise.
Thirdly, has your son been figuring out his own training on the extra ergo sessions or are these planned by your club coach? If the former, it’s possible he is not doing the right sort of workout to improve his ergo score.
Does your son keep a training diary? Here’s one we published which you can print and use.
It will enable a coach to appraise his workouts and find out if he is over-training, working out with a suppressed virus (being winded) or low in energy from the wrong foods.
If you can teach him how to take his resting pulse and record his hours of sleep, quality of sleep and whether he wakes naturally or with an alarm clock will tell you if he’s getting enough sleep for the training volume he’s undertaking.
I hope these guides will enable you to find out what’s not right and set your son back on the right path.
Please let us know how you go.
Any readers with other suggestions?