TOP ROWERS CAN ONLY HANDLE 2-3 WEEKS OF INTENSIFIED TRAINING
Steinacker, J. M., Lormes, W., Lehmann, M., & Altenburg, D. (1998). Training of rowers before world championships. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30, 1158-1163.
In rowing, various forms of exercise of approximately 70% of the body's muscle mass are involved for 5.5 to 8 minutes at an average power of 450 to 550 watts. In high load training phases before world championships, training volume reaches 190 minutes per day of which 55-65% is performed as rowing, the rest being nonspecific training such as stretching, gymnastics and power training. Rowing training is mainly performed as endurance training covering 120-150 kilometers per week. Rowing at higher intensities is performed 4-10% of the total time rowed.
In recent years, training volume for rowing has increased by approximately 20%. This has been achieved by increasing nonspecific and semi-specific training. The critical borderline to long-term overtraining seems to be 2 to 3 weeks of intensified prolonged training for about 3 hours per day. Sufficient regeneration is required to avoid overtraining.
Implication. At least in rowing, intensified training as a "priming" phase for championship competitions can only be accommodated for 2-3 weeks and even then, it must be accompanied by adequate recovery/regeneration. The ability of elite athletes to withstand extensive amounts of intensified training is limited to a relatively "short" time.
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