What I have found to be most effective for me so far is actually spending enough time on the erg each week. If I get put in 45-65,000 meters on the erg each week then I see consistent progress each week leading up to race day. Others may be different. The important thing is to track every detail of every workout, because we are not training just to train, we are training to race and to win. You have to be able to know if you are making progress or if you need to change up your training. When I've hit a rough plateau in my training I know I have to change my training or my nutrition. Sometimes it can just take a few workouts on the bike instead of the erg. Sometimes I need more carbs or more water before my workout. There are a lot of factors that influence effective training. Here are five of my favorite erg workouts that I always use:
1. 3 x 5k @ 22-26 spm, Negative splitting. (Ex: if the first piece is 2:14 avg split, the second is 2:13 avg split and the last is 2:12 avg split.)
2. 3or4 x 20' pyramid, 4' @ 20, 22, 24, 22, 20 spm
3. 2 x 30' with 4' rest. First 30' is 1' on 1' off, second 30' is at marathon pace plus 10sec
4. 15-20k steady state @ 18-22 spm at marathon pace plus 5-8sec
5. Hour of Power! 60' @ 20-22 spm (I'll do this each week and get closer and closer to marathon pace.)
The will to win is one thing. The will to prepare to win is another.