By Jim on Wednesday, March 7, 2012
It's often spoken about, how to have the perfect race. So how do I get there and what do i think about in the years,months and days leading into the race.
The first thing that you have to do to beable to make you enjoy your paddling is have a goal. I know I go on about having a goal, but it is the most important thing to help you move forward. Often people are afraid of goals because they think they have to be Olympics,winning Molokai or being a champion in crossing the line first. This is just not true, your goal can be to come 7th in division 6 of a marathon series, 100th in a ocean ski race or compete in a kayak sprint race, it's doesn't matter as long as it's true and realistic.
So how do I get there, what do I do and how do I stay focused. This is possibly the hardest part of paddling, staying focused and not just turning up to training with no purpose. I see so many people just hop on the merry go round, turn up to training and train bad because they know they will be there again tomorrow. This is when you are in a bad rut, you need to train with a new group, find a group or refocus on what your goals are. I know training can feel like it's just another session just another day,boring and you feel no improvement, this is natural for a few days every 5-6mths. If you feel like it's more often then you are in the wrong enviroment. The way you train is just important,the effort that you put in is so important, the fact you are giving up family,work or rest time is just important. The type of training I believe is not so important as long as you believe it to be true, my own example I have been out of paddling for a decade, I have recently got back on the water with my sprint squad, we are doing sets for ssurf ski racing and 200m sprint events. So the paddling has been up beat,great an inspiring squad that has been working hard. The other day I raced a downwing with some mates who paddle very well, one is going for the Australian marathon team and has been winning some ocean ski events, over the 9km downwind I was able to be in front of him by a distance that reminded me of the one most important factor, If you believe in your training you can do anything,over any distance.
So that small story wasn't about me, it was about a paddler who turned up and had a go each time he went on the water, it was a paddler you who is time poor, it is a paddler who wants to be able to say at the end of each session that was worth while and I can't wait to go and better myself next time.
So some quick tips on how to stay on top mentally in training. Find your ability within the group, work out how far you are behind the top paddlers and look at markers when you do efforts on how far you are behind, better it each time. Have a battle with someone in the squad and keep a point score, this will help you finish the session off, this making you better for a longer period of time.
If you are going to go training then go to the local gym and look in the mirror.
If you choose paddling then go race practice every session,be better in an area of your race then you were last paddle.
Here are a few quick video of what paces I go at when I go for a paddle.
Train hard be rewared.