By Jim on Thursday, October 10, 2013
It wasn't so long ago at a Jimsquad session that I realized how much can go wrong when someone uses the word RACE. We had just done 56 minutes worth of effort, it was at the peak of the summer season and there was a group of about 6 top paddlers, we had pushed ourselves throughout the whole session. It was one of those session where known got to far ahead of anyone in the top pack.
Then all of a sudden the words changed, we had done our efforts, we were now finishing the session with 2 x 3minutes of racing. I decided that I would change nothing from what we had done in the efforts technically but I would of course add more power and stay strong. As the count down came and the effort/race approached I watched how people had started to change, they were no longer chatting, heads down, checking their paddles and overall just not relaxing. Go I called, off the mob went for 3 minutes. I stayed true throughout the whole thing, composure, technique and listening to what my body could handle and what my training had taught me. The other 5 took off like it was a 100m dash, technique out the window, rating up like helicopters and unable to make it to the end of the 3 minutes, yet for 56 minutes before they were paddling faster by a long way every 3 minutes for the whole 56 minutes. I ended up 6 boat lengths in front.
What this taught me was the word race is what makes people change, they think I must do something different to make me go faster.
I ask why?
If you train say 100 times a year and race 5-10 times, is it not what works in training going to be the key to making you race better. If in training you make change to your paddling and you start to go faster shouldn't you stick with that. If you train for 200 or more hours isn't that what your body's movement is going to remember, foreign movement is what builds the most lactate acid. So if you can reduce the lactate acid then you can paddle better for longer.
So easier said then done.
What I think about.
Before a race I start to think about the distance and conditions about 3 weeks out, I like to train for the most common type of condition not the most extreme. Remember if you train slow, you get good at it, going slow that is.
I build in the 3 weeks in all areas of the distance that I'm going to race, this way I know I can make the distance and have no fears throughout the race.
On the day of the race I wake up and eat well, leaving a couple of hours for the food to digest. I then keep up my fluids and relax.
When I arrive at the venue the first thing I do is check the conditions, know what I'm going to do before the race starts.
I like to know my opposition, whose racing, I also love the banter of talking to your other competitors, telling me they haven't been training much. Don't fall for this, answer back with, I have been training better then ever and feel great, because you do.
Lastly I remind myself of my goal that is personal to me, I don't set a goal that I can't achieve and I race to that.
If you train 2-3 times a week and have taken up paddling 2 years ago then don't think you can come first, be realistic and enjoy the journey.
Any help you need contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy this video of a race I just did.