What do I do NOW?

By Jim on Monday, December 19, 2011

Racing and training are very exciting things to do. The thing that is most enjoyable and productive is having a goal and reaching it.

Sometimes when we set ourselves goals we find them to easy, we realize we could have set the bar much higher, this is all part of learning to do sport.

The funny thing about sport no matter what level you are at, you are always looking to get more from yourself.

When you speak to people about  personal goals; they are often frightened to say them out load. Yet when you ask them at the end of their season about their personal goal, they speak proudly then think they can go so much better. This is a sign of a person on the way up.

Now here is where the problem lies, you just achieved your major goal, what do I do now?

 I want to paddle, but I know my heart isn’t in it at the moment, but what do I do with all this free time.


Training it is time consuming on the way to reaching your goal.

There needs to come a time when you and your body are happy to have a rest and refresh. This leads to positive outcomes, it’s during this rest time when you can be honest with yourself about where you are heading with your sport.


I used to be a person who trained very hard and lots of it, I made it my life and my life was as a paddler.

Would I change any of it, NOT ONE BIT.

Now I’m older and look back what have I learnt.

Rest is your best friend, learn to escape for a while, this makes you much more hungary when you return. If you paddle through it, you end up doing long slow boring paddles, then you end up a slow boring paddler.


So now it’s rest time, how long should I have off?

You should allow 3- 4weeks off, with active exercise. You will not lose your ability to be able to paddle; you will keep fit by doing other fun activities.


It’s in this rest period when you have to make the biggest decisions on where you head with your sport.


Here are my tips on paddling into the New Year.


No order.


1.      Get in a group with paddlers of all different abilities and ages. It helps to paddle with faster paddlers so you can work hard to catch them; it’s also good to paddle with slower paddlers so you know when you are taking easy. Different ages makes for fun times, FUN PADDLING is the way to do it.

2.      Get a structured program; this will let you know where you are heading every time you get on the water. If you turn up and go today I feel like do this, then you have no structure and you wont improve.

3.      Get video work done, you can send Video work to me, or even do a one on one session of Video analysis work. Good technique is good paddling and injury free paddling.


4.      Eat well, Food is fuel.

5.      Set Goals, here are some ideas for goal setting.


           I.     The Ultimate Goal. This is the goal you take 12 months to work towards; it’s the goal that gets you out of bed, out in the cold and work hard in the hot. Your season is set on this goal.

          II.     Three quarter goal, this is a race that is hard and has lots of competitors, it’s a race that shows you how your are going with your training, but leaves you with enough time to work on the areas you may be lacking for your ultimate goal.

        III.     This goal is a race at the start of the season early into your program that inspires you to work hard in the off-season. Leaves you enough time to work on all the areas pointed out above.


All the points are just ideas to help you get more out of yourself, make you enjoy it a little more. Nothing is worse then just paddling with nothing to work towards.


It doesn’t matter what your goal is just have a love for paddling. One of my good paddling buddies was going to give up paddling because he had lost the love of paddling. We had a chat and a few small changes from the ideas above; he improved by 40 places in his yearly goal. Now he wants to drop by another 40 or so places. Can he do it yes, what sacrifices will he have to make to achieve it, maybe to great for this family man. So we will make the right changes so he drops 25 places and still has quality of life.


The joy in talking to him about reaching his goal is what sport is all about.