Why be the same.

By Jim on Wednesday, November 21, 2012

 23 weeks paddling and I have never felt better, life is good and paddling is at an all time high. Why?

I have changed my whole out look on paddling from when I paddled as a kid to make the Olympics. When I was young I would paddle every stroke like it was my last and had to win every effort,race and everything that went with paddling. That was fine when I was a full time athlete with aspristraions for the Olympic Games, now I'm a dad of three kids, have a wife and run my own business. So I can't opertate at the 15-18 sessions a week, like the old Jimmy Walker.

So now I want to be the best I can be within the time frame I have as a worker and family man, so what changes have I made and how do I see the change making me paddle as fast as my goals want me to.

At the moment I have have 4 sessions available to train on the water, every now and then I get some extra time so I make sure I work on my fitness. This can be bike or boxing, high heart rate stuff.

So working out what time frame per week I have, I then worked out I would be training through the cold months.

Making sure you have the right equipment is one on the most important things, I paddle in Shark Skin paddle wear and use a Think Uno Max for my ski of choice. Why do I paddle a Think Uno Max? Because I am most comfortable in this boat due to the seat being higher then my foot pedals, this allows me to get over my catch, helping me get a stronger catch. If you can get a strong catch then you can have great balance and a fast ski. Never paddle a ski that is to tippy, I also wear the Shark Skin because I hate being cold and uncomfortable, with the Shark Skin I am both. So with the right equipment I have been paddling through the cold months with know problems at all.

So before I got on the water for week 1 I had a plan that no matter where I was in the pack at Jimsquad I would work on small gains out of my paddling, try to increase my average GPS speed each week, by doing this I could only get faster by being more techniqically correct.I started training 23 weeks ago at 10.7kph and now training anywhere between 14.5 and 12.7 no matter what session we are doing. The gains have been made over the 23 weeks by slowly edging up in my training, I focus on boat run,catch and twist every session. The best thing I have done is never be fazed by people in the squad going out really hard in the first of say 10 efforts. If someone wants to do that I just sit back in the pack and paddle at a pace I can handle then come through the field with boat speed. It feels hard at first mentally, then when you believe in it you will be suprised how many session you end up doing really well in. Being consistent is very hard for a whole season. Thats why you need to think about your paddling more, you just can't go to training with no thought process. What happens then you just go out way to hard at the start, or to slow, then the other way you are slow at the start and fast at the end. This will then be how you race. So what I am saying for you to do is be more conisistent at training then you will gain the confidence to step up your training intensity which will help you go fast on your GPS then in turn have a better race.

So simple changes you need to make straight away are:

The right boat for your ability.

The right paddle clothes.

The right recovery procedures, carbs protien drink straight after training, within 10 mins. I use ASN ( Australian Sports Nutrition) Anabolic Injection, great stuff and a big supporter of ocean ski paddling.

The right GPS so you can download your training so you can see your improvement, not just guessing you went faster. I use the Suunto Ambit GPS because the data from the download is in compareable to anything else on the market.

So with those simple changes I will gaureentee big results for you in less then the time it took me.


Here is a look at my paddling session of 10x 1000m 1 mins rest after each using my Suunto Ambit GPS.