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  • A Training Plan Starts with The Off-Season

    I often get asked how to train and how to make a training plan. So I’m going to share with you how I make a season plan starting with the end of the season. 

    Your season just finished, last race done and dusted. All the hard training is over and the race is too! Phew. You are feeling enthusiastic and charged to make next year a better year. Or maybe you are over it. Done. Burnt out and exhausted. Either way, if you are planning on reaching your goal next season, what you do in your off season and pre season matters, as does setting yourself up with a training plan for next year.

    Here are a couple important things I’ve learned about how to have a successful paddling off-season. 

    Rest and recover and listen to your body

    If you have been training and racing hard then you have about 2 weeks before you will start to loose your fitness and muscle mass. So take that time to enjoy life in all the ways you were missing during season.  Spend loads of time with your (non paddling) friends. Take a complete and solid break for one to two weeks! You’ll feel amazing.

    Once you have done that…

    Do something different

    Go hiking biking, running, roller blading, and swimming, anything but paddling! Do something you’ve neglected that you used to enjoy. What is something you have always wanted to try, but never have time for it? What is something you used to love doing but haven’t done for ages?

    Move your body weight

    Outrigger is a power to weight ratio sport, so your ability to move your body weight + the canoe weight and the resistance of the ocean is so important. Over time as we age, we can either loose muscle or focus on maintaining and building it up. Functional strength is key, use the gym but also get out doors and do fun challenging things!

    Heal your injuries

    That nagging shoulder pain? You might forget about it during your break, but it won’t go away on it’s own. You need to break up any scar tissue, mobilize any parts that have frozen and strengthen muscles that may have become weak. Get help from someone who has had a similar injury and successfully rehabbed it or from a qualified person. Try a masseuse, physical therapist, chiropractor, personal trainer, osteopath, or acupuncturist. Work with someone who understands being an athlete and preferably is a paddler!

    Once you are rested and recovered and excited to train again (don’t underestimate the part about being EXCITED to train again) it’s time to start.

    Here are three quick tips to help you make a training plan

    • Decide on a goal. Pick something that you are excited to do!
    • Determine what that goal involves – is it a race? Then what is the distance, what are the conditions and what craft is it? (OC1, OC2, SS, SUP, OC6?)
    • Make a training plan and include areas that you need to improve on in order to achieve your goal.

    I’m including a picture of my OC1 training pyramid to get you started. This is a simplified version of a 24-week training plan with four-week cycles (three weeks building and one week recovery).   Send me questions, and I will gladly answer them as my next email. 

    Happy Paddling!