Each race season we make important decisions about our training and racing. Some questions we ask ourselves are, “How hard and long should my sessions be?”, “What kinds of workouts should I do?”, “When do I start training for my race?”. I drove myself crazy with questions like this when I began SUP racing six years ago.
Finding the right answers to these questions eventually helped me become more efficient with my training while getting the best results out of each session. Your goal with training should be to put in the minimum amount of targeted input in order to produce the maximum amount of results. It’s all about learning how to train smarter, not harder.
Don’t think that training smarter means you won’t have to work hard. Nothing will replace solid efforts in training. Training and racing smarter simply means that you will not be wasting your time with inefficient training and racing strategies that fail to produce significant gains. Why complete a 90-minute unfocused session when you can get twice the benefits out of a targeted workout in half the time?
So how do you do it? There are many ways to achieve efficiency in training and racing.
Efficiency Strategies Include:
Targeted interval workouts.
Correctly timing the volume and intensity of training sessions.
Adequate rest and recovery for consolidation of gains.
Technique refinement with stroke rate, power application and body positioning.
Race specific preparation strategies leading up to the event.
Forming a solid race strategy and learning to execute the plan.
These are just a few strategies. There are dozens more that can be applied to training and racing to help maximize results. The problem I have experienced, and have heard from other athletes, is deciding which strategy to start with. Each strategy is going to be different for each individual based on their lifestyle, goals and experience. However, I want to give you a specific tool in this email you will be able to use at some point in your training regardless of your unique circumstances. This tool is in the form of targeted interval workouts. These specific workouts are a great example of a small training input that can result in a large benefit when implemented correctly.
Interval training is built on alternating short, high intensity bursts of speed with slower, recovery phases in a single session. Interval training is beneficial because it works both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems in the same workout. During high intensity efforts, the anaerobic system uses the energy stored in the muscles (glycogen) for short bursts of the activity. This system works without oxygen and produces lactic acid as a by-product. As lactic acid builds during intense intervals, a paddler enters oxygen debt. It’s in the recovery phase that the heart and lungs work together to recover this oxygen debt and break down the lactic acid. By performing high intensity intervals that produce lactic acid during practice, the body adapts and burns lactic acid more efficiently during exercise. This results in exercise at a higher intensity for a longer period of time before fatigue or pain slows you down. In other words, interval training is going to be your new best friend for maximizing results!
Fartlek, which translates to “speed play” in Swedish, is a training method that blends continuous training with interval training. In other words, when you complete fartlek workouts you are varying pace between fast segments and slow segments. This type of training is different from traditional interval training which involves specific timed segments. For some paddlers, traditional interval training can be monotonous and boring. Staring at the GPS for each timed interval can take away the fun of enjoying time on the water. Fartlek training is a more unstructured approach to training that has the same benefits as interval training.
To perform a fartlek workout, pick a dock or buoy in the water and sprint until you pass the mark. The key is to go for a sprint every 5 to 10 minutes and sprint for 30 to 90 seconds at a high intensity. The exact duration and volume of a fartlek workout should be based on the phase of training you are in.
Use This Strategy
Now you have a basic knowledge of how to get the maximum amount of improvement with the minimum amount of input through interval training. Put this information into action by completing two interval workouts during your training next week. If you are racing next weekend, be sure to take adequate rest between workouts and before your race. One to two days is sufficient. More advanced athletes can add 20 minutes or one to two miles in volume to these sessions. Use these sample workouts:
Session 1: 4 x 10 minutes
Paddle the first 5 minutes at 70-80% of max heart rate
Paddle the second 5 minutes at 80-90% of max heart rate
Rest for 1 minute between sets
Session 2: 5-mile fartlek workout
Paddle at a steady 70-80% of max heart rate
Every 8 minutes complete a fartlek sprint of 30-60 seconds at 80-90+% max heart rate
There are an endless variety of interval and fartlek training sessions that can be done in order to maximize training results. This training is useless if you don’t implement it with the correct volume, intensity and timing. The eBook, SUP Training The Smart Way, was created to help you in this implementation and to be the ultimate guide to stand up paddle training and racing.
The eBook gives all the information to structure your training with targeted exercises and to help you understand the many strategies that will allow you to train and race smarter, not harder. SUPAA is dedicated to improving the stand up paddle athlete experience, and I’m excited to finally share more specifics about this exciting project.
SUP Training The Smart Way is launching on Tuesday, March 31st and includes:
Over 250 pages of valuable SUP training and racing content, diagrams and charts to give you the tools and knowledge to reach peak performance.
16-week Basic SUP Training Program to help you find success at your next 3-6 mile race and learn the principles of training. Learn how to train with base development techniques, periodized workouts and targeted cross training.
Step-by-step guides to organizing your race season with the exact volume, intensity and workouts to reach your goals all year long.
Race Strategy chapter with detailed diagrams and over 20 pages of detailed tactical breakdowns for drafting, pacing, starting, buoy turning and more.
Additional information from the eBook includes, equipment guide, heart rate-based workouts, optimizing your paddle stroke, detailed nutrition strategies, technique development steps, assessing fitness for gains, comprehensive cross training workouts, responsible race selection, goal setting strategies, periodizing your annual training plan, multi-race peaking strategies, interval workouts and more!
In addition the eBook we will also be launching Plus and Elite SUP Training Packages that include SUP Training The Smart Way plus:
12-Week Advanced Race Ready SUP Training Programs for 5-14-mile races. Customized programs for beginner/intermediate paddlers and an advanced program for paddlers looking to take their training to the highest level.
Video Stroke Analysis. Complete video analysis with detailed report including customized drills and coaching to facilitate improvement. Improve results and prevent injury by maximizing your power, stroke rate and technique.
One-On-One Coaching. Five one-on-one coaching sessions with me, Chase Kosterlitz. Each session will be tailored to the specific techniques, strategies or issues you need help with. Sessions can be completed through Skype, email or phone.
Everything is launching on Tuesday, March 31st. As a valued member from our first year of establishment, you will be receiving an exclusive launch promotion in the next email! Click here for a preview of the cover and to learn more.