After not paddling for more then a decade I have been losing focus on life in terms of not having a goal. I had just recently found that my health fell away both mentally and physically, I became fat and unfit and mentally I was a reck as I had no focus. So as in one of my last posts I went on the road to physical and mental recovery.
I have now started back paddling and loving it, I am back in training 4 times a week with a great group at Jimsquad, a squad where everyone is welcome to come join me in my structed training group, paddle what ever you like. The thing that has happened is I have just found my competitive spirit again, not going mad thinking I can win an Olympic berth or win an Australian Surf Ski Title, just a love of being the best i can be with no pressure.
I would like to share with you some of my thoughts I use to be the best I can be when training, I have one very big belief when i go training,get something out of the session.
So when I am at training I make sure i will improve in some area of my paddling, technique, boat run, fitness and mental approach to bettering myself.
When I arrive at training I make sure that I am never the last one on the water, as I hate to rush my warm up. I like to get on and have a chat with my Jimsquad members about the session and what I want from them whilst thinking about what I want. I also chat to my rivals ( like you I also have rivals ) to check out how they are feeling. If they say they are tired from a bad night, kids up all night, working to hard or just tired from training then I know I'll work them hard early so they die in the back half of the session.
I also make sure that when we are paddling in training I montior the speed at which we are going at and the strain in which my rival is at, so if they are side by side with me doing 13kms and they are stuffed I know that is their max speed, so in the next effort if I go at 13.3kms I know they can't keep up, as I am aware of my surroundings. Are You?
I also make sure that as every effort goes on I learn their strengths and weaknesses, the common things people do. Some go out fast at the start no matter what you do, then they die in the arse. Others do the opposite, go out slow come home fast, this is often a mistake as they are to far behind. So what do I do with all of this to get the most benefit? I go out strong with this paddler who is fast at the start but not beserk, stay say aboat length behing then I build my technique and gain more boat run then the slower starter can't catch me. The slower starter will always come up with an excuse why they can't catch you and the fast starter will say they got weed on their rudder.
My next and most enjoyable tip to improve is the pointscore.
I love the pointscore as it's the most challendging of all, say your sessions has 8 efforts, I always try and beat my rivals by 60% 5-3, then once I get that I know I am the winner. From there if I know that rival is off his/her game I push for upwards of 90-100% of wins. By doing this I can see if I am improving, both mentally and technically. It is also something that well managed can make training fun.
The next and most important tip is I make sure I don't get to worked up about training, I love it the feeling of being phyisally and menatally challendged by people who love doing what you do is great.
So next step is to either come join me at Jimsquad or get a structered program from me that you and your friends can follow to enjoy the challendge as much as I do.
Please send me what you do to my Mykayakcoach Facebook page as talking amoungst ourselves is how we all improve.