It’s March snowing and cold, the thought of summer as far off as a mirage in the distance walking through the snowy landscape. Reality is, you have around 80 days until summer is here, by June 1 the weather is great for paddling. We could say May 1 which leaves you with 50 days until the water is ready. On average, when I’ve kept track of our local lakes opening May 5 is normal for most of the ice to be off. But…the water is cold in May. Yes, it is, maybe you own a dry suit or are considering one as I am. It is my next purchase to add to my collection so I can extend my season on the water.
PADDLING WITH THE ICE ON SKELETON LAKE, AB MAY 1, 2018
Being a personal trainer by trade this is how I interpret these numbers, you have 7-11 weeks to check your gear or purchase what you need. Darn, I broke my paddle last year note to self to fix it by April 1st. Check out AQ Outdoors at upcoming shows or demo days to help with those needs or pop in a store to chat with someone.
If you’ve had a “comfortable” winter and are mentally preparing to be sore for the first couple of weeks of paddling, how can we be proactive now while the water is frozen?
Assuming 11 weeks until go time here’s the breakdown of numbers: 2x/week workouts = 22 practices, 3x/week = 33 practices, 4/x week = 44 practices and so on. Bare minimum at 1x/week you have 11 times to prepare for paddle season June 1.
When we attach pleasure and positive outcomes to workout time our patterns begin to change. Maybe post a picture of a lake you plan to paddle on, post it on the rowing machine, treadmill or phone background. Put a calendar up on the fridge that has a countdown of how many days remain until you hit the water? Personally, I think workouts should be called funins cause who doesn’t want more fun in their life…working out sounds like work and it’s leaving me.
Exercise provides me the physical ability to say yes to anything without having to question whether I’ll make it through it and even if I make it through will I enjoy it or be miserable is a very big distinction.
Mimic what you are planning to do. Portaging? Carry load overhead, drag weight sleds, hold your hands up on the treadmill, work on shoulder mobility. Kayaking? How is your hamstring flexibility and shoulder strength to allow you to sit well and keep a strong posture for power. Paddle boarding? Balance on one foot is that easy? Try with your eyes closed. Use a cable machine on a BOSU for added instability and core endurance. As much as having a base of strength is important you are going to require endurance, in one event I took 8163 paddle strokes in 23 km of paddling. WOW! Thank you, body, for providing me with that ability.
CHECK OUT THE KAPAWINIHK WILDERNESS TRIATHLON IN ATHABASCA, AB SEPT 12, 2020 IN IT’S SECOND YEAR NOW!
A base program to start with is a no equipment workout:
Set a timer for 10-20 minutes based on current level then do all the exercises through in order (1 round).
10 Pushups (knees or toes) (floor, bench or wall)
10 Plank With Shoulder Tap/Side (knees or toes) (floor, bench or wall)
10 Burpees or Jump Squats
Complete as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) in the time you designated.
Keep track of how many rounds you did and note improvement over each week.
Do this 2x a week or up to 3x a week with a day of rest between. This is self-regulated based on how you feel that day with as much or little rest as required. If you have a pullup bar add those in there too, love pullups!
Paddling is a passion and fitness helps me continue to enjoy this as well as mitigate risk of injury doing what I love. If we go down the rabbit hole of injuries the list I could provide is long however the understanding that the less I move the more I hurt is deeply ingrained. Think of your body as a car that been parked too long the rust sets in and those parts are tough to get running smooth without a lot of effort and grease. Keep up on the weekly maintenance to ensure smooth operation. Remember, fitness doesn’t have to be a preordained gym workout, maybe you love martial arts, fat-tire biking, yoga or swimming. More Fun IN!!
FAT TIRE BIKING SUCH A GREAT CROSSOVER SPORT FOR WINTER TRAINING AND MANAGING INJURIES.
I Live Life Now,
CSEP-CPT/RYT 200 Yoga Instructor
Level 1 SUP Instructor Paddle Canada