Riding Bumps Q&A: how to handle non-target races

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I have a ton of races that I attend to cover for the site. I didn't know how to approach these within the training plan.

I'm not in a taper period for my target races, so how do I work them in with the existing plan? The answer is you really shouldn't. That is a lot of racing early in the course of the program. Remember, early in the program you are going to be winding down your base period and starting to ramp things up. With some paddlers we need to hammer on them to get them to race to get in some practice before their big event. Other paddlers need to get reigned in a bit and to get them to focus on their training as much as their racing. I am obviously in the latter group. 

Roch's suggestion: 

  1. Consider racing a little less. Focus on your base, get your recovery in, and maybe just pick one or two of those races. If you are racing three weekends in a row you are not taking your rest week. You might be able to handle it. On the other hand you might be cooking yourself early in the program so you will not be able to benefit from what is coming later. 
  2. Another option if these races are short and hard (please tell me you are not doing a 30 mile race or anything) is to swap out a Thursday interval workout for one of your weekend races. The one thing you do not want to do is give up your long weekend aerobic paddle for a short race. That is a key workout.

So how am I going to apply this sage advice? I'm going to race this weekend in the Onslow Bay Challenge. It's to benefit Surfers Healing, my favorite charity. It's 13 miles, so there's the long paddle. It's downwind, so it's goign to be fun. And finally, I'll be riding a SIC 17'6", so I'll be a very happy person. The next race is over July 4th weekend. It's also a long downwinder (11 miles), so there's the second long paddle. I'll need to get longer ones in during the week. The final race is the Shem Creek Shootout. I'll treat this as an interval workout. Then I'll take a break for a while. My target race is the SEA NYC race on August 9th. I need to get teh miles in to be able to finish that race strong. I'm not competing for the podium, so I just want to do the best I can. The next big race for me isn't until October. That's the Chattajack31. I'll finally get to paddle with Shane Perrin among other wonderful people from all over. 

The next question: If i am training for a 6-7 hour race (Chattajack31), how do I adjust the training to meet the longer duration?

From ROCH: So you are going big huh? Like Molokai or Catalina? I would get the long distance program. Those distances should get you where you need to be. It is tough to simulate a 7 hour paddle race in your training because you run the risk of cooking yourself the big day. The good news is that you do not have to. Most marathoners do not run marathons before their big day. Ironman triathletes dont do a full ironman other than on race day. In those longer programs you are going to find maximal endurance workouts in the 4 hour range. If you can swing that in addition to the rest of the program, you should be able to swing a 6 hour race. 
 

Do you have any opinion on PocketFuel? It seems to have a higher fat content, but people love to use them for endurance events.

 
I am sorry. This is a product I have never used so I cannot responsibly comment on this one except to say that there is  data showing that protein, or fat, or whatever is beneficial to performance. In my experience, however, many athletes who try  bars, gels, etc. that stray too far from a carbohydrate base  find that during a hard or long race they get GI upset.  If you are going to go with PocketFuel I certainly wont get in your way but I would advise to do a race simulation and see how things go before using a higher fat product on race day. 
 

And finally, I'm doing most of my training in the ocean. Lately, it's been rough and it's hard to keep my heart rate at base levels. How do I adjust to accommodate the crazy conditions?

Me too. Sometimes you need to break the rules a bit and go for it. Do your best. I would rather see you out in the ocean going a little high on your heart rate and get experience in the rough stuff than 1) skip a workout or 2) always paddle in flatwater (for example – a nearby lagoon). That said, If there is a flatwater option near you consider doing your technique workouts in flatwater and do your best in the ocean. 
 
You can buy the Riding Bumps Training programs here. Use the Mullet Discount Code to get 10% off and make sure to buy the paperback book to supplement the training programs on Amazon. 

Training Programs (Use code:) themullet10

Amazon: 
 
Also answers to heart rate training in ocean conditions and more

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