So it was the last of our 8 weeks of surfski training sessions this Saturday, and keeping with tradition…it was raining pretty hard! There were some lucky paddlers who had had a beauty video session on Burnaby Lake in the morning – quite a stunning sunrise to look at while concentrating on showing their best technique!
Back in the Cove, none of us had time to even notice the rain as Wes set us up with a long workout to occupy us as he took the time to speak with each paddler individually for critique and feedback.
The workout was intervals of:
3 x 6 minutes at 80% race pace, 2 minutes off in between
4 x 4 minutes at 80% race pace, 2 minutes off in between
5 x 3 minutes at 85% race pace, 1 minute off in between
6 x 2 minutes at 85/90% race pace (if you had the wherewithal to go that hard by that point!), 1 minute off in between.
PHEWPH. If your maths is better than mine you can work that out to about an hour and half of hard paddling. The beer afterwards went down REALLY well!
It was hard but it was great, but even better was the individual work with Wes. I always find feedback incredibly helpful, so having the 5 minutes in-depth analysis was really helpful for me. Apparently I have somewhat moved past the ‘looks like I’m a robot trying to hug someone’ stage to being a bit more dynamic, but I still need to relax more so my paddling is more natural.
I think because I’m fairly new to surfski paddling, being told to focus on one thing at a time becomes a bit of a mantra for me, so I’ve got a bit fixed on thinking that I’m strongest with my arms in a frame…to the detriment of the setup of each stroke! Oh well – more things to work on going forwards.
I don’t know what everyone else was told, but I am 100% confident that every member of our group has benefited from the course in some capacity or another. Whether it was motivation to keep paddling through the fall, learning better technique, or training hard, there was a lot going on. Whichever reason it was, Wes has been a fantastic coach and kept us going even when we were tired and cold and wet. Which was a lot of the time. I’ll say thank you on behalf of all of us!
Wes will be coaching again in the Spring, to get racers ready for the first big race of the season. We’ll be posting about it when details are known. In the meantime – keep paddling and working hard – see you on the water. It really is quite beautiful in the winter…just make sure you dress appropriately!