I started training for the Green Race on the heels of the Wildwater Junior World Championships held in Charlotte, NC and Columbia, SC this summer. Because I started training for this race at a high level of fitness, I have been able to focus more on explosive sprint speed and driving the boat hard through flat pools that can wear other racers down. In fact, I live just far enough away from the Green, toward the very western-most part of NC, that my schedule does not allow me to make training runs on the Green during the week, forcing me to utilize flatwater near where I live for my workouts as the only reliable paddling option because of the severe drought in this area.
- 4-6 flatwater sessions a week, consisting of 1/2 hour of intense interval training after adequate warm-ups/stretching
- Weight training 2-3 times a week, focusing mostly on my core, shoulder, and arm muscles with moderate weights and resistance training
- Usually two laps on the Green on Saturdays, with the course broken down into quarters that I sprint through, then catch an eddy to teach myself how to drive the boat HARD through every part of the course, or either a no-eddies run in race mode.
- One several mile hike with my boat per week, on the AT or Bartram Trail, or a few miles of running, to get a good cardio workout while letting my paddling muscles rebuild.
You'd think that you'd want to sprint the whole time, right? I mean, it is a race. WRONG. The simple fact of the matter is that when you sprint, you're not always using your energy efficiently. Translation: if you start at a dead sprint and keep that pace, you'll probably bonk by Whale Tail, then you'll become lactic by the time you're looking at the Notch, and your chances of crashing in front of 500 people go up dramatically. In my background as a wildwater racer, where we often race for upwards of 20 minutes, efficiency is a big reward. In shorter races it doesn't hurt, for sure, but this isn't a wildwater race. This is the most extreme kayak race in the world - you want to go hard, but be smart about it and dial your lines because clean is fast (and safe).
Ride the Lighting