How to Face the RACE Pace

Having a good old sprint finish with Dawid Mocke, Fish Hoek, Cape Town

Having a good old sprint finish with Dawid Mocke, Fish Hoek, Cape Town

Sean Rice discusses the importance of Race Pace in his most recent Blog post:

The build up to any goal, race or event can be exciting, tiring and sometimes completely overwhelming. Every paddler no matter your experience will go through the ups and downs of the build up.  With summer making its way up North and the start of a new year of racing we are all sure to go through this process again soon. (Well I definitely need to start getting my game face on!).

While preparing for the up and coming race season, I have compiled a few tips on how to face the race pace!

1. PLAN!

  • Obvious right? Yes but how you plan is important! You will need to know your time frame, resources at your disposal and of course, have at least one solid and realistic goal! Without these you are not planning. You are wishing!

Write down a program or ask for a coach’s advice. Get it onto paper and then commit! Sometime the hardest part of training can be knowing what to do and not losing focus. With a well-structured program, you’ll know exactly what has to be done.

2. Talk about it!

  • Believe it or not, but some people are interested in what you’re gearing up for. If some people aren’t, then go find different friends! No seriously, it is good to tell people about your goal or event. This conversation will keep you motivated and you’ll have something to prove! You might even get some inspiration from passed achievements of others or recruit some new training buddies.

3. Roll with the punches!

  • If only all training sessions were as fun or easy as your first. Unfortunately the reality of a structured training program is that you will go through many ups and many downs. Keep your chin up and look forward. The tough days make the good days even better! Just keep going forward.

4. Train hard and rest easy.

  • A big part of the actual benefit from the training you will be doing will come from the recovery afterwards. Going hard 100% off the time could lead to fatigue or injuries that interfere with your whole journey. Train smart and listen to your body. 

5. Mix it up.

  • Having the structure of a reliable training partner or venue, as well as a solid training plan is vital to achieving your goal, but sometimes some spice is nice! Surprise yourself and body with something different every now and then. Join your mates for a different downwind, paddle somewhere you normally wouldn’t, chase ducks and geese around the estuary, drag your kids around on the back for extra resistance, anything! Just keep it fun and interesting. 
Photo taken from TC Surfski

Photo taken from TC Surfski

Most importantly - practice your smile and fist pump for the finish line photographers! Picture yourself completing your goal or event and that is sure to get you out on the water when the body says NO!

Go for it!