A lot of us learned a big lesson at the Carolina Cup, a long grueling race with challenging conditions needs a solid nutrition plan and some good drafting skills.
Regardless of who you are or how much experience you have, sometimes things dont go as planned as you bonk or you lose the draft train. The crew at Riding Bumps has outlined some good info that will benefit everyone.
The 2014 Carolina Cup is in the bag. By all accounts, this race is quickly becoming or has become THE race of the early season that all the pros want to do well at and many of the age groupers we talk with are focusing on as their A-priority race. Huge kudos to the event promoters for putting on a professional and extremely well organized event in a killer location. If you missed the race this year – you now have 355 days to get training. Don’t dilly dally.
The Carolina Cup course is a grueling one with chop, headwinds, and current. It is a grueling course that is longer than most SUP races. Therefore, two aspects of the race are critical to success in Carolina.
First, to do well at Carolina you are going to have to learn how to paddle in a draft train. With the rise of Carolina as THE early season race, any discussion as to whether drafting should be allowed in SUP is essentially dead(1). If you want to do well in Carolina you need to know how to draft. In the second article in this series, we will discuss drafting tactics as we saw many paddlers make “rookie” mistakes related to the psychology and tactics of the drafting train.
Second, to do well at Carolina you are going to have to get your nutrition dialed in. We heard from too many paddlers that they blew up before the end of the race. We know many of these paddlers and we know that they did not race to their potential. Even if you are Danny Ching, this race is going to take you nearly 2.5 hours. There is no possible way you can race 2.5 hours on a banana and small bottle of water or Gatorade but that is what some paddlers we talked with tried to do.
As a general rule you need to focus on 3 areas when it comes to race nutrition
If you fail at any of these three you are not going to race to your potential. As they say “plan to succeed or fail to plan.” The corollary to that statement is that if you do not plan your nutrition you are going to fail. In the Riding Bumps book there is a chapter on race day nutrition. It is outside the scope of this post to recount everything we have in that chapter. If you have not yet read the book – now is your time. We discuss everything from how many calories to eat before the race to what you should be putting in your Camelbak during the race.
The problem with nutrition is that when things get hectic during a race most racers forget about their nutrition and once you get behind the eight ball it is almost impossible to catch up. Rule #1 with race nutrition is to plan ahead and stick to your plan. For many racers that means eating and drinking on schedule. Do not wait until you are hungry or thirsty. Set a timer and eat and drink like a robot. Remember Consuming a given amount of carbohydrate after two hours of exercise is not as effective as consuming the same amount at 15 to 20 minute intervals during the first two hours of activity.
We utilize the prone paddleboard in some of our workouts for a number of reasons but basically we like to grind out workouts, get splashed in the face and use only our hands to make the board go. I am not going to get into too much detail because our good friends from Riding Bumps have already done that. Check out this link and read about how to get into the sport and good reasons why!
We have some really good training prone workouts if anyone is interested, email us.
We are very excited to announce our partnership with Riding Bumps!
Riding Bumps provides competitive paddleboard and SUP race training. Established by two very respected paddlers, triathletes and coaches. They have written a great book, Riding Bumps. It gives an indepth look at how to race and train. They also sell training programs.
Roch Frey: Roch is former professional triathlete from Canada who’s coaching expertise has become world renowned among the very best in the sport. After winning the Canadian Long Course National Championships in 1993, Roch turned to full-time coaching the following year. He has coached numerous professional athletes including Ironman World Champions Heather Fuhr and Peter Reid. In 1996, Roch founded the UCSD Master’s Triathlon Training Club and is a former head coach. In 2000 and 2001 Roch took his coaching expertise to the sport of Adventure Racing. Together, Roch and Paul were the head coaches for the Asian MSOQ Adventure RacingTeam. For the last 7 years Roch has been racing and coaching paddle athletes and has completed 5 Molo2oahu crossings and 1 Catalina crossing. His other credentials include Level 3 triathlon coaching certification, and Level 1 paddling instructor certification. Currently, Roch lives, paddles, races and coaches paddlers and triathletes in San Diego.
Paul Huddle: Huddle competed as a top level pro Triathlete for 11 years. He was closely involved in the early development of the USAT triathlon coaching certification program and is also a USA Cycling Elite Coach. For years, Huddle co-authored the widely read and enjoyed monthly Dear Coach column in Triathlete Magazine. Throughout the year Huddle can be heard on AM 1090 in San Diego co-hosting the endurance sports oriented radio show The Competitors with the inimitable Bob Babbitt. Currently, Huddle, lives, surfs, paddles, and trains in San Diego.
Our affiliation with Riding Bumps is that Jay is one of their coaches. People that want to take their fitness and paddling to the next level often contact Riding Bumps for advice and wanting a personal coach. Check out Jay’s profile on Riding Bumps and let us know if you would like to have Jay as your personal coach!