Friday, November 25, 2011

Training for Outrigger Racing

I have started my journey in planning and training seriously for the upcoming outrigger racing series in the east coast. First, I joined the New York Outrigger Canoe Club this past summer and participated in a few novice and growth sessions and I've been totally hooked since then. I practiced with other NYO members on the OC -6 boats and that was a lot of fun. I got put in the second seat a few times during practices and at first it was a little intimidating because you have to call out the switches but after awhile I got used to it. I also briefly tried out the OC-1 and I hope to learn more about them and maybe do a race or two next year. I want to really prepare myself for what's ahead and use my background as a personal trainer to develop a program that will put me in the best shape possible come race day.

I'm a complete novice to outrigger racing but I've had some paddling experiencing with Cayuco racing in Panama when I participated in the Ocean to Ocean Cayuco race back 1994. Cayucos are carved out of trees and are basically outriggers without the outrigger and you stick lower on the boat to maintain your balance better. Cayuco has evolved so much through out the years and is now a very competitive and international recognized race.

So for now what I've mainly been focusing on is on setting a good strength training foundation for the next 6 to 8 weeks. I have taken all basic fundamental exercises like the squat, deadlift, pullups, and pushups and created a full body workout routine. I stay within a 8 to 10 rep range, with 3 to 4 sets and resting periods of 1 to 1 1/2 minutes long. I compliment these workouts with core strengthening exercises that emphasize transverse plane movements and static strength of my whole core. For these I usually use ViPR, cable bars and resistance bands to add resistance. I have also spent additional time in every workout practicing corrective exercises that will strengthen the rotator cuff muscles. Rotator cuff muscle strengthening is essential especially when you are practicing a sport that involves repetitive movement through the shoulders. YTWs is one of my favorite exercises that works these muscles well. Also, reverse flys with resistance bands and pendulum swings using kettlebells to stretch the muscles in this area. I will be posting some videos to illustrate these movements and effective stretches for the shoulder soon. I hope to have a significant increase in strength and hopefully see my VO2 max go up in the next 6 weeks. This week I'll be taking the functional movement screen which will expose any imbalances that I might need to address throughout my training. I will post more about the FMS and my results next week.

In addition, I'm starting to increase my cardio vascular endurance by cross-training 1 or 2 times a week so I'll either do some boxing or go for a 3 mile run at a moderate intensity. I've also been doing some interval training running up and down stairs but that is usually as a warmup set before my regular workouts. ViPR warmups have also been an integral part of how I warmup since they are an excellent tool to include whole body movements.

I'll be updating the blog with training developments and incite into what I've been learning throughout this journey so please pass on comment or let me know if you have questions in general about training. I'll try my best to answer.

Training is the opposite of hoping. - nike

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