In preparation for the 4th Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a and anytime you venture into the ocean, open ocean endurance is not something to take for granted and it is a required physical and mental element that all water sport enthusiasts must have, especially when faced with huge walls of water moving and changing conditions. Besides navigating current changes, surface wind speeds, waves or deep troughs, often experienced and non-experienced folks can get into serious trouble or lose critical momentum needed to paddle over, in and through some of the roughest patches that can form underneath you, near you, in front of you or behind you.
This article is helpful if you’re a prone paddler, surfer, kayak paddler, canoe paddler or stand up paddler. Are you ready if your canoe hulis and you lose your paddle? How to you react if you fall of your down wind board on a big day on Maliko? How prepared are you? Do you carry a waterproof pouch with your cell phone or better yet, a GPS unit? Do you have a regular cardio routine that includes intense bouts of intervals? Do you cross-train? If you’re pausing to think about anything of these questions, then it’s time you take good inventory and learn all you can and implement now. ( See tips below ) Also contributing, is Stacie Thorlakson, MCKC Maui Canoe & Kayak Club board president.
Listen to Suzie's radio segment here!
Listen here for Suzie’s Radio Segment on Open Ocean Endurance:
The Physical Part:
1.Equipment Check: Check integrity of leash, tighten all fins, repair any major dings, tighten drain plugs, charge and take cell phone, fill Camelback, pack extra energy gel, waterproof whistle, wear sun protection, if a one man canoe, strap on an extra paddle.
2. Fuel: Charging the ocean requires food in your belly and hydration to reduce cramping. I like to suggest oatmeal or any complex carb at least an hour before departure. What’s great are two pieces of a nutty whole grain bread with a protein spread like almond butter or low salt peanut butter. Coconut water is a favorite of mine that offers lots of potassium which allows you to hydrate more quickly. I also squirt a full pack of an energy gel before a Maliko run. I avoid caffeine or super charged sugary drinks as these can actually dehydrate you and cause your energy to crash hard.
3. Body: Strength, stamina and cardio, and more intense cardio. The biggest thing I notice when training my sport specific athletes or weekend water warriors is the lack of cardio and cross-training. It’s a common component that get’s overlooked but it’s so important. Strength and body stamina takes time to build but is necessary too. There are many formulas on the how to and it’s based on your sport, your goals and your current level of fitness so I can’t write one program to fit you all. You’ll have to come train with me for your specialized program.
Continue reading Open Ocean Endurance Radio Segment with Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui
With the OluKai Ho’olaule’a wrap up complete, I’m a bit late in writing this post, but as I was shaping this follow up article on my friends and SUP racers, Kevin Vangritis from North Carolina and Jenny Ryan from Australia; it occurred to me how true it is that if you want to place you can have it. But, you’ve got to REALLY want it, see it and train for it. ( See my article on What You See Is How You Perform )
Jenny Ryan, my charging friend from down under; trains rigorously back in Australia and just won her age division here at our OluKai SUP Race May 14th,2011. Like Kevin, her training is intense, planned and has an end, and anticipated result.
Congrats to you both for applying what we’ve talked about and just being the fierce, disciplined competitors you are; and all the while being two wonderful humans to know. It’s a pleasure to see you both doing doing so well and inspiring us all.
Jenny Ryan photo courtesy of OluKai Premium Foowear
First up Jenny: I really enjoyed training with her and watching how she get’s into her “real” zone. Man can she paddle in a mighty way. I asked Jenny to write a follow up for us, so you can enjoy through Jenny, what it feels like to train, prepare and then win! She confesses that she actually just came to have a few good “runners” as she calls them, but she paddles to win!
Jenny writes: “After arriving on Maui and getting a few Maliko training runs under my belt race day had arrived! I jumped on Kelly’s Maliko shuttle – filled with fellow pumped and excited competitors! The closer we were getting to the Gulch, the stronger the winds were getting! This only meant one thing, the race would be fast! When we all got to the Gulch and registered it was starting to hit me. I was back and I was about to race again! I kept seeing faces from last year’s Naish race, with fellow paddlers Andrea Moller, Devon Blish, and T surprised to see me! It was great knowing that some of the top Maui paddlers were stoked to see me back!
After the Pule (prayer ceremony) we all started to enter the gulch and get ready for the start of the race and before I knew it the race started!
The first 3/4 of the race was amazing! Dodging turtles, flying fish, and catching some of great runners! Everything was going great till I noticed something the runs
Jenny Ryan photo courtesy of OluKai Premium Footwear
were getting further and further apart. The wind was dropping which meant the last 1/4 of the race was all paddle power! I started paddling hard and was getting closer to Kanaha. Before I knew it I could see the yellow OluKai buoys and it was time for the 300 yard dash! I jumped off my board and started sprinting to the finish behind 2 other competitors. I finished the race in a time of 1:08:17 which placed my 1st in the 30-39, wahine 14ft class and 2nd place 14ft class overall! I was stoked!! It was my best result in an international race!
The vibe after the race was amazing. Everyone was congratulating one another, new friendships were made. The lunch provided was great and so well earned after an hour of solid paddling! The OluKai race brought everyone together. It was great to witness a Luau in a non commercial environment – something I personally have always wanted to see!
This trip back to Maui was better than I could have imagined!
I have to thank so many people – as they were my support! A huge thanks to my mum – she is my biggest support, my friends – love them lots and ALWAYS supportive, Iron Phil – my trainer, ALL the Maui crew – especially Suzie Cooney, Kelly Moore, and my sponsors Laguna Bay Stand Up Paddle, and Secret Agent Sup.”
Kevin Vangritis 2011 Carolina Cup!
Kevin Vangritis, I want you to know, trains like an animal. With his grueling 24/7 on call schedule guiding orthopedic surgeons in cutting edge technology in surgical instrumention, he still can be seen in any type of weather conditions putting in his board time. If the weather conditions are a serious health hazard, Kevin will invent new time zones to hold his dedicated course in intense training.
Like many, he has the bug. His first exciting win was the Cold Stroke Classic. ( read more here ) Recently, he took a real strong
Kevin leading the pack!
lead in 1st place and was up against a talented pack in the very popular Carolina Cup. He finished an impressive 3rd place in the men’s open 6 mile class. Nice job Kevin!
Kevin took a moment from his hectic schedule to write about his training style and his commitment to himself and to the sport:
“In life, I have excelled in many different areas. My desire to excel in standup paddling is no different. Many of my friends and coworkers have seen my achievements both on and off of the water. Often commenting “You are the luckiest thing I have every seen.” However, it has nothing to do with luck. It has to do with a strong drive, determination, and commitment to excel. I have held the same job for 20 years and have won every top honor within my company at least once. What many people don’t realize is all of the hard work and planning I put into my achievements. Being in the medical device industry, as Suzie knows from her former life working in medical sales, you are married to your job. I am on call 355 days a year and the only time I am not on call is when I am out of town or on vacation. For this reason, everything I do outside of work has to be well planned with a contingency plan in place just in case things don’t quite work out. My schedule changes so often with just a moments notice. This really affects how I plan everything I do in life including my leisure time on the water, my training routine, and even my race schedule.
I begin each day with a workout. I think it is really important to find the time of day that works best in your daily routine to get your workout in and make a commitment to get it done. For me, I prefer to get my workouts done early in the morning for several reasons. In the morning, I feel fresh and ready to get my day going. When I am done working out, I feel great and ready to take on the day. It’s personally satisfying to know I have taken time for myself and my health. Additionally, there are noworries about procrastinating later in the day. If I were to wait until I got home from work, I am much more likely to have many distractions that could keep me from getting a really great workout in or none at all. I may be either too tired, too hungry, still have work to knockout, have to make dinner, complete household chores, run errands or just want to spend quality time with my wife. The excuses are endless.
My workouts average an hour or so. On days when I am really pressed for time, I do one of two things. I either try and do a fast paced workout where I super set several exercises and focus on just two muscle groups, or I do a quick workout in the morning and then try to do another quick one when I get home in the evening. My workouts include 30-45 minutes on the treadmill to get a little cardio and a core workout using either the BOSU Ball and/or a balance ball. Then I target two to three muscle groups using free weights. On days when I have a little more time, I simply add a few more exercises to target additional muscle groups.
In addition to my daily workouts, I try to get on the water every chance I can. My time on the water is spent practicing and crafting my technique, doing distance paddling for endurance or just going out for a fun paddle with my wife to enjoy nature or relieve a little stress. I believe if you want to excel in life, you have to put forth a greater effort than what you actually want your reward to be. Or, you could be just plain lucky as many people think I am. I truly have SUP fever and am happy to say there currently is no known cure.”
Kevin, thank you! This is very inspiring and very helpful. You’re awesome and so is your lovely, Jenney. See you soon my friend.
Training Tip: Next time you step on that board and before your blade enters it’s first catch, visualize yourself as a strong, fierce competitor. You must feel it and see it before you make that first reach. Winning isn’t everything, but it sure feels good and gives one a sense of terrific accomplishment. You just may surprise yourself. Set your goals and hold your course.
Keep an eye out on the leader boards for both Jenny and Kevin. ( no pressure!! ) See you on the water!
Aloha, Suzie Cooney http://www.standuppaddlingfitness.com
Jenny & Suzie photo courtesy of OluKai Premium Footwear
by Suzie Cooney, CPT
Suzie Trains Maui
See the finish line, the crowd cheering you on the last buoy turn, the last surf heat before the horn, the last lap of your mountain bike or dirt bike race and see your personal victory! Okay, now adjust the speed and tempo, add a little more weight to the bar, do a few more balance tricks and turn up the music.
Visualizing your win, your finish or any goal you set out for your racing or training I guarantee will get you that trophy or medal or simply help you get to the next phase of your training and sport. We watch the networks play over and over in slow motion, two competitors going handle bar to handle bar on the dirt track, paddlers digging as deep and fast as they dig deep into last turn back to the beach, or the Olympic speed skaters pushing off those last few powerful meters.
You can do the same during your training. If you’re a surfer and while you’re performing a weighted squat on your INDO Board, you see the green room and the spray of huge dragons breath; popping you out of that tube standing tall touching the back of that blue wall. For example, when I’m on my spin bike, I close my eyes as the music carries me across the ocean on my Naish Glide at warp speed, catching every bump and trough possible, or better, turning on the face of a big wave.
Whatever your sport, your mental game and how you see yourself as an athlete makes a critical difference in how you perform. Do you see yourself as an athlete? Are you looking to build your game and confidence? I’m not a scientist, but what I do know is that the subconscious captures images of our desire outcomes and holds them and when an opportunity mimics the situation, it retrieves that image and allows our minds and body to shape and make that true.
I have the pleasure to introduce to you my training client, Stephen. Here is his awesome story on how his visualization training became an exciting reality, to a successful 27 mile stand up paddle race finish. The race was Saturday April 23rd
, 2011. It started from Honolua Bay, Maui across the open ocean channel to the island of Molokai. Sport, stand up paddle, partner Mike Owens. ( photos by Joshua Kjorven )
“ I would like to help contribute, it was one of those crazy ideas one gets while I was watching Connor and Dave battle it out in the Pailolo Channel on last year’s race. It was in November when I first watched the video of the battle where Connor ultimately won. Watching him paddle, getting that imprint of his paddle stroke, and ability to read the swell was captivating. I thought with a little practice “I could do that” and why not, what could possibly go wrong? I never think about the details (they usually become a barrier),I just stay focused on the goal, and the details usually work themselves out in the end.
I set up our indoor pool to train and get in shape during the winter months, and then arrived in Maui to start training with you and Jeremy. Jeremy corrected my paddle stroke, and taught me to catch bumps on the four Maliko runs we did, plus several days in the harbor. Suzie helped me focus on my balance and strengthened the areas that I needed to improve upon, and it really helped. In reality was I ready for such a crossing and be a contender? No but my goal was to do it, learn it, and experience the rush, get the confidence, and then do it again next year, hopefully solo.
Getting ready for the Maui to Molokai Challenge!
My partner was Mike Owens, we did a great job, for first timers, and we had fun. And we will do it again next year. I started visualizing this goal in November, and kept at it since then, but on the beach that morning I was just grateful to have the opportunity to do such a thing, everyone was giving us course instructions, Jeremy was saying this will be an experience of a lifetime and to enjoy it, but once we put the paddle to the water… That visualization, the memory of Jeremy’s instructions and Connors video all came in to focus and that made the difference.It was a great day, emotional and draining but I will do it again next year for sure.” Stephen
This is an excellent example of how Stephen’s visual training of seeing his successful outcome and all the steps he needed to take to get there, seeing himself as an athlete, a competitor and a finisher! Good job Stephen!
What I suggest is that you get real clear on what you want to see. Get real specific with how you want to perform. Do you want to go faster, carve bigger turns, or catch bigger glides or simply finish? Focus that imagery on just that. See in your mind over and over again that perfect picture of the outcome. Some people also explore hypnosis.
When you look in the mirror at the gym, get hyper focused and don’t be embarrassed of how strong you think you look. Right on! That’s what I want. Growl, sing see the confetti! If one of my clients is training for a big event and we’re squeaking out one more set or rep, I just love to whisper in their ear, “this is when you win.” I’ll also say, “Are you not the fierce competitor I know? Then do it.”
Now I’m not the mean trainer you see on TV, but I do give my clients the tools to help them get real with themselves and give them lots of positive images while we are training. I am the one that will keep you very positive and erase any negative and mental obstacles. If you don’t have a trainer, I suggest you try and do the same.
Develop a mantra that you say to yourself as you have your image. This is also a very powerful tool I suggest to my clients that get’s them very fired up and focused. I don’t care if it sounds totally silly, or if it’s a string of unusual sounds, it’s what resonates with them, If it makes sense to them and get’s them to that place they must go, then say it. I know people hear me when I’m surfing, SUP surfing or training down Maliko. I talk to myself all the time out loud.
What I strongly suggest when testing out your mantra with your visual, please don’t say negative things, like “you dummy, just one more stroke” or “I’m an idiot… “. You get my drift. Positive words, positive images equal a positive outcome.
Takeaway: Say to yourself“ I am an athlete, a fierce competitor and I am strong”. See yourself getting tubed, finishing your first 5 or 10k, rounding that last buoy, or hitting it full throttle across the line.
I’d love to read about what you see when you train and what the outcomes are? Are you faster, stronger? How did it change the way you train? We welcome your comments!
Aloha, Suzie Cooney, CPT
Should you like to learn more about Suzie and train with her on Maui for your next successful experience, go to her website at http://www.suzietrainsmaui.com
Also follow her on Face Book at: http://www.facebook.com/suzietransmaui
Suzie is alsoTeam Rider for Naish International. Check out the latest in her SUP specific training tips.
Transform your performance! Train like Suzie’s clients with the INDO Board