Thursday, May 24, 2007

Training Time is Getting Critical

Only 8 weekends of training left for the Missouri River 340, or Misery 340 as my husband refers to it (not just because of the distance, but also the heat and mosquitoes at that time of year). A 340 mile paddle from Kansas City to St. Louis, to be completed in 100 hours. I think I'm where I should be in my training. Now it's time to really ramp it up with some long distance paddles, and adding a few intervals during my shorter paddles.

The Capt'n (Brian Weber) and I compare training notes, and continually encourage each other to keep on paddling and training. It's not always easy to get out there, life gets in the way, and sometimes it doesn't always feel like fun. I actually need the encouragement more than he. Brian is motivated enough by the fact that he is paddling the race in a double Kruger Cruiser with Mark Przedwojewski, racer and owner of Kruger Canoes.

I'm also planning to paddle the race in a Kruger Cruiser with Stan Hanson. Each of us good friends of Mark (my Kruger Dreamcatcher was a gift from Mark, who challenged me to "finish the Ultimate Florida Challenge and you can keep my Dreamcatcher"). Stan was also a good friend of Verlen Kruger, and paddled the Yukon River with Verlen and his wife Jenny for Verlen's 80th birthday paddle.

If your unfamiliar with Verlen Kruger, I highly recommend your reading his biography "All Things are Possible", a very short bio also can be found here.

In addition to being naturally competitive, as a member of Team Kruger, I feel an additional responsibility, as most of us Kruger paddlers do, to paddle these wonderful boats with the same determination and spirit that Verlen did.

I am approaching training for this race, much like I do any WaterTribe event, though I'm finding the MR340 has me wanting to race a bit more than cruise. Maybe it's knowing that there will be river current on my side in this race :)

There are excellent articles on the WaterTribe Magazine site on training and preparing for a long distance challenge. I like the article "Get Fit for a Challenge" written by Chief (head of the WaterTribe), which is located in the archived articles section.

Chief says the long paddles are the key. He recommends a minimum time of 4 hours for each long paddle, and says 8 hours is really better for training. His training plan also suggests a 12 hour paddle once or twice for confidence. "If you are comfortable swinging your paddle for 8 hours, you can do 16 hours in a race". The minimum of 4 hours and beyond allows your body to undergo the significant adaptations for long range endurance, critical for these kinds of events, whether you race them all out, or enter it to finish.

My personal training plan has me paddling a short 6 mile social paddle on Wednesday nights, then a 12-15 mile paddle Friday nights (experience with paddling in the dark is very important in these events), then I'll paddle 15-20 miles on Sundays, increasing these slowly to 30-35. I'll finish my training with 2 30-35 mile paddles twice before the race. Our weather here in NC should have me prepared for the heat and humidity in Missouri. Cross training throughout my training will include biking, swimming, walking, core and strength training, and yoga.

Life is about to get very busy, just how I like it.


Capt'n "O" Dark 30 said...

Keep it moving Dawn!! Can't wait for the M340!!

Michael said...

Good for you Dawn! Sounds like your training is right on.

Midwest Paddle Adventures said...

Hey Sandy:
After our 33-mile paddle on the Kaw River last weekend, and talking with the MR340 race director, Scott Mansker, I think the real secret to a respectible finish is how long you paddle at night. Confidence paddling a moving river with wing dykes will make that night experience all that much easier.
Can't wait to meet you and the rest of the Kruger gang.