Outta Shape & Need Help

-- Last Updated: Aug-03-07 4:02 PM EST --

After many years of desire but no dance partner, I finally found a paddler that's willing to enter the General Clinton with me next May.
That gives me 10 months to get into shape for a 70-miles-in-one-day paddle.
I am looking for some suggestions from experienced racers.
What's a good diet & exercise regime to adopt?

Here's another interesting side note...my partner lives in England, so we will only have one or two days together in the boat before the race.
And we're both deep into our 50's.
Needless to say, we're in it to finish, not win it.
I expect we'll be in the NYMCRA Stock class in a Sundowner.

georgia kayaker sez
coffee, chocolate twinkies and goldfish

(just kiddin ya GK)

Diet and exercise advise
Hi, just a couple of points. If you haven’t yet, see your doctor and get clearance for the type of training you’re going to be doing the next 10 months (given your age). With adequate motivation, most paddlers can get themselves through the 70 miles. But to prepare yourself to a level where you can do it with minimal pain, I would say build up to several hours at a time in your kayak. Devote one day per week for long distances and progressively increase. Don’t worry about speed, just get your body use to sitting and paddling for long periods.

Be mindful of aches and pains, and you may want to supplement your training with lightweights for the upper body and flexibility exercises as well.

Don’t over do it, progressively load yourself from week to week by increasing distance, adding an intense workout once a week and so on.

As for diet, your main concern is replenishing your stores, particularly after those long distances. Experiment and find those high calories foods that you can easily consume while paddling. Do that while training, don’t wait for the big race day.

For more on diet and racing, check out my website at www.cmierphotoandfitness.net. I’m an exercise physiologist by profession, so if you have any more questions, let me know.

Good luck!

So Far, So Good
As luck would have it, I have a doctors appointment on Monday for a routine follow-up. I’m certainly going to be discussing the situation.

Right now, paddling 10 miles is not a problem. Unfortunately, I do not have access to a solo boat, but paddle my Prospector solo with comfort.

I once heard a racer say, “Paddling 70 miles is not as hard as sitting in a canoe for the time required to paddle 70 miles.”

I wonder if I can get steroids for my butt :slight_smile:

Thanks for the input…and keep it coming!

diet and excersise…
too young to race, but if you are trying to get in shape, here are some tips. For protein, the best way to go is fish, unbreaded skinless chicken, reduced fat milk, turkey, eggs (cooked), stuff like that. For carbs, 100% whole grain wheat bread is good, beagles, that kinda thing. and obviously fruits and veggies are great. but you still need protein

For excersice, The best thing is CARDIO. Anything that gets your heart pumping fast. Paddling, of course, cycling, running, or using excersice equitment.

The Beagle Diet?
I never saw beagles on a diet plan before, but they would be protein–not carbs! Please don’t give us any recipes–unless you really meant “bagels.” :slight_smile:


Concept II

Great Site cmier!
What a neat site.

My advice to the original poster is to toughen your hands and add a daily rowing machine work out to your training.

What school system are you enrolled in? Holy cow kid!


– Last Updated: Aug-04-07 1:51 PM EST –

this paddling website. No disrespect to my fellow PNetters, this site is surf ski/ canoe racer oriented. I know most of them personally, all are helpful, fit, and most are in their 40's, 50's, and 60's.


Tell'em Tom Lowell sent ya. You'll be ready.


Too Young?
The youngest person to do the 70-miler was Amanda Robinson…when she was eight-years old. She paddled with her father. She’s done it several more times since then. I think she’s 16 now.

Some Cycling Experience

– Last Updated: Aug-04-07 10:21 AM EST –

I've done quite a few cycling endurance events. What worked for me was:

1) Train as time allows. In your short blocks of time work on speed. In your bigger blocks of time work on endurance.

2) A multivitamin per day can't hurt. A calcium supplement every other day won't hurt either. If you take calcium the way the bottle instructs you'll be constipated as hell.

3) Work up to your longer distance slowly to avoid injury... and despair!

4) Two or three days before your event stop training. Relax. The day before your event be sure and take in lots of complex carbs along with some protein. Beagle is ok.

5) Don't try any new 'boat' foods on event day. Stick with tried and true. I'd recommend something salty and something sweet. Your body will let you know what it needs.

Good luck. Hope your partner is a good 'un.

(I'm going biking right NOW! Bye.)

Beagle is Ok! (That’s Funny)
Me too. I have been working up my endurance over the last month, getting ready to run the Tsali Mountain Bike Trails in NC coming up this Wed. I have been riding every night for about an hour and not really increasing the distance as much as I have been ramping up the technical and incline portions. I am in much better shape then I was a month ago, but I fear that I am not where I need to be, but whatever, here I go. I just got back from a 5am ride this morning.

On the subject of nutrition and liquid intake, I got a rude awakening a couple weeks ago on a trail ride with pnetter coyoteequip. We rode a very difficult 11 mile trail and I ran out of liquid at about the 7 mile mark and I seriously thought I was going to have to be air lifted out. Not a pretty sight. So, I have since started experimenting with the GU shot paks and I have to say that I think I see an improvement in in stamina by taking one of these about 15 minutes before I start and about every 45 minutes after, along with liquid throughout. At least I am not getting sick later in the day like I was before.

Good Luck to You and keep us posted on your progress.


Back From My Ride

– Last Updated: Aug-05-07 10:31 AM EST –

I don't know squat about racing boats but I do know biking. Misery is misery. If I was doing a super-endurance paddle event I would definitely take at least two paddles with different surface areas. A low gear and a high gear so to speak.

Muscles getting tired? Switch to your lower surface area paddle.

Heart and lungs about to poop out? Switch to the macho paddle.

P.S. Don't EVER let my wife know you consumed cocker spaniel.

P.P.S. If you haven't done endurance events before you might not have heard this basic stuff:

Eat before you get hungry.
Drink before you get thirsty.
Take deep breaths before you start a sprint.


Don't get fixated on a precise diet or a precise training schedule. It's bad for the mind. You'll start thinking "I missed my Wednesday speed work, therefore I'll fail on event day." That's an evil lie.

"I ate two bowls of ice cream, therefore I'll fail on event day."
That's a wicked, evil lie.

Can You Tell I Like Endurance Events?

– Last Updated: Aug-05-07 7:22 PM EST –

Boat foods... try different ones and see what works for you. Some things I've had good luck with:

Easy on the stomach are vanilla wafers and oatmeal cookies. Popular in my community are 'power pills' aka peanut M&Ms. Pretzel rods are easy to handle and provide needed salt. These are referred to as 'cigars'.

Sports drinks like Gatorade are fine but don't go without water. Too much Gatorade and sweet stuff can make you queasy. Water helps ward off that queasiness. When I first started doing endurance stuff I thought "cashews! lots of delicious calories!" Made me sick as hell. Way too fatty and I had way too few miles under me. Bananas work for most everyone. Some folks can go for miles on Fig Newtons. Yuck. You absolutely don't have to buy expensive 'sports foods' to do well in your event. Just be sure to find out what works for you well before event day.

Good luck.

70 miles isn’t that bad

– Last Updated: Aug-05-07 8:50 PM EST –

because your objective is only to finish.

Last Aug I took four paddlers on a 102 mile recreational paddle that lasted 26.5 hours. This was a grup paddle and not a race. The longest paddle any had made prior to this event was 32 miles. No one practiced and I was the only one who paddled during the week before.

You have 2 bigger problems than exercise.

1. Learn what you can keep in your stomach, what your body will use and not excrete. Consuming too much fluids is a waste. Not drinking enough can be dangerous.

2. Being mentally ready will be more important than anything. The mind can will the body to work but the body can't will the mind.

I warned all that this would be more mental than physical. 14 hours into the event one man wanted to quit, he said he was tired, exhausted and hurt. The details aren't important as to what became the motivator but he padddled 12.5 more hours.

seakak1 gave you my "Top Secret Menu". I also took 16 oz of water and 16 oz of Gatorade.

Just paddle every chance you get. I'm 59 so we pretty well know what we can and can't eat. Whatever you do, don't change your diet at the last minute and eat something you don't normally eat.

cyclic training
Schedule exercise/rest periods that develop plateaus of fitness that build on each other. I’d figure on a new plateau every month from three stair stepping progressions in training each week with the fourth week for recovery.

If you’re doing a 70mile event then build up a level of fitness so you can do a 70mile event BEFORE the actual one and have a recovery period before the event.

Sounds like an all day event requires lots of recovery. How about sceduling one day a week for the LONG paddle,whatever is long for you with other activities providing exercise during the recovery period.

If you have a decent aerobic capacity it’ll make more of a difference that your joints/hands/postural muscles can handle the endurance since you won’t be putting out peak anaerobic efforts, although developing that capacity is worthwhile.

So maybe the first month is simply long slow distance so your lifestyle gets adjusted to the activity. Figure one long day effort with two medium day efforts. The rest days aren’t no exercise, simply rest from the main activity. Even walking is a good rest day.

So the first couple few months are conditioning and technique,nothing hard. Third month you start building. You should feel a new level of fitness with each month with real substantial changes happening in three months,basically through a season you are at a level that can sustain you if you did nothing for a week.

So there’s cycles within cycles. Within a week there’s effort, rest, effort, rest with the particular mix that works for your schedule but make one day the LONG day. Long and EASY. I’m talking a boring, boring 50-60% effort. The idea is to get used to the time.

Hopefully you’ll get two three month cycles under your belt before you start attempting the marathon length event. In eight months you start playing with the ultramarathon attempts at easy effort,just surviving it with recovery periods.

There’s no reason to develop injuries while increasing the effort, that’s what the fourth week in each month is for, recovery. You don’t want some kind of overuse injury that requires weeks to recover from.

Something That Helped Me
"You are making progress even when you think you aren’t"

I taped that little bit of wisdom that I read somewhere to my handlebar on some endurance rides. Eventually I shortened it to:

“Don’t despair.”

There’ll be times when you feel like you’re working and working and getting nowhere. That’s when you have to remember:

“You are making progress even when you think you aren’t.”