The Ventura Olympic Canoe Club has always prided itself on being innovative and willing to try new things in terms of training and equipment; we’re not afraid to experiment. In fact, it’s pretty much a guarantee that what we did for a training program last year will not be the same in the coming year, even if we felt the last year was highly successful. We believe that to be a winner, and to keep winning, you have to be willing to take a risks and do things differently.
What’s this year’s “new thing” going to be? There may be multiple new things, actually, but for the month of August after the 2017 Nationals and into the middle of September, we are not going to paddle. That may seem odd, but here’s the idea and reasoning behind this decision:
- Club members at the moment are all Masters. As older paddlers, recovery becomes a more important factor than it is for younger paddlers.
- Focussing on something different during this time, such as an alternate workout, or even boat repair, is good for our mental recovery, too. We will be more “hungry” for the water come October.
- Paddling in the early Fall through the dead of Winter is indeed something we can do here in Southern California, but it is still hard to get out there at Oh Dark Thirty with a light on the boat, paddling in the darkness. Having a mental break will help us get through that tougher time.
- There’s time to focus on the training plan, building a more detailed one for the coming year.
To that last point, at least one of us will be going to San Diego over Labor Day weekend to get certified as a Level 1 International Canoe Federation coach. That new training knowledge will be put to use making our new training plan.
We’ll be publishing next year’s plan in early September — look for a few other new things to included within it.