Cover Credit: Troy Elmore by Kenworthy
It was a tough winter.
I admit, I am happy I didn’t have to support the last 6 months of the horrible Quebec winter, but still, I didn’t get much chance to go surfing. Winter started with too many hours of staying in bed and watching movies in my sheets because it’s too cold then moving to the West Coast and having to work while trying to plan a trip on the island, without forgetting the expensive ferry ride. It wasn’t easy. Not at all. . .
Lack of motivation, scared of the cold or too focused on surfing in California? Who knows what the issues were. I only know that – I am not ready for summer. Especially, that Californian one!
Too hot. Too humid. Which means, always in swimsuit/rash guards. But hey, don’t misunderstand me.
My main issue right now isn’t to be hanging out at the beach while pretending to read a book wearing only a tiny swimsuit. Tiny swimsuit? Nah. Bikini body not on point? These kinds of problems hadn’t been on my mind for a looooong time, and if it’s still on yours, just realize it’s 2016 and all kinds of bodies are accepted – you only have to love yourself. Confidence means being sexy. Don’t forget that!
You know what the issue really is? I haven’t paddled for such a long time. I don’t have the strength anymore. Damn, it means a wave will steal me away from my board and I will never be able to go back to shore, because I AM NOT STRONG ENOUGH. And then, as I don’t know how to breathe under water for 5 minutes or more, I am going to run out of oxygen. Then a lifeguard will have to come and save me. #awkward, kooks level.
So, as you must assume, I don’t want that. I am sure some of you may be in the same position as me, and I am sure you don’t want to drown in the salty water either. Avoid these kinds of memories when you get back from your summer surf trip.
Let’s get back into shape so we can enjoy endless hours of surfing & catching perfect waves!
As found via Surfline, here is a training that Nick Carroll recommends. I think we can easily trust the journalist and avid surfer as he completed the 32-mile Quiksilver Mokokai-to-Oahu paddleboard race in 2007. If he can do it at 48 years old, we can probably do something similar at our age, or at least, try our best, don’t you think?
First of all, you need to remember, you are a surfer. Or you are trying to become a good one. Running is great and doing other exercises as well, but you belong to the water, so hit the pool and don’t overthink too much before doing so, otherwise you won’t go. Make sure you drink lots of water before and after, eat properly, don’t drink too much booze & make the workout in the right way. If you are not able to, ask some help from one of your ‘’pro-swimmer’’ friend so you do the training the right way.
THE 1500-METER SURF SWIM TRAINING SESSION
(4 - 5 times a week, all done freestyle, except where indicated)
1. Jump in and swim 400 meters, nice and smoothly, not too quick, not too slow. This is to warm up and loosen your whole body.
2. Take a short rest, just a couple minutes. Let the heart rate return to somewhere near normal.
3. Do a set of short quick sprints. You're probably swimming in a 25-meter pool, so do this:
8 x 25m, each one pretty much as quick as you can, with a 20 second break between each 25m. (Or start each 25m exactly 40 seconds after you started the last one - a 40-second "interval". Intervals keep you honest.)
4. Take another rest. That little sprint set should've limbered you up and got some heat running through your brain and body.
5. Now a set of sturdy strengtheners.
5 x 100m, smooth and strong, with a 30 second gap between each 100m. (Or on a 2-minute interval.)
6. Take another rest. That should've opened your lungs right up and got some endorphins moving. Healthy tingling through body, etc.
7. Now a finish-off power set.
6 x 50m, with a 20 second break between each. (Or a 50-second interval.)
8. Roll right into a slow "warmdown" 100m, swim very gently, 25m free, 25m backstroke, 25m breaststroke, 25m free to finish.
9. Drink a couple pints of water.
Most surfers will feel some odd muscles twitching after a couple of these session, but it won't be too bad - not as bad as if you hadn't done any kind of upper body work.
After four or five weeks at this pace, you'll be ready to tune it up a bit. Try this one out every second session:
THE 2500-METER 6-8-FOOT SURF PSYCHER
1. Jump in for the 400-meter warmup gig.
2. Rest for a minute or so, then straight into this:
3. Serious strengtheners:
10 x 50m, first five on a 2 minute interval, second five on a 1min-50sec interval. (Don't give up on number eight, either!)
4. Rest for a couple minutes, then:
10 x 50m, first five on 1 minute, second five on 45 seconds.
5. Rest for a minute or so, then (ha ha!):
8 x 25m UNDERWATER, each on 1 minute. (You can use a set of swim fins on this one -- not a bad investment.)
6. 6x50, swimming 25 free, 25 other stroke - backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly. Your choice of the other stroke. (If you can manage it, try to revolve twice through the three - I know butterfly is a real trick.) Each 50 on 1m15s.
6. Rest for a couple of minutes, then swim right through the remaining 600m without stopping, but doing 25m backstroke for every 75m freestyle. Slow yourself down through the last 100, down to warm down pace.
Please forgive us if you try and want to die at first. It’s normal, we felt the same way, but do not give up because it is worth it. If Nick Carroll can do it, we definitely can (or maybe not, but believing it makes a difference).
Thanks to Nick Carroll &
Surfline for this training.