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Goal: I wrote training logs from 1988-1996 and no real log since. As the World Championships approach, I figure it will do me good to have one, and hope you enjoy reading it too. I am starting with a short summary of paddling to date this year.

Previous Training Log Entries

March 7th

Hair of the Dog- Ran day 2 section- had focus issues on Mutt’s Nuts. Nick went big! Need to get air screws straight.
World championships on Nile Special:
EJ 1st, Nick 2nd, Stephen 3rd. however the highest scoring rides were during prelims.

March 8th

AM- working on moves- but a huge crew showed up so we left. I got good but not straight air screws. My neck is messed up and I am not sleeping well. Will do two more sessions. Today.
Late AM-
Great session! I got there first and got just about every move in the book on my first ride, more than once. My Back Pan Ams are going big and easy, my flash backs are good, clean blunts are landing out of balance again, but Pan Ams were good too. I even got front to back Pan Am combos, twice in one ride! Helix is good, flip turn is good. Time to start more combos, and McNasty.

PM- Worked Big Club Wave for video- I got some good moves, but got stuck on the water for much of the session, missing the takeoffs. Somehow doing it for video got my timing off this time. I did manage a few big helixes, and Pan ams.

March 9, 2007- Friday

AM- 11:00-12:30– World Championships finals, Nick, Dane, Stephen, EJ

Ride 1:
EJ – 108
Nick- 106
Stephen – 93
Dane 46

Ride 2: EJ- 43, Ride 3: 28 for EJ

Everyone did best on their first ride but Dane, who improved on each ride.
My ride I missed: Helix Right (130), and another pass, which would have taken me to around 150.

Work on moves:
I tried the Pan AM/Pan Am combos but kept going the same direction instead of switching. I did a couple of decent pan-am to back blunt combos though. Nick did two clean blunt right/McNasty combos, and I only tried that once.

Moves that I have dialed in on Club Wave:
Both Ways: (Helix, Back Pan Am, Pan Am, Clean blunt, Flip Turn, Flash Back)
To the left: Air Screw

Ways to improve my score at club wave: Pan Am/McNasty combo (or clean blunt/McNasty)

Focus for next Week (New Waves- getting better on faster greener waves (nile special and Mutts nuts))
Nile Special and Mutt’s Nuts rodeo rides
All moves revisited on these waves for consistency and retentiveness

The Physical Training:

My body is holding up well. I went through the initial wear down/tear down period in the first 7 days, then did two days of only one session to rebuilt without injury, and then the past two days have been super strong. I am not “dying” at the end of each workout like before, but just getting really tired. I think I can push through another 10 days of two sessions per day hard taking me to three hard weeks before backing off for a week. My standard push is three weeks hard, one week easy, three weeks hard, etc. this prevents injury and maximizes training.

Mental training: I am feeling pretty strong and feel like I am ready to compete mentally. I am confident in my straight up moves to compete at Buseater, but need to improve my combos. I have won every world championships so far here (our mock worlds). We have done 4 of them so far. The last one was the closest with Nick being 2 points behind me (108-106). I wouldn’t say that I truly gotten the proper training effect out of the world championships yet, however. I have entered into the final ride in first place each time. I want to be in 2nd or 3rd going into the last ride and have to step it up to win. It is hard to mentally trick yourself into feeling pressure that you wouldn’t naturally feel. I naturally want to win every event I compete in and that is competition enough (especially when we make it official with prizes, etc.) What I could do is to say that I have to win by more than 20 points to actually win. That would increase the pressure for both myself and the others. Nick is fully qualified to take the podium in his first world championships as a senior, and in many ways is out paddling me here in Africa. What isn’t obvious to people, however, is that I spend most of my time doing remedial training (meaning when you watch me paddle, you are watching me do what I am the worst at all day long, not the best at). This is why people think I come out and am a different person in competition, because then, I am putting my best foot forward and eliminate the things I am not good at from my routine. I am still not as confident in my focusing ability on either Nile Special or Mutt’s Nuts. I am not doing as well backwards as I would like, and tend to spin around forwards instead of throwing a back move. I am also flushing way too much and missing passes due to waiting too long to throw.

Things to work on: (Mental)

Awareness of where I am at all times
Awareness of the boat and paddle motions needed to stay on the wave and maneuver into position
Awareness of what the wave is doing
Awareness of what I need to do to set up quickly for the next move.
Aware of how big I can throw without flushing (how much foam is backing me up at the moment)
Focus on nailing each individual move attempt- all day every day…
Decide what to do in advanced
Punish myself for missing passes
Have to get off the wave
Reward myself for hitting specific targets
Candy bar

Technical Things to Work On

Quick Set up- EJ Super Set UP
Double side kick
Grind to edge drop and straighten out
One move to the next
Body forward on Pan Ams
getting the Boat under me on clean blunts
taking off earlier on Flashbacks
Keeping the boat straight on Air screws
throwing forward everytime on helixes
Lifting knee to face on flip turns
Landing with a flatter boat on Back pan ams
Pan-AM to Pan Am
Clean Blunt to McNasty

Physical things to work on

Things that will help me paddle better when on the wave
Breathing normally during the catching of, and then surfing of the wave.
Keeping body more forward and relaxed when the wave jacks up.
Things that will make me snappy, fast, powerful, durable, and feel good
Fix neck- treat as tendonitis
Stretch after warm up
Increase volume of paddling in week 3- push body past current comfort zone.
Do backwards sprints during session
Do 3 sessions per day- three days this week
Increase speed back up to the eddy after flushing
Paddle explosively during week 4 but ½ volume to recover for final week.
Paddle explosively with high volume during week 5
Sprint into eddies
Ramp up quantity of high paced rodeo rides during practice to at least 10 per session, plus technique

March 10, 2007
AM- 7am- We did a workout that was to start off with three of each move and then move on. Yesterday I did this in two rides, missing very few attempts and only flushing once. Today I had lots of issues with each move, never getting more than one move completed (three times) in a ride. Some moves I did one and flushed, or two and flushed. It took the whole workout to get through the moves. The reason is because there was no consequence to failing or winning. I did do three Blunt/McNasty combos (one clean one) in my final ride, which is a first for this trip.

Inventory of moves, listed in best to worst and highest scoring to lowest
Helix left
helix right
back pan am right
back pan am left
flash back right
Air screw left
flash back left
clean blunt left
clean blunt right
flip turn right
flip turn left
Pam am left
pan am right
McNasty left

Moves to start working on:
Blunt/McNasty combo
clean pan ams both ways
clean blunts- get them back (I had them dialed in when I first got here!)

Moves that link well together- probably on Buseater too (not combos- just good set ups)
Flashback to Flashback
clean blunt left to flashback right
flashback right to helix right
helix right to back pan am left
Back pan am left to clean blunt right
Air screw left to pan am left

Saturday March 10, 2007- Noon workout #2
Plan- rodeo rides- specific routine
Helix Left- 22
Helix Right- 44
Flashback left- 64
Flashback right-84
Back pan am right-104
Clean blunt left-122
Back Pan Am left-142
Pan Am Left- 162
air screw left- 184

Results: I had three OK rides, but Dane won this workout! I was a 105 on my best ride and Dane had a 106. Nick didn’t have any good rides. My Helix/Helix back to back was consistent. My back pan ams were good, but my flashbacks rushed didn’t go well. I never got to my clean blunt or blunt/mcnasty, or airscrew.

Workout #3: PM- high water club wave or nile special- rodeo rides.

I changed up my routine a little bit for low water club wave. I need to get to Mutt’s nut’s and Nile special for the routines also to test out a touchy wave.

Three rides on Nile Special:
Ride 1: Two Pan ams- flush- 32 points
Ride 2: Two Pan Ams- one backstab, clean spin flush- 47 points
Ride 3: Air Blunt left and pan am right, flip turn right, clean spin, back pan am, flush- 61 points

Club Wave (high water)
Ride 1: 72 points- Helix right, flashback right, back pan am, pan am
Ride 2: ??
Ride 3: missed the wave

After that I got some time on Nile Special without a line and got to do some good rides. I hit a huge helix, some clean blunts, flip turns, and some big back pan ams. I am much better at gauging the wave now. I need to have a plan for Buseater- and know it like the back of my hand, without having to learn it from experience.

At dinner- bed at 8:30pm- listen to music until 11:00, sleep until 7am (8 hours).

March 10, 2007- Sunday- I think we will do one workout tomorrow and then go into town to send and receive email, as well as get supplies. We are living on an island, where the only supplies they have here are three meals a day and water. We need duct tape, contact cement, Tang (vitamin C).

AM- Do a technique session- working on the EJ super set up, flashbacks, and clean blunts- very good! Tired!

PM- A few rides on Nile Special and Club wave (high water) good short session, but tired! One workout tomorrow!

March 13th- 2007 (Emily’s birthday)

I didn’t write in my training log the past two days for no real reason, other than I went into town yesterday after paddling, and then went paddling immediately after town, and then ate and went to bed. On the 11th, I did three workouts and barely had time to eat. Good stuff- so I will recap and then go to today.

11th and 12th- I am now getting up to the top level of moves- including combos. My Blunt McNasty, and clean Blunt McNasty is coming along well. I was 4 out of 5 on my blunt McNasty on Club Wave. I need to practice it on Nile special next. I also started to get my Air Screws straightened out (instead of shanking them off to the side, which will score as Pan Ams.) In the world championships a lot of athletes will find themselves surprised that they aren’t scoring Air Screws (22 points) but getting Pan Ams (16 points) because of the fact that they are landing sideways or even slightly backwards before pulling it back into a front surf. I am in that category most of the time, but at least I know it, and am working on it, and then will decide based on my skill in going perfectly straight by the time I leave Africa.

Today- Emily’s Birthday- Mutt’s Nuts- Day 2 Section-

Today we got a shuttle to the top of the Day 2 section (1 hour ride) and ran back down to the Hairy Lemon. Our primary training location was Mutt’s Nuts (the second wave at the Hair of the Dog rapid, which is good at the lower water levels).

Today we did a World championships finals- I got a 38 point first ride, an 18 point second ride and a zero point third ride (missed the wave!) and tied Sam for Second place, while Nick won with a 68 point ride. That is the “bad”news, which is the second time at this wave that Nick beat me. ( I have won every event at the other two waves- Nile special and Club wave, but have not won on this one yet).

After the competition, I began working on Mystery Flips- and got two underwater ones that came up in a front surf. Then I got two big aerial ones that were good, stuck one of them. I crashed two more times after that, simply by over pitching and auguring in on my head. My last ride I did a Backwards Mystery Flip and stuck it.

While I am 90% sure that I won’t be doing Mystery Flips on Buseater for the World Championships (because they are very hard to nail the right entry angle, and the wave must be breaking to stick them), I will work on them as a potential exit move, and mostly because they are fun.

The Back Mystery Flip will make the promo video for sure!

I am not doing a night session tonight. My body is worn down after two hard weeks of 2 or 3 sessions per day. Time for a single session today and tomorrow. I will wait until Joel Kowalski comes tomorrow (Team JK) and then we’ll go out with him.

March 14th, Wednesday

Joel Kowalski arrived at 12:30 ready to paddle. Nick, Dane, Emily, Ruth, Stephen, and I went out with him on Club Wave. He just got his new 2007 All-Star and had only tried Nick’s for three rides before today. Joel has a smooth style and great amplitude in his moves and did well right away. I decided to work on Mystery Flips at the Club wave. I tried them my first day here but couldn’t get the bow down. Today I was able to get the bow down easily and nailed one particularly good one for the promo video. I am also getting back Mystery Flips fairly easily, but haven’t stuck one yet, or gone big on one yet. I will work on that for sure. I have never seen anyone else do a truly aerial Mystery Flip, front or backwards on purpose, making it my own domain for now. Stephen is on the project too, and Dane did two yesterday, but not aerial yet. My clean blunts and clean pan ams are feeling good again too. My flash backs are not doing well right now and need attention. I believe the Flash Back is the easiest 20 points you can get, but it can also be a real problem move if your timing isn’t just right and you can’t get the boat vertical and off the water.

PM: 5-7- Nile Special-

I had some really good rides on Nile Special tonight, the difference being that I am much more retentive. This is a huge component to the World Championships in that it doesn’t matter what moves you can do, if you flush on your first move, or generally have a problem staying on the wave for a total of 7 moves. While I haven’t particularly been working on retentiveness, the time is getting near to practice individual moves, set-ups, and combos from the retentiveness point of view and make sure I know what my chances of staying on a wave after trying any move is. Joel looked good on the wave and is almost used to the All-Star already in his second session and likes it much better than his former Project, in part because it doesn’t hurt his feet and legs to paddle it.

March 15, 2007, Thursday (malaria pill day)

AM- 7:30-9:00- Nick, Emily, EJ, Ruth (Joel and Dane slept in)
Water is higher this morning than any other morning we have had- perhaps signaling higher water this evening for Nile Special also. We paddled on club wave and it was harder than normal for sure. It was a bigger wave, but less runway because of the foam for the most part and a very irregular series of boils coming in from the big hole above it. I am getting more comfortable being backwards, relaxing when the foam goes over my head and I can’t see, and throwing moves blind. You don’t realize how much energy and brain power you use to “worry” about what is about to happen when you start bouncing around out of control, and how much you tighten up, lean back, or fail to throw moves when they are available when you first start paddling on big waves. After only 2.5 weeks it is apparent to me that I am much more relaxed and trusting that my All-Star will take care of me, keep my bow and stern from pearling, and that I can throw moves whether I can see or not. At Buseater, the pit is something that can work you, but is also a place where a quick flashback, or back pan am can be thrown in the process of climbing out. The temptation is always to get to the top of the shoulder, where it is green before throwing any move. While this is where the moves can go the biggest, it isn’t the only place to be comfortable throwing moves. The funny thing is that the less skill someone has the more time they spend trying to get the perfect set up on the shoulders, as much out of fear of the pit as trying to get a “big” move. I need to get more in tune with how to deal with being at the bottom of the wave. My Super Set Up is designed to get me to the top quickly, but so would a quick move at the bottom. I need to try helixes at the very trough. It may go OK, and will certainly bring me to the top quickly. This would be a Super Duper Setup technique for sure, adding more time for other moves. Right now Joel, Dane, Nick, and Stephen are using Joel’s underwater housing and trying to get some cool shots of Nile special, with one person surfing, while the camera guy is on the rope hanging on the edge of the wave.