In the constant quest to improve, paddlers always seek something that will give them an edge. This is great but just before a regatta is NOT the time to be changing or trying anything new. Here are 6 common mistakes paddlers make before a regatta.
- Changing your stroke – after months maybe years of practicing your stroke, why would you change anything at the last minute?
- Especially in the 200m races where every stroke has to be gold. Centimeters matter and trying a less than efficient new stroke style will cost you and may impact those around you.
- Changing your gear – you should never use another paddle, unless you forgot or lost yours. “Paddles aint paddles”
- Changing your diet – try to eat the same way you do all year. You might think pasta the night before will be healthy, but watch out, it may make you feel bloated.
- Not enough warm up, warm up too soon or warming up too late – I always advise starting 30 minutes earlier because you have extra check-in times, marshaling, sitting around in the control area, stadium PA speakers announcing the field, etc. When you do thousands of meters of paddling a week, your body has a good cardiovascular system right down to the capillaries. Staying warm will be easier because your system is more efficient. Good old fashion low intensity volume.
- Being in the sun – The worst thing you can do is to be on your feet all day in the hot sunshine. Minimise time spent in the sun.
- Too much energy drinks – NOW is NOT the time to double up on extra energy drinks like Red Bull. Even getting an extra espresso shot added to your coffee, may be a bad thing. Better be close to the bathroom!
Say no more!