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!