Saturday, February 24, 2007


Now is the time to step up or refocus training for the start of the kayak season.
A training concept called periodization may help - there are a number of coaching resources that go into quite a bit of detail. See links. The planning tool coaches use with performance athletes is called a Yearly Planning Instrument or YPI. Depending on your fitness or training goals this type of tool may be helpful to guide you through the preparation phase and training phases into the critical summer period. For most of us non-competitive kayakers the primary goals may relate to several long trips or major events. If there are more competitive or specialized goals one would need to train or practice specifically to meet those goals. Increasing your aerobic tolerance and developing a good aerobic foundation can be beneficial physiologically, when adding sprint or anaerobic tasks. So now is a good time to walk more, hike, swim or cross country ski. This time of year to also work on skills such as rolls and rescues, in the pool environment.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Year of the Pig

Today marks the start of the new chinese new year - the year of the pig.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cross training

Cross country skiing and skate skiing in particular has turned out to be a tremendous
training method. I have found myself slow in mastering the technique but when the conditions match my waxing application, everything comes together for a great workout.
What could be better than a groomed trail within a small wilderness area, minutes from home. It was cold, light snow and sunny - perfect conditions.
At a presentation on injury prevention, I had remarked that I had experienced many of the painful problems that can occur during the X country ski season. It was not my intent to come with that much personal experience but this type of cross country skiing was foreign to most of my previous training approaches. These problems are mostly under control now, although I still have an overuse syndrome active in the hip abductors.
Double poling and jumping into the nordic trails provides a short break as I am building up endurance.
Sea kayaking is going to seem like a break when the cross country season concludes.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

When the kayaks are up in slings

The best decription for this time of the year, not on the water for kayakers - is a preparation period. Dealing with or managing this time is critical - one way is to immerse yourself in cross training endeavours. That way you retain or better your level of fitness, hasten any recovery or healing needing to be done and arrive at the first kayak retreat prepared for the season. Last year I hiked and snowshoed - this year I have been cross country skiing - more specifically skate skiing. I now believe it to be one of the most physically demanding sports,at least from an aerobic standpoint. If you have skis, dust them off and head off to a course or trail. The time before the next kayak launch will seem much shorter.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Hey what about me?

The change in conditions - cold, windy and sunny made for an inviting walk around the
city this afternoon. The wind made a pair of snow board goggles a handy thing to have on hand.
Road crews were everywhere.
You can see from the photo, residents were becoming increasingly territorial with their parking spots. The sense that they had carved out a spot for their own vehicle seemed to make it logical that they would claim this spot as there own.
In contrast to less friendly approaches to the winter snow blues I encountered a driver of one of the snowclearing plows. While taking a few pictures of the work involved in clearing all the snow, this fellow leans out from his cab and shouts down "hey what about me?" He has a good laugh and a wave and I took his picture. Great to see folks take a moment to share a laugh even while working hard.

Snowstorm update

Thankfully the rain, snow, wind and erratic temperatures have dissipated.
We must be reaping the consequences of the greenhouse effect. One day the temperature was -11 degrees celsius and two days later 5 degrees. One day a raging snowstorm and the next torrential rain. This was the sort of gear one would have to wear if you just wanted to walk downtown to visit a friend. Most rose to the occasion but the spaces to store all the snow from shoveling are growing far more limited.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

New Years Day

The New Years Day paddle is a bit of a tradition for kayakers in St.John's. The weather is typically bitter, snowy and cold although, there have been years when it has been wet and rainy - so part of the events challenge is just to make it to the launch site. The location is a spectacular small fishing community within the city called Quidi Vidi. It is now home also to the Quidi Vidi brewery but that is another story. Fish stages are still intact and individual fishing wharfs serve to type a host of vessels - including the occasional sail boat spending the winter season. Quidi Vidi is a well protected little harbour with a small 20 foot opening through a breakwater called the gut. That relatively small space opens into Freshwater Bay which is only partially protected from the atlantic ocean and then the open water a tight right leads you to St. John's harbour; otherwise the next big stop is Ireland.