This week's #SUPtipTuesday is geared towards paddlers that are entered into a #SUP race that may have #beach starts. If you've entered a race that includes a running beach start, its a good idea to use an interval session as beach start practice. Especially since its summer and the waters are warm - its a fun time to do some beach starts (waves or no waves).
So, what interval session makes the ideal beach start practice? I personally like to use 30-second or 1-minute intervals with a 3-4minute full recovery rest in between. Draw a line in the sand like a race would have, and start behind it. For time keeping, I use a speedcoach, but a stopwatch or any time keeping device will work. I like to get in a good, long run (this helps with getting used to maneuvering your board while running) that lasts from 5-10 seconds before I hit the water. Once you superman out onto the water your goal is to pop up as fast as possible and sprint for 10-15seconds at 110%!! As you can imagine, paddling an all out sprint is hard, but after running an all out sprint its EVEN HARDER! The lactic acid will get you soon, so if you're doing a 30 second interval, hold out until your watch says you're done then paddle back easy to shore and rest the remainder of the time. If you go for a full minute, I would attempt a buoy turn at the 30-40ish second mark and then try to catch bumps and sprint to the finish. Practice removing your leash, jumping off the board, and running up the beach. As you can imagine, doing all of these things while extremely exhausted will be challenging. Especially the BUOY TURN!! But, heck, its summer and we all want a rockin' paddler's body anyway. So hop to it!
As you perfect your technique there are a few things to make it harder:
1) I treat a failed beach launch as a "no rep" and I go back to the beach and start on the next minute.
2) I always start exactly on the minute, regardless of what the waves look like or are doing (this makes it very spicy).
These beach intervals are a great way to spice up your paddling routine even if you don't intend to race. Its better than a HIIT workout at a gym, and a lot harder too. It develops balance, proprioception, hand-eye coordination, running speed, paddling speed, lactate tolerance, and requires focus when you're pooped.