It’s been a couple weeks now since we decided we’re going to race in Hong Kong. I’ve changed up my training to hopefully get in the best racing shape.
Our friend Lars-Torsten has been kind enough to let us use his double kayak whenever we want so we can get some on water time. We’ve been out on the river a number of times now using our outrigger paddles. We sit really low in the boat so the paddles feel really long and we splash each other more than we’d like.
Paddling together has also reminded us that while we are such compatible partners in so many aspects of our lives, paddling isn’t necessarily one of them. The first day was a little contentious, but we’ve worked out the kinks and are flying pretty good now (well as much as possible in a 25 year old heavy monster using the wrong paddles). On Saturday we decided to see how far we could go on the river. After checking the satellite map we knew that we’d have some portages around dams, but we have another map saying that the river is part of a long ‘canoe trail’ so there should be ways around. Well the day turned into a bit of a ‘canoe hike’ on the ‘canoe trail’ as the paths around the dams haven’t been maintained in a while.
At the first dam we first had to scope out the trail while being attacked by biting red ants! Once we found the trail we had to portage over slippery rocks and then up a really steep hill while carrying the aforementioned heavy beast. At the next dam we couldn’t find a good place to take out so we went back downstream and found what looked like a public trail. We then had to hike down some dirt roads. We almost made it to the next dam before deciding to head back since we were getting a little cramped. On the way back down river we found that the ‘public’ trail wasn’t really public and there was a family fishing there with their large barking dog. It turned out the dog was really friendly as were the family so no problems. And at the second dam we had the route scoped out and only got a few ant bites. If we feel really adventurous we may try to make it all the way to Sandviken (about 25km up river plus 5 dam portages) and then spend the night before coming back the next day.
In the gym, I was mostly working on building up a big aerobic base for next year along with raw strength in the weight room. Both have been going pretty well, but not necessarily the most useful for sprint races in a month. I’ve changed to mostly circuit training weights (light weight, lots of repetitions, little rest) and have done a number of anaerobic power and lactate threshold (think painful if you aren’t familiar with the terms) workouts on the rowing machine. I think the rowing machine borders on cruel and unusual punishment. It’s already hard enough and then it immediately updates you about how slow you are going after one poor pull. I think some of the other gym patrons have been concerned for my health as I probably appear to be about to keel over and die. They already think I’m the weird foreign guy that always wants to use the chinup bar for — chinups (long story, maybe another post), so this just adds to my mystique I’m sure.
Another day I decided I should do some running hill sprints at our local ‘mountain’. I managed to sprint from bottom to top seven times before my legs became too jelly to walk. That may sound impressive, but our mountain is so small I can get from top to bottom in just under a minute. But it was a great pain tolerance workout that I’ll probably repeat again soon (it’s been a while so the memory of the agony has worn off).
We’ve only got two and half weeks until we leave, so we’ll be looking to maximize this time with more hard workouts. Should be ‘fun’.