This week we dive into the third and final #ROXYFitness SUP blog from Roxy Rider Viktoria Burgess. Viktoria gets you ready for SUP race at the #ROXYFitness event on April 29th. We look forward to seeing you there!

Getting Ready for the Race 

by: Viktoria Burgess

SUP racing involves a lot of strategy and there are many things that can affect the outcome of your race.  Now that you have put all the hard work into training for a race and are physically ready, you have to tap into your mental game to be prepared the day of before the race starts.

Things to think about before the race:

The Course

First you want to do your research on the race course, as all courses are different.  What is the course distance?  What is the shape of the course? Is it a long straight course or is it more of a technical course with buoy turns?  It is also very important to listen to the directions at the racer meeting so you understand exactly what you are supposed to do during the race.

The Conditions

the race

After you find out the type of course you will be racing on, it is time to think about the conditions that will affect your race plan.  Which way will the wind be coming from?  How is the current flowing?  Is this flat water or will there be waves, and if there are waves how big will they be?  These aspect will greatly shape your race plan.

As most people know, paddling into the wind and current is much more difficult that paddling with it.  During the times you paddle into the wind or current, you will be using more energy and will need to push harder to maintain your speed.  So by assessing this before the race, you will be prepared for times you will be pushing hard, and then times where you can take a break or two.  Knowing as much as you can before you come to the race about the conditions you will be facing that day will help you feel more comfortable when you are at the start line.

Your Competition

Another thing to think about is who you are lining up next to.  Once you become familiar with the scene, knowing who is around your speed will help you with your plans, such as getting in a draft line or knowing when you will attempt to make a break away.

How to come into the beach when lapping in a race?

Adding a run chicane (or even a run finish) can make a the event exciting for everyone (spectators and racers). It also adds another aspect of skill for participants: beach starts and finishes.  The start you want it to be as smooth and as fast as possible when launching from the beach.  After you push-off and get up with your feet under you, the first 10-20 strokes (or more) should be a fast sprint pace before you settle into your race pace.

As you start to come into the beach for your finish depending on the condition you will have to make some decisions.  If the conditions are waves, its important to get into your surf stance on the back of the board to pull out the nose as you catch waves in.  As you get closer to the beach and feel stable on your board, you have to remember to take your leash off before you hit the beach to run.  Although it’s always fun to watch someone run before taking their leash off, it’s not fun to be the one who did it!

Approaching the Beach

Whether or not it is flat, choppy or swell, knowing how deep the water is when you approach the beach is key.  Last year, I lost a race because I was on a wave coming into the beach and didn’t realize how deep it was and thought I would run earlier than the girl next to me and I jumped off my board and landed in chest deep water.  I lost.  Coming into the beach you want to do so as fast as possible without wrecking your board on the rocks/shells.  Gently pushing your nose on the sand when you jump off is the best way, so you wont have to try to run in any water.

Race nutrition:

Everyone is different as far as what sits well with them before competing in an athletic event.  Some people can eat full meals, and some only want to eat a banana.  So by all means, do what works best for you.  Race day nutrition should be practiced before your race and not tested out the day of the race.

SUP races often can be longer than an hour straight of exercise, so you will be burning lots of calories during that time.  In order to provide the energy your body needs to perform the entire race, you need to continually replenish your calories.

My Recommendations

The day/night before a race I like to hydrate with lots of water and Tailwind (electrolyte endurance powder).  I also eat some carbs and salt the day/night before.  Especially living in hot Florida, your body will be sweating and losing a lot of salt throughout your workout, so to avoid cramping and crashing, its important to get salt in your body, even if via salt/electrolyte tabs.

The morning of the race I will usually eat either oatmeal with peanut butter and banana or eggs and an English muffin and some coffee.  I usually try to eat this about two hours before the race.  I have received many great nutrition advice from my nutrition coach, Jose Antonio PhD, Associate Professor of Exercise Science at Nova Southeastern University and CEO of International Society of Sports Nutrition.  To give yourself a boost, Dr. Antonio, states that you should consume caffeine (about 2mg per lb of body weight) 30-45 mins before a race and 30-60g of carbs during a race.

I always prep my race pack with two scoops of Tailwind Nutrition powder mixed with water.  (my pack is a 1.8L)  This will provide me the calories and electrolytes I need throughout my race.

Post race its important to get in your protein.  As stated by Dr. Antonio, “make sure you chug 40g of high quality protein.”  A whey protein shake makes for a great post-race drink.  I always have a protein shake after my race and then I’ll have any usual meal.