Monday, December 08, 2008

Got Boof Cross Training

While some rivers are just beginning to pick up water again in our region, myself (Jason Hilton) and many members of the Got Boof Crew have had to turn to other sports in the last four months in order to get our adventure thrills. It turns out that a host of these sports are great cross training workouts for skills that later can be applied to kayaking, so here is a quick thought on two sports that I have engaged in and how I see them as relating to kayaking.

This idea stems from a recent adventure to a local bouldering gym in the Pittsburgh Area. Here you can see us working our way through a series of challenging (for us non-climbers) problems.

Bouldering provides an excellent upper body workout that plays itself out well in kayaking. The increased upper-body strength will lead to more forceful strokes and more power to lift in the portaging realm of kayaking. Those of you in the DC area utilize some climbing skills every time you hike back up the “flake” to take another run on the Great Falls. Additionally, when you are in need of rescue, it is the climber amongst you who is going to be ale to get into the precarious position that best suits your rescue needs.

Mountain biking is another common cross training in our region, especially as it seems to be best when the boating is at its worst. The cardio and leg workout helps to boost your endurance for both all day paddling and long drawn out hike with your boat, such as the one found in the Blackwater canyon. Additionally, the technical nature of some trails can require just as much courage to ride as many of the rapids in our region, complimenting the head game involved in kayaking.

Additionally, fellow crewmembers have involved themselves in road biking and running as cross training activities, providing an even better aerobic cardio workout. Perhaps it comes as no surprise then that members who partake in these particular activities are the paddlers amongst us who can sustain the highest rate of speed for the longest duration of time when paddling through that whitewater we have all been dreaming about.

So when the paddling becomes thin, be aware that there is a host of other activities that are quite enjoyable while still boosting your paddling prowess. But try not to stay away too long... the rivers will run again.