Rainy Day Workout
Another rainy and onshore morning and I'd love to surf. But since I don't have the option of driving around all afternoon hunting for that elusive wind protected cove, I'm going swimming instead. The way I look at it, I'd rather be in great shape to hit it when it is really worth it. And with it only being February here in California, we will most likely get several runs of massive surf between now and the time spring winds hit.
So I grab my trunks, swim fins, and goggles and hit the pool.
I warm up with 500 yards of easy swimming. During my warm up I think about my last surf session. I remember missing a couple waves due to noodle arms and decide it is a day to work on my sprint. As a surfer, its critical to have a good sprint. Building up your fast twitch muscle fibers allows you to react quickly to an outside set and gives you that extra power to get into a wave when you need it most. Feeling nice and warm, I do a couple sub max efforts. I go hard for 25 yards and then cruise with an easy 25 yard back stroke. I repeat this sequence five times (5x50 yards), resting 30 seconds between efforts, Feeling loose and strong, I commit myself to five all out efforts for 50 yards (5x50). I set my watch to go off every 90 seconds. The difference at the end of each effort will be my rest period. Pushing hard off the wall I envision myself at Steamer Lane cranking to the outside of a massive clean up set. I quickly turn at the wall and bring it home. 30 seconds flat. Not bad. With one minute rest I go into my next effort. 28 seconds. My third one feels real good and I hit a 26. Number four is back to 28. A final press on the last one gets me back to 26.
Feeling invigorated, I put on my swim fins and swim a set of 100s. 25 yards head up (water polo style), 25 yards kicking only, 25 yards underwater, and another 25 yards head up. The body position of head up swimming really helps your paddling and the underwater lap gives me the confidence that I can take a pretty good hold down. I allow myself 30 seconds rest to build my aerobic fitness. After 5 sets of 100s I cool-down with 300 yards of easy swimming and kicking.
Still looking for something that really feels like surfing, I finish off the morning on my long-skate with a few laps around the block at my house. I practice getting a good flow going and carve some nice cutbacks on the damp pavement. 15 minutes of skating is about equivalent to the amount of "surfing" you'll get in a 90 minute surf session.
So yeah, it wasn't really a day in the surf but I feel pretty good that when that next swell hits. I'll be ready.
Keep fit and see you in the water.
Disclaimer: Always consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. The suggestions here are in no way intended to substitute for medical advice.