How much distance work…

How much distance work should be done for a Moloka’i race?

The OC6 and OC1 events are completley different from a fitness perspective. Unless you do the OC6 iron, in which case the gap narrows.

In the OC6 change event the ability to repeatedly paddle hard then recovery quickly is paramount for good crossing. Depending on the frequency and duration of your water change chart, the training is adapted to fit.

In an OC6 iron, the ability to paddle non-stop for 6+ hours is more important. In the solo event, the same applies but for a different duration, which for all intents and purposes is pretty negligible at these durations.

When you plan your program you need to think, “how far am I planning to race?”. In other words, how long will it take assuming a reasonable range of conditions. Always think of training in terms of duration rather than distance. As we all know, 10 miles into a 20 kn wind is different than 10 miles with a 20 kn wind…

When you have a duration range of race durations in mind (say 4-5 hours), you need to plan your season backwards from the target race date, keeping in mind your body will need to adapt to training in a systematic and progressive manner.

Many exercise physiologists recommend slowly increasing your weekly training volume (5-10% per week) so as to minimize the risk of overtraining and overuse injuries. Your longest single session paddle can safely increase by the same. Some programs may increase by a set 15:00 min per week, which although is greater than 15% at first, it becomes less difficult later on and workout pretty much the same as a 10% average increase over 18-20 weeks. I’ve calculated some long paddle options using the 5%, 10% and 15:00 min approaches below.

Some sports science sources say 1 long easy effort per week, others once every 10-14 days. Between your long easy efforts you plan all your short-medium efforts (no longer than 75% of the longest; no shorter than 20-30 minutes) adn intensity training.

To further complicate things you also need to factor in recovery weeks every 3-6 weeks where you significantly reduce your volume to allow your body time to adapt, get stronger, faster, fitter, do the laundry, feed the dog, etc.

If you allow youself only 4 months to prepare you will be forced to accelerate your plan. A consequence of that is you’ll get exhausted and need a lengthy time off to recover. A well designed training program should be able to see you almost fully recovered in 2-3 weeks of easy exercise or time off. The biggest difference between a short crash-training program and a very long term program is that the longer year round programs are usually part of your lifestyle, and you see much bigger long term (year to year) improvements as you spend less
time de-training then re-training every season.

Alan Carlsson
Engineered Athlete Services

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