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  • Paddle Monster coach, Larry Cain

It’s not too late to train for Chattajack

We’re within100 days until Chattajack. It seems like a long time away on one hand yet on the other it seems rather close, especially since it’s approaching the point where you have fewer days left to train than there are days since you registered. Time goes by quickly and you can’t get it back. If you aren’t making the most of it you’re not going to be optimally prepared for 31 miles down the Tennessee River Gorge on October 26.

I’m here to tell you that although it’s been almost three months since you registered there is still a ton of time to do all the necessary work to be well prepared on race day.

First of all, if you’ve been doing any paddling you’ve got that to fall back on. Secondly, there is lots of time left to engage in a serious training program that can lead to a good result. But you need to get started now.

The fact is that if you’re starting totally from scratch with absolutely no training under your belt, you’re running out of time to prepare well for a 31-mile paddling race. However how many people who stayed up past midnight on April 30 to register for Chattajack have been doing nothing for the last three months? If you’ve been doing any training you aren’t starting from anywhere near scratch. You’re going to be okay if you start focused training without delay.

The work you’ve done to this point should make a great springboard off of which you can launch your final training push for the race. You’re ready to ramp it up and get serious, and that “getting serious” is going to take you a long way towards becoming the most formidable paddling machine you can be. You’ve just got to recognize that if you want to do well there are no shortcuts. You’ve got to do the work.

It’s time to set up or get on a training program that really ramps up your base and gets you the necessary mileage on the water, giving you the fitness from which you can gain the confidence that you can easily handle the 31 miles of Chattajack. That program should then intensify, giving you the ability to paddle that distance harder and faster than you ever have before. Acting now and ramping up both your commitment and your daily effort, and then sustaining it through to race day, is sure to lead to success.

To that end, we’re launching a special Paddle Monster Chattajack 2019 training program to help you make the most of the time that’s left leading into the race. This 13-week program breaks down into 6 weeks of base work, 6 weeks of intensification and a week of peaking that will help everyone up his or her game.

Those that have already been doing their homework on a daily basis should have a good idea of what a well-planned, properly periodized program looks like. They should already have a great base. Building on that base with appropriate higher intensity work will allow them to push their fitness and paddling ability to an even higher level, allowing them to be better prepared than ever before.

Those that have been paddling but perhaps not quite as seriously as they would have liked will benefit the most by ramping things on a well-planned program. There is a ton of time left to do real quality work and if you haven’t been doing enough you can really change things by starting now. Training for a sports event is not unlike being a student preparing for an exam. If you prepare day in and day out for your exam, you’re sure to do well on it. On the other hand, if you try to pull off a good exam result by just cramming at the end you’ll likely be disappointed with the result. Think back to your school days. Do you remember how long 13 weeks was in a school year? It’s basically the length of a term at college or university. If you take the fitness and paddling skill you already have and then commit to a full 13 week “term” or “semester” of proper training imagine how far ahead you’ll be at the end of it compared to where you are now. On the other hand, if you try to cram train for a long race like Chattajack not only will your result be less than it could be, like on an exam you might have bombed in school, but it will be much more physically painful than it needs to be.

So where do you start if you’ve decided to really get serious between now and race day? Take some responsibility for your performance and develop a plan that requires you to step things up. Start counting down the days till race day so you’re aware of how important the time you have left really is. The closer you get to race day, the less time you have left to take things up a level. You want to get started now by getting consecutive weeks of real quality training under your belt sooner rather than later. Start cranking up your training distance and mixing in some workouts of higher intensity.

Designing a program or some kind of coherent training plan can be intimidating. And if it’s the first time you’ve attempted it there’s naturally going to be a lot of second-guessing when it comes to the type of training you should do. In this case my advice to you is to reach out to someone with the experience to help you. Ask another paddler that has successfully completed Chattajack to take a few minutes and sit down over coffee (your treat) and listen to your training plans. Ask for their feedback. Make them ask questions and get you to explain why you’ve chosen to do the type of work you’ve included in the plans you’ve made. You’ll find that at the very least this process will give you a lot more confidence in the plans you’ve made.

Of course, not everyone is going to have the time or the desire to plot out 13 weeks of training. Or maybe you can’t find anyone sufficiently knowledgeable to review your training plans. In this case people may want to consider following a program written by someone else. You may want to consider finding a coach.

Our Paddle Monster Chattajack specific program begins om July 29th with a 13-week training block, periodized to maximize results on October 26th whether you’ve been training hard all year or whether you’re just starting to get serious now . You’ll get guidance from me as your coach as needed with unlimited access through the discussion boards. And you’ll be part of a large group working towards a common goal. It’s something to consider if you want to thrive at Chattajack, not just survive.



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