It's finally here in Northern Michigan. After ultra cold weather came to the river valley early on ...winter has teased us, dashing in and out of forecast. Is it 30, is it 50 or is it 5 degrees outside? No one really knows in Michigan. There was a morning that Kyle Stonehouse and I hit the river with an air temperature of -4. And it wasn't even December yet. Talk about an interesting roller coaster of weather from late October right until a week or so ago. Presently though. Winter is here. Now what? If you're fortunate like former podcast guest Danny Medina, you flee to the warmer confines of Texas. Danny I love you. But man I kinda hate you right now. I'm pretty sure Jeff DeFeo is down in Florida right now too. Kinda jealous. Kinda not because I like winter. The rest of us are stuck doing a menagerie of motions in an attempt to stay physically and mentally fit. What...really depends on the person, the equipment at their disposal, and of course their other interests outside of marathon canoe racing. One major winter activity of marathon canoe racers tends to be cross country skiing. I'm a fan, owning a small fleet of assorted skis while waxing and servicing another half dozen skiers sets. Legends of marathon canoe racing can be found on cross country skis anywhere you can find snow, some of which take their competitive spirits from the flowing rivers to the frozen hills and race. A winter spent skiing builds a base for canoe season like no other. For me, I love moving through the woods right at dark. It's an incredible workout combined with a close connection to nature. Ski racing, completely different topic. I'm working on a piece right now outlining why Marathon Canoe Racing is better than Cross Country Ski Racing.
Others hit the weights hard. After a fall spent recovering and letting bodies heal, it's time to hit the gym. Our very own Kevin Olson is in the process of putting together a structured strength training program that I can implement this winter. In the past, my strength training consisted primarily of body weight motions along with light dumbbell and barbell work. The structure and level of programming detail was non-existent though. I literally just worked out a bit throughout the day if I thought about it. Not this winter. This winter it's time to improve. Stronger. More power. Fellow canoe racer and promoter of one of Michigan's fastest growing canoe races "The Muskegon River Throwdown"- Sean Brabant has everything a canoe racer needs for their pre-season strength training routine.
With the mild temperatures, there are paddlers starting to log hours on the river. With the start of state level racing approaching rapidly, along with the first leg of the Triple Crown of Canoe Racing. It's never too early to start logging hours. The question becomes...how many hours do you need?
Let's hear it canoe racers! What are you doing this winter to prepare for the 2020 canoe race season!