August 6, 2012
by Paul Jackson

Introducing “Jacko’s Gym”: A Hardcore SUP Race Training Regime

Boss Man’s ramble: Paul “Jacko” Jackson is an elite stand up paddler from the Gold Coast, Australia. We’re stoked to have him on board as a guest columnist where he’ll be sharing his race training tips on the road to the BoP.

The Fanatic International team rider took Bronze at the ISA Worlds earlier this year, reached the final of the Waikiki Paddle Festival and is a consistent Top 15 finisher at the BoP. This year, Jacko and his fellow race junkies are stepping up their Stand Up Paddle race training regime in a bid to claim Battle of the Paddle glory.

Each day this week Jacko will be posting his crew’s intense training diary. If you’re striving to win more SUP races, use this program as inspiration and as something to work up to. But fair warning: This is intense… it’s NOT for the weekend warriors.


Battle of the Paddle Training Week

For the past couple of years a whole bunch of us paddlers from Australia have been travelling to Hawaii and California to compete against the world’s best. A lot of us come from the one small town of Currumbin on Queensland’s Gold Coast, where I live and train.

This place is a breeding ground for Stand Up Paddle race talent… you could draw a 10km radius around our training spot and you’d easily find half a dozen of the world’s top 15 paddlers. Travis Grant, Beau O’Brian, Kelly Margetts, Jamie Mitchell, Jake Jensen, just to name a few…

So this year a bunch of us decided to try and step up our training regime and see how fast we could get before we fly out to the Battle in September. We’ll be sharing our routine & tips here on SUPracer all week so I hope you get some motivation and inspiration out of it.

Leading the charge alongside me is our coach, Pete Dorries from Quantum Coaching, my wife and elite paddler Angie Jackson, Starboard’s gun new recruit Beau O’Brian and the two dozen other elite local paddlers that make up our great training squad.

If you’ve never trained seriously then I don’t recommend you jump straight into this routine; this is something to build up to if you really wanna win more races and get top 10 finishes at the big events. Alrighty, let’s get straight into it…


Day 1 (morning session)

So here we are on Day 1 with the first session! The goal with this morning’s training is achieving a controlled heart rate and breathing. Try and maintain an even heart rate during the paddling intervals, then at each break try and get you heart rate as under control as possible.

  • 1,000 metre warm-up paddle
  • 3x laps of 750 metres, with a short run leg in between each lap
  • 90 seconds rest
  • 2x laps of 750 metres, with a short run leg in between
  • 90 seconds rest
  • 1x lap of 750 metres with a short run leg to finish
  • 7x sprints for 30 seconds with 60 seconds rest in between each
  • 500 metre warm-down

This whole session takes us just over an hour from start to finish. On the Garmin charts below you can see how Beau and myself performed and how we recovered.

When you’re doing training like this it’s great if you can use natural landmarks (like bridges). It’ll help you keep your laps at an even distance, plus it’s way more fun to practice your buoy turns instead of just paddling straight down a flat water course all the time.

We’re lucky that we’ve got a beach and bridge perfectly placed inside Currumbin Creek (see the map), so we can use the same course whenever we want no matter what the conditions are.

OK well that’s the morning session over. Go recover and then get ready for the arvo session…!


Day 1 (afternoon session)

For me this starts with a 10km run, usually on the sand. Again the goal is controlled heart-rate! Check out the Garmin data to see how it went…

For Angie it’s a 15km bike ride maintaining a medium heart rate (she can’t run at the moment – dodgy achilles – so this is the next best thing).

After we’ve recovered from the run or ride, we add in a gym session just for fun. We do these gym routines pretty quick to keep the cardio gains going; you don’t want to just gain a bunch of muscle mass and nothing else, otherwise you’ll be too heavy to win the big races…

Gym routine: 3 sets with HEAVY weights (aim for 6 reps) followed by 3 sets of LIGHT weights (40 reps)

  • Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Tri-ceps Rope Pull down
  • Dumbbell Reverse Bent Over Lat Raises
  • Tri Ceps Ext Dumbbell

That’s it. All done for the day! Now get some rest coz we’ll be up at 5am for Day 2’s morning session 😉

Cya tomorrow,
– Jacko

>>> Jacko’s Gym: Day Two

>>> Jacko’s Gym: Day Three

>>> Jacko’s Gym: Day Four

>>> Jacko’s Gym: Day Five

>>> Jacko’s Gym: Day Six