|The start of the Malibu to Marina race... just looking for some clean water. |
1. The GPS provides a constant speed update- my goal is to keep my speed around 5.5 mph. If I find myself dropping below that, I either look to see who's going fast in front of me (and I copy the line they're taking) or I suck it up and really start concentrating on laying down some power.
2. If you're paddling a course for the first time, the GPS provides a huge psychological crutch. Instead of powering along never knowing when you're halfway there (and subsequently feeling like the course is ten miles longer than the five that were advertised) you now know exactly when the course is half over. For me, knowing where I am on the course keeps my head on straight (and keeps those negative thoughts from creeping in on me).
B. Take a close look at the little black box zip-tied to the back strap of my visor. That's one of those slick Interval waterproof cases that H2O Audio makes for the ipod shuffle. I love paddling with tunes- they keep me fired up and take my mind away from the pain. I usually only paddle with one earphone in- that way I can hear what's going on around me while still getting to rock out.
C. See that white piece of string around my neck? That holds the mouthpiece for my waistpack water bag in place making it easy for me to quickly stuff it in my mouth and get a drink of water. I learned that trick from Kiwi- thanks mate.
D. I like to use the CamelBak brand waist pack for hydration. The back fits nice and snug and the bladder features a large mouth that makes filling and cleaning really simple. I also like to fill it with Fruit Punch Gatoraide... dunno, it just tastes good to me when I'm out there pushing hard.