Thursday, September 19, 2013

Prepare Your Body For Windsurfing

by Domagoj Primužak

When I decided to try to learn windsurfing in all the articles that I have managed to get, windsurfing was presented as a sport where you do not need too much power and it is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

This thesis is not that inaccurate, given the fact that most people see windsurfing as a sport that we do during the summer, on the not so strong breeze, by using large board and small sail.

From that perspective there is almost no effort, no unpredictable surprises and the only thing that will show afterwards are the blisters on my hands from the rope I used to pull the sail and lower back pain.

But if we talk about windsurfing as a sport that we do the most of the year, using technique that we mastered quite well and surfing in harsh conditions that are all but not pleasant and predictable, than we come to the stage where it is very important to be well prepared in order to windsurf safer and easier as long as possible.

If we analyze, in previous articles presented heart rate during windsurfing session, we can conclude that in the windsurfing sport we are often changing back and forth from aerobic conditions to anaerobic conditions.

Aerobic energy processes are those processes that are of longer duration, but with lower intensity and in that mode transport systems (respiratory and cardiovascular) manage to satisfy the need for oxygen, which is equal to its consumption. Aerobic zone, if we look from the point of heart rate, is approximately from 40 % to 70 % of maximum heart rate.

Anaerobic mode occurs when the demand for energy is greater than the one which can be provided by oxidation process, so the energy is provided from anaerobic sources of our body. For recreation this zone starts in rate around 80% of the max heart rate and upward.

Lactates, as a byproduct of anaerobic energy process, is a salt of lactic acid and are always present in our body. They are measured in mmol/l. During aerobic activities lactate concentration is from 2 mmol/l to 4 mmol/l. 4 mmol/l indicates the aerobic - anaerobic threshold and after that an athlete enters the zone of intense anaerobic activity.

Depending on the athlete and the physical activity the level of lactate can reach 30 mmol/l.

In windsurfing we see that the majority of time is spent in the area around the anaerobic threshold and that is between 75 % and 80%.

The anaerobic threshold is the last point when transport systems manage to deliver enough oxygen required to ensure aerobic energy processes. But very often we find ourselves in the zone of anaerobic regime (gybes, gusts, speed runs) or similar stresses.

Through focus training we can train our body to come back to aerobic zone in shortest possible time after each peak. In that way we avoid accumulation of lactic acid in our body which very soon can result in increased risk of potential injuries.

If we analyze the standard speed or slalom run (in this case Adrian’s heart rate) we can conclude that it consists of driving to one direction (heart rate between 60-80 %, depending on external conditions ), then turn (gybe) which ends over standard 100 % (obviously, his heart can beat more than standard formula for his age) and return to given direction or possible turn.

This leads us to the classic interval training.

Interval training can be performed in 1,000 ways. In the next articles, I will present to you some variations of high intensity interval training suitable like a preparation for the efforts of advanced windsurfing practice.

Next article from the same series: High Intensity Interval Training 1

1 comment:

  1. Yes it is true surfing needs a lot of power and it is a highly physical intense activity. Your body should be strong, you must have strong muscles and your paddle power should be high to enjoy the surfing. You can do different kind of exercises to prepare your body for surfing as nowadays surfing training programs are conduced. Get more information about this here: