Shane and Dwayne had a chat about Dwayne’s up-coming race this weekend, the Vol 80 in Knoxville, TN. Here is what they talked about:
Shane: So the Vol80 is this weekend in Tennessee, describe the race course and the river.
Dwayne: Well, the course is definitely one of the most beautiful courses we’ll race this year. It starts in downtown Knoxville and heads 80 miles in a winding route to the foothills
of the Smokey Mountains ending at Chillhowee Dam It is a tough course actually, because even though it is technically down stream, the water has almost zero flow. This means that if we stop paddling, we stop moving. No free rides in this one! I’m excited to really put my new Epic paddle to the test! (shameless plug but these paddles are amazing!)
Shane: You were able get on the race course a couple of weeks ago to feel things out (the current, your boat and gear) Do you think this will give you an advantage come race time?
Dwayne: Not really. I wish I could say it will but in reality, in this race, it comes down to fitness and staying in the boat, paddling. I have poured over the charts of the rivers we’ll be in and I do think this will be useful. There are a couple of tricky areas that if navigated properly could save some time.
Shane: This race comes early in the season, how did you train in the cold Illinois weather? What were your indoor workouts like? Give us a typical training day.
Dwayne: The weather is a bit of a challenge, although someone once said that there is no bad weather, just inappropriate gear! My training consisted of several days in the gym per week doing very high intensity workouts on a rowing machine, followed by an intense weight regime. I typically follow a bit of the Cross Fit type of workout in that I will lift weights that are heavy but manageable, and will do 2-3 sets, of 25-40 reps until, what is called, failure. That simply means that you lift until you can’t anymore.
I have interspersed my gym workouts with paddling several days a week and would do two workouts a day regularly. One with weights in the morning and then a paddle in the afternoon. The paddles varied in length from 1-6+ hours depending on the day, the shorter ones being faster and more intense.
Shane: When you race., what are some must haves with you?
Dwayne: Food and water! Lol… but really, it is nice to have music. Sunscreen, a big hat to keep the sun and water splash off of my bald head, life vest, a river knife because you never know when you might get tangled up in fishing line, a change of clothes secured in a dry bag. I also carry a small mayonnaise jar filled as an emergency kit that has knife, fire starter, emergency blanket, lighter, whistle, line, and a flashlight. I guess I’m a bit of
a boy scout!
(This is not Dwayne:)
Shane: Any particular music that keeps you going while paddling?
Dwayne: I’ve been on a Vampire Weekend kick lately and I love a band called Railroad Earth. They kill it on Blue Grass…which is appropriate for this race I guess!
Shane: What words of advice would you give to younger paddlers looking to kayak recreationally or race?
Dwayne: Go for it! Find a group to paddle with, there are clubs all over! if you don’t have a boat club members will often have multiple boats and are usually happy to help get someone on the water! If you are in the St. Louis and surrounding areas, please give us a shout! We are here to get young people out paddling!
Shane: While racing, when you’re on hour 5 or 10 of paddling and pushing yourself hard, what’s running through your head?
Dwayne: My mind wanders so much and really fast. I think about work, family, ideas. Some of my best work comes during long hard sessions on the water! When the going gets really tough I often find myself turning to faith. I find it helps me feel grounded so to speak and find that inner peace needed to get the job done.
Stay tuned next week for race re-cap from Dwayne and please consider buying a bottle to support us in our mission of helping dis-advantaged youth find inner peace through paddling! You can check them out here: Hope2o/Paddle4Peace
Thanks for the support!