I’ve decided I want to do the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race (DW) next year (2017) and thought it might be interesting to document the training and preparation. The plan at the moment is to do it K1, and therefore it will be the four day stage race, but if the option of a K2 came up then who knows… For anyone who doesn’t know, it’s a 125 mile race with 77 portages done either in one go for doubles or as a four day stage race for singles and juniors (more info on the DW site).
Obviously there are other sites around where people have blogged their DW tales, but there’s always room for more! And hopefully I can provide some useful information or at least motivation for others who want to race. There’s also the fact that posting will keep me accountable… if I post that I didn’t train for a week that’s not going to look good!
So, brief intro and then next week I’ll post a catch up of the last month or so of training and then start posting about training and other other DW, paddling or training related musings. This isn’t going to be full length articles like the main blog.
I paddled a little bit as a kid, stopped for a while, and then restarted in 2006 and I got into racing pretty full on. By the time I went to uni I was training two or three times a day, six days a week. I raced DW as a junior once, a hard fought race where we were fighting for second for three days but ultimately came third, less than three minutes off second after 16+ hours racing. The next year I raced K2 with my coach in the endeavour category (the only category we fitted in). It was less closely fought but equally eventful and memorable (getting knocked in by your support crew is hard to forget, as is a horrendous headwind down the Henley straight). In 2013 I got ill, at that point I was Mens A / Div 1, and the illness knocked me off my stride and I wasn’t right for a couple of years. Since then I haven’t really trained properly. Point being I can paddle; some people come at the race never having been in a kayak but I don’t have that, in fact I’m sat writing this wearing my 2008 DW T-Shirt. That obviously affects how I’ll train for it and what will be the bigger hurdles.
I have always trained at Wey Kayak Club, but I’m living in Newcastle at the moment and (as far as I know!) there’s no one else here paddling so, for the moment at least, all of my training is on my own, which will affect the types of training I’ll do as well.