Triathletes have a grueling training schedule trying to fit all of the disciplines in to their regime. Sometimes it is good to mix it up and still get a workout. Standup paddling can do just that. SUP is a great workout for core, balance, and overall stability. If you are looking for something new to throw into your training toolbox, consider standup paddling to round things out and give you a change of pace.
How to Use Standup Paddling to Train for Triathlon
No one can argue with the growth in popularity that standup paddling has seen over the last 10 years. As a sport, it can turn almost any body of water into your own personal gym. Many triathletes have gotten to know SUP as a recreational activity, but it actually has tremendous carryover into the sport of triathlon as well. SUP can improve stability from your toes to your head, core strength and stability, leg strength and stability, which helps prevent injury, and it can also be used to develop cardiovascular fitness outside of the three main triathlon disciplines as a fun and easy way to cross-train. It can even be used to work on lat strength for your swim or maintain fitness while recovering from injury. But it takes a little bit of knowing what equipment to choose to effectively use SUP to help you to your next PR. In this guide to SUP, we’ll review how triathletes can benefit from standup paddling and how to find the right equipment.
The Triathlete’s Guide to SUP
One or two workouts a week should be plenty to see improvement as it applies to triathlon. Workouts can be anything from a 20- to 30-minute easy recovery session on your backyard lake to a tough hour-long interval session or a thrilling balance challenging session in surf or whitewater. SUP in a cardiovascular sense is pretty similar to running, so any recycled run workout will work. Heart rate run zones tend to be pretty similar to SUP zones, so no need to do any special testing. You can even do a SUP strength session and incorporate strength exercises like burpees, squats, lunges, pushups, in-water rows and pullups on the board. SUP yoga has also taken off in recent years and definitely helps with balance and overall stability.