The Biggest Downwind Event & Race in the World: MAY 11 -12TH, 2013
The 5th Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a
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Ho’olaule’a – literally, it means “celebration”, but for us, it’s also an expression of gratitude. Each May, we hold our interpretation of this storied Hawaiian tradition on Maui’s north shore. The event blends elite competition with family-friendly cultural activities and gathers some of the world’s best SUP, OC1 & OC2 paddlers to race the legendary 8-mile Maliko downwind run. Friends and families come together to enjoy canoe sailing and surfing, ancient Hawaiian games, traditional luau, hula, and live music. We take this opportunity to recognize and honor our ‘Ohana Giveback partners, as the community shares collective gifts of time, energy, and spirit.
I hope to see you there!
Owner of Suzie Trains Maui
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By Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC
It’s no doubt that Hunter Joslin, Indo Board Balance Trainer’s Founder and developer of the popular Gigante Flo Cushion, entertains and trains with me at this year’s Battle of the Paddle at Dana Point. Hunter was wowing the crowd with some tricks this weekend as Chip Martoccia, VP of Operations and I cheered on.
Hunter Joslin and Suzie Cooney having Gigante fun at 2012 BOP, Dana Point
I’ve been a team rider and ambassador for Indo Board Balance Trainer for some time, and thoroughly enjoy my time with Hunter and crew. We never miss an opportunity to play around and challenge one another. He’s quite the surfer and in very good shape. We’ve shared a few waves together on Maui, and I can say he is just a little competitive!
Hunter asked if I’d do this photo shoot and share some new tricks I’ve been working on in my studio here at SUZIE TRAINS MAUI. Of course! Turns out he had never tried or seen any of these so I was stoked, but under the gun to give him my best.
These exercises are THE ultimate core challenge and require good form, good posture and good overall anatomical health. Remember the core is where all movement begins and is everything excluding your extremities.
This type of training, I also refer to as proprioception training to encourage cat-like reflexes for your lifestyle, prevent injury and to provide the opportunity for your brain to command each finite muscle, tendon and ligament that supports all joints.
There’s a tremendous amount of SUP and surf talent on this island that is inspirational, charging, and leaves people in awe, but there is one person who is all that and more.
Kody Lake Tahoe July 2012
Most of you probably already know Kody Kerbox; Naish Team Rider and young gun born to shred and yes the son of legendary big wave surfer Buzzy Kerbox. But did you know this strong champion has had such a winning streak these past few months, you’ve got to wonder if his legs are sore from stepping up on the podium every weekend?
From Lake Tahoe to Dana Point and now back on Maui for the 7th Annual Naish International Race, he is humble and fierce and it’s an honor to have him in the studio.
Observing his explosive, controlled strength combined with a laser focus, these are just a few of the superior qualities he already possess. I’ve been watching Kody over the past few years increase his strength, power and overall body endurance, and wow it’s paying off.
See photos of Kody’s first day with me in the studio below. I made a deal I wouldn’t kill him but would on the second day!
I’m super stoked to have Kody in the studio to help him learn more about how to capture and harness his acceleration and power from flat water paddling, downwinders and wave riding. He’s already pretty fit, so I was able to advance him quickly on his first day. We’ll also focus on fast forms of recovery in between races, eating for energy and other important things he’ll need while out on tour.
The field of competitors this year is thick but you can be sure you’ll be seeing Kody leading the pack. It’s awesome to have him on board!
In preparation for the 4th Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a and anytime you venture into the ocean, open ocean endurance is not something to take for granted and it is a required physical and mental element that all water sport enthusiasts must have, especially when faced with huge walls of water moving and changing conditions. Besides navigating current changes, surface wind speeds, waves or deep troughs, often experienced and non-experienced folks can get into serious trouble or lose critical momentum needed to paddle over, in and through some of the roughest patches that can form underneath you, near you, in front of you or behind you.
This article is helpful if you’re a prone paddler, surfer, kayak paddler, canoe paddler or stand up paddler. Are you ready if your canoe hulis and you lose your paddle? How to you react if you fall of your down wind board on a big day on Maliko? How prepared are you? Do you carry a waterproof pouch with your cell phone or better yet, a GPS unit? Do you have a regular cardio routine that includes intense bouts of intervals? Do you cross-train? If you’re pausing to think about anything of these questions, then it’s time you take good inventory and learn all you can and implement now. ( See tips below ) Also contributing, is Stacie Thorlakson, MCKC Maui Canoe & Kayak Club board president.
1.Equipment Check: Check integrity of leash, tighten all fins, repair any major dings, tighten drain plugs, charge and take cell phone, fill Camelback, pack extra energy gel, waterproof whistle, wear sun protection, if a one man canoe, strap on an extra paddle.
2. Fuel: Charging the ocean requires food in your belly and hydration to reduce cramping. I like to suggest oatmeal or any complex carb at least an hour before departure. What’s great are two pieces of a nutty whole grain bread with a protein spread like almond butter or low salt peanut butter. Coconut water is a favorite of mine that offers lots of potassium which allows you to hydrate more quickly. I also squirt a full pack of an energy gel before a Maliko run. I avoid caffeine or super charged sugary drinks as these can actually dehydrate you and cause your energy to crash hard.
3. Body: Strength, stamina and cardio, and more intense cardio. The biggest thing I notice when training my sport specific athletes or weekend water warriors is the lack of cardio and cross-training. It’s a common component that get’s overlooked but it’s so important. Strength and body stamina takes time to build but is necessary too. There are many formulas on the how to and it’s based on your sport, your goals and your current level of fitness so I can’t write one program to fit you all. You’ll have to come train with me for your specialized program. Continue reading Open Ocean Endurance Radio Segment with Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui
Introducing Matt Lennert, long distance and wave SUP paddler, SUP event director, windsurfer and surfer; stopped in for an all-on SUP performance tune up with me in my studio during his recent visit to Maui. He was up for any challenge, that’s for sure! I threw medicine balls at him full speed while he managed to amazingly hang onto whatever training apparatus I placed him on top of.
His sheer determination and already a finely tuned athlete; he was on top of his training game. Wow! He performed well this day and left with a good sweat. Unfortunately the conditions for a Maliko Run were not up to par but we’ll have to try again Matt when you come back with your family!
Saturday April 30th, 2011, Maui’s beautiful N. Shore attracted 72 paddlers of all ages and levels of experience for our second three mile Ohana OluKai Practice Fun Paddle! With only two weeks away from the Third Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a, we welcomed SUP paddlers, prone paddlers and Heather our OC1 paddler; joined us from Paia Bay to the lifeguard tower at Kanaha Beach Park, in preparation for the New Ohana Fun Paddle @ 9AM, May 14th, 2011.
This paddle was our second practice paddle since our first April 2nd, 2011 was such a huge success. Click here to see the video. We wanted to share again and encourage families, new paddlers and those who’ve never done a down winder, to come and build their confidence.
Peter Swanzy and Julianna Prater from Paia Youth and Cultural Center had five youth from 13 to 14 years old join in the practice paddle. The youth have been training with Pete and Julianna over the last month and their training paid off as this was the first time that these youth had paddled this 3 mile distance. A huge sense of accomplishment and pride way to go! We also had paddlers from Sweden, Nevada and England participate.
For some, this was the first or second time ever experiencing a coast run. After everyone signed in, had a little morning coffee and juice, we all gathered as Matthew Murasko, OluKai Hawaii Ambassador, announced our 3 mile course.
Then the ice chest was turned over to me, and I stood up and asked everyone to join me in some warm up exercises and jumping jacks to shake off any pre-paddle jitters or butterflies!
The conditions were perfect and inviting. The trades were light at about 10 knots that provided for some fun glides.
The first group of paddlers arrived to Kanaha in 30 minutes and the last group arrived in 60 minutes. Upon completion paddlers were treated to water, juice, granola bars and Whoopie Pies, a chocolate cake-vanilla ice cream confection handmade by my boyfriend Tommy Callan.
Mahalo to the Maui lifeguards ( Tony Colletta ) from Baldwin Tower and Kanaha Tower for PWC saftey…and special mahalo also to Milton Martinson of Haiku for PWC water safety as well as SUP water safety guards, Chris Pagdilao, John Smalley, Joshua Kjorven, Randy Royse. Also lending a hand and expertise, Deb Driscoll and Blair Thorndike.
We’d also like to thank the crews at the Naish Maui Pro Center and Second Wind for providing a few extra boards for the kids from the youth center.
I know this paddle provided many an amazing, life-changing ocean experience. I was touched to see everyone supporting one another out there and on the beach. For others it was a chance to encourage their loved ones and friends to go to the next level. Well done.
TweetSee the finish line, the crowd cheering you on the last buoy turn, the last surf heat before the horn, the last lap of your mountain bike or dirt bike race and see your personal victory! Okay, now adjust the speed and tempo, add a little more weight to the bar, do a few more balance tricks and turn up the music.
Visualizing your win, your finish or any goal you set out for your racing or training I guarantee will get you that trophy or medal or simply help you get to the next phase of your training and sport. We watch the networks play over and over in slow motion, two competitors going handle bar to handle bar on the dirt track, paddlers digging as deep and fast as they dig deep into last turn back to the beach, or the Olympic speed skaters pushing off those last few powerful meters.
You can do the same during your training. If you’re a surfer and while you’re performing a weighted squat on your INDO Board, you see the green room and the spray of huge dragons breath; popping you out of that tube standing tall touching the back of that blue wall. For example, when I’m on my spin bike, I close my eyes as the music carries me across the ocean on my Naish Glide at warp speed, catching every bump and trough possible, or better, turning on the face of a big wave.
Whatever your sport, your mental game and how you see yourself as an athlete makes a critical difference in how you perform. Do you see yourself as an athlete? Are you looking to build your game and confidence? I’m not a scientist, but what I do know is that the subconscious captures images of our desire outcomes and holds them and when an opportunity mimics the situation, it retrieves that image and allows our minds and body to shape and make that true.
I have the pleasure to introduce to you my training client, Stephen. Here is his awesome story on how his visualization training became an exciting reality, to a successful 27 mile stand up paddle race finish. The race was Saturday April 23rd, 2011. It started from Honolua Bay, Maui across the open ocean channel to the island of Molokai. Sport, stand up paddle, partner Mike Owens. ( photos by Joshua Kjorven)
“ I would like to help contribute, it was one of those crazy ideas one gets while I was watching Connor and Dave battle it out in the Pailolo Channel on last year’s race. It was in November when I first watched the video of the battle where Connor ultimately won. Watching him paddle, getting that imprint of his paddle stroke, and ability to read the swell was captivating. I thought with a little practice “I could do that” and why not, what could possibly go wrong? I never think about the details (they usually become a barrier),I just stay focused on the goal, and the details usually work themselves out in the end.
I set up our indoor pool to train and get in shape during the winter months, and then arrived in Maui to start training with you and Jeremy. Jeremy corrected my paddle stroke, and taught me to catch bumps on the four Maliko runs we did, plus several days in the harbor. Suzie helped me focus on my balance and strengthened the areas that I needed to improve upon, and it really helped. In reality was I ready for such a crossing and be a contender? No but my goal was to do it, learn it, and experience the rush, get the confidence, and then do it again next year, hopefully solo.
This is an excellent example of how Stephen’s visual training of seeing his successful outcome and all the steps he needed to take to get there, seeing himself as an athlete, a competitor and a finisher! Good job Stephen!
What I suggest is that you get real clear on what you want to see. Get real specific with how you want to perform. Do you want to go faster, carve bigger turns, or catch bigger glides or simply finish? Focus that imagery on just that. See in your mind over and over again that perfect picture of the outcome. Some people also explore hypnosis.
When you look in the mirror at the gym, get hyper focused and don’t be embarrassed of how strong you think you look. Right on! That’s what I want. Growl, sing see the confetti! If one of my clients is training for a big event and we’re squeaking out one more set or rep, I just love to whisper in their ear, “this is when you win.” I’ll also say, “Are you not the fierce competitor I know? Then do it.”
Now I’m not the mean trainer you see on TV, but I do give my clients the tools to help them get real with themselves and give them lots of positive images while we are training. I am the one that will keep you very positive and erase any negative and mental obstacles. If you don’t have a trainer, I suggest you try and do the same.
Develop a mantra that you say to yourself as you have your image. This is also a very powerful tool I suggest to my clients that get’s them very fired up and focused. I don’t care if it sounds totally silly, or if it’s a string of unusual sounds, it’s what resonates with them, If it makes sense to them and get’s them to that place they must go, then say it. I know people hear me when I’m surfing, SUP surfing or training down Maliko. I talk to myself all the time out loud.
What I strongly suggest when testing out your mantra with your visual, please don’t say negative things, like “you dummy, just one more stroke” or “I’m an idiot… “. You get my drift. Positive words, positive images equal a positive outcome.
Takeaway: Say to yourself “I am an athlete, a fierce competitor and I am strong”. See yourself getting tubed, finishing your first 5 or 10k, rounding that last buoy, or hitting it full throttle across the line.
I’d love to read about what you see when you train and what the outcomes are? Are you faster, stronger? How did it change the way you train? We welcome your comments!
Aloha, Suzie Cooney, CPT
Should you like to learn more about Suzie and train with her on Maui for your next successful experience, go to her website at http://www.suzietrainsmaui.com
Transform your performance! Train like Suzie’s clients with the INDO Board
It was a great day, emotional and draining but I will do it again next year for sure.” Stephen
Getting ready for the big Maui to Molokai Challenge!
My partner was Mike Owens, we did a great job, for first timers, and we had fun. And we will do it again next year. I started visualizing this goal in November, and kept at it since then, but on the beach that morning I was just grateful to have the opportunity to do such a thing, everyone was giving us course instructions, Jeremy was saying this will be an experience of a lifetime and to enjoy it, but once we put the paddle to the water… That visualization, the memory of Jeremy’s instructions and Connors video all came in to focus and that made the difference.
Core training is absolutely necessary for all ages and all levels of fitness. The core is simply everything excluding your extremities, however in the following exercise the legs and arms do assist the core to execute this advanced plank move.
Start Position Plank
Here, my client Juliet Bundschuh, has recently advanced to the INDO Board Stabilizing Plank. With her feet together behind her, arms locked at shoulder width part, and chest over the INDO Board, she is using all of the finer and deep pelvic floor muscles to keep her centered and steady. In addition, she requires upper body strength to keep her body supported on the board.
While keeping her head in a neutral position, she will start here and then move the board to the left and right, while engaging the core muscles to bring her back to the center, start position and repeat. The trick is to take away any stress you may feel in your wrists, arms or shoulders and bring it back to the center. Also be careful not to let the board slide out.
The advanced progression is then to left one leg behind you about 6-12 inches off the floor and continue the same. Here, she will notice her glutes to fire more actively on the supporting leg that is still on the ground. Very impressive Jules!
Jules’ training always includes core training. Core training prepares the body for the workout or heavier demands in exercising.
To advance this move even further to the next left, I may put the Gigante INDO Board Disc underneath her feet! Crazy action occurs throughout the entire body.
I hope you enjoyed this quick, advanced training tip.
Training for power comes with time and one should have a pretty good base of fitness before attempting some of these exercises. Extra precautions should be warranted to those who may have ankle weakness or other orthopedic challenges. You may have heard of plyometrics, which refers to very powerful, 2 legged, explosive like exercises that help speed and power.
Training Note:It’s your choice if you wear shoes or not, or if you train on an unstable surface such as the beach (which is more challenging). I try to train barefoot so that I can mimic the feel of the board. If working with weights, be careful not to drop them on your feet! Everyone’s training needs and experience will vary, so the number of sets/reps you perform is up to you. Typically, if you are just starting out, try 1-3 sets with 10-12 reps each, making sure you are always in perfect form.
Exercise 1: Box Drops Equipment: Box or stable platform (24-29 inches off ground)
This exercise requires you to drop to the ground from a box or raised platform and land softly. It is very important to land on the balls of your feet, not on your heels. The box I’m using is 29 inches tall.
Exercise 2: Box Hop Ups
Equipment: Box or stable platform (24-29 inches off ground)
This powerful exercise can be a great cardio blast too. You can increase the difficulty by changing the speed or height of the box or platform you are jumping to. I suggest not standing too far away from the box or too close; about 12 inches away from the box seems to work well.
You wonder how top professional athletes eat to win? Practice, like anything! It takes practice and discipline to choose the right training program, know how to recover, what gear to select, but what to eat? People often ask me, what should I eat?
Discover the benefits of knowing what to eat so you can to be your best, finish your first windsurfing slalom event, SUP race, or complete your first marathon. Eating for sports performance requires planning, testing and seeing what digests easily. The last thing you want to worry about is running out of steam and crashing early, or worse losing everything on the course you just ate! There’s no one perfect formula that suits all, so be patient and find out what you like and plan ahead.
Suzie’s Daily Power Food
In this article I’m going to keep it short and delicious and tell you what I eat to do my best for all the sports I enjoy! My breakfast, everyday consists of healthy, satisfying protein and complex carbs. I need fuel to get me through training 4-5 clients back to back or a training session on the water. I’ll blend a cup of low-fat yogurt ( prefer the Greek higher protein content ), a cup of high quality granola blended with a cup of fresh berries!
Developing and balancing your training routine is for some, much easier than creating healthy eating habits for your sport(s) of choice. I recommend to keep it as simple as possible and to include a combo of fueling carbs with some protein. The two components will be satiating and energy sustaining.
We’ve heard way too long that carbs are bad. Sure, if you’re sedentary and sitting on the couch eating a whole bag of potato chips, a loaf of white bread washed down with a soda, and the only surfing you do is channel surfing!
Think of carbs and associate the word “healthy or whole grains” instead or think of the phrase “complex carbs”; fuel for the brain and your muscles. Most Americans eat “refined” grains with high contents of sugar and little to no fiber. Whole grains or healthy grains contain necessary nutrients like magnesium ( plays an important role in bone health and blood pressure regulation ) Vitamin E ( functions as an antioxidant ) and zinc ( for the metabolism of the foods you eat ).
Carbs are GOOD if you choose the right ones and use it as fuel. Some examples of good carbs are: oatmeal, quinoa or granola. On race day, my first choice is a cup of oatmeal with a pinch of raw sugar for taste with fresh berries on top and a half a cup of coffee and lots of water mixed with a little electrolytes . This is easy for me to digest and can keep me fueled for at least 2+ hours of high intensity!
Next, let’s talk about protein which is necessary to keep your muscles in tip top shape as you break them down. The best way to consume healthy amounts of protein for athletic performance is to eat nutritious, low fat foods such as lean red meat, nuts,egg whites, fish, beans, rice, and low fat dairy products. I also enjoy mid morning during my heavy client loads, a protein shake with about 27+ grams of protein and low in sugar. I’ll use VitaCoco coconut water as my base and add a cup of fresh berries.
How much protein to consume will vary for each person. But for most athletes and in my book all of you are atheltes if your reading : divide your current weight by 2.2, multiply that number by 1.4, the number you come up with is the number of grams of protein you should consume. Another method to try is consuming 10 to 15 percent of your daily calories from protein sources.
The right amount of healthy grains and protein will be different for each athlete ( you ). Eating the two combined all throughout the day is really key. So before performance, during if possible and after to assure proper recovery and repair of the muscles and tissue you broke down. There is a proper balance that one should try to achieve and I recommend taking it slow as you introduce new foods. Be sure you can tolerate certain foods and “practice” combining the two. Don’t wait until the morning of a special event. That can be disastrous. Also, remember to hydrate well before and after.
Make each stroke count, paddle hard, or rig a big sail and enjoy the benefits of eating well.
Aloha and see you on the water and at the finish line!
Suzie Cooney, CPT of Suzie Trains Maui
To train with Suzie while visiting Maui or to hire her for your next SUP Fitness Event/Clinic you can contact her at email@example.com