Dear Sponsors, Supporters, and Fans
After finishing up my winter training blocks in Miami, it was time to prepare for the Sailing World Cup Miami, the second world cup of the season. Although the hard, windy training earlier in the month was highly productive in building my skill set, I was very worn down physically and mentally. I returned home back to Los Angeles for a quick few days to break up the stint in Miami to try and recover for the hard week of racing.
I returned back to Miami on January 19th with racing starting on the January 23rd. With all the international sailors arriving to compete, it was great way to partake in warm up races. I was very pleased with my execution in these practice races, consistently finishing in the front of the fleet, and with all honesty, winning the practice days against the best in the world.
Racing then kicked off the first two days in light to medium winds from the South and then the Northeast. Aside from one race when I executed a poor start, I had a solid start scoring a 17-(38)-4-16, putting me in 10th overall and strong position to keep moving up.
The following days of racing consisted of easterly winds over 20 knots, including a day cancelled with winds over 30 knots. Unfortunately, the hard training and fatigue that endured in the weeks prior caught up to me and my body did not respond well to the strenuous conditions. I faded quickly, my muscles not recovering well and mentally in a daze in the final days. My speed was not up to par, falling to the back of the fleet during racing, finishing the event in 31st overall.
I was disappointed, frustrated and mildly shocked to say the least with the result. I have taken some time to reflect on what exactly happened put it into words. I felt I put in lots of hard hours on the water and in the gym, so was frustrated to not see the results show on the water. I also felt my racing and boat skills were at the highest level they have ever been, which was shown during the pre-event practice racing and in the first two days of racing in the lighter winds. Even during the strong wind racing, I had executed strong starts, I just didn’t have the legs and energy to keep attacking.
After some reflection and analysis with my coach Chris Dold on the event, the lead up to the event, our conclusion was that I suffered from “overtraining” and “chronic fatigue”. During the lead up and throughout the event I recognized I suffered from many of the classic symptoms including weight loss, irregular sleep, fighting illness, and mental exhaustion.
In addition, we looked back at what processes have worked before in preparation for peak events such as the World Championships last September. We put in those extremely demanding few weeks of windy sessions on the water lasting nearly 4 hours, however a couple months prior in July. Following that, my last stint of hard hiking in windy conditions finished nearly a month before the event started in August in Weymouth, England with the British team. Those sessions last no more than 2.5 hours and allowed for time for gym sessions and weight lifting. The final few weeks and days leading into the event had quick, short sailing sessions lasting no more than 2 hours to keep the skills at a high level. The days focused around gym to keep the fast twitch muscles powerful and tapering energy levels to be fresh for the event.
In comparison to the lead up to the Sailing World Cup Miami, we put in the demanding, windy sessions last up to 4 hours, however we finished that block of training only a week before the event started. Those sessions were windy, taking out the possibility to do weight lifting sessions in the gym, and instead required recovery sessions to prepare for next day. Even during my week of recovery leading into the event, I was struggling to recoup my energy levels and struggled to match my usual numbers in the gym. In the end, the lack of recovery from the hard training and the inability to prepare the explosive muscles for racing showed in my inability to accelerate the boat in the strong winds.
All in all, the result is disappointing as acknowledged in terms of producing a result in Miami. The hard training developed my skills to the highest they have ever been, but it sacrificed a strong performance. This experience also pushed an important lesson in properly planning out the training blocks towards peak performance at the top events. Once we acknowledged this key lesson, we immediately looked at the program to ensure we are peaked physically for the World Championships this August and happy with the adjustments we made.
I returned back to Los Angeles following the event to recover from the event and fight off this sickness. It was also important to me both physically and mentally to get back to my building blocks and fundamentals in the gym, lifting the heavy weights, and keep pushing the muscle building. The progress was good as I am closing back in on my ideal weight. I am still fighting off the illnesses, currently fight off a cold and sinus infections. Nevertheless, I felt a good balance between recovering and pushing the gym, feeling refreshed for the next challenge.
I am now on my way back to Florida to train in Clearwater for a week and then compete in the Midwinters East, a top tier North American event. Afterwards, I will remain in Florida for another couple weeks to continue the on the water and gym training.
Thank you all for your continued support. Please enjoy the attached pictures of the racing in Miami. Stoked to get prepared for the upcoming European season!!
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