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  • Roch Geeks out over Paddling

    Thu, 23 Jul 2009 19:41:52 -0800

    Molokai Channel crossing, 32 miles of one of the roughest channels in the world is being tackled July 26th but paddlers and SUP.
    Reel Thing, my support boat on race day

    Homer and boat captain Darrell holding up our team flag, This Buds for you!

    Getting ready for our last paddle before we head over to Molokai

    Always calm water in the bay

    George Plisek heading in for one last short paddle sporting his race top.

    Finish line on race day, hope we all feel and look this good!

    Hang loose eh!!!

    Our very own Coach Roach is heading over to Hawaii to take on the Molokai-Oahu Paddleboard race on July 26th (is it the 25th or 26th?). So, while 2000+ triathletes nervously prepare for Ironman USA Lake Placid, Roch makes the transition from all knowing Ironman guru coach and veteran to nervous nelly, greenhorn, geek paddler. It’s too tempting. We decided to turn the tables and ask him some questions about his preparation and what he expects on the weekend.

    What is paddle boarding? How does it work? (classes, etc.)
    - Imagine a very long but narrow surfboard. 3 different classes: 12 foot, 14 foot and then anything longer is unlimited (most times unlimited boards are 17-19 feet long). You lay on the board and paddle freestyle or on your knees doing a double arm stroke like butterfly. Check out or

    How long have you been participating in the sport of paddle boarding?
    - About 4 years.

    How many races have you done so far and what has been your longest race?
    - 20 or more

    How much paddle board specific training do you do each week?
    - Paddle 4-5x per week. 2 of those are 8-10miles with intervals of all different types. One is longer aerobic, 12-22 miles. Lift 2x week and then also run and bike a little.

    What was your longest paddle prior to Molokai?
    - 22 miles

    Are you competitive?
    - Hold my own in the flat water.

    Compare paddle boarding to the sport of triathlon? Similar? Different?
    - Very similar. Same training principles apply; longer aerobic session, intervals session and recovery sessions.

    Some of your friends have been heard saying that you’re very similar to an overly keen tri-geek but in paddle boarding. What do you say to this accusation?
    - First, don’t listen to everything Paula says… but yes, very keen to paddle since my knees and hips cant handle much running and cycling anymore. I can get a good workout, cut some weight and have a blast all while paddling out on the water!

    Do you think the fact that you’ve been seen wearing compression clothing confirms that you’re a paddle boarding geek?
    - For sure, but when you paddle on your knees you actually use your hamstrings and calfs more then you realize. Both would cramp on my but with compression tights I have no problems. All the paddlers give me funky looks, but I plan to change the world of paddling and surfing fashion.

    When did you decide to take on the Super Bowl of paddle boarding, the Molokai-Oahu event?
    - Did the relay last year and want a little more challenge. It was a blast and I was going to do Catalina Channel crossing which is 32 miles as well, but it is on the same day as IM Canada and I will be up there setting up cones on the course.

    What are your expectations for this event?
    - After paddling the last few days here on the island I just want to finish…seriously, it will be a challenge with the big waves and wind.

    Do you think you’ll win?
    - If everyone else gets food poisoning and it is dead flat I may have a chance.

    What’s your predicted time? Ok, if conditions are perfect, how fast do you think you can go and if conditions are the worst ever, how fast do you think you can go? Don’t be a pussy, give us a time range.
    - Perfect (not so big) 5:30, but if crazy conditions then it could take 7 hours.

    Do you think you’ll beat the mixed relay of Tom Hinds and Shannon Delaney?
    - I have a better chance the smaller the bump is.

    Do you think you’ll be able to stay close to George Plsek? How close?
    - I can stay within 10 min if I steal his gels, if not probably 20-40min.

    Anything else you’d like to add?
    - Life is like a Kung Fu Movie: It is not how good you did but how good you looked when you did it and I will look good in my compression clothes!

    What are you going to do when you finish?
    - Hopefully have enough strength in my arms to drink several beers and have a good steak.

    What will you train for next?
    - 8 mile race up in San Fran Bay the end of September.

    Good luck!