By Pat Kellner (A.K.A. River Kayak Pat)
Endurance is a large part of kayak fishing. But there are two types of endurance related to kayak angling.
The first type is probably what you are thinking of; the endurance to paddle long distances. If you want to improve as a tournament angler, you will need to paddle further and faster than your other competitors. This will get you to the “fishy” water first, and give you the ability to reach waters that other anglers can’t reach. This Aerobic Fitness will also help you to not wear down throughout the day, and will give you the energy reserves needed to make that paddle back to weigh in site quicker, allowing you to stay on the water fishing even longer.
The second type of endurance is mental endurance–the ability to remain sharp and focused throughout the entire day on the water. Being fully concentrated on fishing can get difficult, especially if it is a slow day with few bites, but that is exactly when you need to be at the top of your game. There are several factors that can lead to mental exhaustion and a lack of concentration:
- Physical exhaustion
- Extreme weather conditions (heat, cold, wind, rain, etc.)
- Outside distractions
Running and endurance training can help you overcome all of these, allowing you to remain focused on each and every cast.
Running obviously will improve your cardiovascular health and your aerobic fitness, giving you the stamina needed to make long hard paddles. But distance running can also help improve your mental endurance. Distance running can get boring, and you can lose concentration. Work on staying focused during your runs, push through the boredom, and free your mind from outside distractions. It can be difficult to do this, and can make running less fun, but it is good to work on (at least sometimes.)
Running can also be great relaxation, believe it or not, and is a great opportunity to clear your mind from the worries of the world. And I love this about running. One run a week (usually my Sunday evening run) I will just not think about anything and run. I don’t worry too much about time, I just take off and run. I believe anyone’s overall mental health can benefit from thins.
To improve your kayak angling, I would encourage you to work on distance running. Try and run far for long periods of time, not short sprints. Depending on how much time you spend running, you can work on different things, but good long runs tend to benefit you the most.
If you are a begginer, start by running for as long as you can or for 5 minutes, followed by a recovery period of jogging, or even walking if necessary. Eventually you will be able to run hard for longer periods at a time, and will be able to recover with faster jogs.
- As you improve and can run further and faster, so will these workouts – KEEP PUSHING YOURSELF
- Use Sundays to push yourself to run a little further
- Don’t push yourself to go to fast at first, almost feel like you are holding back some
- As you run a little further, speed up just a bit until you hit your “comfort zone” that you can run in for a long time. You will feel it.
- Concentrate on your distance
- Focus on relaxing as you run, clear your mind.
Sundays, I focus a little less on speed and more on distance. Sundays are my long runs where I push myself for distance and Tuesdays are where I get a lot of running work in. I work on relaxing, running slightly slower but for further distances on Sundays. This will help you push your aerobic fitness to new levels, and will allow you to paddle harder over those long distance you might need to cover. It will also help prepare you for a day on the water with long periods of slow action.
I use Sundays to clear my mind and relax. I enjoy and look forward to my Sunday runs. I really focus on my distance and clearing my mind.
*Please note that I AM NOT A PERSONAL TRAINER. Don’t blame me if anything happens to you. It is not and will not be my fault if you get hurt. I encourage you to run and work out with the proper form, and don’t try and “man up” and do more than you can do. The best workout you can get is with good form, so use lighter weight and make sure you are working properly. Always, always, always, CONSULT A DOCTOR before you begin any workout program. Again, it is not and will never be my fault if you get hurt after reading these posts. I AM NOT A PERSONAL TRAINER, NOR AM I A DOCTOR, NOR ANYTHING OF THE SORT. I am just a guy who loves kayak fishing and being in shape who is telling you what I do.***
-This article is part of a series of articles by Pat Kellner regarding the importance of fitness in kayak fishing which appears on his blog Fish Tattoo. To read the full series click here
About Pat Kellner (A.K.A. River Kayak Pat)
Pat Kellner is a professional kayak angler living in Rocksprings Texas. Pat is also a tournament angler, kayak fishing guide, kayak fishing instructor, and most importantly (when it comes to fishing) a recreational angler in his free time. If you are interested in a guided river trip or kayak fishing instruction, email Pat at email@example.com
*Featured jogging image courtesy of Federico Stevanin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net