Rest: The Most Underrated SUP Training Tool

There is one simple key to a successful SUP training program and competition schedule, yet it is often used improperly.


Rest is the most underrated SUP training tool at your disposal.

A common approach from endurance athletes is to think, “more is better.” For example, if paddling four miles is good for me, seven will be better!

Not exactly.

We are conditioned to believe that not training is a sign of weakness. “I am lazy if I don’t paddle today”, and , “I will get out of shape”, are typical fears about rest held by some athletes. It is quite ironic that we hold these thoughts when rest after training is the time when we make the most physical progress. During rest, our body can repair and build itself stronger than before our training.

If you are experiencing lingering illness, injury, fatigue or loss of enjoyment and motivation to train, then these are clear signs that you need to rest.

Rest is as important to your SUP race preparation as mental and physical training. Rest will influence every aspect of your athletic performance including, physical condition, competitive performance, mental toughness and enjoyment in training and racing.

In addition to the breaking down of your body through a tough training regimen, the pressure of a long SUP racing season and daily stress unrelated to paddling will also wear you down. Regular rest helps prevent the accumulated long- term effects of the grind of training and the SUP race season. This is why you will see a minimum of one scheduled day of rest per week in all of our SUP Training Programs.

The intensity of your training should also be varied to allow for rest depending on the timing of your season, the upcoming race schedule and how you are feeling. This type of training is known as periodization and is described in detail in 10 Rules Of A Successful SUP Training Program.

There is a lot of information about SUP training on the SUPAA website, but one of the most important lessons you can learn is to listen to your body. Our bodies are very good at telling us when we need to back off. The most difficult thing is to be aware of these signals and to act on them. Rest is a skill that is learned through repetition and maintaining a thoughtful approach throughout your SUP training and racing schedule.

The busy summer SUP racing season for the northern hemisphere is coming to an end. Use this off season to rest your body. If you are not taking at least a few weeks off of your board then you are setting yourself up for failure. Don’t skip over rest days during your training and put your board away for a at least a couple of weeks during the off season. I personally take two months off of my race board to surf and allow my mind and body to recover from a long season of SUP racing. Find your right amount of time off and start implementing the SUP training tool of rest today!