Cardio routine during downwind

I have been doing a few runs starting short distances and every incremental lenght I make on the run I feel a significant increase in cardio workout after all the pumping and paddle sprints mostly to keep ground since I do it on cross on shore winds.

I am pretty fit but never monitored cardio workouts. I feel I have to watch it if I plan to push it longer or keep doing downwind runs on a regular basis until I reach a higher level of efficiency gliding more and pumping less.
What the experienced say about cardio preparation for pushing distances?

Yesterday I set my PR as a begginer sup foiler on a 20km solo run and only 4 paddle ups but came in pretty baffled. Stoked after finish but feel I need a few days off to recover. 40yo 61kg


I’d say if you’re doing 20km runs, you’re doing just fine :slight_smile:

For me, I don’t think my cardio has gotten much better but my efficiency has drastically improved. I play a lot of games like trying to run bumps without pumping for as far as I can (wing is a great way to do this), or trying to be as straight legged as possible and keeping pitch changes in the hips. Both let you rest more on a run. Foil setup and balance will help too. If you’re wide legged you’re working harder than narrow stance.

Let me know if you find any hacks.

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As far as being baffled goes, I think there could be a big element of mental fatigue contributing there. Possibly hydration also a factor, depending on ambient temp and duration of run.

I can’t even come close to paddling up yet, gear and above all nowhere near fit enough, so my experience is wing based, and just 1 year in on it.

Did a 28km rhumbline (45km on the water), 3hr winging downwinder with a buddy a few weeks ago. Average heart rate was below 140, a few peaks to 160 something when I fell off during light wind patches. Think my buddy was about the same. So not terribly demanding cardio wise. We were both fried at the end. I had hydration and he didnt and my balance and fatigue were better than him at the end of the run even though his cardio fitness is much better than mine. The big factor though was the crazy cross waves from shifty wind and current, trying to pick our way through that as dw newbs for 3 hrs left us totally cooked mentally. Did not anticipate that. Do anticipate the mental demands dropping significantly with experience.

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One thing that still gets me all the time is ‘forgetting to breathe’. When I get in a high concentration moment winging I will sort of slow my breathing for some reason and my HR will max out because of it. I’m trying to get better at taking regular deep breaths.

Compared to running, where my breaths per minute are pretty high, I’m at around 170 bmp during a 9:00 mile pace. My averages after a hard winging session can be in the same range. There’s no way I’m physically working as hard as the run, so I think it has to come down to breaths per minute as well.

Apple Watch’s new update lets you display heart rate zones so you could use that to monitor and maybe try to interval train a bit. The key is recovering your rate downward quickly after a big expenditure. I’m working on that with running right now (bloody hate running).


Thanks for those tips. Put in practice breathing awareness and my pump and paddling pace during some short runs trying to stay high on the bumps on short stance connecting mostly on glide instead on pumping.
Felt way more relaxed and efficient but I noticed the bumps were a bit bigger than last time. So one most important thing is to use the right wing for the conditions matching foil speed to avoid pumping too much.