X-TRAIN Series: Dragon Boat
I’m always amazed when I see a video of a team paddling in unison; plus I think water sports have a way to attract me.
It was since last year that I wanted to try this sports of paddling aboard a dragon boat but because I was busy for other things I wasn’t able to try it. But things changed one Monday afternoon when I found myself soooooo bored in the 4 corners of my room. At that time, a friend of mine suddenly texted and invited me to join her to paddle. I didn’t think twice, packed my bag and went to Manila that same day to check out dragon boat the next day. That was the first time I paddled and after 5 days, my back muscles are still hurting.
Then came my second try last Saturday with Team Onslaught.
Team Onslaught on training
The session started with 15 minutes of stretching and warm-up in front of Manila Oceam Park.
I then found myself helping other paddlers bring the boat to the water. I borrowed a paddle and went inside the dragon boat with others. Within seconds we are already maneuvering out for an intense paddling session on the bay of Manila.
Paddlers going to their respective places
As with running, there is a proper form of paddling. It starts with how to hold the paddle correctly, then seated erect, looking forward and using your core and back muscles as you paddle out. You have to twist your side muscles and get the help of your core so that your shoulders will not hurt after the session. The experienced paddlers, called pacers (same with running) are positioned in front while the newbies are at the tail of the boat.
Paddle Paddle, eyes on the front, use the back and core muscles
The leader/coach tells the team what to do like paddle hard, paddle harder, long paddles, easy (stop, my fave command), ready, and how many the team should paddle.
Unlike running, dragon boat racing is a team sports, you have to go with the pace of the group and be challenge yourself to paddle as long as needed.
“Sa running, anytime pwede kang huminto. Sa pagsasagwan, medyo nakakahiyang huminto kasi nakikita mo yung ibang teammates mo sumasagwan at nahihirapan din. Mas mapapadali yung training kung sasabayan mo sila.”
Easy. The camera has a way of making us smile (the paddling was intense)
I like this sports because you don’t need a special gear or something when you want to try it. You just have to be there on your sports attire, preferably shorts and slippers, and that’s it. The paddle? You can borrow one from the club you join.
The over-all experience was great, especially seeing the Manila Skyline from a different perspective. I really love how the sun rises out of the tall buildings of Makati and Ortigas.
I think everyone who wants to try this sports should ready themselves to get a little bit wet and dirty (because Manila Bay is polluted). “Bawal mag-inarte sa tubig at sa mga basura na makikita mo sa Manila Bay.”
One of the benefits of paddling: Manila Bay sunrise from a different perspective.
Special thanks to Onslaught Team president, Ms. Pinky for a very nice paddling session. Until next time po!
Want to try this?
Onslaught Team practice happens every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Call time is 4:45am at Manila Ocean Park, Manila City.
Onslaught Racing Dragons
Priscilla Pinky Castillo
You can also check the official website of Philippine Dragon Boat Federation.
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X-TRAINING SERIES is a new feature in this running blog. I will be sharing with you some of the cross-training sports that I am trying out as a runner. Cross-training is good for runners as it trains other muscle groups; aids our recovery phase; prevents injury and burnout. It is also good for those who have injured themselves while running, a perfect way to be in shape while recuperating from injury.
If you know of a very good x-training for runners like me, do invite me to try it so I can also feature it on my blog.
Dragon Boat |Barre | Wall-Climbing |Surfing | Yoga | Tai Chi | Pilates | Hiking | Surfing | Wakeboarding |