I've been lucky enough to get a session in every day for the last four days. Nothing too intense, just 2-3 hours in the water. Today about an hour into it my legs gave and I felt like I was on stilts whenever I tried to pump and do a turn. I couldnt balance. Happened again on the next couple of waves, usually when going frontside. Then when I went backside it seemed ok (I don't do too much backhand stuff). First time this ever happened to me. It's usually my arms/upper body that goes first when I get tired, where after a few hours of surfing I can hardly pop up.
Does this happen to any of you after surfing a lot or am I just getting old? Also I started jogging and running a lot and committed to a 15K this spring. I figured that's probably why... But I know a lot of folks here are surfers and fitness buffs, who train with other exercises so I thought I would ask for your own personal experiences.
I just don't want to commit to an activity like any kind of long distance running (I know, 15k is not "long distance") which will end up being detrimental to surfing in the long run.
15k is a pretty good run no? i would think conditioning would be the key with that though. i cycle when the weather is nicer and i believe it strengthened my legs to a point where they feel more powerful surfing. as far as balance goes, balance on one leg on something somewhat small and concave for 30 seconds with each leg. i actually stand on a 3 lb dumbbell from time to time. work up to a minute or 2. i did some weighted lunges today (really good exersize - and i also do quad extensions which aren't crazy hard yet effective i feel. good luck!
having spent 10+ years as a highly competitive runner through high school, college, & beyond, i have to disagree w/ those who are saying that running will ruin your surfing. you say you just started your training for the 15k & that you've surfed every day of the last 4...your body simply may not be used to the added workload & strain that this is putting on your body.
assuming you were reasonably fit before you started running, you're still subjecting your body to something it's not used to. as your body adapts to the increased strain of the training you're doing while continuing to surf, that feeling of stiffness will fade.
Running will not ruin your joints. Those who run tend to have better joints. The cartilage in your knee actually gets stronger if you're an active runner. However, running excessively and on hard surfaces over time will be bad. It's really about moderation. Not to mention, having a proper running technique will do wonders. I heard a story on NPR about barefoot runners who can go 30 miles nonstop due to the way they run. I think it was short steps using mostly the ball of your foot so you kind of tip toe run. Apparently it is very effective though.
Your problem though is probably just fatigue and maybe dehydration. When I spent 8 hours in the ocean during the Sandy swell I would duck dive and my arms would bend and then cramp up and it would be really hard to extend them again. Drink lots of fluids before you go out. Unless you hate peeing your wetsuit.....
I have run pretty much 5-6 days a week for 15 years, and I can tell you my joints are fine for surfing. Running is a good way to keep endurance up for surfing, but running and surfing together can really wear the body down. Eat some bananas to keep the potassium levels up and stay hydrated. My biggest problem is dehydration, and after years of running it really messes up the body chemistry.
I have done about 5 miles/day 2-3 days a week in the afternoons and started this past September. The benefits to cardiovascular endurance are def. noticeable, with not having as much "out of breath" moments when paddling back out. I think the body probably just finally called a time-out today and was it's way of telling me that I've been doing too much. Interesting stuff though, so thanks. I'm at that point where I started to realize that if I wanna keep surfing for as long as possible I need to start doing these type of exercises right.