"We live one life, and I want to make sure that the life I live is an active one... I want to be like my grandparents, still square dancing in their nineties, although I hope in my case, I will be paddling. We have an amazing world and I think more people should step outside and explore it."
We recently had the pleasure to sit down with pro paddle boarder and Garmin sponsored athlete Jenny Kalmbach. Kalmbach, who believes strongly, "The ocean brings people together," is not only a world class athlete, she also plays a large role in the movement to keep our ocean's free from destruction so that they are around for generations to come.
G: What does it take to be one of the top Stand Up Paddle Boarders in the world?
JK: As with any sport, the dedication to training and motivation to stay focused ... it's a relatively new sport so we're still learning what specific trainings make us stronger and faster, but that is what is so exciting...we're sort of forging the way for future paddlers. They can learn from our (many) mistakes!
G: What type of workouts do you do and how do you incorporate your Garmin GPS watch?
JK: I have a bunch of different workouts both sprint & endurance - I create the custom workouts on Garmin Connect and sync it with my watch. For example, one sprint workout I really like is: 10 min warmup, followed by 10 x 1 min sprints with 15 sec rest in between. Followed by 10 x 3 min sprints with 30 sec rest in between.
JK: For landlocked people, the best thing to work on is fitness and cardio so that when you are able to get on the water you can focus on technique. Best workouts would involve hill sprints for running, bike workouts & swimming at a pool would be good (similar muscle groups to paddling... this is a great to highlight the new Forerunner 910XT).
G: What data fields do you display on your watch?
JK: Speed, Time (nice to know how long you've been paddling for), Distance in nautical miles .. it is a great way to be able to test equipment & technique... is it really faster to take more strokes or not - is a carbon blade faster than a wooden blade, which board is faster etc...
G: You are such a great athlete, what made you chose Paddle Boarding?
JK: Because I love being on the water, in the elements.. it's always so different and there are so many different aspects - downwind paddling, surfing, flat water paddling.. because it is so new, I learn something every time i go out. I paddle because it is fun and when I am out there I can focus completely on the task at hand, I leave everything else on shore.
G: Like Garmin, you are a huge advocate of healthy and active lifestyles. What does this mean to you?
JK: We live one life and I want to make sure that the life I live is an active one... I want to be like my grandparents, still square dancing in their nineties, although I hope in my case, I will be paddling. We have an amazing world and I think more people should step outside and explore it. Even if someone just starts with a walk around the block - it's a start... set a goal, a 5k or 10k or marathon and setup a training program - it's amazing how your views change when you have a plan, a goal. When I first started racing I changed everything about my nutrition and training... it was no longer about eating or working out to look a certain way - it was about being a better athlete, a stronger paddler.
The key is to teach the youth that being active is fun and it doesn't have to be a chore. We have the ability to share with them an experience that will change their lives....