Killer 8s

It looks like a bunch of squiggles on the GPS track, but it is actually 4 runs of the Killer 8s session.

Flow from bottom left to top right. North shore Anglesey – South shore Bangor

The original Killer Islands sess is a simple one, start on either Bangor shore or Anglesey shore, round the island (Gored Goch – GG) and return to the start point – paddle hard throughout. It means 2 ferry glides, 1 climb and maybe a downstream leg too – holding it all together at max pace on moving water – 1/2 a boat length tolerance on the ferries max. It’s fairly shortish at sub 6 min, but work it hard and it hurts.

Killer 8s takes things a little further, and a little longer ~ 6:30.
This time each effort involves a figure of 8 lap around GG and Cribbin Rock reef – switching direction on each lap.

This gives a different order and direction to the climbs and downstream legs each run, forcing new lines on each lap.

There are a couple of short, just ‘up the drop’ climbs at the top of the reef – only a few seconds long, or the minute or more upstream sprint – eddy hopping your way up the channel between the reef and the island.
The climbs are not monster ones, but ‘feasibles’ – they don’t spoil the flow of the training but are demanding.

The change of direction each lap also changes the strategy and pacing – one lap starts with a falling ferry to the bottom of the island, the next with a square ferry that leads straight into a tough, fast-paced climb up the channel. Some runs end with a climb, others with a downstream leg. Go hard and hang in, or pace a little and save a bit for the end? The same old question…
It’s all about thinking while you work hard, changing the lines, holding it together and keeping focus – as you cross eddies, make climbs and straight-line the ferry glides.

Thinking about training, to get a little more from it than just a sweaty paddle.

John Willacy