Interview with Alessandro
Hi Alessandro, could you briefly tell us your story about paddleboarding?
Hi Gianluca, well, it all started in 2012.
At that time, as a windsurfer, I just got to know “ SUP”, without any practice.
At first, it doesn’t excite me as a sport, but because of the easy way paddlers could get waves, I decided to have a try.
It was fun, and that convinced me to buy a longboard-like paddle board.
I started trying to have fun with some waves and over time, I enjoyed some flat water session, especially during the after-work afternoons.
A few weeks later, my windsurf club here in my hometown organized a SUP race, and I was asked to join .
I’ve always been a sporty person, but never involved in competitions not until that very moment.
I decided to participate in the race. I have to say that I really enjoyed it.
I found friendly people in one of the best environment: the sea.
Back then, I joined more and more races, and I saw better and better performances, even if I realized there were people much more prepared than me.
This pushed me to transform my paddling around in real training session.
I started to collect some good vibes and some victory as well, still enjoying great people and wonderful backgrounds.
What kind of issues you had to struggle with once you started joining races?
Of course, as a result of several competitions, I began to cope with increasingly frequent training, and although I was dedicated to sports, it started to be a bit ‘weary and energy consuming especially when I began to train for the competitive category.
Have you had injuries and/or physical problems? How?
As it applies to any sports, if you don’t have the right training and skills, you will only just waste your energy, and you will be highly open to the risk of having injuries or muscle trauma.
In fact, a few years back, because of my continuous self-training on a wrong posture, I hurt my back as a result of my decidedly mediocre training technique.
Usually, how did you train before getting to know Gianluca?
During the winter time, I used to follow a boxing training program which guides me on a good shape.
On the other hand during the spring and summer time, I still use to train in the water, doing as many kilometers as I could, keeping the rhythm as high as possible.
That habit gave me good results in the first part of the season, but then it wore me so much that I got really tired just in the middle of the competing period.
Moreover, the results usually were becoming worse and worse.
What has changed since you started training with Gianluca?
I started working with Gianluca. Two years ago, I decided to tackle the competitive race (12.6 category).
Initially, I thought of taking care of the technique because with the problems I had in the past.
I decided that it was the first thing to fix, then confronting Gianluca, we decided to start a path on physical and technical preparation as well.
I found myself comfortable with the programs as he has a very calm approach to the sport, without upsetting but with a linear progression of efforts.
I realized that in spite of the various workouts I undergo, I never find periods of over-fatigue and, in these 2 years of competitions with his training method, I have always had a constant growth without problems and without periods of muscular crisis.
The postural and technical part of the training brought an improvement into my performance and enhancement of the paddling.
At the same time, it allowed me avoiding all the various injuries and contractures to which I subjected myself to while I was doing self-training.
What were your best results before working with Gianluca and which ones after?
Surely my tenacity gave me a good hand to face and win some amateur race, but in the competitive category this was not enough.
Deciding to start a path with him allowed me to be prepared and also to be at best for the Race 12.6′ category with the assurance of an excellent season.
I actually won the absolute category race and got the second in the Italian Sup League championship.
Given the good results of the whole season, I decided to try the Italian Sup League Elite Race 14′ category.
It was a great season with good placing and some victories even in this new environment.
At the moment, I am second in the league.
Since you are not a full-time athlete, how do you manage workouts and work?
Surely matching a full-time job with workouts and a married life is not easy, but with Gianluca, I can deal with everything freely according to my commitments.
There is nothing mandatory or forced, and if I have any challenges, we talk about together, and we quietly decide how to proceed.
Living in an area of Italy where winter temperatures are not so pleasant, how do you manage your training at that time?
Oh yes, the winter temperatures in my region are not very suitable for going out in the water.
In that part of the year, usually, you get about 6 / 7 °C not to mention that the water is freezing.
So you get ready for the warmer season with running, swimming and gym, basically a 360º preparation.
As paddleboarding is a very complete sport that involves the whole body, each specific phase of the training has to be well programmed.
Trying to match everything by yourself would be too much for anyone, but managed with a guideline like Gianluca’s becomes all very simple and fun.
Tell us a little about your Marathon experience.
Well, the Marathon was a very unique experience that in my case has come forward itself.
Actually, I like facing challenges, especially those that others do not want to meet, and this was the one.
It was definitely a huge demand both from a physical and mental point of view.
I would say that I started the season in great shape by competing in different races including the famous Lignano sup Marathon.
That was based through the Lignano channels to flow back into the sea, a distance of 23km, breakneck track and just as hard but very exciting because of the participants and, above all, the location.
At the end of it, I thought that such long competitions would not have made anymore, a far-fetched lie (aha), because it was the best made so far, especially with an excellent 4th place.
Overtime, and during a 23km-long training session I thought: “but if I could keep this training up to 3/4 of the track of a Marathon of 38 / 40km ???”.
The challenge started just after that question.
It then proudly turned into a success winning the race reaching the first place in the Elite category.
Definitely, it was a good experience.
I guess almost anyone, with the right training and some sacrifice, could tackle.
You know, the mind wants the body can do!
Until a few years ago I never believed the need for a trainer or specific courses in technique and posture, but it is highly important in sport.
You can see it as the school teaches us to read and write, leading us to be successful in life.
I dedicate all my results to my coach Gianluca who has helped me so far, and I thank him for always believing in me!