Zara Davis: the need for speed

Zara Davis takes training seriously. The fastest female windsurfer in the world shares a few tips on injury management and balance training.

Zara Davis knows what she's doing when she's got a windsurf board under her feet. The osteopath and acupuncturist sail fast. At 47, it's important to get fit for the record.

In her blog, she shared tips on how to improve her chances of beating her own marks.

"If you can remain uninjured, you can train or compete. Injury takes time out of training that can never be recovered," explains Davis.

"The ability to balance and have good proprioception - the ability for your brain to know where your body is in space - is critical for injury prevention and performance."

"One of the exercises to help with that could be to stand on a swiss ball and balance. However, the risks of falling off a swiss ball whilst standing on it."

"So, in this case, a better exercise might be to kneel on the ball and challenge yourself further and close your eyes."

Teaching the Brain

Zara Davis, who holds the women's world windsurfing 500-meter record at 45.83 knots, believes that you shouldn't train at all if you're in pain.

"Don't stretch before exercise. The balance of research suggests stretching is not helpful, especially before exercise, and may increase injury risk".

Also, don't train ill. Check your temperature regularly, and "definitely don't train if it's high. A useful tip is to use heart rate, and if it rises by more than 5 beats from your average range, you may still be fighting infection".

Now, the list of should-dos. Rule number one: "do a dynamic warm-up that includes the ranges of movement that you will be doing in the sport, but more slowly and with real thought as to the movement involved."

Basically, you'll be teaching the brain for the future.

Then, eat within 20 minutes of finishing a training session. "Don't wait until you get home."

Take carbohydrates and some proteins to replace your muscle glycogen. Drink a pint of milk, a banana, and some nuts. That will be enough.

Stabilization training is essential for any sport. Davis does a combination of Pilates and suspension training.

Finally, every once in a while, get a regular massage and make sure you visit an osteopath or physiotherapist.

Top Stories

Professional surfers Kai Lenny and Jamie O'Brien embarked on a thrilling adventure when they set sail aboard the high-performance USA SailGP F50 foiling catamaran.

Planing is one of the most exciting skills you can master while windsurfing. It usually separates beginners from intermediate and advanced sailors. But what is the minimum wind speed to get flying over water?

The Portuguese island of Madeira is home to the world's first natural swimming pool windsurfing regatta.

Sarah Hauser set a new Guinness World Record for the biggest wave ridden by a female windsurfer.