I enetered my first SUP race in 2016 and have enjoyed racing for four years now. Prior to that I have no cardio history since school, did nothing. The only time my heart rate got up was when I had a new girlfriend :-). Now that I am fifty I feel my body may need more rest.
I have two 4-6k races a week and then on Saturday morning i have a paddling group where we usually do HIIT training. Also this weekend I did a 12K paddle at 80% with a couple of friends to help me with my stroke. A day off on Monday and on the Tuesday night race I lost energy after 2K. If I was fit would this have been a problem ?. So do I need to get fit so I can handle this workload or do I need to rest more. The elite paddlers in my races paddle everyday, are they taking it easy most days ?. Should I give up ? or should I start running etc to increase my fitness ?.
Please, any advice is greatly appreciated
It could well be your diet which goes hand in hand with fitness. You should probably start off with a blood test and cardio test to make sure nothing is going on with your heart and arteries. Check your blood pressure which is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Ideally your blood pressure should be 110/70 without medication. Cut down on meat , dairy and alcohol and consider a more plant based diet . Worked for me, still surfing (standup) and paddling at 71.
Hiit can really take it out of you so don't try what a much younger person would do but train according to how your body feels.
At your age, going from nothing to paddling three times a week will help but not necessarily reform your "fitness". You need to mix it up and do something daily. I am 52 and do some form of exercise run/mtb/cross train/ski paddle/swim every day, and have done so for the last 15 years. This is outside of being on the surf SUP when ever possible. This is a routine that has become part of my DNA.
Rest is important and i usually take one rest day per week, but this day could be filled with surf time if conditions allow.
For you, i would be taking up the mountain bike and swimming. Low impact "all body" forms of exercise that will greatly improve your cardiovascular capacity. Join a social swim squad at you local pool so you are actually doing a swim training set and not just "doing laps" as this is as boring as bat ****.
Most of all, try to find someone to exercise with that is like minded. Having someone to train with makes getting out and doing it so much easier and so much more FUN.