As SailGP prepares to kick off the European leg of Season 4 in Saint-Tropez on September 9-10, Germany SailGP Team strategist Kahena Kunze talks us through her workout schedule. A double Olympic champion, Kunze was one of the first crew members unveiled as part of the Germany SailGP Team line-up at the beginning of this season.
How often do you work out?
How long do you work out for?
What time do you get up?
What time do you go to bed?
How much do you weigh?
What is your ideal weight?
Do you take any pre/ post workout supplements?
I take whey-protein or eat smoothies, eggs and different seeds. This helps me build muscle and strength.
How often do you go to the gym?
Three times a week.
Talk us through your workout schedule on a normal day.
If I’m doing cardio, I won’t eat anything beforehand - only a glass of warm water with lemon. If is gym day, I normally eat a banana or a smoothie before working out.
I have my daily workout routine with lots of mobility exercise mixed with strength, power and agility and, depending on our water sessions, we decide which training is the best for each training camp. Yoga is also part of my schedule if I workout after sailing.
Talk us through your workout/ warm up on a race day.
Before breakfast I like to spend 30 minutes stretching or, if we have time, I’ll go for a 30 minute run or run track outside in nature. If we don’t have the time, I’ll do mobility closer to the venue.
What’s the biggest fitness/ physical misconception about your sport?
Sailing is a sport that demands both fitness and mental focus. So you need to work on all types of skills both on and off the water to keep you 100% focused on race days.
Do you train or compete in any other sports?
I’ve started wingfoiling on waves, which has helped me read all types of sea conditions. I love to surf as well and this is one of my biggest challenges these days - paddling, staying on the peak and catching the best waves.
More than the fitness part it helps you understand the sea conditions and how it can change so quickly, which of course helps on the sailing days.
How many calories do you burn on a typical race day?
It depends on which boat I am competing in. In the 49er, I would say it’s around 1200 calories, in the F50 it’s more like 400 calories.
How to do you recover?
Through physio and healthy eating.
How would you describe the physicality/ fitness needed to be a professional sailor?
The more physically- mentally you are prepared the best you can perform (reading the racecourse, dealing with pressure and keeping your heart rate low).
6am or 6pm workout? 6am
Treadmill or outside? Outside
Strength or cardio? Cardio
Yoga or meditation? Yoga
Running or cycling? Cycling
Smoothie or protein shake? Smoothie