Metabolic demands of Kayaking.

10 years 9 months ago - 10 years 9 months ago #14772 by candela
I was watching an interesting show the other night; I think it was called “Truth about Exercise”. Anyway the most interesting thing I got from the show was that a study was done on V02 Max.

They put 1000 people through a rigorous exercise program (20 weeks I think) and measured there V02 max improvements. They also did DNA testing. Their conclusion was that 20% of people get very little if any V02 max improvements from exercise. 10% of people get maximum benefit and the remaining 70% are somewhere between. They also state that with DNA testing they can determine where you fit.

I understand that genes have a big say in what you can and can’t achieve physically but I was a little shocked that 20% of people had no increase after targeted training. Makes me wonder where I’d fit.

How do people best judge there endurance improvements since we paddle in such a variable environment. My times seem to vary quite a bit depending on wind/tide/side chop etc… Sometimes you feel like you just not getting any faster but you may be improving and be unaware due to the variables.

Also stumbled across this review document that I thought I’d share.
Last edit: 10 years 9 months ago by candela. Reason: Can't spell
The following user(s) said Thank You: Watto

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10 years 9 months ago #14776 by Kayaker Greg
As you would know VO2 max is only a small component of the whole picture and one that I have personally never bothered to get tested for in any of my sports that I have been a serious competitor in. My thoughts were/are, if I get a good result in my VO2 max test, it doesn't mean I'm going to win the race. If I get a bad result in my test, it means I'm definitely not going to win the race, so I've always chosen to ignore testing for it.

For kayaking in a moving world, it can be hard to gage increased performance unless you have access to a flat water area where you can time trial on still days, impractical for most of us.

What I do is have a running spreadsheet where for every single paddle I do, I record the kayak, the paddle, venue, Odo, moving time, moving avg, max speed, wind direction and strength, HR avg, HR max, then each workout is color coded as per if its a sprint, anerobic threshold, anerobic capacity, endurance, group paddle or a race. Then over a period of time for example a couple of months a year ago to the last couple of months I can add the totals of say 10 similar workouts, devide by 10 to get the average and see for myself what the improvements are that I have made, otherwise it can be very difficult and perhaps discouraging to feel you are making no progress what so ever.

Also important is to record how you felt during a period of training from day to day of if the HR levels were not where they should have been. This system has helped me identify what I was doing in a period before I burnt myself out a year ago, this I can review and make adjustments so I don't make the same mistakes again and can identify when I need to step back and take a few days rest before building up for say the next 5-6 weeks before my next scheduled break. Its easy early on in a training period to feel great and gung ho with the resulting accumulation of good training results eventually leading to an accumulation of tiredness and flatter performances, this is what I try to avoid by nipping it in the bud before it gets chronic, ie burn out. I now try to train smarter with the benefit of my training experience all recorded in front of me for review when I need it.

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10 years 9 months ago #14780 by candela
Thanks for the tips Greg.

I was thinking about getting my V02 Max tested but changed my mind for the same reason you stated above.
I’ve been recording my training paddles for the past couple of years and have quite a lot of data (I use “sports Tracks” with the Garmin 310). I started out making notes about weather, tide, wind, mood and sleep but got lazy and stopped, but I did keep recording my training with the Garmin. I like your idea of averaging your training and race results out over a period of time to look for improvements, which I guess you could then graph.

I think during the Xmass break I’ll clean up my data and try what you suggested. I think I got a little burnt out last year and that maybe creeping up on me again so I think I need to look a little closer at my training and race prep.

Thanks again Greg, for great advice.

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10 years 9 months ago - 10 years 9 months ago #14781 by Kayaker Greg
On the same spreadsheet that records my paddle information, I map out my next 10-12 weeks of training and racing, starting with a rest week where I might have 4-5 days off the water and I plan 5-6 weeks till my next rest week, each day has the work out planned and these generally revolve around races on the calendar I wish to do if in season, in pre season the weeks start of with lower volume/intensity and increases to the end of that cycle where I'm ready for another rest week, soon a pattern emerges where you learn how many weeks you can go before requiring a rest week etc. For eg, in preseason I can usually go for 6 week periods (including a rest week which I call week 1) however in season I find I need to shorten the period to a 5 week cycle. In the off season I'll do 6 weeks and might have a full week off at the end before starting another off season period or pre season. Rest week is always called week 1, because it is a light week and the build up is gradual so week 2 is the first week of full training.

Last year when I did burn out, I had not factored in these rest weeks and raced in everything I could, that resulted in burn out and 5 months of really not wanting to train and perhaps only paddling once a week because I just didn't want too. I've now been back paddling 4-5 days a week since April with planned rest weeks to freshen up and my fitness and paddling improving through out my winter off season, pre season and now in season.

This year I am not doing as many races and I'm more aware of recovery after a race and the resulting gradual build up over the following days to allow full recovery, the improvements come from the recovery, not the tearing down of your systems that racing results in.

Even though my cycle has every day for every week planned, it is not a rigid plan due to weather, group paddle opportunities or even just because I feel I need to take things a little easier at some point, sometimes a real period of nasty weather or other stresses/illness/circumstances might bring my rest week forward for example so the program is fluid as a result. But the one thing I am sure of is to factor in rest periods of 4-5 days at least every 5-6 weeks for full recovery before beginning another cycle, this way I plan to avoid the burn out.
Last edit: 10 years 9 months ago by Kayaker Greg.

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