Balance to your Training Week

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12 years 6 months ago #4552 by Paddle2Fitness
After many years of competing and now coaching, a balanced training week is the only way forward. Just going out and paddling 10-12km with no thought behind it will only get you so far. Mix it up a little with set efforts at 80% followed by hard efforts at 100-105%. This way you will work your slow muscle fibres and fast ones. If you need any further ideas on training programs please let me know. Happy Paddling

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12 years 6 months ago #4560 by aracer
Maybe it's just me, but I'm really struggling with those 105% efforts. No matter how hard I try, the most I can manage is 100%, and that only for far less than a minute :whistle:

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12 years 4 months ago #4904 by Paddle2Fitness
Aracer, the 105% pace will be 5% more than your current race pace therefore slow than 100% absolute max. i suggest you average out your last race time vs. distance and find your speed. This speed will be your current race speed. The aim is to get your body use to going faster (5% increase). That way when you race your average speed will be a little slower, your body will be use to the faster speed from the start and less chance of fatiguing after the start. The 80% pace will be 80% of your race pace. Solid but able to maintain a good technique, improve efficiency and boat run. I was a sceptic at first but now after 3 months I can see the benefit in my paddling and that of my clients. The aim is to work up to over 30mins at 105% pace i.e. 3x10mins. Start with 4-5x3min or less and work up to 10, 15 or 20min effort over time. Let me know how you go.

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12 years 4 months ago - 12 years 4 months ago #4907 by Rightarmbad
Going by % is just misleading gobbldygook.
Percentage of race speed?
Percentage of race pace heart rate?
Percentage of perceived effort?
Faltwater, into the wind, current etc?

The only way to find the important speeds in relation to training is by heartrate and lactate levels.
Once proper training levels have been found by lactate and HR readings, then a heartrate monitor can be used during training to stay within these zones.

If any of the many quoted percentage crap is used on me, I will be no where near the training stimulus required.


My heart rates for bike, run, swim, paddling are so different from each other that it is a joke to think that any percentage formula can be applied to even get remotely near the optimum training efforts.

Example.
My max HR ever attained is 183bpm.

For running, my anaerobic threshold is 173bpm
My aerobic fat burning threshold is 157bpm.

On the bike, my anaerobic threshold is 168 and my aerobic fat threshold 153

Paddling, my anaerobic threshold is 158 and my aerobic fat threshold is 140.

So for me paddling, a good interval session after warm up might consist of 1km at 160-162 HR and a recovery km down around 150 or so.
This will give me a lactate level just above threshold for the on phase and enough time below threshold to recover my lactate levels to a bit below so that the next 'on' km is the same as the last and I can continue to bounce over and then under my threshold for a few repetitions.

My younger brother who is a similar size to me, has a maximum HR of 228 and a threshold of 192.

Now show me one formula that can accurately find these levels for me and not put me so far out of the correct training zone as to be pretty much useless.

The only way to find these critical levels is to test, and to test in the applicable activity.

You will notice that if I were to train at an 80% level of HR or speed or any other percentage equation crap, that it would miss my correct training zones by a mile.
The nature of the resistance of water makes any speed percentage ridiculous, and to judge your pace by perceived effort is so unreliable it's not funny.

Just a word about me.
I own a portable lactate testing meter, and several HR monitors and for the Paddle a GPS HR monitor.
I have coached to Australian and Olympic development squad selection level.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson
Last edit: 12 years 4 months ago by Rightarmbad.

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12 years 4 months ago #4910 by Paddle2Fitness
Who gives you the right to bag my coaching style? Firstly give us your name so I know who I'm talking to. Secondly, Australian and Olympic development? What's that? Under 15 year olds.

As for your arrogant, living in my own box write up. I was an elite paddler for 15 years including many at the AIS. I came across a number of single minded coaches as you.

Something about me, I just finished my coaching degree and we were shown a new way to think about training fast and slow twitch muscle fibres. I am currently finding success with athlete that can only paddle 2-3 times a week. It ensures that they train all levels properly.

Do yourself a favour and buy an up to dated coaching book - Sport Physiology for Coaches (Brian J) Chapter 9.

Not all athletes respond to the way you as suggesting, I know I was one of them. Too many great athletes are burning out or dying too young and some people think its because they keep pushing their body's at the anaerobic threshold level for too many sessions and not allow for recovery.

This might not work, but with my 25 years of athletes / coach experience it makes since to me so I’m giving it a go.

Open up your knowledge base and don't push one coaching style to everyone.

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12 years 4 months ago #4912 by Rightarmbad

Who gives you the right to bag my coaching style?


Well, I didn’t bag your coaching style, just a nonsensical post on a website that didn’t explain anything about what you intend to do, just a half hearted plug for your own business.

How about instead of a silly post like that, you write up a good article on how to train, how to avoid the bug bears of overtraining and injury, while at the same time making best use of the limited time that most of the readers of this site have due to family and work commitments.

As for your arrogant, living in my own box write up. I was an elite paddler for 15 years including many at the AIS. I came across a number of single minded coaches as you.


Yes, the wonderful interweb does have a lot left to be desired.
If I come across as arrogant then that is simply the price of posting limited words on an internet forum.
You suffer even more so from inexperience in the art of forum posting.

Living in my own box? Hardly, I am one that did the testing and discovered that things that were being taught in universities and the like were simply wrong.
Not many coaches bothered to invest in their own testing equipment, I did.
What I found simply didn’t add up with what was being taught. I then simply continued down my own path and watched and giggled as the rest of mainstream took 15 years to catch up.
Dick Telford did much the same thing, he purchased a lactate meter and heart rate meters and raised concerns that what was being taught was simply wrong.
He then left the AIS as they wouldn’t buy into what he was trying to explain to the world.
I had a few good conversations with him after he left and we exchanged data and ideas.
It was a very fruitful relationship.
I initially contacted him after I read a brief article of his in a performance coaching journal back almost 20 years ago.
I saw that he too was finding similar things to me and thought something good could come of it.

Something about me, I just finished my coaching degree and we were shown a new way to think about training fast and slow twitch muscle fibres


Now this I am interested in. I always am. New ideas, new data and most importantly, new speculation as to what is really going on inside our best athletes.

I shall check the library, though being a specialized book it may not be available.
Where did you purchase yours?

Not all athletes respond to the way you as suggesting, I know I was one of them. Too many great athletes are burning out or dying too young and some people think its because they keep pushing their body's at the anaerobic threshold level for too many sessions and not allow for recovery.


Now this is where our backgrounds vary.
I have come originally from a distance running background. In running, the main difference is that most races are run very near or at the anaerobic threshold.
Most paddling disciplines are not, apart from open water racing, all events are very short and the pace to complete one of these events, reside far above threshold.

Accordingly a lot of effort in the past has been concentrated on training at those high energies.
This as you know, is very stressfull.
Added to that, the general misuse of heartrates as a guide to pace and many athletes were overtrained.
This also happened a lot in swimming.

Due to the nature of water based sports, it is very hard to accurately identify the true anaerobic threshold.
The wonderful cube effect as you try and go faster, masks the data points unless you can test on an ergonometer or such and get a power reading.

A simple error in 2 or 3 beats will change a workout from optimal, to a dangerous stress.

I was training with a triathlon sqad, and our esteemed coach handed out HR monitors and told the group that we going to learn to pace ourselves properly.
He then went on to say that after warm up, we run three laps on the local block at 175bpm.
This was supposed to teach us to keep our hr under control and not run too fast.
Now my run threshold is 173 bpm.
I went as instructed, knocked off a 3 or 4 km at sub 3min/km pace.
Just above my threshold at that time. ( my fastest 10km is sub 30min )
He then went crazy at me for going too fast, not listening to me that my measured threshold level was 173 and that what he asked was simply too fast for me for the stimulation he was seeking, and that what he was proposing was just not going to work.
My brother also participated in this and that HR meant that he could barely jog and not exceed the mythical 175 limit. His threshold is way over 200bpm.
It was just foolish and uninformed. Nor would he listen to us when we talked to him.
Now this was a highly regarded coach at the time, yet he had no idea.

There is a definite skill to accurately identifying the true threshold, and unfortunately, not many are any good at it.
Small errors lead to disasters.
Too many too fast sessions will quickly stagnate progress and lead to injury and illness as you obviously know.

I have recently seen a cyclist tested at a Brisbane UNI, I checked the data and the info they gave to the athlete on what was his threshold should be and it was simply wrong.
I had ridden with him, new his HR and it just didn’t add up.
This cyclist testing was over 50 watts and 7 bpm in error.
This was determined by lactate/HR testing at our local velodrome.

On the day that the cyclist performed the testing at the UNI he was still suffering from flu like symptoms and this skewed the results.
Even though he informed them of this, they made no allowance.
Possibly because they had no real world experience on how the results would be skewed.

Now, had he continued to train based on these erroneous results, he would have defiantly headed down the short term gain, long term breakdown path.

The gathering of PROPER data is important.
What is done with the data after that may lead to optimal training, or disaster.
That is not the fault of testing unless the testing is poor, it is the result of the training undertaken.
Good data can only help a good coach.
A bad coach will stuff up with or without good data.

Because paddling races have traditionally been very short, sometimes too much effort above threshold may have been prescribed by some coaches, in an effort to stimulate the processes that are at work in racing these events.
Swimmers have suffered the same fate at times, fortunately many of the great swimming coaches are loaners and learnt for themselves how to train properly and rewrote the erroneous rules that pervaded much of the coaching community.

All training needs to be individualized, unfortunately a lot of times it is not, some athletes it works for, many it doesn’t, and they shuffle off elsewhere looking for a better deal.

Now, my criticism of your post is this:

What exactly is this mythical 80%
If it is not defined, then how can it be applied?
I am not criticizing your methods, as you have not given anything about your methods apart from the fact that you are aware of the downside of overtraining.

My criticism, is that you have simply come across as promoting your business with some half thought out, half hearted attempt to explain the way you train.

I have no doubt that I have much I can learn from you.
I am reasonably new to paddling and need to learn good technique in paddling, and coming from 250km inland, I very sorely need to learn to read the ocean and how to make the best of it.
One day we shall have a civilized conversation and compare notes.

Now back to my training, yesterday for me was a solid hour effort 5 beats under threshold. What I call intensive endurance.

Today’s paddle was an hour of not allowed to go over 140 beats, my fat burn aerobic threshold.
My average HR for today was 116bpm and my max 126.
This workout was dedicated to recovery and technique.
And the numbers show me that I achieved that aim.

Just because I advocate training at AT doesn’t mean that I do it any more than once a week.
For me, that session was a few days ago and consisted of 1 km at 158bpm (my AT) followed by 15 sec rest repeated 6 times.
A lactate reading after the last hard KM showed 3.4 mmol, exactly the level I was chasing.
Now had it come in at 3.6-4.0, I would have to seriously question if my HR data in regards to my threshold were correct. But seeing as this is exactly what I was looking for in this session, it probably means that my testing was accurate.

This is a stressful session and is followed by a day of rest and then a short easy day and then the previously mentioned sessions.

Training at AT is still the single most important session for physical adaptation when considering distance training.
Adequate recovery being the next.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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12 years 3 months ago - 12 years 3 months ago #4914 by candela
Great info, always love a good debate.

First up, I'm no expert, fact is I know sweat F all. I started training late last year and initially I based it on average time over distance using a stop watch, I learnt very quickly that it wasn't going to work for me. First up the canal I train in on the Gold Coast is tidal and depending on the tide position and wind conditions my times would very or I'd have to put significantly more effort into the paddle to match a previous time.

Then I invested in a HR + GPS monitor after doing a lot of research online about training via time in HR Zones as opposed to time alone.

I feel my training has improved BUT, I have no idea what my AT is or max HR, instead I've had to use the mathematical formula relating to my age (34) to find a max HR number. I'm now starting to question what my max HR is since I feel my training has hit a plateau lately.

Rightarmbad - It sounds like you're QLD based, do you know where or how I could find out what my AT and max HR are for paddling?

Thanks
Mart
Last edit: 12 years 3 months ago by candela. Reason: Sat night + Alcohol = bad spelling/gramma

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12 years 3 months ago #4915 by OneMore
If a reader feels like "knowing less than the others" about using heart rates for training, these links may be informative:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_rate

For calculations, this site is nice:

www.briancalkins.com/HeartRate.htm

It is to be observed that the maximum heart rate to be used for calculations is dependent on activity and (example) is to be measured on a bike if you are going to train on a bike, is to be measured running, if you are going to run for training.

Measuring AT using analysis of blood samples is of course valuable for optimal training at elite level, as AT can not be evaluated on basis of max and resting heart rate.

Googling "Karvonen method" will give more links.

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12 years 3 months ago #4916 by Rightarmbad
There is not a formula in existence that can predict your AT. Period.
There are formulas that will make a reasonable approximation if applied to elite athletes, as these athletes became elite in their sport because it fit their body composition.
When I run, my AT is higher than Biking and biking is higher than swimming. Unfortunately for me, paddling comes in even lower than the others.

This shows me one important thing. As a paddler, I make a good runner.
I am simply not elite material for paddling.
If I were built for paddling, then my AT for paddling would be as high as or higher than other activities.
I simply, at this stage, do not posses the musculature to push my aerobic system to the max when paddling.

Now if you take all the elite and average out, there are tables in existence that can generally get you within 3 or 4 beats of AT for elites only.
Because as elites in that field they are fully adapted to do just that and fit similar profiles.
But for the rest who are not elites in the activity, the tables are simply useless.

There are generalities though.
A higher max HR will always have higher resting pulses and AT rates.
The opposite for people with low max HR like me.
This is mainly to do with the refractory period that a muscle needs before contracting again, and this tends to be a body wide function.
Similarly, big people tend to have slow HR's and small people higher.

People that suit their discipline, will always have AT's at a much higher percentage of max than those who don't.
An elite may have an AT at 95 and as much as 97% of max.
Someone who is not suited to the activity may have an AT around 80 or even as low as 60%.

Every formula like age subtract stuff and what not, are no better than a guess.
Unlike what you read in popular magazines, Max HR doesn't drop as you age, nor do your AT and any other point on the curve, as long as you maintain a reasonable level of fitness.
My heart rates today, are identical to 20 years ago.
The only thing that changes is the amount of power you can make at those particular rates.

Once you have a HR? lactate curve, it's yours for life, all that changes is that the curve shifts right as you gain fitness and left when you loose it.

Over training and sickness do change the shape of the curve/as well as shifting left or right, and this can be a valuable tools in diagnosing these.

Note: the one caveat here is in a situation like mine, where my paddling AT is very low compared to other sports, and I am also really only just starting to take this seriously, my AT may shift up as my body adapts into the new activity.
This will usually show as a strange shape to the curve, but as the way I found my current AT for paddling does not give a full accurate curve, I cannot tell this yet. See below.

Generally HR and lactate levels track each other quite well.
This is why after accurately determining your AT using a combination of HR and lactate/power/speed or whatever is required of the sport, you can just use a HR monitor during exercise to monitor your levels.

There are times when they may be in total disagreement though.
When you push very hard, the HR is a little sluggish to respond, it takes a while for the aerobic system to get up to full steam and catch up, during that period, your anaerobic system steps up to the plate and does the work, if this is for more than a 10 or 20 seconds, then you will begin to accumulate lactate and feel either heaviness in the working limbs for well trained people or burning sensations for the less trained.
So the HR and lactate levels will disagree wildly.

This heavy feeling is also the case when you continue to exercise above your AT for a length of time, the aerobic system has now operating at 100% and still cannot keep up, the rest comes from the anaerobic system with it's inevitable accumulation of lactic acid and muscles heading deeply into acidosis, which is what causes the burning sensation, as well at the same time the lower PH makes it harder and harder for the nervous system to fire the muscle, hence the heavy leg/arm/whatever feeling.
But because the activity is over a long period, the HR gives a good reading of what is really going on inside.

So if your training were to be short bursts for 3 or 4 minutes and then stop, you would have quite a large lactate accumulation, but it would not show on a HR monitor until you had done several of these efforts.
By that stage you will find that your performance has dropped dramatically.

So relying on a HR monitor for this type of training is foolish.

I have a Garmin and using the online software it allows me to change from those generic and generally wrong zones that is a hallmark of recent history, and you can now change them to suit yourself, to the heart beat.
Good stuff.

Now this is important, because if you were to train at 4 beats above your AT you are doing a completely different session than if you were to train exactly at AT.
A couple of beats makes a huge difference.

Its like sitting on a cliff edge, just a bit further and you fall off, hence the need to ignore popular press 85% of some figure minus another multiplied by some bullshit fudge factor bullshit predictions, and test properly.

With this latest crop of HR monitors that store workouts as well as all the other data, it is now possible to pull a graph just out of a few workouts.
Well, this is so for running and cycling (if you have a power meter function), it is still very hard for swimming and paddling due to the nature of water.


It is very hard to tease the infomation out of the background noise of water resistance, let alone allow for wind and tides etc.
Having said that, just reviewing a few workouts, will give a good idea and assist getting a proper test by showing the basic speeds capable and the HR usually associated with them, as the other data like tide and wind can show up as generally higher speed in one direction than the other, and a bit of mental averaging will find a good starting point for proper testing.

The best way for paddle sports would be to find a paddling ergonometer, not too many of these on the ground, but worth a look around for if you are serious.

For myself, I already have a good understanding of how I respond and the important heartrates were teased out by a combination of examining a dozen general workouts, notes on how I perceived the effort, looking for telltale signs like the onset of hard breathing, as well as noting times when my HR would seemingly stay the same, yet I was definately working harder than the previous minutes at that same HR, when the HR sits like this, and you can rule out external factors, you are usually sitting smack on AT or just a tiny bit above.

This is something that can be noted on the water, you will see it often if you are paddling quite hard for a time and then you say, try and bridge the gap to your mates up ahead, for a time your effort goes up, your speed goes up, yet your HR barely moves or stays the same, you are now entering anaerobic teritory and as the extra effort is anaerobic, ie without oxygen, your heartrate stays the same, because your HR tracks oxygen demand.
You have now exeeded your AT. Just a beat or two below the reading that seemed to magically sit motionless as your effort increased, will be your AT.

If you continue at this pace you then find after a minute or so, that your heart rate starts to climb again and eventually tops out if you continue to push into this zone.


Once I had my suspect HR, I then had the luxury of doing a couple of lactate tests to confirm.
As long as the AT is accurate you have good data.

If the aerobic fatburn data is a couple of beats out who cares, usually a session to paddle in this zone is a cruisy effort, and you can err on the low side by a half dozen beats if you like.
Unless of course you have decided to do marathon paddling and then this particular threshold then becomes the most important.
But that's another discussion.



Yes I am on the coast, something could possibly be arranged.
And if you know of somewhere that has an ergonometer that displays power, then I'm certainly up for some proper testing.

If you go down the proper testing track, then it costs about $5 for each lactate test for materials.
That's for one single sample point. So multiply by however many are needed.

All that is required is a small pinprick for each test, similar to what a diabetic does, it can be on a finger or earlobe generally.

Some gyms don't like you doing this though, due to the blood products factor.
A lot of times, a time can be arranged before or after closing, and I have to do the full on latex gloves and all thing.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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12 years 3 months ago #4917 by Rightarmbad
Just to add a bit.
If you are talking sprint and middle distance sprint athletes, then their HR profiles are generally completely different.

They often have a very low AT as it is simply not the important factor in their races.

What they generally do have is a huge capacity to generate lactic acid.

Now lets face it.
In the paddling world, most Kayak stuff could all be classified as a sprint, only the longest distances in K1 find athletes that can cross over into something like ocean racing.

So these guys can have a lot of trouble training.
A lot of their training is anaerobic.
This is very hard on the immune system and on the musculature.

It is very hard to monitor without constantly stabbing the bastards for blood as well.

So a good coach in these type things, will apart from being good at the technical side of paddling, have a very close relationship with the athlete and be very astute at estimating their training stress.
This is a rare skill and borders on an artform.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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12 years 3 months ago #4934 by MhojoNZ
This is a good debate to have since we are all trying to figure out how to go faster for longer for the least amount of training!

First off I've never coached anyone, other than myself. But I do have 4 years of accumulated heart rate training and racing data, lactate testing etc of my own. I also have some understanding of the science behind all off this.

It seems the concept of lactate/anaerobic threshold has become deeply ingrained in our thinking without people really understanding the limitations. It's practical application still remains controversal and taking data from the lab to the field remains problematic. A good current review is here: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19453206.

I do have an issue with a statement like this:
"A simple error in 2 or 3 beats will change a workout from optimal, to a dangerous stress".

To start with lactate threshold is an arbitrary point on the curve of lactate production vs workload curve. This is usually derived in laboratory settings in a well rested individual, using readily defined increments in workload. Glycogen depletion (not uncommon with a high training load) will shift the deflection point. Secondly heart rate is being used to identify the threshold. On a day to day basis there are a whole lot of factors that are going to introduce some random variability to this - fatigue, intercurrent illness, hydration, caffeine consumption etc.
Thirdly the workload paddling a surfski is never going to be constant.

In reality training isn't just about training particular energy systems, it involves adaptation in a vast array of physiological and neuromuscular parameters, of which our understanding is far from complete. The science is a useful guide but given this limited understanding can't be relied on slavishly.

Sub-elite athletes worry about over-training but in reality probably don't train enough for this to be an issue. Most of my fatigue comes from the stresses and strains of life, work and family commitments rather than anything to do with my training load.

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12 years 3 months ago #4935 by Rightarmbad

First off I've never coached anyone, other than myself. But I do have 4 years of accumulated heart rate training and racing data, lactate testing etc of my own. I also have some understanding of the science behind all off this.


Well, I would consider this as a good qualification to call yourself a coach to yourself.
How you relate with athletes is the only unknown.
Having done a few of the so called coaching levels in different sports, what you know, is way more than the crap that is pedaled at these money raising events.

To start with lactate threshold is an arbitrary point on the curve of lactate production vs workload curve.


Nup, it is a very important point on the curve.
It is the tipping point between sustainable and unsustainable, for exercise up to about 2 hours in duration for well trained athletes.
From knowing this accurately, you can predict your race pace for any length event.

Sub-elite athletes worry about over-training but in reality probably don't train enough for this to be an issue. Most of my fatigue comes from the stresses and strains of life, work and family commitments rather than anything to do with my training load.


Many elites as well, hence the importance of providing a low stress environment to those who we want to represent us.

I do have an issue with a statement like this:
"A simple error in 2 or 3 beats will change a workout from optimal, to a dangerous stress".


Now the single most important thing in regards to testing is to get it right.
If the testing is wrong, then everything based on it is wrong.
So make sure that tests are carried out with a rested athlete and have good test protocols.

My HR and anybody I have trained, are remarkably consistent when racing.
Probably because when going to a race they are well rested and training has been relatively optimal.
The only real consideration will be if is overly hot.
Otherwise it is amazing how close to reality you can predict their finish time.
This assumes that hydration etc are sorted.

With good testing, most races of most distances can be predicted with great accuracy, except for the shorter stuff where threshold is not really a consideration of performance related to that event.

Thirdly the workload paddling a surfski is never going to be constant.


Yep, remarkably so.
But still, for a hour and a half event, that normally would be run smack on threshold for most sports, even with surf ski's up and down pace, unless you get a long span of time where you do virtually no work at all whilst on a linkage of runs and your heart rate takes a sustained drop, if you look at the average HR for the duration, it will be very close to your measured threshold.

The only time that it is remarkably different is if you go way over threshold repeatedly to catch waves and then have to slow down considerably to get rid of the lactate.
Then you end up with a slightly low average as you spend more time recovering than you were over.
A good sign that your racing strategy may need to be reviewed.

It is still a good race tool as you can see if you are developing a debt that you will have to pay back later and you will have a good idea weather to go for it and hope to get an easy portion later, or maybe back off now before you destroy your sprint power that may be needed later in the race.

Again when training, your well tested threshold is also a good indicator of training level as well as judging weather sickness, overtraining, dehydration or muscle glycogen is depleted, and whether rest, or a switch to a recovery training day may be better than what you are attempting to do that day.

It's practical application still remains controversal and taking data from the lab to the field remains problematic.


This has only come about because of poor testing, as in the example I gave of the cyclist.
The coach needs to be a big part of the testing and should have a good understanding of their protocols and athletes condition at the time.
With good testing and a profile built up over time, any errors are soon picked up and corrected, then the application becomes reliable.

The biggest problem I see is that the coach sends the athlete somewhere for testing and takes the results handed to him as gospel.
The results should gel consistently with what is observed in racing and training and any inconsistency chased until the errors in testing are found.

That's why I see so much value in being able to test lactate in the field for yourself as a coach/ athlete.
You pick up errors and sickness much sooner and gradually hone in a very accurate picture of the athlete.
Then you don't make the silly mistakes that some do that tarnish the method in some peoples eyes.

With surf ski racing, it may be wise to address the needs of being able to go over threshold for a sustained period of time and still be able to recover from this quickly and be able to do so a few times in a race as conditions warrant it.

Similar to, but to a greater extent, a runner needing to be able to put it in hard for a couple of km to break a competitor, the nature of waves requires a similar effort of a paddler and to do so without falling to bits after doing it.
This effect of water conditions is probably why somebody like Clint Robinson can excel at very short as well as something like Molokai, He has over the years learnt to train himself so that his natural short course speed can be used repeatedly during the course of the race and he has become very adept at recovering between these bursts.

Something that is probably quite unique to this sport.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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12 years 3 months ago #4936 by Rightarmbad
P.S., your link doesn't work for me.......

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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12 years 3 months ago #4938 by MhojoNZ
I've never thought of a correlation between lactate threshold and 2 hour race results, so that is interesting. I would have thought that in theory the MLSS (maximum lactate at steady state) might have had a better correlation. This is effectively what you are measuring when you go out doing a sustained effort and measuring the lactate at the end.

The lactate threshold is still an arbitrary point on a curve - why do we choose 4mmol/l - why not 3 or 5? If it correlates to something real e.g. 2 hour race results that is good. Certainly for shorter races the correlation must break down - I am quite happy doing an hour of continuous intense exertion and finishing with a lactate of 10 or 12.

The problem I have had is that with different types of training I can vary not only the threshold but also the slope of the curve. Obviously the latter is much more important in shorter races but must impact longer races as lactate accumulation above threshold takes longer before you "hit the wall".

The other practical problem I have is that when I race my heart rate is crazy initially. I have learnt to live with this and accept that that does not mean I am going to crash later. Once I find my stride and the heart rate settles it is a good guide as to how to pace the middle and latter part of the race.

Here is that reference, although I can't seem to hyperlink it (I do have the original but for obvious reasons can't post it on an open forum:
Faude O, Kindermann W, Meyer T. Lactate threshold concepts: how valid are they? Sports Med. 2009;39(6):469-90

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12 years 3 months ago #4947 by Rightarmbad

The lactate threshold is still an arbitrary point on a curve - why do we choose 4mmol/l - why not 3 or 5? If it correlates to something real e.g. 2 hour race results that is good.


A little bit of history.
Deflection point was initially espoused many years ago by Conconi and others.

So named because of the distinct deflection from a straight line that a HR graph showed when doing an incremental increase in working power/speed against HR test.
Back then a lab was needed to do lactate test, so full on lactate/HR/power stuff was purely in the realm of research.

With the advent of reasonably priced and portable HR monitors it really come into it's own.
Now that a coach could get a real inside to how hard the athlete was working just by taking heartrates the method took off in Europe.

All this stuff was soon applied to firstly cyclist and then runners.
Big European cycling, keen to find a training advantage, particularly used these techniques.

Most of the non Europeans denied that there was anything to the testing as they couldn't seem to reproduce the graphs that the Euros found.
Mainly due to the problems of researchers in the states trying to apply statistical methods to data points, that pretty much hid the real data and made the deflection point disappear.

Gradually the rest of the world started to catch on, but knowing how to do a good test still kept it a bit controversial throughout the years.

Finally when it really did get embraced, there were attempts to try and make it easy for the not so informed to use very simple methods to find AT.
Now AT at this stage was was recognized as the tipping point between sustainable and not sustainable exercise.
Quite often this point ended up being close to 4mmol, so this became the poor mans standard for AT.

Several quick tests we proposed to find this, such as running a test at a speed known to under suspected AT and a second at an effort that was guaranteed to be over.

Taking a HR and a lactate at these two points was cheap and quick.

A simple straight line was then drawn between the two points, and the AT was then deemed to be where it crossed the 4mmol line on the graph.

I pretty much had this method rammed down my throat at a level 3 coaching course and lost all faith in such programs that day.

I had a chat to the AIS guy presenting this method afterwards and his reply was that most people simply didn't understand the theory behind AT and that by doing this they could apply simple methods and at least get close.

So now the world had pretty much come to consider that AT is 4mmol, whereas those that were testing properly and those researching really new it could be anywhere between 2.5 to 5 depending on the individual.

A little while later, a few not long out of Uni research type individuals found that 4 mmol was, surprise, surprise not always the the steady state and the new fangled MLSS was proposed.
The problem being that most of the older coaches that followed the development of this stuff had now left the scene, which was becoming a one horse ship being run by the AIS which had become more and more the domain of young uni graduates with their supposed greater knowledge.

The various AIS type organisations had now become a business and administered by business people.

Those that left went out on their own or consulted.

That article you linked is a blueprint for articles that come along every few years with this 'surprising' new find.

Now in the meantime, there has been a great deal of research, mostly in the European labs and for a long time there has been a known correlation between real AT, not the watered down 4mmol crap, but the proper one originally used, and the level at which you can exercise based on time.

I will use running as this is my specialty.

A half marathon, somewhere between an 1h 10m to 1h 45m is basically run smack on AT with whatever reserves you have left nearing the end you use so that your average effort is just a tiny bit over AT.

A 10k is roughly 107 to 110% of AT.
A 5k higher again.

A marathon distance exceeds the bodies ability to store enough glycogen, so the pace is necessarily lower than AT because energy stores become the limiting factor, not lactate accumulation.

So when I speak of AT, I consider this to be the highest point that you can exercise at, with a lactate level that is not increasing, but steady state, and a work output, that does not decrease with time until you hit the 2h mark and you simply run out of fuel.

Anything else is just a watered down perversion of the original research.

Now 'that' heartrate and measured lactate levels will vary wildly between individuals.
The HR may be somewhere between 125 and 220, with the lactate between 2.3 and 7, typically being between 2.5 and just over 4.

So no formulas, wives tales or guesses are really applicable.
If you want to train to your best, you either train conservatively or test properly and enable the limits to be pushed.

I am quite happy doing an hour of continuous intense exertion and finishing with a lactate of 10 or 12.

The other practical problem I have is that when I race my heart rate is crazy initially. I have learnt to live with this and accept that that does not mean I am going to crash later. Once I find my stride and the heart rate settles it is a good guide as to how to pace the middle and latter part of the race.


WOW, I'll hit 7.7 or so at the end of a tri or run.
That is quite high and points to the uniqueness of paddling in the ocean in that you can get that high and still keep going.
It seems that there are many opportunities to get the body back under control.
I would love to see your data for a race to see if there is a subsequent HR depression following these high outputs.

It may just be that you think you are doing just fine, but that your workrate has fallen significantly after a wild start.
In a run or ride or swim situation, going out hard really does hurt your time significantly.

I once did a series of runs with a woman over a 2.5k course.
Th idea was to get up to speed quickly without blowing it, maintain as even a pace as possible and then finish strong.

The best time was 45 seconds faster than her first attempt, but her perception was that it was also the easiest.

A quick look at a HR graph showed the best run with a fast rise to AT with no overshoot and the entire run within an envelope of 2 beats until near the end where finished very strongly with a slight rise to the end.
The worst was a run with a slower rise followed by a minute or so above AT, then a depression for 4 or 5 minutes a couple of beats below while she recovered from the too hard start, then settled into AT for the rest of the run. She found she had nothing left to go hard near the end.

The interesting thing is that when this sort of thing is done, the best runs always have a higher average HR.
Makes sense really.
If you blow it early, the average HR tends to be about 2 beats down for the distance we were testing over.

So if you have the data, I would love to see it.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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12 years 3 months ago - 12 years 3 months ago #4949 by MhojoNZ
OK so now I have a better sense of what your are using lactate measurements for (and how you determine threshold).
The high lactate level I quoted was on a rowing erg.

Here are links to a couple of races I did:
connect.garmin.com/activity/31029052 and
connect.garmin.com/activity/28185663
The first was a surfski race of about 12km. I was pretty stuffed at the end so would guess was working well over threshold most of the way (which was into a nasty headwind).

The second race was a 45km kayak marathon with 3 portages. Unfortunately went for a swim in the rapids (hence -ve elevation!). I actually finished feeling tired but on a bit of a high so definitely not over threshold.

I must admit to have largely given up on lactate testing on a regular basis. Went for a 15km paddle on Saturday of low intensity connect.garmin.com/activity/43436010 and finished with a lactate level of 1.9.
Last edit: 12 years 3 months ago by MhojoNZ. Reason: links broken

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12 years 3 months ago #4952 by Rightarmbad
You must have the little box that says 'share my data' unticked, as I can not view it..

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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12 years 3 months ago #4954 by MhojoNZ
Weird. I had deliberately made sure those were unlocked. I have fixed the links so try again.

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12 years 3 months ago - 12 years 3 months ago #4957 by Rightarmbad
Works now.
These are a good selection, I shall make up a commentary on what I see and post up here soon......

And if Rob stops posting up all these great new articles and stuff to distract me and take my limited internet time up, I shall get to it tomorrow....

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson
Last edit: 12 years 3 months ago by Rightarmbad.

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12 years 3 months ago #5003 by Rightarmbad
Sorry I took so long, but I knew that once I sat down and started that it would take a little while to write something coherant, and I just haven't had that big a chunk of time to spare for a little while.

I suggest that anybody that is reading this open up the appropriate graphs in the links, in a separate browser, so you can easily keep a reference to what I am saying.

Please note, I have no insight into what the waves were doing, whether or not you were pacing yourself to stay in a group or any other race tactics.
So my interpretations may be way off when taken in light of the full scenario.


Alright, I’ll comment on the third link first as it ties to the others and it just happened to be the first one I clicked on when you first posted them anyways.

Just by looking at the HR graph in general, you can see that the beginning third and the last third are very wriggly.
This I am thinking is showing that you are below Fat burn threashold at this pace. The HR is very dynamic, mirroring your output.
In the middle where the graph smooth’s out a bit, but the HR only goes up a bit, to me says that you were in the process of transitioning into sugar.
The HR was smooth because this mimics the AT a bit, in that the HR will settle while the threashold is crossed due to the fact that sugar requires much less oxygen than fat for the same power, therefore the HR sits at that level and barely rises, creating a much smoother than normal HR graph.
So I would imagine that your fat burn threashold is around 135bpm.
The lactate measurement at the end is a reflection of the last half an hour of just under fat threashold.

So if this is a recovery session, the HR in the middle is really just a couple of beats high and had you have taken a Lactate reading at an hour or so, it would have been up around 2.5 showing that you were into sugar.
If you were trying to train this threashold, then you would have been better to go say, 10 minutes under 135, then 10 minutes around 138 to 140 repeat.
The 10 minutes would give enough time for the body to flip back into fat as well as giving plenty of time on task at just pushing a little bit over to stress this system for maximum adaptation.

Anaconda next; The average HR shows up as 164.
Now this being a race of just over an hour, you average HR should have been about 105% of AT.
You can see that at the start, the HR quickly goes up to 166 and sits there for a bit.
I believe that this is your AT HR as it sits there for a bit, even though you are clearly outputting over AT, looking at your speed.
After a couple of minutes there, the HR then continues to rise as you now start to try and maintain that pace.
At this stage, you have really gone just a bit high, as you are going at a ‘half hour race pace’.
You can see this, as after 40 minutes your pace and your HR drops as you have to slow down under AT to recover the debt you have built up over the last half hour.
This still continues to dominate your paddling as you can see the graph remains smooth all the way up until the hour mark, where at last you can see the wrigglyness come back into the graph as you have now cleared the lactate and your HR becomes responsive again.

So I would say that your AT is 165/166 and that for this length race, you should have had an average HR of 168-169.
Your actual average was only 164, showing that by going too hard at the start, you compromised your output for the rest of the race.

A better approach would have been to hold back a bit earlier on, keeping your HR around 167 or 166 and coming home strong.
This would have meant that instead of feeling like you could not push harder to catch a run, or maybe latch onto another better paddler for a tow, that you always felt like you had the short term power available for such an event if required.
You could have then left your fast finish for the last half hour, where you could have gapped a competitor or similar.
It’s also a great feeling to be getting strong as the competition are fading.

So in the end, your average output for the whole race was low for this length event and your pacing really does need some work. Your average output could have been a few percent higher.
Remember with paddling, that to go faster, the cubed law applies, so that any power you waste at the beginning to go a bit faster, slows you down a lot more later when you don’t have it.

Now the last one, or should I say the second one.
For an event of this length, you average HR will be somewhere between your fat burn threashold and your AT.
How close you can get to your AT will depend on how much nutrition you can absorb during the race.
Typically for an event this long, you should have been able to average about 155bpm.

You can see that the last hour and a half, were in fact spent way down at your fat burn threashold.
Suggesting that unless you had injury problems or hadn’t eaten anything, you were simply going too slow.
The start speed was too high for this event, even though you felt good and your HR remained responsive because you spent no major time over AT.
The speed you started at was just not going to last the whole event.
You can see that after an hour your output began to drop towards fat burn.
I’m guessing that you ate very little.

So if you really were keen on going for this race, your average HR could have been almost 10 beats higher. No doubt slicing a huge amount of time off your current finish time.

P.S. I suggest that you tick the elevation correction box……

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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