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TRAINING

TRAINING

Paddling requires a combination of strength, speed, lactate tolerance and endurance. Each attribute must be specifically targeted during training for an athlete to progress. Below is an overview of the different energy systems, the training required to improve each of them, and examples of a training schedule.

ENERGY SYSTEMS

AEROBIC

Aerobic means ‘with air’ and refers to the body producing energy with the use of oxygen. This exercise typically lasts longer than two minutes and is performed at a ‘steady state’ with a maximum heart rate of 150 bpm.

 

Aerobic training is good for building endurance and improving your respiratory and cardiovascular systems. It helps your heart and lungs become stronger and more efficient, enabling you to train harder and longer as your fitness levels improve.

 

anaerobic

Anaerobic means ‘without air’ and refers to the body producing energy without oxygen. This exercise is performed at a higher intensity with efforts lasting roughly 10 - 120 seconds. It is associated with the feeling of burning in your muscles due to the build-up of lactic acid.

Anaerobic training is performed at a harder intensity than aerobic exercise, typically between 80 - 90% of your maximum heart rate (approx 160 - 180 bpm) and is a fantastic way of improving your fitness levels once a baseline aerobic level of fitness is achieved.

SPEED

Speed training is actually another form of anaerobic exercise. It utilises the ATP-CP system to provide immediate energy for instantaneous bursts of exercise. This energy system is used extensively in the start of sprint kayak races, and for the majority of a k200m race.

EXAMPLE SESSIONS

AEROBIC

Session
Distance
Time
Heart Rate
Stroke Rate
4x 15min (2min rest)
10km
1h 10 (incl warmup / cool down)
70% of max heart rate (roughly 120 - 150 bpm)
60-70 strokes per min
8x 1500m (2min rest)
12km
1h 30 (incl warmup / cool down)
70% of max heart rate (roughly 120 - 150 bpm)
60-70 strokes per min
12x 4min (1min rest)
10km
1h 10 (incl warmup / cool down)
70% of max heart rate (roughly 120 - 150 bpm)
60-70 strokes per min
20km Long Paddle
20km
2h
70% of max heart rate (roughly 120 - 150 bpm)
55 - 65 strokes per min

anaerobic

Session
Total Distance
Time
Heart Rate
Stroke Rate
4x (5x 90 secs on, 30secs rest) (5 mins rest between sets)
8km
1h 10 (incl warmup / cool down)
90% of max heart rate (roughly 120 - 150 bpm)
100 - 120 strokes per min
10x 500m (3min rest)
7km
1h 10 (incl warmup / cool down)
90% of max heart rate (roughly 120 - 150 bpm)
100 - 120 strokes per min
10x 300m (5min rest)
5km
1h 10 (incl warmup / cool down)
90% of max heart rate (roughly 120 - 150 bpm)
110 - 130 strokes per min
10x 1000m (2min rest)
12km
1h 20
90% of max heart rate (roughly 120 - 150 bpm)
90 - 100 strokes per min

SPEED

Session
Distance
Time
Heart Rate
Stroke Rate
6x 150m (10min base)
6km
1h 10 (incl warmup / cool down)
n/a
Max
15x 50m (4min base)
6km
1h 10 (incl warmup / cool down)
n/a
Max
10x 100m (6min base)
6km
1h 10 (incl warmup / cool down)
n/a
Max

*Base = work time + rest time. e.g. 1min work + 3min rest = 4 min base)

EXAMPLE TRAINING BLOCK

Athletes often break their training up into blocks (most commonly 4 weeks.) This allows the athlete to make the desired physiological changes, before progressing into the next phase of their training. Early blocks often focus on endurance (aerobic) and progressively add more lactate (anaerobic) and speed sessions as the race season (summer) approaches.

Training blocks will have a different mix of endurance, lactate and speed sessions depending on the target race distance. Here is an approximate breakdown of a typical weeks training for each distance:

  • 200m - 20% aerobic, 50% anaerobic, 30% speed

  • 500m - 35% aerobic, 50% anaerobic, 15% speed

  • 1000m - 55% aerobic, 40% anaerobic, 5% speed

  • Marathon - almost 100% aerobic

Using the example sessions above, a typical week for a paddler focussing on the 500m race distance might look like this:

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Session
8x 1500m (2min rest)
10x 1000m (2min rest)
10x 500m (3min rest)
20km Long Paddle
6x 150m (10min base)
4x (5x 90 secs on, 30secs rest) (5 mins rest between sets)
Rest
Type
Aerobic
Anaerobic
Anaerobic
Aerobic
Speed
Anaerobic
Effort
80%
90%
100%
80%
70%
100%
0%

Note: Athletes may train multiple times a day based on their level and goals.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Here are some resources we've collected from the web.