Training methodology to paddling faster for longer

Training methodology to paddling faster for longer

Training methodology to paddling faster for longer

If asked to compare Low intensity training with High intensity training, I think first I would explain my understanding of what Low and High Intensity training would be.

Low intensity training can fit into most exercise categories, as most day to day activities result in low intensity exercise eg. Walking, shopping, playing with the kids and paddling at a comfortable pace. So on a scale of Training intensities from 1 to 5, I would place it in the Training Zones 1 or 2. Low intensity training can be continuous exercising or Intervals of exercise with periods of no exercise as rest. At this low level the benefits of exercise are limited to maintaining aerobic conditioning and increased functions of the heart.
Steady state training falls into the Low to Moderate level intensity training and is a commonly used training process by many trainers and has much better adaptions then Low level training on the Aerobic conditioning.
Steady State training is just that and is done continuously and remains in the Aerobic level of exercise so therefore benefiting the Aerobic system as it solely uses oxygen as fuel and benefits the health of the heart.
High Intensity training is Anaerobic exercise and doesn’t exclusively use Oxygen as fuel it also uses Carbohydrates and burns more fat then Low Intensity training. So if you just want to lose weight and burn fat HIT is the way to go.

Regular High Intensity training (HIT) workouts also improve your ability to withstand the rigors of

other types of interval training. The aching sensation in your muscles that accompanies a hard sprint

(which results from burning carbohydrates for fuel) becomes less intense and subsides more quickly

over time, allowing you to work at a higher intensity with less rest. Your capacity to transition

smoothly from burning Fat (before your workout and during rest periods) to burning carbohydrates

(during your work intervals) and back again improves with High intensity training, as well. Together,

these metabolic benefits bolster health and athletic performance, particularly in paddling requiring

short bursts of all-out effort interspersed with periods of reduced effort, such as when racing.


So steady-state cardio / Low Intensity training has its value in a Training Program — even if some trainers find it unexciting. And though High Intensity training is clearly effective to increase higher level exercising, it can grind you down if that’s all you do.

Given these pros and cons, what’s best for your workout?

The answer is a resounding . . . it depends. Beginner’s needs are different from those of competitive athletes. “Before you can decide on what type of Training to do, Low or High Intensity training, it is best to find a goal. Then, the program you choose should reflect a balance of getting good at what you’re not good at and even better at what you are good at.

Experienced trainers wanting to increase paddling fitness should take this simple test: Sit quietly, find your pulse, and count your heartbeats for one minute. If your resting heart rate is below 60, feel free to experiment with High intensity training. “If it’s above 65, you need more Low intensity training/steady-state cardio training.” This is just a general rule to follow with heart rate.

Since aerobic fitness is the foundation for so many training activities, I suggest that when starting out on a Training program for beginners, emphasize must be on steady-state cardio first, regardless of your long-term goal and for an experienced trainer a good Training Plan must start out with a good base of Aerobic training before taking on High Intensity training.

Once your aerobic system is coping with training intensity, dial back the steady-state training and bring in some High intensity training. Make sure, however, that your resting heart rate stays below 65 beats per minute. If it shoots above 65 at rest, return to aerobic work and limit High intensity training.

So to continue to increase your paddling fitness whether a beginner or experienced trainer you will need to use both Low and High Intensity training at some time in your training plan.

Hence, I use 5 different Training Zones (TZ) in the make up of all my Training programs and the Volume and TZ are combined to progressively increase Threshold paddling conditioning to cope with all training specific conditions in racing and touring in calm or rough water.

I liken the 5 Training Zones to gears in your car and more specifically when you are trained in using the 5 Training Zones your paddling becomes like a finely tuned automatic gear box in a racing car, that can effectively change up and down through the 5 gears efficiently, without extending yourself to failure.

Using the correct Training Intensities and Volumes to avoid Intensity Blindness

Overcoming Intensity Blindness requires constant monitoring of relevant intensity metrics such as Heart rate, Pace, and Stroke rates, RPE (rate of perceived exertion) and a willingness to go a little slower than your body wants to. This transition proves surprisingly challenging for many athletes, who find it difficult to escape the inertia of habit and/or difficult to believe that slowing down will actually benefit them.

It takes discipline and restraint to complete this transition, but those who do are always well rewarded. First you will notice that you just feel more comfortable in your low-intensity workouts and perhaps enjoy them more as a result. Then you will discover that you feel fresher for your high intensity workouts (HIT) and perform better in them. Next, you will experience accelerated fitness development. And finally you will achieve a performance breakthrough in your next race. By then, you will be completely be sold on using RPE as your intensity guide for training and racing.

High Intensity Intervals

Note also that in high-intensity interval workouts, the entire interval block, including active recoveries, should be counted as time spent at high intensity. This is because doing so more accurately reflects where your heart rate actually is over the course of the session. For example, suppose your paddling intervals at TZ 4 3 minute with active recovery at TZ 1 2 minute and repeat 5 times. In this case, your heart rate will spend close to 25 minutes in the high-intensity range even though you are only producing high-intensity power outputs for 15 minutes.

Training Volume

It is widely assumed that the reason elite endurance athletes spend so much time at low intensity is that they must do so in order to sustain the extremely high training volumes they do. In other words, it is assumed that volume is primary and intensity secondary in the formula for optimal training. But the latest science indicates that the opposite is true.

If a “mostly-slow” approach to intensity were necessary only to allow high-volume training, then recreational athletes training at lower volumes would fair better with an approach that leaned more on moderate and/or high intensity. Indeed, many athletes believe they can “make up for” training less by training harder. But in a 2014 study, Seiler found that athletes who ran just 35 miles per week on average with the Volume and Intensity in the correct balanced improved their 10K race times by twice as much as runners who did half of their training at moderate intensity (which is typical of recreational athletes training to go slow).
So it appears that Volume and Intensity balance is optimal for all endurance athletes. The optimal volume of training for each athlete is the amount of Volume/Intensity training that yields the best results. Because low-intensity training is so gentle, this amount will be relatively high for everyone, but higher for some than it is for others, and it will tend to increase for each athlete as he or she develops.

Training Intensity

Using different training Intensities not only adds variety to your training sessions but is key to developing specific paddling conditioning to improve performance.
Along with varying the training Intensities to improve adaptation and add variety to keep training interesting and fun by also using Intervals of differing volumes ( time or distance ) trainers will find the best balance to creating their personal best performances.

TZ 1 / RPE 1-2

Very relaxed. Able to carry on a conversation

Regeneration and recovery and establish base endurance

TZ 2/ RPE 3-4

Working. Feel warmer. Heart rate and respiration up. May sweat.

Improve efficiency

TZ 3 / RPE 5

Hard work. Heart rate and respiration up. Carbon dioxide build-up. Sweating. Breathing hard.

Improve sustainable aerobic power

TZ 4 / RPE 6- 7

Stressed. Panting. Sweating freely -7 Very stressed. Gasping. Sweating heavily.

Push threshold up, sustain a percentage of maximal aerobic power

TZ 5 / RPE 8-10

heavily stressed. Gasping. Sweating heavily.

Increase sprint power output

Set out a Training Plan

When asked to set out a Training Plan the first thing to dial in is the Goal and the Goal date and work back to the start date of your training plan. Once you have set this out you will have a set amount of weeks and months and the longer time set out, the better the results will become. Olympians prepare in 4 year blocks to get maximum results and use all the Training Phases of a complete Training Plan, General preparation, specific preparation, Pre competition phase, competition phase and recovery phase. But we all lead busy lives and not all have this amount of time, so we mostly use a reduced scale of this Training Plan but the more time in the phases the easier it becomes to get bigger improvements.

20 week progressive Training plan may look like this one

General Preparation Specific preparation Pre competition Competition phase

40 % / 8 weeks of the 20 weeks 30 % /6 weeks of the 20 weeks 20 %/ 4 weeks of the 20 weeks 10 % 2 weeks of the 20 weeks

This a basic lay out for a one Goal event eg Molokai to Oahu , PPG etc. but for trainers competing in multiple races in a competition phase they would have a different % make up over the training plan but they would also have a longer training plan in weeks and months.

Paddle Power Trainer by Mick Di Betta

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