GIG HARBOR CANOE AND KAYAK RACING TEAM

Use the comments on this Webpage to help guide you as you read through certain articles listed. Sometimes researchers do not have the most clear way of describing things and it is easy to get lost. Look at the tables and graphs. Look up words you don't understand. And be sure to click on the links of other articles that they reference. You could go on and on for hours reading all this cool literature about the human body in sports!

1)Click This Study to see a review of a bunch of different studies about sprint canoe and kayak. Their goal is to provide more data for coaches so that we can train athletes more specifically for the race distances. One of their points is about how much of the aerobic energy system(uses oxygen) is used over the anaerobic(non-oxygen) in the 500m and 1,000m. 

Their next point is about the Anthropometrics(body shape/characteristics) of successful paddlers. They point out that even though there is data showing that there is  similar body shapes of successfully athletes, that there is no single trait that distinguishes an elite kayak paddler. In the past 25 years, the average body mass of Olympic athletes has increased while their times are dropping which means that you can be a successful paddler and have a heavy mass as long as you can move the boat well. There needs to be more research to determine the best way to find that medium. 

The researcher then talks about all the many ways to test paddlers for their peak VO2 during 500m and 1000m races. The easiest way I can explain VO2 is that it is the measurement of how much of your maximum oxygen consumption is used. It is about efficiency. The better the athlete, the higher the number. For reference, the highest VO2 peak(different than max units: ml/kg/min) is 7.39L/min found in cross country skiers. They think that the best way to measure a paddler's VO2 peak is on the water and not on some sort of erg. There is a useful table comparing VO2 measurements with other sports.

The other component of testing someone's peak ability is the lactate threshold. What they do is measure how much lactate is in blood compared to oxygen. It all goes back to how well your body cycles through using lactate to turn into helpful energy to keep your muscles going at their peak performance. There are two studies mentioned that indicate around 83% of VO2peak is where blood lactate threshold is. This is very helpful for us coaches to know for when we are writing our training programs for you.