Author Topic: Cross training: Kayaking  (Read 4641 times)

Cross training: Kayaking
« on: July 13, 2018, 10:17:27 am »
Many years ago (over 30) I used to race kayaks - the long skinny variety, not dissimilar to rowing skiffs (a lot tippier though).

Cycling and running appear to be out for me - this knee just isn't recovering - and I fancied trying kayaking again.

So I had a go in a kayak with the local club. They put me in a beginner's boat (stability factor 8 - I used to paddle something with a factor 5), still expected to end up wet, but I didn't. Managed to keep up with the group for a 5km gentle training session although my muscles were jelly afterwards.

The boats, the paddles, everything has changed since my day. Tippier boats (at the top end). 'Aerodynamic' paddles with very weird blades, only suitable for going forward, needing an odd paddle stroke. The sustained speeds are insane - under 8hours for 100km. That would be respectable for running!

I'll be satisfied if I can get back to doing 10km in an hour. 
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2018, 05:48:25 pm »
Congratulations on getting back into the boat.  I suppose the equivalent of audax would be the devizes to westminster?

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2018, 11:07:23 pm »
There isn't really the equiv of audax, because navigation isn't ever really much of a problem. Just long time trials or head-to-head, really.

I need to spend some time building up stamina, just like you would after a very long absence from cycling. Muscles were like jelly after just 5km on Mon.

It is hard to eat while kayaking - abdomen can't relax so very difficult to take in much volume.

<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2018, 08:20:19 am »
Yes I was thinking more of the distance.  Navigation not really a problem, although taking the wrong way on the Nile could end up with a grade 5 rapid rather than a grade 3!

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2018, 11:16:31 pm »
I guess the paddle stroke is a kind of sideways motion towards the end of the stroke and the paddles are like aerofoils.

I guess you've got the technique and can get power through the paddle having done it in the past. Good exercise I reckon.


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Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2018, 11:29:15 pm »
Kayak is one of the five Audax activities in France, along with cycling, walking, swimming and cross-country skiing.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2018, 03:15:46 pm »
are you doing it in cambridge?  I normally launch my paddleboard from there, it seems like a very friendly club...

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2018, 01:32:39 pm »
Yes, in Cambridge. Friendly club.

TPMB12, the paddles are like aerofoils, I'm still getting used to them. Very very different to the asymmetric paddles I used in the past. Harder on the hands (very rigid shafts with no give), easier to paddle with in some ways but difficult to use truly efficiently.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2018, 05:57:31 pm »
I was bored with the beginner's boat, so asked the coach what I should try next. 'Try a Cobra' was the suggestion.
Got changed, selected a paddle, and no Cobra's on the rack. Coach had headed out. So I took something from the next rack up (boats are racked in order of tippiness/difficulty).

Tippy didn't describe it. Trying to balance on a ball bearing. I lasted 100m before capsizing. Persevered up the river, managed to get maybe 1.5km away with many capsizes before deciding I was getting worse, not better. Limped back (getting acquainted with the weed and river water as I went).

Met coach when I pulled in, feeling like I either never sat in a K1 again, or (preferably) went straight out again in something more manageable. He squints at me "How much do you weigh?"
"No wonder you were having problems, that boat is only rated for up to 65kg. You need a boat for bigger people. That's a stab factor 3 boat, with your weight it would be like paddling a factor 2." (it did seem a bit low in the water)
I now felt a bit better. For reference on prev night I had been paddling a factor 8 boat - a general plastic boat like you'd see hired out would be something like 15.

So he dug out a factor 6 boat, for 'bigger' people. Yes, it seems I am a big fattie on the racing squad, kayakers are a bit like cycling racing snakes in build.

<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2018, 11:10:13 pm »


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Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2018, 08:13:10 am »
That's helpful.  Was thinking about taking my boys sea kayaking this summer, and at 189cm weighing it at a svelte 83kg would probably head for one of those big plastic tubs.....
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 175 (metric) 529 (furlongs)  112 (nautical miles)

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2018, 08:19:17 am »
Yes - do check the carrying capacity and remember that it is your weight plus everything you have with you. As soon as you hit the boat's rated limit, the stability goes down sharply.

Most sea kayaks assume you will carry a bit extra with you, but even so, it is worth checking.

I've been mulling things over and thinking I might be better off going back to paddling in a beginner's boat for a while. Last time out (Wed) I took out the boat suggested by the coach, and while I didn't capsize, I didn't get in a good workout. All my effort was put into staying upright instead of going forward.

Reckon a lot of my difficulty is due to my migraine condition - I can't balance without visual clues anymore (need to see a horizon). Ask me to stand on one leg with my eyes shut and I will struggle. Stand on a wobble board facing a wall (when I can't see the floor or ceiling) and I will struggle. So maybe I just need to accept my limitations.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2018, 09:40:23 pm »
I've been sticking to the beginner's boats and doing well. Getting exercise anyway. Stepped up from 5km to 10km tonight.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2018, 08:19:15 am »
Found out that my monday '10km' was actually closer to 12km.

Did first time trial last night. The club has a regular time trial that is a bit over 10.5km, I'm told closer to 11km. I took a "beginner's boat" which I'm starting to like (apart from the footrest being too far away for me). Managed 74 min 30s, which is pretty slow. Importantly I was 38min to the turning point, so I was quicker on the return. Could have gone a bit harder.

There is a new guy in the club, joined with his son (both are Italian). Son is very serious, Dad trains a bit with his son. Like me, Dad used to race seriously. Unlike me, Italian Dad has been paddling regularly for last year or so, joining in with his son. So his skill level is higher, he went out in a faster boat. His time was 76 minutes (his excuse was that "I'm 54"). So I feel quite pleased with my time, given that this is my 10th time out in 31 years.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2018, 08:39:58 am »
Excellent!  which way do you go?  There was probably a bit of stream last night after all the rain but I suspect you went faster upstream... :D

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2018, 11:22:06 am »
Excellent!  which way do you go?  There was probably a bit of stream last night after all the rain but I suspect you went faster upstream... :D
Downstream, through town to the railway bridge and return. Two portages.

Normally kayaking is faster going downstream. I went faster upstream because I'd saved a fair bit in the tank and I did a bit of wash-hanging on the faster guys as they caught and passed me. Mostly due to the saving energy though.

Lots of debris from the rain, which was annoying, kept getting caught on the bow of my boat.

To give you an idea how slow I am, the quick people aim for under 60min. I was 14min over that. So very slow indeed. 10kph is about 'evens' in a kayak and I can't manage that yet.
<i>Marmite slave</i>


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Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2018, 04:18:04 pm »
I've mostly been Kayaking on Sit on Top kayaks on a Wednesday evening @ Lochore Meadows, with the most excellently titled Och Aye Canoe: And yes, that's me in the blue wetsuit doing a star jump into the water with the coach on the left!  ;D

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2018, 04:36:12 pm »
 Och Aye Canoe is a very good name indeed.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2018, 04:52:54 pm »
Oh lordy. 4 on 1 30 off training tomorrow

I'll either be dead or puking or both.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2018, 09:46:30 am »
It is often said that it takes years of cycling to build the endurance required for road racing. Very few sports make the same demands; hours of effort. Medium level effort sustained for hours interspersed with extreme (often anaerobic) effort.

I've never had athletic ability and my recent 'health check' confirmed one reason why; a lung volume only 74% that predicted by my height and weight (no, I'm not a smoker, I just have small lungs).

When I was young and tried my hand at kayak racing, I had no endurance. I trained hard (too hard actually). I could run 10miles in an hour, bench 90kgx20 reps, lat pull down 1.5 times my body weight. Still, I had no endurance and in any race I rapidly tired. I'd start strong and end with muscles like jelly, crawling along.

Thirty years later and I'm training with a kayak squad again. I'm the slow old man in the group. Muscles are weak, can only barely manage to chin myself 10 times. However, something has changed. As the training session progresses, I get faster.

Initially I thought I was imagining it. Last night, in a hard intervals session, after we'd covered about 9km and were down to 3min intervals, someone remarked on it "You get faster on the way back". On the way out, they were pulling away from me. Part way through, I was level-pegging them. Now, I was pulling away from them, and feeling like I could do more sessions. They were exhausted.

Has it been all those years of commuting on a bike, notching up 150-250miles a week?
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2018, 08:28:35 am »
Very slowly getting faster. Managed 69 min 35s for the time trial last night, so 5 min quicker than my first attempt.

Wore a big blister on one foot from pressing against the rudder.  My left wrist & arm is particularly weak since my wrist smash of a couple of years ago. So I'm always pushing the tiller bar a bit with my  right foot to compensate.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2018, 08:50:44 am »
Completed 21km in 2hrs 26min practice paddle yesterday.  Could have easily knocked 5 min off that by hurrying up the portages, plus I stopped to adjust my seat.
It is furthest I've ever done in one stint, including when I was a youngster. I had some fuel left in the tank and was able to push the pace over the last 5km. Hardest part was the pain from my bum - really, really painful sitting in the boat after 1.5hrs. I hope that improves. I might try wearing cycling shorts.

9 weeks ago a 5km paddle left me feeling like jelly. This is really decent improvement.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2019, 05:24:54 pm »
It is interesting, looking back at these posts. I had a bit of a knockback over winter. One illness, one serious accident. The race training group fell apart a bit when the coach got injured and had to stop paddling.

I'm out of the 'beginners' boats, but only just. Trying to buy my own gear, but it is much harder even than buying a bike that fits properly!

Really important to try out paddles, but difficult to do that unless people are generous and happen to have a paddle that you are interested in buying (several people have suggested a particular paddle to me, offered to let me try their out; on checking, I can't even buy it in this country).

Speed; did the TT again last night, first time in months. 66 min 30s. A bit better than 74m last year. For a while I was stuck on a plateau of about 68min, so knocking a minute half off that is good. Partly paddling a faster boat, partly fitness.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: RACING (kayaks)!
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2019, 08:01:21 am »
First kayak race on sunday. Entered a low division, Div8. Expected to do fairly well, a junior from our club who has been racing all winter also entered that division (dunno why, they are fairly good). Seven in the race, one person from another club looks strong competitor, they look fit, have very shiny new fast boat and paddle. Also look to be 15years younger than me.
I missed the start, hammered myself and ended up in the front with the junior, turned into a duel between us all the way to the finish. Great race, came second by half a boat.
Mr shiny boat was a minute and half behind us. Very fast times for our division, we would have won the division above.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Cross training: Kayaking
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2019, 03:34:00 pm »