T Nation

Long distance kayaking

I’m a New Zealand kayaker who is starting to get interested in long-distance flat water paddling. I’ve entered an event that’s 6 weeks away in which I’ll have to paddle 26 km. I’d be extremely grateful for suggestions on training ideas (weights, kayak, schedules, etc.) both for this event coming up as well as for the long term. Mostly I’ve just trained by doing more kayaking, although I’ve recently become aware from reading T-mag that I might develop some pattern overloads that way. Thanks very much.

I’ll throw out some ideas, since I don’t see any other responses yet. Seems to me kayaking involves a lot of pushing and pulling roughly in the horizontal plane (perpendicular to your torso). Also, internal and external rotation of the shoulder joint. Also, your torso needs a lot of stabilization strength for the paddling and rolling forces.
As for weight training to support your kayaking, endurance type schemes are called for. I think the appropriate rep range would be high, 12-15, moderate tempo 2120 (2 seconds eccentric, 1 second pause, 2 seconds concentric, repeat immediately), and very limited rest, say 30-60 seconds between sets. I imagine you would want to choose a weight that develops an intense burn and discomfort in the last 5-7 reps of sets 2 and 3.

As a starting point, try 3 sets of each of the following exercises:
Seated rows, using whatever grip is available on your machine that most closely simulates your paddle motion.
Close-grip (14" spread) flat bench press.
Rotator cuff dumbbell raises. I like the seated versions. Search the T-mag archives using the key words “rotator cuff” to find Ian King’s article about these.

So far, those three should provide balanced shoulder and push-pull development.

Next, good mornings for the posterior chain from shoulders to hams, and leg raises in a roman chair, with alternating twists, for abdominal and oblique development. These should promote balanced torso stability.

I would be sure to have good recovery meals (see the current message thread) and allow 2-3 days after weight training minimum for recovery and growth before any long kayaking sessions.
Another possibility would be to weight train in the morning, eat well and rest, and do kayaking workout late in the afternoon if you combine your training in the same day. Endurance events take your body into the catabolic zone so eat well for recovery and don’t skimp on the protein and simple carbs.
Perhaps someone more experienced in your sport will jump in with more suggestions. Good luck - Nylo

Thanks. That looks really helpful, should get me started. Anyone else out there doing long distance kayaking?