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Wildwater: Training Plan

by Rodney Rice

This trainingngg plan information comes from advice of the Croatian and Czech National team coaches. Though we do not have their exact training plan, it is frankly not necessary. The workouts shown are the types of workouts they do and a racer can take the listed workouts and use them to create their own effective plan.

  1. Paddle twice a day 4-5 days a week, one day off, plus lift / run 2-3 times a week. Take a day and a half off at the end of every 10 day cycle.
  2. Most of the weight / running workouts will be done after you paddle and should not last more then 45 min. Running for 20 min or lifting for 30 min may seem pointless or too short, but are you not trainingngg to be a good runner or weight lifter, you are training to go faster in your kayak. So paddle, then go to the gym or don’t even bother going to the gym if your are feeling too tired. One of the strength trainingngg routines that is used is to simply do 100 pull ups, sit ups, and then push ups. The pull ups are done in sets of 10. The weights are going to give a little more strength, power and endurance, but not much. In order to get faster at paddling you have to paddle and spend time in your boat.

Boat speed can be increased by the use of strength trainingngg exercises, but adding in short sprint is really where the top paddlers gain their advantage. Mixing up very short; 5”, 10”, and 15” sprints with long distances, like 10k or doing 60 min as hard as you can works both endurance and sprint speed.

If you can’t paddle fast with good technique for 10” how can you do it for two minutes’? So it may seem silly doing such short sprints but it is building a foundation that will be added on to throughout the entire year. Working on building a sprint base combined with the distances of 10k, 4k, 1000m and 500m pieces will work on taking that newly created speed and applying it to the longer distance.

People tend to make trainingngg plans far more difficult then they need to be. All the technology of HR monitors and GPS devices are pointless if you are going as hard as you physically can and resting when you should. So if you are going to do a 60 min piece as hard as you can, you don’t need a HR monitor to tell you that you are going as hard as you possibly can. Just bury your blade in the water and pull as hard as you can and if at the end of the work out you’re not tired , sore and questioning why you’re putting your self through all this then you didn’t go hard enough.

It’s not that hard to figure out what to do, it’s hard to make yourself do it!

When setting up a plan keep these points in mind.

  1. Have set times for 500 meters, 1,000 meters, 4,000, 10k, the more the better. Use the time trials to track your progress. It really doesn’t matter how it’s marked off as long as you can time your self repeatedly over the same course. One racer from the Czech Republic said “I don’t know how far the course is…there is a barrel in the water, and then another…and we go… then it’s about… perhaps a minute from each barrel… so back and forth and the faster are something less than a minute and the slower, more than a minute.”
  2. Set goals, short term and long term. This means that if you would like to be 5% faster 8 months from now, you will need to begin seeing some small increases in speed in the next 3 to 4 weeks. You need to make sure that you are seeing an increase in speed and a reduction in your times “across the board”. That means that you want to see all your time trial times getting faster. Not just the 500 meters, or only the 4,000.
  3. Technique days are very important and you want to go fast on these days but you want to keep the proper technique.
  4. Rest when you are tired. Typically the trainingngg programs have athletes going hard for 3-4 days and then taking a day off. Every 10 days they will take a day and a half off.
  5. Eat when you’re hungry. Make sure you get enough to eat immediately after your workout to replenish you glycogen levels.
  6. Don’t get to wrapped up in the weights on a heavy day, do 2-3 set of 6-8 reps. If you do more then 45 minutes, you’re doing too much. You want to build your muscles by paddling, not by weight lifting.
  7. Do more time trials, time your self tying your boat on the car, eating breakfast, unloading your boat, walk faster , drive faster, watch movies in fast forward just go faster and push harder. I know that sounds ridiculous, but they actually said that.They watch movies in fast forward and then normal speed when something “good” is happening and then back to fast forward. Allows more time for sleep, was the logic.

A look at the sample plan;

Just take stuff and put work outs you like together; go hard for a few days then take a day or a half day off; rest up; then go hard again. Or do a recovery paddle/ fartlek to work on technique.

Do heavy weights every 2-3 days and mix in some light weight days where you do old school stuff like pull ups, and push ups.

Free weight works outs should be after you paddle and only last about 20-25 min.

MTWTHFSaSu
2(45”x15”x10)x12’
Run- 20 min
20x15”x3’
Heavy Weights
4000m
25x5”x1’
Light weights
rest
6x30”,6x1’,3x2,6x1’,6x30”
( with 3 min rest in between each piece)
Rest
10x2’x2’
60 min
Fartlek
4(15”x45”x10)x2’-3’
20 min run
4x1000m
8x500m
Heavy Weights
Rest

The sample plan is just one week, you might want to increase the volume or intensity each week so each week is progressively harder. After 3 hard weeks, take one a little lighter. Or if you want to get an accurate time trial you might want to take a day or two easy or light to give yourself an accurate time.

The Boat workoutsOther Workouts:
2(45”x15”x10)x12’
Run- 20 min
4(15”x45”x10)x2’-3’
Pull ups
10k
Sit ups
10x2’x2’
Bench press
20x15”x3’
Rowing
4x1000m
Free Weights
4000m
Lat pull downs
8x500m
Int and ext shoulder rotation
Recovery Paddle = 60’
Leg Press
25x5”x1’
Curls
6x30”,6x1’,3x2,6x1’,6x30”
(with 3 min rest in between each piece)
Dead lift
2(1’x1’, 2’x1’, 3’x1’, 2’x1’, 1’x1’) (12’ light)
Push clean
 
Push ups
 
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