Wore my HR monitor on the water today and it was worse than I thought- in a 3 hour session I spent an hour and 15 in Z3 and 15 minutes in Z4. It was an unusually intense session, playboating rather than river running. But still worrying for my base.
Potential for kayaking to undermine training
Hey folks, this is maybe a slightly off-piste question but I’m wondering about the capacity for hard whitewater kayaking to undermine the training of my aerobic base.
For the last two years I’ve been mostly training for wilderness races with landscape crossing and mountainous traverse objectives as personal goals. Those interests brought me to whitewater paddling, and my objectives have shifted towards trips that combine difficult mountain traverses with hard whitewater.
My sense is that training for these objectives is similar to training for a technical alpine climb in that it combines the need for a strong aerobic base with the need for well-trained strength and technical skill in the upper body and core. The difference as I see it is that in hard whitewater it’s very difficult to control one’s heart rate, as control in general is often a bit more…fluid than it is in climbing. Certainly when things go a bit sideways you tend to need to exert yourself REALLY hard, often to near max HR, and often while holding your breath for an extended period. Can’t just fall and hang on the rope until the heart rate comes back down. And it’s very difficult to train for hard whitewater without running the stuff.
So the question is this: do I have any hope of improving my aerobic base if I can devote 10ish hours/week to that training but I’m also paddling twice a week and those sessions include several 15-30 second bursts of Z4 effort? Or will those efforts undermine the improvement of my base?
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