200 m sprints

What is the benefit of a paddling workout of ~200 m intervals then trying to hold that speed based GPS feedback?

This is a workout that will build lots of surfing specific fitness, as will the very short stuff. If you can accelerate your hull super fast you can catch your wave is less time, thus saving energy for when you need it, such as those you have to really work to catch!

I’d also argue that an emphasis on efficiency and technique would be a must.

All this is what is so important about high intensity training its all about quality. If you do your first piece in 58 seconds and you are trying for all out efforts each time AND trying to keep your speed high, some top coaches would say that when your speed drops too much (say 2.5-5%) then the workout would be over unless you can pull the speed back up in the next 1-2 repeats.

In this case if you do repeat #1 in 0:58 that’s his benchmark. As long as each repeat after that is within 2.5-5% you are maintianing quality. On 0:58 sec pieces you would have to maintain 0:58 to 1:01 to stay within 5%, or 0:58-0:59 to stay within 2.5%.

Being realistic, 2.5% can be anything from a rough spot of water, a missed stroke, too much rudder. 5% may be more realistic in rough water, 2.5% in flat. For more highly trained paddlers 2.5% may be best, and 5% fo less skilled, even 10% for newbies.

As an aside, what is the biggest challenge of sport science is keeping the language at a level we can all communicate through.

Many coaches and paddlers with real experience know the same stuff as PhD and science geeks do. They just don’t know the why behind their knowledge.

Likewise those PhD guys know the why but not how to apply it. It is only through encouraging the two groups to work together that sport training, technique and boat design moves forward to break records.

Alan Carlsson
Engineered Athlete Services

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