Kayak Heart Rate Interval Workouts

it is extremely difficult
To raise a heart rate above that level for an in shape amateur paddler while maintaining any kind of technique. He is going hard enough and going to be fine. Aerobically he doesn’t need the work out, and paddling strong with a heart rate of 120 or so would be better for his whole race anyway.

For as my sports M.D. would tell me, in my mid forties: “training below 150 is useless.” Now if the paddler were over 70 years old, I’d probably agree with you. But I don’t think so. It appears that he’s competitive and wants to do well in his race. He doesn’t just want to finish and that I respect. So I gave him two tips on raising his paddling heart rate up to where it would be if he were running or at least bicycling. No harm done.

Note: this is a very common concern with competitive runners who can’t get their heart rate up when paddling.

bigger paddle works for me
Just finished a 6-mile workout: average speed 6.4 mph, average hr 153. Max speed 8 mph, max hr 168. Epic 18xs ultra, large wing 235cm. For me a bigger/longer paddle gets me a higher heart rate and more speed, and a smaller paddle feels like spinning wheels on ice. I draw the line at 245cm, that gets me 7mph and 170 hr, but not for 6 miles. My body likes low RPMs and high torque, but I think most athletes are the opposite, so maybe I’m not an athlete. For a race longer than 6 miles I try to keep my hr in the 140s (my “forever” pace), then push it up when there is an hour to go. I suggest you try all the paddles you can and see what works best.

why is that?
you made a claim regarding a seemingly arbitrary target rate without explaining why one should aim for that rate in training even though during the event, one will not approach said target heart rate.

Can you explain that?

Different Athletes
In the bike world you have your spinners and your mashers. Some bodies like the big gears and some like the little gears. Like you said, ya gotta try 'em to figure out who you are.

Yeah! I Did Say MHR
Sorry about that, I should of said “taget heart rate.” And yes, in open ocean races, my Polar monitor would indicate I was in the “target” zone many of times. For sure, if I was in the MHR or exceeded it, I would of backed off, especially at the start, but never at the finish.

It appears that 143 BPM is way below this athletes target heart rate, so I assume for the other two legs of the race (bike & run), he’s training above 150? Or maybe between 160 & 170 BPM? I don’t know what it is? But I get the impression, he’s disappointed in his paddling performance, since he’s not training at his target heart rate zone. And maybe, because of this, he feels his race pace is not competitive?

I’m sure he doesn’t want to develop a respectful lead during the bike leg and lose it in the kayak leg, which he’ll have to make up for in the run. With 2 months to go, he’s got lots of time to improve on his paddling stroke and train in his target heart rate, which will increase his race pace, even if he paddles below his THR during the actual race.

I like that masher title…
it could lead to a new profession involving grains, copper, and fire. :slight_smile: