Q&A: Training Modes


Question: I have recently bought a Garmin 735XT partly for the medical aid points and partly to help my training. My medical aid has a heart rate chart on their website that tells me how I can get points, but is that how I should train? Is it better to go at 80% for just over 30 minutes or 2 hours at 60% effort? I am 41 years old and 87 kgs if that helps.


Answer: Tim, both the training modes you mentioned will be good for you. Choosing a mode depends on what you want to do and how serious you want to be. A marathon paddler would mostly remain in endurance mode undertaking aerobic activities. If your goals is to be a sprint canoeist, you should concentrate on anaerobic activities. The ideal training model is to start the season with a large volume of endurance training, including shorter, more explosive activities as the competitive season approaches.  The issue with accumulating points through a medical scheme is that it requires no structure. There is no focus or seasonal training cycle. Yu do the sessions and you earn the points. A higher training effect scores more points than lesser activities, which is what you would expect. The downside is that there is generally a limit on the number of points that you can accumulate for a specific category of training. With several categories, if you concentrate on one, for example endurance activities or two hours or longer, you soon reach the limit for the category. It’s the same for a biokineticist assessment, which can only be done once a year.

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