How to Train for Flatwater Kayak Racing

How to Train for Flatwater Kayak Racing
After slalom racing, flatwater kayak racing is the most physically challenging of kayak race events. All of the power comes from you, the paddler, and winds or undercurrents are often working against you. While the race season may be relatively short, training and conditioning is a year-round process, and practice for the next year starts the day the current year's season ends. Even during winter, when paddling is impractical or impossible, proper exercise and conditioning will keep you in top shape for the coming season.


Difficulty: Challenging

Step 1
Hit the gym. Training starts in the off-season with rigorous conditioning. Focus on exercises that strengthen your core and shoulders, with secondary focus on arm and back strength. These are the muscles that are worked the hardest in kayaking.
Step 2
Paddle upstream in moving water. The currents working against you force you to work even harder than you will when paddling flat water. Good times against a current will translate to great times in calm waters on race day.
Step 3
Paddle flatwater while towing something behind you. You can drag anchors or another small boat--there is no limit to what you can tow behind you while paddling, so use your imagination. Once you get used to paddling a course while towing, removing the towed object will make you feel lighter and faster on the course.
Step 4
Put in miles during the season even on your off days. A day or two of rest before a race is a good idea, but aside from that, be sure to paddle every day even during the race season to stay in top condition for each race.

Article Written By Christopher Williams

Christopher Williams has spent over 11 years working in the information technology, health care and outdoor recreation fields. He has over seven years of technical and educational writing experience, and has brought strong skills and passion to the Demand Studios team in articles for eHow and Trails in 2009.

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