Kia ora,

I have a 15year old daughter training for the 2016 World sprint titles. I am looking for the best possible products to help her on her journey to becoming an Elite W1 Junior womens paddler come May 2016.

What products would you recommend to stay ahed of the competition??



Hi Bernie
Thanks for your question. Is it ok if I publish your question and my reply on my blog on the Vaaka website?
There are only two variables that generate boat speed and those are stroke rate and distance per stroke, so it is important you are able to measure those variables and know what works for your daughter and to be able to measure improvement in both stroke rate and distance per stroke. If you can’t measure those two metrics it is very hard to know if what you are doing during training is working.
You will be looking for improvement in strength, technique, fitness, stamina/endurance and mental toughness.
A product that can help with any aspect of training is useful.
You will see stroke rate and distance per stroke increase with any training but the key to peak performance is accurately targeting the training to specific areas that will benefit the athlete the most. This is smart training rather than junk training and the use of some technology can be very helpful.
I would suggest that you and your daughter have speed, distance, time, heart rate, and stroke rate as the minimum data set. If you have speed and stroke rate we have a free software package that will calculate distance per stroke, called Vaaka Analytics. To get speed, distance, time and heartrate you will need a GPS device such as the Garmin forerunner watches, 310xt, 910xt, 920xt, the Polar V800, or Suunto Ambit. Garmin 310xt are still available although no longer made and are much cheaper than the alternatives. They still do every thing you need. You will then need a Vaaka sensor which attaches to the outrigger paddle and sends stroke rate data to the Garmin watch. Most athletes fix the GPS watch to the front deck so they can see it while training. The Garmin watch will store all the data that the athlete can see while training and you can upload it to Garmin connect on the Internet for later analysis.
That is my recommendation. Explaing how best to use the data is the subject of a series of articles I will circulate to those on the Vaaka mailing list and I see that you are on it so I will get them out to you as soon as possible.
Attached is a pdf of the user guide that comes with the Vaaka sensor and has a summary of how to train with cadence. It is just an outline but will give you the foundation to begin to build on.
Please read through it and if you have any questions, I am happy to try and answer them.
Regards Brendan