Table 3. VO2 values for kayaking compared to other sports.
Rowing (heavy weight; ~ 85kg)
Tesch, 1983 Hahn et al., 1988 Fry and Morton, 1991 Billat et al., 1996 Hahn et al., 1988 Bunc and Heller, 1991 Di Prampero et al. 1971 Secher, 1990 Lakomy and Lakomy, 1993 Billat et al. 1996 Lavoie et al. 1981 Roels et al. 2005 Billat et al. 1996 Lee et al. 2002 Lucia et al. 1999 Billat et al. 1996
VO2 max (absolute) (L·min-1) 4.7 4.62 4.78 4.01 3.49 4.17 5.0 6.0 4.8 4.41 4.31 5.6 5.61 5.45 5.10 5.11
(up to 3000m)
Draper and Wood, 2005 Caputo and Denadai, 2004
The metabolic demands of kayaking
58.8 58.5 58.9 53.8 44.2 51.9 58.8 68.2 60 59.6 58.4 (5.6) 58.4 72.4 73.0 74.0 74.9 68.9 68.8
Note: all athletes studies were male and of professional and elite calibre.
Power output and velocity at VO2 max obtained from Billat et al. (1999).
are small, thin and lightweight compared to kayakers or rowers, who have a larger body mass. One body type and training style will favour better performance in each sporting discipline. Another important concept is what is the active muscle mass involved in generating the VO2max. For example, if the VO2max of a kayaker is divided by the mass of only the upper body (discounting the legs that are not used extensively in kayaking) their relative VO2max may be even high than that of distance runners.
(1996) examined the ent sporting athletes.
output at VO2peak of differ- et al. (1996) studied 41 elite
mers (400m) (n = 9) and long 000m) (n = 14). The athletes
distance runners (3000-10 were required to perform
two tests; a maximal VO2 test and an all out exercise bout performed at the power or velocity that elicited VO2peak (see Table 3). Each subject performed the exercise tests on their specific ergometer, using a Cosmed device (a telemetric oxygen measuring system) to measure VO2peak. Notably, on the kayak ergometer, the power output of kayak paddlers at VO2peak was only 57% of the power output produced by cyclists on their respective ergometer (Table 3). Billat et al. (1996) suggested it was the result of the smaller muscle mass involved with pad- dling a kayak. It can be speculated that if the kayakers VO2 were to be normalised for arm mass and the cyclists for leg mass for example, the differences observed in VO2 may not be quite as large as those presented and thus compare favourably with other endurance sporting events.
examining the time significantly higher
to exhaustion for kayak paddlers, a time was reported when comparing
the results of cyclists (p < 0.05). reported by Billat et al. (1996)
Furthermore, it was that the heart rates
lower HR and blood lactate levels at the end of the incre- mental tests.
Anaerobic component of kayaking
Anaerobic threshold of kayakers van Someren and Oliver (2001) reported the mean lactate threshold of kayak paddlers at a blood lactate concentra- tion of 2.7 mmol·L-1, at a HR of 170 beats/min and a VO2 of 44.2 ml·kg-1·min-1. The lactate threshold presented, corresponded to a percentage of 89.6% of the maximum heart rate and 82.4% of the VO2 peak. These values pre- sented indicate the extreme nature of kayaking and the undue demands it places upon the anaerobic system. Con- sidering that, it was noted by Bishop (2000) earlier, that kayak paddlers spend the majority of their race at or around VO2peak. In another study by DalMonte and Leo- nardi (1976), it was reported that the onset of blood lac- tate accumulation of international kayakers occurred in a time frame between 79 and 87% of VO2peak. Further- more Bunc and Heller (1991), who defined the ventilatory threshold as the level of maximal exercise at which the subject is still capable of working close to steady state, reported that the values of the ventilatory threshold in international male canoe/kayaker paddlers corresponded to an exercise intensity of between 83 and 85% of VO2peak. At intensities greater than the anaerobic thresh- old, the rates of anaerobic glycolysis and subsequent lactate production are very high (Bishop et al., 2001).
When the rate rise of blood lactate is plotted as a function of work load for sedentary subjects and white water kayakers (Pendergast et al. 1979), it is clear that the anaerobic threshold for sedentary subjects occurred at a lower work load (75W) requiring approximately 70% of their arm VO2peak compared to the kayakers. The an- aerobic threshold for kayakers increased to approximately 125W, which corresponded to approximately 80% of their arm VO2peak. This notable difference observed between the sedentary subjects and their kayaking counterparts