||I'm pretty sure I've seen rowing coaches
doing just this - it's their "Cox Box" system, I'm pretty
sure. But at the end of the day its all information that is confirmatory
of what you can see from the coaches perspective, and feel from the
paddlers/ rower's perspective. That is that if you are covering wore
distance on the same or lower rating you are making improvements in
speed and efficiency. Admittedly this does become more difficult in
the case of the kayak due to higher and more changeable rating pattern.
Themovement/ position of the boat is a good indicator here.
I think it gets interesting when you couple this info with a force
meter that give the coach or paddler real time feed back on stokes.
I've seen these used on rowing and paddle craft, and they are now
available on cranksets for bikes. I think this could really aid the
development of technique/ feel because it allows the paddler to experiment
and get feed back on what they're doing with the water, something
that might otherwise take years of experimentation.
||Has anyone linked one to a transmitter
so the coach can get some feedback, or devised a method of saving
and downloading the data for post-session analysis?
Anyone done experiments to correlate speed with HR, blade area, shaft
length or stroke rate??? (Or crew combinations, to pursue Danny's
||Yup! Totally agree with Steve here.
I have one and have noticed that it really does affectboth your body
position and where your attention is directed. I paddle C1 and used
to paddle K boats, and used one at times on both. I think it actually
can be worse for C paddlers because of the higher body position ie.
therefore looking lower into the boat for the speedcoach. In a c-boat,
because of the long glide phase, having your head down is extremily
detrimental to speed because of bodyweight to be shifted to the front
foot pushing the bow of the boat down. There are probably other reasons
for keeping your head up in thekayak, but in the end the effect is
the same - it limits your speed. The trick is to use it as an occaisional
reference, or as a recording instrument for post session evaluation
- which pretty much entails that it's best for endurance work. Thats
the way I try to use it, but I often find myself getting sucked into
the numbers attentionally. I also use it to measure out distances
where there are no formal markers on a tidal piece of water. That
way I'm doing water distance not land distance, if you see my meaning.
I too train largely by myself and find that it is great for monitoring
the improvement in aerobic speed over time - but of course you can
use a watch for this over a set course. Also I find the rating information
very useful - but this is not so easy to get in the kayak. I try to
maintain target average speed on the lowest rating within the heart
For speedwork - I'll measure out a set distance and do repeated efforts
over this distance attempting to go under a set time. I get better
times when I ignore the speedcoach.
||I have a Speed Coach (www.nkelectronics.com)
- I don't use it as often as I could. There are lots of bits and pieces,
the impeller certain is a pain - small, breakable, easily lost and
expensive to replace. Having it contained in one unit, would make
me more willing to us it.
Has any one got any experience of using the device on crew boats?
||It looks like one is in order, thanks
for all of your invaluable input
||John for someone like yourself, a Speed
Coach could be invaluable. When you have to perform a lot of your
training on your own, especially in the endurance phase that you have
been working on this year.
When training in a large group, it is often not so necessary, as you
get carried along by the group. If you cannot hack it, then there
is often a wash (even if it is out the back), or you lead it until
someone storms passed.
In these situations, if you are unsure on pacing yourself, then the
use of a Heart Rate Monitor is enough to keep you on track.
If you can look at the speed coach without moving your whole head,
then there is no problem. If you watch the Speed Coach all the time,
you will most likely go slower anyway, because you will not be concentrating
on your technique, running the boat, where you are going, who you
are hitting etc.
There has to be a compromise. This is often, you paddle 1500m, 2000m,
6000m whatever it might be, and where you would not normally notice
a slow down without one, all of a sudden, you see that instead of
paddling along at say 2 minute per 500m, you are down at 2:15. Why?
loss of concentration perhaps, movement of the rudder slowing the
boat, couple of bad strokes. It could just be the reminder of how
much you have slowed that kicks you into picking it up.
Still, many of the top endurance paddlers never use these devices,
and manage to set a perfect rhythm. To name a couple of people who
paddle(d) with great rhythm in the UK, are Duncan Blythe and Steve
If you've ever seen them train, it is good to see! Whilst a group
of paddlers might be hanging on washes on the inside of the bends,
trying to hold it together, taking it in turns etc., I have seen these
guys paddle on their own, around the outside of the bend (or at least
totally off of the group), and not change speed once!
So, are you going to buy one or not?
||Have you considered GPS?
I was looking for a speed meter a few
months ago, chose GPS (garmin geko 201) and haven't regreted it.
I think GPS is more accurete, reliable and easier to use. You don't
have to worry about impeller, and you can change it very easily from
boat to boat.
It doesn't show you the time/500m or stroke rate, but there a other
usefull functions as maximum speed since last reset. I have found
it an excellent aid for speed training.
Other small drawback is that the speed is updated once in a second.
This makes the last decimal (0.1km/h) change frequently and a bit
difficult to observe.
A GPS might even be a little cheaper than speedcoach. You can probably
get a good one for about 200euros.
||I am looking at buying one of these
and was wondering if the expensive price tag is justified? Are they
worth it? and how can they be implimented in training, I have heard
they have a bad habit of causin youer head to look down.