Prediction of Flatwater Kayaking Performance

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Ken A. van Someren
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Glyn Howatson
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Purpose:

To determine the relative importance of anthropometric and physiological attributes for performance in the 1000-m, 500-m, and 200-m flatwater kayaking events.

Methods:

Eighteen competitive male kayakers completed performance trials over the 3 distances and a battery of anthropometric and physiological tests.

Results:

Performance times (mean ± SD) for 1000 m, 500 m, and 200 m were 262.56 ± 36.44 s, 122.10 ± 5.74 s, and 41.59 ± 2.12 s, respectively. Performance in all 3 events was correlated with a number of physiological parameters; in addition, 500-m and 200-m performance was correlated with upper body dimensions. 1000-m time was predicted by power output at lactate turnpoint expressed as a percentage of maximal aerobic power, work done in a 30-s ergometry test and work done in a 2-min ergometry test (adjusted R2 = 0.71, SEE = 5.72 s); 500-m time was predicted by work done and the fatigue index in a 30-s ergometry test, work done in a 2-min ergometry test, peak isometric and isokinetic function (adjusted R2 = 0.79, SEE = 2.49 s); 200-m time was predicted by chest circumference, humeral breadth, peak power, work done, and the fatigue index in a 30-s ergometry test (adjusted R2 = 0.71, SEE = 0.71 s).

Conclusions:

A number of physiological variables are correlated with performance in all events. 1000-m, 500-m, and 200-m times were predicted with a standard error of only 2.2%, 2.0%, and 1.7%, respectively.

Van Someren is with the English Institute of Sport, St. Mary’s High Performance Centre, Twickenham, U.K., and Howatson is with the School of Human Sciences, St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham, U.K.

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