Another evening on the KayakPro ergometer

My kayak training schedule lately has been generally

  • Tuesday evenings at the RIT gym either with or without Dan doing stretches, core strengthening, and weights
  • Thursday evenings at Dan’s doing stretches, core strengthening and the ergometer
  • Sunday afternoons at Dan’s, either doing the same as Thursday or (not since Thanksgiving weekend) paddling with others.

Dan told me that he was busy Thursday, so we decided to switch around and do the Thursday workout today and I can do the RIT gym without him on Thursday.

In some ways, what Dan and I have been doing is we tore down my old stroke and built up a new one with better technique. But that means that I’m using muscles I’ve never been using before, so I get tired long before I would have at the end of the season. The initial core exercises tire me a bit, which is good because it means I’ll have those muscles built up to help me balance in the boat, and to develop a better torso twist. But the real test is on the ergometer.

In the past, Dan has had me doing 10 good strokes, concentrating on good technique, then putting down the “paddle” and doing some stretches, then doing 10 more good strokes, etc. In the last couple of sessions, I’ve stretched out some and had some longer sessions of a few minutes at a time. Today it was a real stretch-out session – after a 2 minute warm up, I did two or three sessions of 5 minutes and one of 3 minutes. My left shoulder and arm were quite tired and sore, because I’m keeping my left arm higher than I used to – new muscles getting used for the first time. And I was trying to adjust my stroke on the machine to have less jarring so it would be more like my paddle, but that meant that I still had a bit of a tug on the ropes when the “paddle” was in the “out of the water” position.

I’m really curious to discover how sore my elbows are going to be on Thursday morning. For the last couple of weeks the pain in my elbows, especially on my left elbow, has been really bad. Almost to the point where I’m wondering if I need to stop some or all of the new exercise regime. I hope I can discover if it’s the ergometer or the gym that’s doing it.