# Energetics of kayaking at submaximal and maximal speeds

DOI: 10.1007/s004210050632

- Cite this article as:
- Zamparo, P., Capelli, C. & Guerrini, G. Eur J Appl Physiol (1999) 80: 542. doi:10.1007/s004210050632

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## Abstract

The energy cost of kayaking per unit distance (C_{k}, kJ · m^{−1}) was assessed in eight middle- to high-class athletes (three males and five females; 45–76 kg body mass; 1.50–1.88 m height; 15–32 years of age) at submaximal and maximal speeds. At submaximal speeds, C_{k} was measured by dividing the steady-state oxygen consumption (*V˙*O_{2}, l · s^{−1}) by the speed (*v*, m · s^{−1}), assuming an energy equivalent of 20.9 kJ · l O^{−1}_{2}. At maximal speeds, C_{k} was calculated from the ratio of the total metabolic energy expenditure (*E*, kJ) to the distance (*d*, m). *E* was assumed to be the sum of three terms, as originally proposed by Wilkie (1980): *E* = AnS + α*V˙*O_{2max} · *t*−α*V˙*O_{2max} · τ(1−*e*^{−t·τ−1}), were α is the energy equivalent of O_{2} (20.9 kJ · l O_{2}^{−1}), τ is the time constant with which *V˙*O_{2max} is attained at the onset of exercise at the muscular level, AnS is the amount of energy derived from anaerobic energy utilization, *t* is the performance time, and *V˙*O_{2max} is the net maximal *V˙*O_{2}. Individual *V˙*O_{2max} was obtained from the *V˙*O_{2} measured during the last minute of the 1000-m or 2000-m maximal run. The average metabolic power output (*E˙*, kW) amounted to 141% and 102% of the individual maximal aerobic power (*V˙*O_{2max}) from the shortest (250 m) to the longest (2000 m) distance, respectively. The average (SD) power provided by oxidative processes increased with the distance covered [from 0.64 (0.14) kW at 250 m to 1.02 (0.31) kW at 2000 m], whereas that provided by anaerobic sources showed the opposite trend. The net C_{k} was a continuous power function of the speed over the entire range of velocities from 2.88 to 4.45 m · s^{−1}: C_{k} = 0.02 · *v*^{2.26} (*r* = 0.937, *n* = 32).