It’s fairly rare to get papers looking at paddlers and it’s also rare to get papers looking at very highly trained international athletes, so when you get both together it’s worth having a look. I came across four papers by Jesús García-Pallarés (plus various other collaborators) which all look at the training of the Spanish National Team from 2006 to 2008 (the ’06/’07 and ’07/’08 seasons). The focus varies between them but I thought they were worth looking at together. The first paper looks at the whole two year period and the others look at particular sections within those two years. All with the same group of paddlers.
I wasn’t expecting this to be such a long post when I started but to tie all four papers together it ended up being fairly long. Since one of the papers considers the whole two year period and the other three look at sections within those two years I’ve started off with that paper and then brought in the other papers to expand on the sections they each cover.
The paddlers in the studies had an average of 11 years training experience at an average age of 26 and paddled 4,415 km per year. All of the paddlers studied had been World Championships finalists. Two of them apparently won gold in 2008; since the only Spanish K2 to win was Saúl Craviotto and Carlos Pérez they must have been in the study! They won the 500 m K2, and Craviotto also won silver K1 200 m in 2012 and gold K2 200 m in 2016 (with Cristian Toro). His coach, Miguel García-Fernández, appears as an author on one of them. Not every day you get to study athletes like that.