Power is the goal but it doesn’t come before building strength or speed. Dragon boat paddling requires strength – with speed – which makes power.
Each distance in the dragon boat race, (200M, 500M, 1000M and 2000M) requires a different energy system when paddling. Methodically training each energy system is what sport specific training encompasses.
I often get paddlers telling me they’re in a fitness program, go to the gym or take specific classes and wonder why they need to take dragon boat training.
The answer is simple: train to run a marathon and you’ll run a marathon. Train to kick a bag explosively and you’ll get good at it. Train to paddle for a 500 meter race and you will be ready to race.
Fitness and being active is NOT sport specific training paddlers. Although your DB fitness program may contain many exercises you have done in other programs, there will be race distance strength and speed built into that progression that will peak your performance power for water season and race season. You will definitely achieve overall fitness with dry land training, but this fitness is designed to be translated to your sport!
Dry land fitness training for dragon boaters is also built in a progression of peaking athletes for a specific time frame. It may be for a camp, a race or testing. Although we may maintain a level of fitness year round, peaking to compete is a component of dragon boat fitness training.
The building of our muscle, core and cardio specific to dragon boat racing is carefully constructed in dragon boat dry land training. We build, strengthen and progress to explosive movement to deliver stroke power. This equation is what segregates training in general from sport specific training.
So if you are a paddler, skip the idea of fitness. Skip the idea of being active. Focus on the equation of 𝗦𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗴𝘁𝗵 + 𝗦𝗽𝗲𝗲𝗱 = 𝗣𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿 and you will be peaked and ready come water season!