Guide to K1 Kayak with Olympic Champion Marcus Walz | Gillette World Sport

Guide to K1 Kayak with Olympic Champion Marcus Walz | Gillette World Sport


Kayak canoeing is a very technical sport. You have to combine technique with strength,
with resistance, with good, strong mentality. You’ve got these people with you there competing
against you, so you have to be a very competitive person; and at the same time sort of calm,
you know – just think of your race, do your race. So when you’re competing, there’s a few
rules you have to respect which are the length of the kayak, which is 5.2 metres; and then
the weight of the kayak is very important – it has to be a minimum of 12 kilos Then the length of the paddle, there are no
rules about that. You just have to find the most comfortable
length of a paddle. Precision is very important in our sport,
because as I said before it’s a very technical sport, and we have to be perfect in all those
details. Just a single movement can make us lose speed
or lose those few centimetres that are gonna make us lose that race or win it, so we have
to be very careful with every single detail. Mastering the K1 requires a lot of dedication
both on and off the water; and isn’t limited to simply training in one canoe over one distance. My training at this level, it’s a high level,
so we have to be very professional and take care of every single detail, you know, to
get the best out of every single training. We usually start the season with lots of kilometres,
maybe an hour and a half or two hours in the kayak nonstop. And then as we approach the competitions,
we get a bit more specific and have a bit more quality training as we call it – a
bit more strength and explosive training. While we paddle, we combine resistance with
strength; so apart from the training on the water, we also do quite a lot of gym. The beginning of the season, we do quite a
lot of resistance in the gym, and then – while we get nearer to the competitions then we
do lot of strength and explosive training in the gym. I’d say that the most important muscles
for a kayaker – it starts from the top half of the body, it would be chest, abs, arms,
and our back. But I have to say we also use our legs because
when we’re sitting down in the kayak we also like to push with our legs and use all
the muscles of our body. Apart from the K1, which is actually the most
important because it shows what level you’ve got individually, we also train lots of days
in the K2 or the K4, because when we go to international competitions then of course
we get together and try to get the best K2 or K4 of our country. Of course in the K2 or the K4 you’re with
other people in the kayak and you have to respect their technique and their way of paddling. So you have to get together and make it look
like just one person. You push together in the water, or make your
legs go at the same rhythm. And, well, just move together. Kayaking is a sport where you practice and
compete on the water; and while it doesn’t really matter if it’s salt water or if it’s
a lake or a river, but it’s always better if it’s still water. Here in Madrid where I train, we’re quite
lucky because we’ve got a beautiful place and the views are the greatest, so apart from
the training and the suffering we do every day then we also enjoy our landscape. The Olympic Gold medal for a sportsman is
like the best. There’s nothing better than going to an
Olympics, and there’s nothing better than winning a gold medal. There’s nothing better than that. So it’s great for me to think now that I’ve
touched the sky, and now when I go out to compete I’ll be loads more confident. I’m already competing, I’ve already done
the best I can do, so I just think now what I’m gonna try and do is just fight for the
next Olympic Games which will be in Tokyo in 2020, and just try and repeat with an Olympic
Gold Medal in the K1 1000 metres.

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