Metronome for training?

Way back I used to have the Chi Running video and they make a big deal about tempo and manipulating stride per minute with the use of a metronome...I hear metromes as the rowers go by in long beach. Nothing on metronomes in the search here on the site.

On the olympic canoe/kayak page metronome is listed as one of the "essential peices of training equiptment:

"Metronomes: We use these to control our stroke rate (SR). Without this the DPS (distance per stroke) work over the next few months will have little meaning and improvement will not be as recognizable or maximized. You will improve so much faster if you can control your stroke rate and your speed. You will learn how to control stroke and efficiency at lower stroke rates and then increase that to race rate. Pretty soon you will be able to hold race ratings @ 105-110 and still move the boat as far as possible on each stroke."

Wondering if anyone who does a significant amount of paddling in calm has used a metronome for training.

btw Looking at this topic I ran into a clip from the discovery channel about a gadget that the canandian olympic rowers use that shows how well they are balancing the boat and how good balance was a major difference in novice and elite rowers.

thanks for any comment

Submitted by Shawn Michael on Sat, 03/15/2008 - 7:25pm



I use the timer on my GPS, (Garmin Forerunner) and just count how many strokes I do in a specific time-frame.
Sometimes it's 40 spm, sometimes it's 80 spm - I always go the same speed.


#1 Sat, 03/15/2008 - 7:53pm


Shawn Michael

Were abouts did you see that clip on the discovery Channel?


#2 Sat, 03/15/2008 - 8:59pm



when I was young they would put me on bow and I would pull faster on one side then the other so I bought a watch that beeped and you could set it to any number like 60,70,80, a minute. that was a good training device. to keep me in the same time on both sides.I straped to my head band.


#4 Sat, 03/15/2008 - 9:43pm


Goto should get one, fer sure.


#5 Sun, 03/16/2008 - 5:13am


Prolly cheapest/easiest to drop by local music shop and buy a cheap battery-operated metronome and keep it in a ziplock bag, leaving some air in bag so it floats if lost overboard. You could manipulate the cadence without removing from bag.


#6 Sun, 03/16/2008 - 8:42am


Google "wetronome"
I bought one for my first 1man winter races. It helped getting changes faster and evens out the stroke. I always wanted my club to try it on a stroker in 6man. I was poo-pooed and let it go. I think it would be great if you line up all your canoes on practice day and have a loud stroke signal. Every boat strokes the same and you can really go after why some are faster and some slower. Just a thought.
I haven't used it since then. For OC1 in the flats it's probably helpful. On the open ocean you adapt to the water's rythm, flow, bumps etc. and paddle accordingly.
It beats trying to make the ocean adapt to your rythm any day.


#7 Sun, 03/16/2008 - 10:44am


Does anyone know where to get that balance thing? That looks like it could be real useful.


#8 Sun, 03/16/2008 - 11:19am


Team paddling is a "feel" thing. Even visual timing does not guarantee a smooth fast boat. When all the actual power phases or power bands align, then you have a fast boat.

My recipe for a fast smooth canoe (and it works 9 times out of 10) is all 6 paddlers agree to bang the catch and pull hard in the first 1foot of the stroke, drive down and follow through to glide, this keeps the canoe moving at speed and on top of the water.

The "feel" should be a single, powerful, accelerating moment, with glide on the return stroke. No jerking, no bobbing, when it happens, it's the best feeling and guess what?? It's effortless and the canoe maintains its max potential design speed longer. To catch bumps, just up the rating for 3 strokes, same feel.

It takes individual paddler focus to achieve this "feel", just one person un-focusing, can unsettle the canoe. Takes discipline and practice.

No need for distracting beeps, clicks or flashes, too many variables for this to be effective.

Cheers Rambo


#9 Sun, 03/16/2008 - 2:27pm


Oh my god! Did rambo just argue against the use of some gizmo or other? Totally agree with Rambo. Frankly, in the six, I'd prefer if our guys didn't have a GPS even, but after a couple years of using one, I'm asking for numbers after practice just like everyone else! Up here in Techno-Seattle, it's really hard to sell the kids on the "feel" thing, even though "feel" is the only way a given group of six will attain their max boat speed.


#10 Sun, 03/16/2008 - 2:51pm


Metronomes would be good if you wanted a steady stroke count, but since you don't, it would be pretty useless. This is a horrible question in my mind. Its like asking should I use a metronome during sex. If you did you'd still be a virgin.


#11 Sun, 03/16/2008 - 3:58pm


Don't worry Jim, i did go down the Metronome path in 1993. Brought one along to training, hooked up to a loud speaker and flashing light. Problem was you could set it to bossa nova or Cha Cha or any beat in between. As you know not all blokes are good dancers and most have no sense of rhythm at all, but we did scribe nice curves in the water. The guys banned it from further training.

Hey PooPoo, now i know why all seat 1's quicken the pace after 5 mins paddling??

Cheers Rambo


#12 Sun, 03/16/2008 - 4:28pm


5 mins? More like 30 sec. The other 4.5 minutes is a whatevers....


#13 Sun, 03/16/2008 - 5:59pm


I've been poo-pooed


#14 Sun, 03/16/2008 - 9:40pm


So, what would be your advice when first paddler accelerates with the canoe until frenzy ?
We told her (yep, we like our crews to be mixed ;-) ) she knows it, but she seems unable to control her pace.


#15 Mon, 02/28/2011 - 5:01am


I use a metronome for almost every workout. Efficiency is the name of the game bradah!


#16 Mon, 02/28/2011 - 9:35pm


Wow did we really cover this 3 years ago (posts are from 2008)


#17 Mon, 02/28/2011 - 11:48pm


Best Metronome I experienced was Nappy steering us during an HCKT Knockout Race on the Ala Wai many years ago where he would yell out "hit, hit, hit................." the entire race.
ps: maybe can rejuvenate the Knock Out Race again as a fund raiser for HCKT?


#18 Tue, 03/01/2011 - 12:23am


oups, didn't even notice the time stamp !
well at least, rambo, you're still there :-)


#19 Tue, 03/01/2011 - 2:20am


Wittner MT-40 metronome sells for $19.95 US. Difficult to use by those of us with high frequency hearing losses.

http://www.metronomes.net/WitMt40.htm

Put it in a Seal passport pouch on a 1/8" bungie around Seat #1's neck.

Good for building crew's confidence that it can go the distance sustaining a particular stroke rate. Rates deteriorate imperceptably with time over course of race. I'll bet Tahitian Shell uses metronomes. I was told by an Aussie that the Aussies do not permit any electronics in races including GPS.


#20 Wed, 03/09/2011 - 11:42am


You can use a swim stroke timer for OC1. Small, waterproof, clips to your cap and beeps the tempo.
http://www.trisports.com/lantemtrain.html
Drives you a bit crazy after a while :)


#21 Fri, 03/11/2011 - 12:31am


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