Stroke Rate on Garmin Fenix ?

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Daker
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Stroke Rate on Garmin Fenix ?

Post by Daker » Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:58 pm

Anyone own a Garmin Fenix 5 and found a way to get Stroke Rate to show in the Kayak setting ?
Or alternatively a 3rd party app that will do so please ?

Strangely, if you choose “Indoor Rowing” it defaults to show stroke rate (presumably based on an accelerometer measuring arm movements) but has no option to include speed, which makes sense indoors.

But on “Kayak” setting, speed, time etc are there but NO Stroke Rate who his a bit of an oversight for anyone wanting focused training.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Stroke Rate on Garmin Fenix ?

Post by Jim » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:10 pm

Is stroke rate important in kayaking?

With so many variables - reach, paddle length, amount of rotation, efficiency of catch, length of stroke etc. how do you work out your target stroke rate?

A lot of people, myself included at times, attempt too high a stroke rate and the power per stroke suffers as a result. My coach* has me moderating my stroke rate to ensure I get a full catch and drive the blade fully into the water and make the most of the entire pull phase.

I don't think self monitoring stroke rate is any substitute for having a decent coach watch you paddle and advise which aspects of your stroke need work, just paddling faster is pointless if the result is that you fail to immerse the blade, you need to find the balance between stroke rate and power that works best for you, and that really requires a 3rd party observer.

*actually at least 3 different coaches have made similar observations at different times, I sometimes need prompted to not fall back into a bad habit.

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Re: Stroke Rate on Garmin Fenix ?

Post by Dyllon » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:20 pm

Try the Garmin SUP App. it provides stroke rate and speed. I'm not sure if one needs to factor the rate by 2 or not but that should be easy to establish.

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Re: Stroke Rate on Garmin Fenix ?

Post by Chris Bolton » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:30 pm

Jim wrote:Is stroke rate important in kayaking?
I think you've answered that, in a way, Jim - what you're saying I think is that a high stroke rate isn't necessarily important, but the right stroke rate can be. Once your coach has told you what you should be using, is it worth having a device to self monitor so that you can stay at the coach's recommendation?

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Re: Stroke Rate on Garmin Fenix ?

Post by TheEcho » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:59 pm

As Dyllon says you need to use the SUP App. I believe it is because the Garmin apps have access to the watch accelerometer but the third party apps like kayaking can’t use this to detect a stroke and only work if you buy a cadence sensor.

I find the stroke rate / distance per stroke useful for a few things, such as seeing if I can keep to doing slow powerful strokes for a set distance or whether I have had to resort to increasing cadence to keep my speed up when I get tired. Not that I am remotely serious about these things - I just find them interesting.

Also useful for identifying the exact points on a sea kayaking trip when I have to put the paddle down and drift with the tide for a bit while I consult a map.

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Re: Stroke Rate on Garmin Fenix ?

Post by Daker » Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:16 am

Thanks for the SUP app suggestion, I’ll take a look st that.

As for whether it’s necessary, that’s an entirely different thing and totally subject to an individuals objectives.

However, if for the sake of argument, in a given craft, I can decrease my stroke rake and maintain the same hull speed, that would suggest greater efficiency. Always assuming my HR doesn’t go through the roof cos I’m pulling mega hard to achieve that result.

TBH I’m not a racer nor hugely motivated by that stuff but given there are dedicated devices to do this stuff (which I have no intentions of buying) it would be good if the device I already own could do a vague approximation of the same thing.

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Re: Stroke Rate on Garmin Fenix ?

Post by Daker » Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:54 am

Having now had a look at the SUP widget it appears spot on - Stroke Rate as well as distance per stroke and speed so should be able to provide everything I need.

Also, as I own sea boats between 16 and 18’ as well as an FSK, it could be interesting to gauge how much more efficient the longer / skinnier boats are for a given amount of effort. :-O

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Re: Stroke Rate on Garmin Fenix ?

Post by Jim » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:26 am

Chris Bolton wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:30 pm
Jim wrote:Is stroke rate important in kayaking?
I think you've answered that, in a way, Jim - what you're saying I think is that a high stroke rate isn't necessarily important, but the right stroke rate can be. Once your coach has told you what you should be using, is it worth having a device to self monitor so that you can stay at the coach's recommendation?
Possibly, but that might change as you train...
I guess I do it by feel, at first I needed to increase my rate, and then I needed to stop increasing and make sure I was getting the blade in properly and I just memorised how it feels when the combination is right and just work on that.
I will increase and decrease my stroke rate until I feel I am on the edge of what I can sustain whilst keeping the stroke shape etc. right over the distance I am aiming for. When I feel my technique getting ragged, I decrease rate until it becomes smooth again. I do find pacing myself quite difficult, in kayak I think I probably start too conservative, or too fast and quickly drop to too conservative when I realise. In C1, I just have no idea how to pace myself at all as I proved on Sunday, but that's another story!

Interestingly having been training mostly in C1 for the last couple of months (including all group sessions), I did a group session in my kayak yesterday and although I was struggling not to get ragged in a 200m sprint, my coach did observe that my stroke remained good throughout the session as a result of all the previous work I had done before concentrating on the C1 recently, which tallys well with what I have been feeling when training in kayak - that I no longer need to focus so much on my stroke, if my attention wanders and then I think about it again, I now find I am still paddling properly, where before I would have reverted to poor technique as soon as my attention strayed....

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Re: Stroke Rate on Garmin Fenix ?

Post by Jim » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:38 am

Daker wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:16 am
However, if for the sake of argument, in a given craft, I can decrease my stroke rake and maintain the same hull speed, that would suggest greater efficiency. Always assuming my HR doesn’t go through the roof cos I’m pulling mega hard to achieve that result.
Absolutely, but I'm just not sure how important it is to put a number on the stroke rate. If you get the same speed for a different stroke rate, you will have changed your technique to do it, and I would suggest that getting coaching for optimum technique (and letting the rate find itself naturally) would be more effective than just trying different stroke rates.

I completely understand about not being interested in racing, but if I use a 'racing' stroke at cruising speed (i.e. same technique but lower rate) the boat glides along much more easily than before I improved my technique (and started racing).
There is no absolute right and wrong, especially at sea you will need to modify your stroke to suit conditions, but working towards 'racing' technique is a useful addition to anyone's skill set.

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Re: Stroke Rate on Garmin Fenix ?

Post by Daker » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:14 am

Jim wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:38 am
I completely understand about not being interested in racing, but if I use a 'racing' stroke at cruising speed (i.e. same technique but lower rate) the boat glides along much more easily than before I improved my technique (and started racing).
Exactly. But for me its more a curiosity thing really. If I paddle my surfski regularly Im aware that my technique subsequently gets better when Im in my sea boat if paddling solo but very quickly goes back to lazy (bad) technique if on a group paddle and just bumbling along. But being able to pull it out the bag when needed is good to have though.

I totally accept that proper coaching would pay dividends but (with all due respect to the coaches and racers) its just not something I want to spend hours working on at the moment.

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Re: Stroke Rate on Garmin Fenix ?

Post by jamesl2play » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:45 pm

Interesting thread ' Is stroke rate important in kayaking ?'
That is quite a general statement because it depends what you mean by kayaking.

Given the general standard of forward paddling in sea kayaking and the lack of a desire to become more efficient this forum is
probably not the right place for the OP to ask that question.

If however, you wish to optimize your performance in say a K1 or a surf ski then the measurement of your stroke rate measured with just your speed
is a valuable training tool. Add your heart rate and you should have all the tools you need. Any good coach would tell you that.

I am not a serious racer by any stretch but I am keen to constantly work on improving my efficiency.

I use a Vaaka Cadence Sensor paired with a Garmin 310xt. I cannot see why one of those monitors would not pair with a Fenix.

I struggle with links but have a look at http://www.vaakacadence.com

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Re: Stroke Rate on Garmin Fenix ?

Post by Daker » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:29 am

jamesl2play wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:45 pm
I use a Vaaka Cadence Sensor paired with a Garmin 310xt. I cannot see why one of those monitors would not pair with a Fenix.
Thanks for the comments but the whole point of the question was to utilise the functionality of the device I already own and NOT having to buy yet another widget to provide that information.

For those with more basic wrist mounted GPS devices the Vaaka Cadence Sensor looks like a good option all be it at quite a price.

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Re: Stroke Rate on Garmin Fenix ?

Post by jamesl2play » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:53 pm

Sorry I totaly missed the point but I am trying to work out the mechanics with this one. Surely a Cadence Sensor on a wrist mounted device will not work.
When you stop paddling to read the cadence it will say zero.

Surely the device needs to be mounted on the deck or foot strap so that you can read it as you paddle hence the need for a secondary sensor.

I don't remember the Vaaka making my eyes water.

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Re: Stroke Rate on Garmin Fenix ?

Post by seawolf856 » Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:07 pm

jamesl2play wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:53 pm
When you stop paddling to read the cadence it will say zero.

Surely the device needs to be mounted on the deck or foot strap so that you can read it as you paddle hence the need for a secondary sensor.
Depends on whether the display is instantaneous stroke rate or average stroke rate. Obviously the instantaneous stroke rate will drop to zero if you stop paddling to read the Fenix display but if the widget/app/data field is set to display an average stroke rate, there will still be a reading.

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