I'm doing some research about kayak racing and what sorts of things are important to people while they are training for races. My group and I have honed in on pacing (i.e. strokes per minute) as one of the things we'd like to know more about. I know this isn't necessarily a racing forum, but I was hoping some of you might have some experience in this venue, or know someone who does. These are the sorts of questions we're hoping to answer:

1. How important is keeping track of pace while training for a race?

2. Is there a standard rate of paddling that is generally accepted as the optimal rate of paddling? (or a formula based on weight, gender, size, etc)

3. If this information could be kept track of and displayed to you while you were padding would you prefer a display that was specific? (i.e. 47 strokes per minute exactly) or would you like the information to be relative? (i.e. a gauge that goes from red/yellow/green when you reach optimal paddling rate.

4. Would proper paddling technique allow for easy reading of this information if it was displayed in the center of the paddle?

5. How much weight could be added to a paddle before it becomes noticable to the user?

I understand this is dependent upon where you add the weight, but for our purposes assume that the weight is evenly distributed.

Even if you guys don't know the answers to all these questions, input on any of them would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.