and prepare for wipeouts:
Now the idea of the training programmes was to help our
sportsmen and women perform better at their chosen sports,
and we'll look at the specific demands of some of these
activities as we get to them. They should all improve on
at least one component (and probably more) in our exercise
test, although this was not the main aim. A healthy by-product
of all this is that they are also likely to be a little
bit safer. Not suffering from the effects of fatigue so
much means that they are less likely to crash, fall over
or generally do something stupid through a loss of concentration.
It also means that their bodies become a bit more flexible
(through stretching), so when they do crash, fall over and
do something stupid (which is gonna' happen sooner or later)
they are more able to bend and contort into unnatural positions
before anything "gives" (and breaks, OUCH!!).
the activities that our crew choose to take part in requires
a combination of reasonable aerobic condition along with
some upper body and/or abdominal muscle endurance. None
of them needs to be built like Arnold Schwarzneggar's outhouse,
so the real heavy weights can stay in the unopened boxes
that they arrived in.
Standard aerobic training advice goes along the lines of…
"a warm-up, followed by 20-60 minutes of activity using
large muscle groups, 3-5 times per week and a warm-down".
Now that is sound advice, and everyone would benefit if
they just got out there and did it. However, those folks
out there who already have a pretty good aerobic base to
work upon (i.e. the regular runners, cyclists, etc.) are
probably gonna' need to move away from the "steady-state"
regular pace stuff, and start incorporating some "Interval"
and/or "Fartlek" work (yes it is a real word, ask any
Scandinavian). One simple way of doing this is to build
in some short sharp bursts of faster work into the steady-state
runs. In practice, this means the runner picks some landmarks
along the route (lamp post, trees, road signs, etc.) that
are spaced somewhere around 100 - 300 metres apart. After
the first mile (effectively an active warm-up) up the pace
in between them, not to a sprint, but enough to really get
the heart and lungs working hard. Then have an active recovery
phase of a minute or two (i.e. back to regular pace) before
the next burst. This is hard work (and has been known to
cause many a vomiting session) but should improve our maximal
capacity and ability to cope with those annoying hills.
Now we all hate it, but Circuit Training really is one of
the best ways of improving muscular power and endurance.
What's more, we don't need any fancy expensive equipment
to set up a really effective exercise package at home. Most
of the exercises outlined below require no equipment at
all (apart from willing muscles!). A cheap set of dumbbells
(or anything else that you can find around the house or
garage to lift up) and possibly a chin-up bar (for the climbers)
is really the only extra stuff we might require.
We are starting by doing
1-2, but build up to 3 circuits of the exercises as described
in our individual programs. We are giving ourselves 1-2
minutes between each circuit for recovery. We really need
to do this 2-3 times per week to get the most benefit, preferably
on alternate days between other stuff (or we could try it
after some aerobic work if we still feel up to it!).