WRIGHT: Get Ready, Get Set For Winter Sports
October 29, 2009
It is hard to believe it’s that time of year again to get outside and ski, snowboard, snowshoe and snowmobile. Many of you probably have your equipment prepared so that you are ready to hit the slopes as soon as the resorts and trails open. However, have you prepared your physical body as meticulously as you have prepared your skis, snowboards, snowshoes and snowmobiles?
No matter how state-of-the-art your equipment may be or how skilled you may be at performing the winter sport of your choice, preparing your body for the rigors of winter sports, or any sport for that matter, is critical to ensure peak performance and fun, and to prevent injuries.
Over the next five weeks, we will address the basic physical fitness components of a winter sport’s preparation program, which will include cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength/endurance (includes core/balance/stability) and flexibility.
This week we will cover the basic cardiovascular endurance training components of the preparation program. In the following four weeks, we will cover the muscular strength/endurance and flexibility training components and outline the entire four-week program in detail so that you can take the information, train and then get out there and have one of the best winter seasons of your life. As always, consult your physician prior to participating in any exercise program.
Cardiovascular Endurance Training is designed to improve your body’s ability to extract oxygen from the outside atmosphere and transport it to the working muscles. Each winter sport requires a different degree of conditioning; however, the following basics apply to all winter sports.
• Perform cardiovascular endurance training 3-6 days per week, which includes activities such as cycling, running, jogging, fitness walking, swimming or aerobics classes such as kickboxing, step or cardio circuit training.
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• Following a five- to ten-minute dynamic warm-up, keeping your intensity level between a 3-6, which is moderate to heavy for the majority of the session (using Borg’s Ratings of Exertion Scale of 1-10).
Steady State Training is essential to establish your foundation prior to adding interval training (i.e. see below). Perform steady state training, where oxygen supply meets oxygen demand (i.e. you can say your name and phone number but not carry on a continuous conversation), until you are able to complete a 35-45 minute cardio workout and recovery quickly (i.e. within 5-10 minutes).
Aerobic Interval Training involves interspersing more intense exercise intervals with less intense intervals where you can say your name and phone number. Example: Five minutes of moderate intensity followed by one minute of higher intensity. Repeat several times throughout the session.
Anaerobic Interval Training involves interspersing more intense exercise where you become briefly breathless with active recovery intervals where you restore your rhythmic breathing. Example: 30 seconds of an intense interval becoming breathless, with one minute of active recovery restoring your rhythmic breathing. Repeat five or six times in a row, then allow 5-8 minutes to pass at a moderate intensity level returning to the five-six anaerobic/active recovery interval sequence.
Next week, we will cover the muscular strength/endurance and flexibility preparation training basic components.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She can be reached at her Web site at http://www.neversummerfitness.com , her e-mail at NSFGL@comcast.net and her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com