Each week I'll upload some new fitness related information or question. So come back regularly for the latest update from a highly experienced personal trainer in Eaton (Norwich).
Last week I looked at anaerobic fitness. That is the eye popping, really high intensity short term efforts which characterise most team sports and sprints. Football, rugby, hockey etc are really just short bursts of effort with periods of recovery. But what happens if we want to sustain the effort for longer than say, two minutes? This may be running any distance from 800m to a marathon or open water swimming. Experience tells us we can either go fast or we can go long but we can’t do both. As we slow and exhaust our anaerobic energy system, the slower but much more productive aerobic energy system takes over.
Aerobic simply means the energy produced to make our muscles work does so in the presence of oxygen. In this state muscles no longer simply rely on carbohydrates for fuel, they can use fat as well. Aerobic energy systems fuel marathon runners, they can go for long periods but at relatively low intensities.
So is we are training for a 10k Race for Life, or a half or a full marathon we are going to need to train our aerobic systems with low intensity steady state (LISS) activities such as steady runs. But what would be the point of aerobic training if we are only interested in anaerobic activities such as playing football? None surely.
Well not quite. As a rule, anaerobic athletes should add in some aerobic training and vice versa. And for very good reasons. One of the main changes resulting from aerobic training is increased capillarisation within the muscles. This increases blood flow This is turn clears waste products and speeds recovery. So as well as helping us run further, aerobic training helps us recover quick from anaerobic activity. Thus we are ready sooner for our next high intensity burst. So if you love twice weekly HIIT classes, add a long run each week and see how you improve.
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