Cardio without the strain

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Mavrisa
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Cardio without the strain

Postby Mavrisa » Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:00 am UTC

This is my third time on my school's track and field team and I want to actually do well this year. In previous years, even with all the training we do (3 times a week, two hours at a time for a couple of months), I still wasn't in the best shape by the end of the season. It isn't so much that my muscles get tired (I think... could be wrong I guess), but I seem to feel tired in my chest more than anything. I do have asthma, but that doesn't affect me that much as long as it's warm outside.

Anyway, my question is this:
Is there any way I can raise my heart rate for a fairly long time without working any muscles too hard as we do in practice? I'm usually sore the day after practice and I'd rather not make it worse, but I do want to increase my endurance and level of fitness.
Is there any way to achieve this? Am I completely wrong about what endurance is?

Thanks
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psyck0
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Re: Cardio without the strain

Postby psyck0 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:26 am UTC

I'll answer your last question first: yes.

It sounds like your sport is distance running- cross-country? Your sport changes specific recommendations quite a bit. However, one thing I can say with certainty is that you should do high-intensity interval training and not endurance work. You're already getting endurance work at practice. Intervals are an invaluable part of building stamina. Here are a decent few ideas for HIIT: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/wotw40.htm.

You should also do some tabata intervals.

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duckshirt
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Re: Cardio without the strain

Postby duckshirt » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:16 am UTC

The events you're running is kind of important info... I would guess at least 400 but the training wouldn't really make sense for long distance... high school distance runners would normally run 6 times a week, but average less than an hour. And in distance running, the way to make sure you're in your best shape at the end is to put in mileage during the off-season (and if you didn't there's no way you could handle the training at first).
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fooliam
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Re: Cardio without the strain

Postby fooliam » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:39 pm UTC

If we don't know what events you're training for, we can't help you. Are you a thrower? Pole Vaulter? Long Jumper? 400m runner? 2 mile man? Each one of these requires a vastly different training routine. Well maybe not long jumper/400m runner. Those would only be kind of different.
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fooliam
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Re: Cardio without the strain

Postby fooliam » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:41 pm UTC

Also, cross training is your friend if you're poorly conditioned. On the days you don't have track practice, get on a exercise bike, or a row machine, or do some olympic lifting (if you have the skills/equipment). 3 days a wk is really not enough training for competitive athletics.
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Mavrisa
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Re: Cardio without the strain

Postby Mavrisa » Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:51 am UTC

Sorry it took me a while to reply.
200 and 400 are the events I'm most concerned with (I'm also a long and triple jumper, but fitness isn't as much of a problem for me in those two... any tips for those would be great though :D )
Right now, I can sprint at 100% for the first ~150m of a 200m race and then I just start to burn out. In the 400m distance, I'm usually 5 seconds behind by the end because I know if I actually sprint any of it, I won't make the finish line.

You mentioned the exercise bike... I assume actual biking would be the same?

Thanks for your help so far everyone.
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Watcher Of The Skies
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Re: Cardio without the strain

Postby Watcher Of The Skies » Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:01 am UTC

If you're training to sprint a whole 200, I wouldn't say that cardio is really your concern. But if you were to do cardio, I'd recommend something intense like tabatas.

If you do want some steady state cardio, I find swimming with breath control is an easy way that won't tire your muscles out too much. Swim freestyle, not too fast, and just breathe less than you usually would. ie if you usually breathe every 3 strokes, try breathing every 5 or 7.

Mavrisa
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Re: Cardio without the strain

Postby Mavrisa » Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:19 am UTC

Watcher Of The Skies wrote:If you're training to sprint a whole 200, I wouldn't say that cardio is really your concern. But if you were to do cardio, I'd recommend something intense like tabatas.

What should be my concern then? And what are tabatas?
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psyck0
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Re: Cardio without the strain

Postby psyck0 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:26 pm UTC

Can you give us some idea of your training at practice? We don't want to repeat stuff that you're already covering well.

Tabata intervals are intervals from hell. 20 seconds max effort, 10 seconds rest, 8 times. Most effective exercise yet discovered at raising your oxygen transport capacity.

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Dave_Wise
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Re: Cardio without the strain

Postby Dave_Wise » Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:42 pm UTC

I'm afraid that if I give you cardio without the strain, what you will get is cardio without benefits.

Possibly. That or metabolic activity that encourages fat burning. Depending on who you believe.
But no, if you're serious about running track, I'd encourage you to choose either the 200m or the 400m. 200m is still definetly sprinting, whereas 400m is still a sprint, but a much longer one at a much slower pace that requires a different training protocol which heads towards the land of middle distance running.
Last edited by Dave_Wise on Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:14 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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duckshirt
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Re: Cardio without the strain

Postby duckshirt » Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:08 pm UTC

I do find the exercise bike to be helpful for distance and mid-distance... They do give you some extra cardio without the impact, but I'm not sure how much that applies to long sprinting. Another advantage is that when you bike, your legs move at a higher frequency than running, which means you're more likely to shorten your stride when running and run on your toes, which is good because like 98% of runners take too long of strides. My stride usually feels a lot better the day after biking, anyways...

With the 400, don't worry that you can't sprint it, nobody can... The human body can sprint for a maximum of ~40 seconds, so even Michael Johnson (WR 43.18) had to let up at some point. My friend who ran the 400 said his strategy was to start out with an all-out push (there's some scientific reason involving creatine phosphate that you can start every race all-out for up to 4 seconds without losing anything overall), then let up in the backstretch and focus on rhythm, then start going again on the second turn, and keep pushing hard all the way through the line.

With the 200, if you don't feel like you can sprint it now, I think you'll be able to within a few meets, especially if you're a 400 runner as well. The 200 can be weird like that; I remember some 100 / 200 m runners would often set huge PR's in the 200 near the end of the season, because it finally all came together and they were able to finish strong for that last 50-100 m.
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Watcher Of The Skies
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Re: Cardio without the strain

Postby Watcher Of The Skies » Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:02 pm UTC

Mavrisa wrote:
Watcher Of The Skies wrote:If you're training to sprint a whole 200, I wouldn't say that cardio is really your concern. But if you were to do cardio, I'd recommend something intense like tabatas.

What should be my concern then? And what are tabatas?

Duckshirt did a much better job of explaining it than I could, but what I meant was that muscular endurance would be more the problem in a 200.


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