Monday, July 29, 2013

Low Heart-Rate Training: An Update (Part 3)

In a continuing series, we discuss the relevance of low heart-rate training.

The CrossFit school of athletic excellence prescribe shorter, intense, strength-based, activities to stimulate the entire body. Unusually stressful, these rugged workouts are designed to stimulate the endocrine systems including the release of cortisol, Growth Hormone, and adrenaline. Their prevailing school of thought is that 'less is more' and that most endurance athletes over-train.

Lower heart-rate training, mainly in the Aerobic Zone has benefits to the endurance athlete. As long as you do not depart much from the prescribed target heart-rates, you can reap extensive benefits from aerobic training. These include lower risks of injuries and illness, less fatigue, and faster recovery times.

With low heart-rate training, you can approach it in the following way:

1) Lower intensity, and higher cadence.
2) Less reliance on carbohydrates (mainly simple sugars), and more on fat.
3) Split a longer workout into two parts (AM and PM).
4) You can perform 'bricks', which is a tandem of two activities done back-to-back (riding following a swim, or run after a ride).
5) Get into it, soon after a meal. Your stomach does not have to compete with your muscles for blood.
6) You can/should include one or two anaerobic (race-pace) session each week, but not more.

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