With some of this season's challenge events having been cancelled due to Covid-19 lockdown, we want to make sure you're all keeping in shape prepared for next season. Christchurch Airport Fire Brigade member Tom Reid, a veteran of many challenge events and former Tech Panel Convenor, runs a Sunday Training School for challenge events. He wants to share this piece of important advice to kick us off in our fitness preparation for next year's events (and it's lockdown-friendly activity!). We'll bring you more technically-sound top tips over the weeks ahead.
Never skip your warm ups
Some competitors feel that warm ups can use vital energy and create weariness that may impact their performance - this is not a wise approach. Warm ups are beneficial and can be quite simple. We might use a couple of runs around the top deck of the car park building, say 300-400m then we will do stairs, single steps, double steps and then triple steps x 3. These are good with an emphasis on technique for the doubles and triples. First run of the day would be front half at 75% and without any extra loading, building to BA set for later runs, donned and not started.
The importance of warming up.
We are all guilty of trying to conserve energy by not warming up prior to a full course run. However this is very false thinking. You need to be ready to do some pretty physical work for the duration of the combat events. As an example we used to train on a 85 step 4 story stair climb, where we raced to the top with BA donned and the hose pack, then we raced back down again. 4 runs for a training day, with a recovery climb in between to recover the hose pack. Our fastest times were always the third or fourth run of the session. Warm up for this training was 8 reps at walking pace, so you were just breaking into a sweat at that stage. This was interesting in that the down portion initially was always slower by 2-3 seconds. Later into the year, I was able to achieve similar times in either direction and sometimes a little quicker on the down segment. Stretches should be considered a fundamental part of your warm up to avoid any muscle cramps.
The Mayo Clinic recommends warm-ups and cool downs.
Warmups and cool-downs generally involve doing your activity at a slower pace and reduced intensity.
Warming up helps prepare your body for aerobic activity. A warmup gradually revs up your cardiovascular system by raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow to your muscles. Warming up may also help reduce muscle soreness and lessen your risk of injury.
Cooling down after your workout allows for a gradual recovery of preexercise heart rate and blood pressure. Cooling down may be most important for competitive endurance athletes because it helps regulate blood flow.
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