Yep you too could look as groovy these two foxes while training… Ok that’s got nothing to do with what this post is about. It’s about cardiovascular training and getting that little bit more out of yourself.
The aim of cardiovascular training is to improve delivery of oxygen to working muscles. This is generally achieved by continuous performance of exercise over long periods and at less than maximal levels. Last week we spoke about some factors that influence our ability to improve in performance, for example progressive overload, specificity, individuality, adaptation and reversibility. These factors are all important for improving cardiovascular fitness.
Let’s say you wanted to train for a 10 km run fun, would you just go for a 45 run a couple of times a week? The answer is no! You need to progressively overload in order to get an adaptation from training. If you are training for a longer duration event, be it at 10 km fun run, your first triathlon, around the bay in a day etc you will need to improve your cardiovascular or aerobic fitness. There are a few ways to do this and it’s important that you do a combination of them.
There are two main forms of CV training used:
For those of you looking for an increase in cardio respiratory fitness, large muscle groups are to be used continuously and rhythmically to gain benefit. You should:
- Train this way regularly without cessation
- Cross-train to ensure you do not get bored.
- Always use the principle of program progression to ensure you do not injure yourself through ‘going too hard, too soon’.
- Ensure a day’s rest between sessions to allow for the body to adapt and recover from the session.
- Aim for 3 – 4 training sessions/week to achieve an increase in cardio respiratory fitness
- Suitable for all fitness levels as the intensity of the exercise can be altered by use of target heart rates
Aerobic Interval Training
- Alternating work with recovery periods at varying intervals
- Work to rest ratio is important in adapting the training to different sports and overloading
- Develops the three energy systems using variables such as: Intensity, duration of work period/distance, and volume of work and recovery periods.
These two are the main forms of cardiovascular training which you can adopt in order to improve your aerobic fitness (i.e. training for longer distance events). It is important to use a combination of these methods and constantly overload your program to ensure an adaptation.