Tagged as: personal training

The Secret to Success for Masters Athletes

Once we hit the magical 30th birthday we are confronted with the unavoidable fact that in a relatively short period of time we will see our Personal Bests becoming a more distant memory. There are rare genetic exceptions to every rule… supreme athletes like Kim Collins who ran a PB for the 100m at age 40 (9.93s +1.9) and in fact had his best career performances between 36 and 40. But even Collins suffered a dramatic (for him) drop off in speed after 40.

Our decline in speed with age is inevitable. What is controllable is that rate at which our speed declines.

And the secret…

TRAIN HARD and REST HARDER

As masters athletes we need to “check our ego at the door”. We are no longer 10 foot tall and bullet proof” and as such we need adjust our training accordingly to ensure we can maximise our efforts and then recovery as best as possible for our next assault.

While reading the other day I came across a concept that really struck a chord with me. It said (and I paraphrase because I can’t remember exactly where I read it):

The warm up and cool down are not done before and after training respectively but rather they are an integral part of the training programme.

Too often many athletes, especially the time poor among us,  rush to get to the body of the training session (“I haven’t got time for a full warm up”) or we rush off immediately the “hard work” is done. Essentially we see the bit that makes us “huff and puff” as the essential part of training and the rest as non-core extras.

The change in perception that is needed for success applies even more so to Masters athletes.

We know that:

  • Training with intensity increases a release in growth hormones, which elicits an increase in the lean muscle to body fat ratio.
  • Speed training needs neuro-muscular recovery
  • Masters athletes take longer to recover from hard workouts.
  • Increased recovery leads to an improved/increased adaption to training demands

So if we are looking to maximise our performance as Masters athletes we should:

  1. Use a periodised training programme which (in some format) alternates hard and medium training weeks
  2. Utilise high intensity training sessions 2-3 times per week (operating around 85-100% of our maximum heart rate)
  3. Prioritise quality over quantity
  4. Use additional lower intensity sessions to complement the high intensity work
  5. Employ active recovery techniques such as massage, stretching and mobility, contrast baths, ice baths and proper nutrition
  6. Programme regular rest days (at least once per week)

 

For more information on how Strength and Conditioning programmes can help you improve your sporting performance go to www.damnfitsc.com.au/strength-and-conditioning

 

12 Month Transformation

Last weekend one of our athletes, Fran, won Gold at the Victorian Masters Athletics Championships. That victory in the 60m came after a Silver medal in the 100m the previous day.

These achievements are, by themselves, noteworthy and to be celebrated.

But behind the triumphs is a story much more worthy of celebration (as there often is with athletes).

Twelve months ago Fran contacted Damn Fit Strength and Conditioning almost as a last resort. She was carrying more weight than she wanted to be and she had been unable to sustain any meaningful weight loss. She lived constantly having to monitor a medical condition (and still does). She was plagued by injuries that she could not seem to shake.

By way of background information, Fran has recently turned 40. During her school years she was quite a successful middle distance runner. By the end of her schooling years she had fallen out of love with running (and definitely with training) and, despite being a fiercely determined person, had learnt to avoid contests because of a fear of failure.

We set about, with Fran, changing the way she approached training and life.

Fran signed on as an online client, using the Visual Coaching platform to access her training programmes and to utilise her wellness monitoring diaries. During our weekly phone conversations we worked on setting goals and developing a series of benchmarks to help her achieve success.

During this process we:

  • liaised with her physiotherapist on training and recovery protocols
  • engaged a local Exercise Physiologist to utilise their expertise in Anti G running
  • directed her towards a dietician who assisted in providing advice to help ensure she was providing herself with sufficient fuel for the training load she was keen to undertake.

In the space of those 12 months Fran:

  • lost 12.4kg
  • added 4.2kg of active tissue mass (muscle)
  • increased mobility
  • experienced significant increases in her sport specific strength indicators

There were hiccups along the way – mainly to do with a lack of high quality running facilities in her local area. But by co-ordinating with the various experts we were able to formulate a training programme which allowed Fran, not only to compete in her first competition in 22 years, but to excel in that competition.

In conjunction with Damn Fit, Fran has now commenced goal setting for the next 4 years.

For more information on how Strength and Conditioning programmes can help you improve your sporting performance go to www.damnfitsc.com.au/strength-and-conditioning