By WALX Coast and Country at
There was a time only athletes and highly serious fitness enthusiasts were interested in how different training methods produce various results. I am finding my members are wanting to know how to build stamina to complete long distances simply because they want to adventure further with their walks or competing in long distance events.
For longer walks the heart needs to be able to deliver oxygenated blood to the working muscles for prolonged periods of time. The main fuel will be fat; however, we need to also be able to access glycogen (stored carbs) to burn fat.
For this type of training the intensity will need to be low to moderate as we need to be able to keep going.
Long slow training
Training sessions need an intensity of a conversational pace, you should be about able to hold a conversation. Depending on fitness level this could be achieved at different intensities. Some people will have to walk at a slower pace than others. The fitter you are the brisker the session can be, as long as the participant can hold a conversation.
This type of training would be walking at the conversational pace continuously, for an hour or over. Try to do this twice a week to get results.
As the name suggests intervals allow participants to push hard for a period of time and then recover before they push again. The recovery can be passive (stop all activity) or active, meaning you change to a less intense activity. For example, high intensity work for 30 seconds and then low intensity or stop for 30 seconds.
The work/recover intervals will depend on your fitness level. Everyone from beginner to advanced participant can do intervals but the intensity of the push will be lower with a longer recovery for the less fit. The idea is to come out of your comfort zone for a period of time and then recover to repeat the process.
If you are new to walking try 30 seconds at a fast pace with a 30 seconds rest period. Do this for 5 minutes, equaling 5 intervals. As you get fitter make the overall time longer.
Another progrssion would be to increase the work period and reduce the rest time. For example 40 seconds work with a 20 seconds rest.
The name means ‘speed play’. It consists of bursts of harder work at more irregular intervals. You can use landmarks such as trees, lamp posts or benches. The idea is to travel at fast and slow speeds between the different landmarks. The distances will be irregular giving you a Farlek approach.
For easier sessions keep to a flat terrain. To progress try to include some hills.
Hills and Drills
If you are someone who says they do not like hills it is probably because you are not good at climbing them. You get out of breath and possibly get a burning sensation in the legs? This is Lactic Acid (LA).
If that is the case, the more reason to tackle hills within your training sessions. Over time your body will adapt to the Oxygen demand, and you will build a tolerance to LA. You will find it easier to climb the hills. You might still get out of breath because you are pushing faster. You will also experience a quicker recovery time the fitter you get.
You can simply choose a hilly walk and use the natural landscape to challenge you or visit a single hill to do repeats. Depending on the steepness and length you could do 5 -10 hill repeats.
Remember, our bodies are amazing – They will adapt to the demands we put upon them. The more effective the training and greater the results.
Look after yourself and look after your body!
It would love to hear how you get on or if you simply want advice contact me