Monday, October 5, 2015

Haze - Step-Ups For Long Distance Training (Part 1)

Haze - So far the worst that we have experience in years

By Rameshon

Haze - Inactivity is not an option for goal-oriented athletes

The Standard Chartered Marathon runners will be seeing a disadvantage that have never seen before, especially this year. With the haze, at a level, where exercise is discouraged, one will find limitation to training due to this adverse situation that is going on here in Singapore. A number of athletes may end up at home doing nothing and wait for the haze to go down. Especially on Sundays, I could see this going on. The other reason for them not to train is because of the fact that they feel that the gym facilities are all crowded. They are also limited to do only 20min aerobic activity. This is not really good news for many aspiring athletes. Hence, unless you are living in a condominium, with a good gym facility, one should think out of the box on how to carry out one's training using alternative methods which does not compromise training, eventually.

Hence, the reason for me to write this Blogpost is to make one aware that there are alternative training methods out there that one can do in order to continue training, if one wants to train consistently, and achieve continuous, progressive results. I shall also offer some solutions to the haze condition that is going on here, instead of seeing any form of inactivity going on. This is to ensure one can attain one's goal, sub-goals and long-term goal.

The earliest researchers who found that Maximum Oxygen Uptake will be reduced to sedentary level, even if one has been fit, in the past, were Bengt Saltin and co-workers (1968). They found that if one does not train for 21 days and more, they will lose all the benefits that they have achieved through training.

In Indonesia, the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) has gone to as high as 1900 and above. I shall not discuss the PSI level,  as it is beyond the scope of this topic. Thus, simply said, it means that in Singapore the PSI will be also higher than our usual PSI. The PSI has gone as high as 300 plus, which has made many schools to stop physical activities, and even close down school for a day.

Even today, the PSI is fluctuating between 120 plus to 200 plus. Steps ups, other aerobic dancing, skipping, jogging on the spot or around the room, boxing punches etc are there to ensure that activity continues, especially for those who want to complete the Standard Chartered Marathon 2015 in a reasonable time. Having said that, I shall discuss one exercise at a time so that athletes out there may get some understanding on how to do the activity. 

One such exercise that is good to do is called step-ups. It was one of my favourite exercise, in the past, and I usually put it, in my training regimen. The height is important for doing step-ups. If it is too high, it may not make your exercise effective. If it is too low 6 to 10cm, it will not be good either. An acceptable height is around 20-30cm. You can see in YouTube on how it is done and there are many videos available out there on the net on this. If the height is about 20cm, one could do for 20sec and then change the leg. Keep doing this for 10min and then take about 1-5min rest, in between sets. If you are fit, you can take a minute rest, and if you not that fit, then, take about 5min rest. Keep doing this so that the time taken is about 40min, in terms of total activity done. Take note that doing at least twenty minute of total activity is better than being inactive. For athletes who are aiming for sub-3hr 30min and below for the marathon, they should do for 1hour instead, if it is possible. 

Doing step-ups, I found that the heart can go to as high as what we see in running. I hope that you enjoy the step-ups training. If you find that it is hard to see a box like structure, just go to a stair, and do on two stairs instead of one. For those who are old, it is good to do at least one stair. That is enough. 

Take note that step-ups activity can increase stamina, and it is even used as a stamina test, in research, just like the 2.4km test, is used as well. Step-ups makes the quadriceps strong that will enable one to run fast. Step-ups also prevents one from getting injured, especially at the knee area. The most important thing is the technique. It is imperative to do it properly. Doing too fast should be avoided and doing too slow also will not make the exercise effective. Doing a medium speed will do achieve great success. 

Just remember, that doing something is better than doing nothing. At the same time, step-ups could get for you a good personal best if it is done properly. Happy training!