San Diego Figure Skating Communications
Definition - conditioning a present participle of con·di·tion (Verb))
exercise, diet, and rest; also : the resulting state of physical fitness
Conditioning of an Athlete
Most people, including recreation and competitive athletes, will experience some days that it is hard to get up. Have you shut off the alarm and then overslept causing you to be late or miss entirely an appointment or practice session? It is fairly easy to do even when normally the person is very disciplined.
Having an erratic sleep schedule caused by change work shifts, pulling all "Nighters" to complete work or school assignments, or allowing play and social activities to make it impossible to get eight hours of interrupted sleep each night. Such behavior results in sleep deprivation and it affects the brain's cognitive functions, slows responses, inhibits judgment, and messes up physical coordination just like being under the influence of alcohol.
Establish a Regular Sleep Pattern
It is important to remember that children and young adults require more sleep than many adults and octogenarians. Too many school, sports, school homework, and family obligations are crammed into a child's every day schedule. What tends to give is to establish a reasonable time for bed.
Parental should schedule activities that are not high energy just prior to the time to should be preparing for bed. Allow about an hour for them to decompress or they will not be able to immediate go to sleep.
It is especially hard when a family has several children who are separated by enough years so each child should have different bed times. The younger children will usually complain and make a fuss because they feel the older child is receiving preferential treatment. Stand your grounds unless you want every bedtime to be a repeat of the same arguments for delaying bedtime.
Children of all ages need to have some down time that they can control themselves instead of having a schedule thrust upon them. They should be able to relax, play, and have fun time to enjoy with friends.
It is very important to establish a daily schedule that has consistent times to start the day and start the sleep cycle. It is important to stress that there is not such a thing as sleeping longer on weekends to make up for sleep deficits that occurred during the week.
For more information, refer to The Role of Sleep in Developing Athletes.
Post 7 Day Plan of Scheduled Commitments each week
Create a schedule for the entire week and attempt to avoid an extra early or late event. The body's biorhythms. are influenced by physical, emotional, and intellectual cycles. If it is possible to schedule activities to correspond with the highs and and avoid the lows of your cycles your body's response will improve. It may be necessary to adjust your schedule to avoid heavy meals that affect your basic metabolism to increase alertness rather than drowsiness.
Ideally the time of athletic practice sessions should closely reflect the time of competitive events. However, if you practice from 1:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. or work on a night shift, it is highly desirable to arrange your schedule a few weeks before competing so you will be alert. The same advice is appropriate if your practice or work schedule is during the day and the competitive event is held in the evening.
Traveling to a different time zone to compete becomes a problem, especially when several time zones are crossed. Be sure to allow for your body to adjust to a different biorhythm schedule. Your body also will require more than just a few days to adjust when traveling from sea level to compete at a mile high location. This is a physical response of acquiring enough oxygen because of the "thinner" air.
Training Programs are Constantly Evolving
Athletic training that was previously used to get athletes back into shape after a long period of down time, has undergone many improvements since the days of long and grueling practice sessions to:
The early forms of interval training were casual and unstructured with the athlete allowed to simply increase and decrease his/her pace at will. Interval training has evolved to consist of short, high intensity bursts of speed combined with slow, recovery phases that are repeated during one exercise session.
The best strategy typically
involves balancing multiple methodologies. In some sports the athletes
are encouraged to participate in year round, high
intensity intervals of training that do not involve aerobic exercises.
Athletes benefit from a progression aerobic training and interval based
During the high intensity
exercises, the anaerobic system uses energy
that is stored in the muscles (glycogen) for short bursts of activity.
This process occurs without oxygen and produces lactic acid as a
by-product. As the lactic acid
level increases, the body experiences an oxygen deficit. A recovery
phase is required to allow the heart and lungs to replenish the low
oxygen levels and break down the lactic acid.
Aerobic training exercises use oxygen to convert stored carbohydrates into energy. It improves efficiently of the body's aerobic capacity, trains the body to utilize fat for energy, reduces injury, improves recovery, and better prepares an athlete for endurance activities.
Ideally athletes should have
their blood measured for lactate levels during and after intense
exercises using an Anaerobic
Threshold (AT) test.
There are differences in the
levels and length of activities required in different sporting events.
An athlete training for long-distance swimming might engage in a
training regimen ... Recovery from anaerobic exercises is
highly dependent upon an individual's level of aerobic metabolism.
Aerobic endurance training may help athletes reduce the amount of
recover time required.
The SAID Principle & Aerobic/Anaerobic Training Specific adaptations observed in athletes are directly related to the quality and specificity of the aerobic & anaerobic stimulus within their training programs.
Effects of High Intensity Intermittent Training It is a low volume strategy for producing gains in aerobic power and endurance normally associated with longer training bouts.
Aerobic and Anaerobic Capacity of Endurance Athletes Jan. 9, 2008 When you are new to endurance training your goal is to create an aerobic system capable of functioning for the duration.
Aerobic and Anaerobic Capacity of Endurance Athletes
A brief outline of point for a better understanding of:
Aerobic System (with oxygen): provides energy at a slower rate for long-term exercise (e g Ironman contests, Marathon races, etc.).
Anaerobic Lactic System (without oxygen): generates energy quickly and the by- product of this system is lactic acid (e g sprints, weight training, interval training, training at various speeds)
and Periodization Training
To design an optimal exercise
program, workout, or training schedule, it is desirable for a
coach or athlete to adhere to the following six principles of
The differences relate to body size and shape, genetics, past experience, chronic conditions, injuries and even gender. Note: girls and women generally need more recovery time than boys and men. As we age, more recovery time is required for older athletes compared to younger athletes.
Continual stress on the body that occurs from constant exercise overloading makes it very likely for exhaustion and injury to occur. You should not train hard all the time, as you'll risk over training and a decrease in fitness. It is extremely important to train so peaking occurs for specific competitive dates.
Source of list - Exercise Science Principles of Conditioning
Identify the source(s)
The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
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The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.