Aerobic & Anaerobic conditioning

Aerobic exercise is any type of cardiovascular conditioning or “cardio.” During cardiovascular conditioning, your breathing and heart rate increase for a sustained period of time.   Aerobic training will typically fall in the range of 60 – 80% of your estimated maximum heart rate and can be done continuously for prolonged periods of time Oxygen is your main energy source during aerobic workouts.

Aerobic training is good for building endurance and improving your cardiovascular and respiratory function. This means that your heart and lungs become stronger and more efficient, enabling you to train harder and longer as your fitness levels improve.

increase your stamina and reduce fatigue during exercise
activates immune systems, making you less likely to get colds or the flu
strengthens your heart & lungs

Anaerobic exercises involve quick bursts of energy and are performed at maximum effort for a short time.  During anaerobic exercise, your body requires immediate energy. Your body relies on stored energy sources, rather than oxygen, to fuel itself. That includes breaking down glucose

strengthens bones
burns fat
builds muscle
increases stamina for daily activities

Anaerobic training will fall between 80 – 90% of your estimated maximum heart rate. But once you push so hard that you cannot continue to exercise at the same intensity, you will have to drop back into the mainly aerobic energy production system.

Anaerobic Alactic energy system provides immediate energy for instantaneous burst of exercise such as for a throw, sprint or jump and can last from 0 – 10 seconds.  It feeds from phosphagen, which is stored in the muscles

Anaerobic lactic acid system, provides energy for very hard efforts lasting roughly 10 – 120 seconds and is associated with the feeling of burning in your muscles due to the build-up of lactate and other metabolites within your muscles.  The body uses Glucose stored in the muscles to fuel this.

How to rid the body of Lactic build up:
Post workout stretch

Increasing your magnesium intake may help to prevent and relieve muscle soreness and spasms that may accompany lactic buildup. It can also help optimize energy production so that your muscles get enough oxygen while you’re exercising.

Many of the top pre race pastes and supplements are very heavy in magnesium which makes them very effective and also causes the calming effect

Should Sprinters run long distances?

It will probably assist your cardiovascular system, but won’t do a lot for your fast twitch muscles.

Each event draws on aerobic and anaerobic contributions from your body. At 4/5ths of a mile (400 meters), the aerobic contribution represents about 30% of the event requirements. Once you drop down to 200 meters (656 feet) and below, the aerobic contribution falls further.

Just Breathe

A normal, resting respiratory rate for an adult horse is between 8 to 15 breaths per minute; 60 to 100 is more common for regular exercise.  Rates as high as 180 breaths per minute have been recorded on race horsesTo get your horses standing rate, set an alarm for 30 seconds and count the breaths your horse takes and times it by 2.  The same can be done for humans.

Warm up at a strong walk – the body should have a good sway.

Make sure the entire body is warm and you have an increased heart rate before asking for any more speed.

Trotting is a combination of strength building & cardio as it requires a stiff rib to balance on opposite legs.  It is the easiest gate for a horse to travel on the forehand Never ask your horse to trot until you can comfortably sit the gait – only then does your horse have a fluid enough movement to perform this gait.

A horse’s most effective method of breathing minimizes the muscular effort of respiration, which occurs during locomotor-respiratory coupling.  Locomotor-respiratory coupling (LRC) is when respiration is driven by the propulsion associated with weight bearing on the forelimbs, weight of the abdominal organs pressing against the diaphragm and body position within the gait.

LRC is most efficient at the canter and gallop, where a horse’s breathing will match his stride one-for-one.  Inspiration (inhaling) occurs when the front legs push-off the ground and expiration (exhaling) when the front legs hit the ground.  Think of the rocking motion of the canter and when the horse’s head and neck move up and down during the gait.  Rapid breathing is not very efficient in horses because shallow breaths don’t clear out the lungs.

Any girth that hinders your horse’s stride also hinders their breath

Your horse’s heart and lungs work together to get oxygen to his muscles during exercise.  Carbon dioxide is exchanged for oxygen in the lungs, then the heart pumps the newly oxygenated blood out to the body, including those hard working muscles.

Because the heart itself is a muscle, it can become stronger through exercise and beat more forcefully.  The lungs, however, are limited in their improvement, making respiration a limiting factor in a horse’s fitness and endurance.

With some practice, you can easily determine your horse’s heart and respiratory rates to evaluate his fitness level and what types of workloads he’s able to handle.  A fit horse will better adjust to the challenges of rigorous work and longer or more frequent riding times.

Keys to Conditioning

Posture First – muscles is 3 times harder to tear down than to build up – don’t build twitch muscles around poor posture

Build up slowly

Don’t overdo it when you start a new exercise routine or add changes to your existing one. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your exercise program over a period of time. This allows your body time to get used to the workouts as you gain strength and endurance.

Training your body to work at higher intensities helps to maintain proper levels of lactic acid, but it’s something that takes time to develop.

Strike a balance

Be consistent in your approach and patient as you await results. Eventually, your body will be able to handle more strenuous exercise with more energy and less discomfort by raising your lactate threshold.

Eat light before exercise

Small snack thirty minutes to an hour before  and post work to minimize the lactic acid build up