Monthly Archives: February 2009
>Mr. Dickinson called me one day several months back, he had seen some info on what I was doing online, and was gracious enough to call and offer his support. I was honored to hear from him.
>Anything like bleeding from the lungs is a complicated issue. There are surely many factors that contribute to its cause, such as: training intensity/frequency, surface, drugs, and the specific structures of the equine respiratory system.
>Whoa, huge topic here. I want to start by saying there are a million things to look at in any training program BEFORE even thinking about interval training. Most modern day equine athletes will make huge strides without IT. Most of all, it must be taken into consideration the effect of the IT structure on the psychological fitness of the horse. Not all are tough enough, but by many accounts, some are.
A former jockey, Rune Haugen has been an extremely successful thoroughbred-trainer the recent years. Champion trainer at the Norwegian racetrack Øvrevoll three years in a row, Derby-victory, several wins in gr-3 races in Scandinavia and numerous other high-class races makes him one of the top trainers in Scandinavia. The secret behind his success? Controlling and evaluating every part of his horse’s training routines. Haugens most important training remedy is Polar’s GPS heart rate monitor.
– At “Stall Nor” one top-bred horse after the other broke down and never even made it to the races. The owners were obviously frustrated, and contacted Sæterdal. He transferred human training principles to the horses at “Stall Nor”. He controlled the horses training doses by using heart rate monitors. Within months, the negative trend had turned. The injury-rate fell drastically and the horses started to win races, says Haugen, not mentioning his own important role in the turning process. He was hired as the new trainer at the stable, thus responsible for putting Sæterdals training principles into practice.
– Heart rate monitors, lactate- and muscle enzyme-tests are the aids I use to control my horses work-out routines, Rune Haugen explains.
– A heart rate monitor measures the beating of the heart. I use the information from the monitor to determine how a horse responds to training. I combine this with blood tests. If a horse works out at a certain pulse level, I can measure the lactate level in the blood afterwards. The link between lactate level and heart rate gives me essential information about a horse’s capacity, training development and possible sickness, he says eagerly.– Why is the heart rate monitor so essential in your training routine?
– Because by using the HR monitor I know the exact status of my horses’ physical shape at any given time. The race season for thoroughbred horses is short. This means it is extremely important to have the horses in top shape in just the right time.
Once he has started talking about the advantages of pulse-based training, he can’t seem to run out of arguments:
Training consultant for the Olympic team
– I also have to point out the importance of being able to reproduce a certain training routine. I’ve succeeded with several racehorses in the past years. But what if I had these successful horses, but subsequently didn’t have a clue how hard I actually trained them? How would I be able to learn from what I’d done? , Haugen asks rhetorically.
The THRESHOLD zone (80-90% of max HR)
This is the pace at which the horse is still able to use lactic acid for energy, which delays the onset of fatigue during a race. Targeting gallops towards this zone will improve cruising speed in a race. Only accompished by a 2:00 lick in ELITE horses, others will need to slow down.
The AEROBIC zone (70-80% of max HR)
This intensity best develops lung function and improves the horse’s ability to use oxygen to fuel movement. Exercise at this pace actually allows for the creation of new blood capillaries which aid in performance. Happens a lot during the ‘legging up’ phase of getting a horse ready for the races, but often neglected when racing commences.
The RECOVERY zone (60-70% of max HR)
Here is the optimal pace to train in which any lactic acid is flushed away, and the recovery processes are enhanced. Best used after a breeze for 60-90 seconds before exiting the track. Many jogs, especially indoors, are just a tad to slow to accomplish optimal recovery.