>Why Heart Rate Zone training increases thoroughbred stamina

Horses are so very unique to humans when it comes to exercise physiology.

For instance, no human is born able to run a 4:00 mile, they first have to compete and train through 8 minute miles, then 7, then 6, etc. until they reach their physical peak, which may never be a 4min pace. This entire process revolves around what is called progressive overload: progressively challenge the body’s systems with just a little more work, allow for recovery, and get faster.
Thoroughbreds however, are born and bred to run the equivalent of a human 4 min/mile, let’s call it a 12 second furlong. String 12 of those 12 second furlongs together in a row and you have Secretariat, which these days means a $50 million dollar plus animal in the breeding shed.
But, conventional training methods don’t always develop the approriate stamina, or endurance – rather they rely on breeding to dictate race performance.
Rating thoroughbreds to allow their internal systems to grow to support a 3:00 mile, then 2:45, then 2:30, etc. is the best way to help them realize their full athletic potential while assuring optimal levels of soundness along the journey.
You may never get a Secretariat, Big Brown, Curlin, or Triple Crown winner, but you can make your $10k claimer the winner at his local track.
Shoot, already running out of time…Next post will detail the precise role that heart rate zone training plays in the process.

About bpressey

Equine Exercise Physiologist

Posted on February 3, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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