Physical Pointers

Take An Active Rest

Živa Dvoršak

July 4, 2022

As shooting is a very static and repetitive sport, the athletes need something active and fun to create a balance in their bodies and minds. Why not use the summer to spend time outside and take an active rest! Start your day with a light jog or go on a cycling tour. Don’t just jump in the sea or the swimming pool just to cool off when it gets too hot while sunbathing. Use it to stretch and strengthen your whole body by swimming a few lengths back and forth. 

A female hiker on a mountain top looking in the distance

Since shooting is not dependent on any specific cardiovascular activity, make it your primary goal to find something you will enjoy doing – you don’t even need to stick to one choice. Keeping it exciting and having fun will help relieve stress and silence that “monkey” that keeps jumping around in our heads. After choosing such a sport, find an appropriate intensity for your heart rate. The “appropriate intensity” is a certain percentage of your maximum heart rate (MHR). This percentage depends on the season period you’re in. To calculate your MHR, simply subtract your age from 220.

MHR = 220 – YOUR AGE

There are many examples of what you can do for cardiovascular training. Let’s divide them into different categories based on the intensity mode.

  1. Long slow distance training (LSD): 20–30 min of any activity like jogging, swimming, cycling, cross trainer, etc. You can even combine different 10-min activities into one workout.
  2. Interval training: 5 min warm-up, and then you combine 5-min intervals of “hard” intensity and resting intensity for several cycles.
  3. Fartlek: a type of running where you combine increasing and decreasing speed while on a continuous run.

The intensity and frequency per week vary according to the season period. In the beginning, try to do lower intensity training at around 70% MHR (it should feel comfortable but not too easy), then make it up to 80–85% MHR in a month or two. Do cardiovascular training 3 to 4 times per week. You can always include flexibility and core stability sessions at the end. However, once important competitions start, lower the intensity and frequency, using the time after matches for LSD practice, but still include a high-intensity training (80–85% MHR) once a week.

Regardless of the season period, always, always, always include a progressive warm-up and cool down in your training!!

With regular workouts, we achieve balance in the body. To achieve a balance of spirit, which gives us calmness and better focus in competition, we must activate our bodies and give our hearts some extra beats. Keeping high cardiovascular fitness and strength levels will help you better cope with the stress of travelling and the high demands of long competitions. It will also add to your mental strength and eliminate sensorimotor fatigue. You’ll be able to perform a larger number of finely coordinated movements for hours with greater alertness, keener observation, and faster reactions. Don’t look at those training sessions as a “must”, but rather as an active rest from shooting.

A man running on a mountain
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