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Athletics NI host Endurance Squad at Ulster University

13 December 2017

Athletics NI host Endurance Squad at Ulster University

The NI & Ulster Endurance Squad came together for their second squad of the season on Sunday 10th December in Jordanstown.

Despite the snow there were 21 athletes and many coaches and parents in attendance, working on Training, Recovery, Adaptation. As well as this, sessions were delivered on the Energy Systems, Physiology and Nutrition.

After reviewing the theory of energy systems and how this relates to the intensity of their training sessions, the athletes went out to complete their session.

Athletes then worked on specific training paces and ran an interval session which progressed in intensity throughout.

Each athlete was monitored throughout with four measures:

  • Time taken to run the effort
  • Heart Rate
  • Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)
  • Blood lactate 

After the session, the athletes collected their own data to see how the measures related and whether there was any difference in how the pace ‘felt’ compared to how their body was responding. 

This led to a discussion of how one athlete may differ from another, why some showed a more elevated blood lactate, whilst others didn’t and how this can demonstrate a more predominate aerobic or anaerobic system.

After lunch the group welcomed Sharon Madigan, Irish Institute Sports Nutritionist who delivered a session on ‘Eating for Athletic Performance'.  

During the session, the group discussed reasons why they can sometimes feel great for a session whereas other times they may not and explored the idea this can sometimes be down to how athletes fuel their bodies before a session.

Sharon challenged the group to consider how they fuel before more intense or high-volume sessions and raised awareness of the need for eating plans to synchronise with their training plan.

She also stressed the need for a high intake of calcium, especially at this important age when the athletes have a window of opportunity to lay down good bone strength that will stand them in good stead for long, successful running careers.

Many of the athletes came away realising there are times during the week when they are under-fuelled and this is possibly leading to unnecessary illness and injury.

The session was managed by Athletics NI's Director of Coaching & Athlete Development Jackie Newton with help from Running Participation Officer Allister Woods and Everybody Active Coach Michael Dyer. 

Athletics NI would like to thank, Irish Sports Institute Nutritionist, Sharon Madigan; guest coaches Raymond Adams, Mark Kirk and Francis Marsh; the Sport Northern Ireland Sports Institute and the physiology department for supply of field testing equipment, and Café Cuisine for fuelling our athletes with healthy lunches.

The next camp will look at the demands of the various events within the Endurance Event Group and explore sessions that will develop the fitness factors and techniques required.

We look forward to welcoming the endurance community to come together for a seminar on 5th January at the Holiday Inn, Antrim with Geoff and Jake Wightman.

Online Registration will be available for this session soon.