Orienteering and Fitness Building Essay

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Orienteering is a competitive sport, which combines outdoor adventure with map reading and navigational skills. Participants find their way to several checkpoints with the aid of a map and compass. If set up as a competition, the winner is the one with the fastest time and the most controls found. Orienteering is characterised by its aerobic components, however, it is not a sport that requires all steady state work, which is when the supply of oxygen meets the demand of the body. Orienteers require a heightened anaerobic capacity, which is necessary especially running in difficult terrain, ascending slopes and crossing obstacles.

Therefore for an individual to increase their VO2 max and overall fitness level in order to participate in an orienteering course, aerobic and anaerobic training is required. Aerobic training is exercise that is for a longer duration, where you get your heart rate up moderately, but you keep it there for a relatively long period of time (such as when you jog and run during an orienteering course), and stay there at a steady pace while you perform your activity. (Bateman. L 2007) Aerobic exercise is beneficial to your body because it provides overall toning and strengthens your cardiovascular system.

This can lower blood pressure and improve circulation. It can also make your heart stronger and larger, which increases the heart’s stroke volume and lowers your resting heart rate. This exercise also increases your red blood cell count, which means that oxygen is transported much more efficiently throughout your body and you also reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Anaerobic exercise such as sprinting does not require large amounts of oxygen because the activity itself is very brief and intense. Because of this, instead of using oxygen, the muscles use glycogen. (Bateman.

L 2007) Anaerobic exercise will increase my body’s anaerobic threshold, and will allow me to exercise at a more intense level for a longer period of time. My current fitness level is under the average level for sixteen year old females that are my height and weight. This is shown throughout the results of the fitness testing that has gone on during the past term and by finding my VO2 max, which is the maximum rate of oxygen that can be taken up and utilised by my body during severe exercise (Basset and Howley 2000) The VO2 max can be estimated after completing the beep test. I only progressed to level 5. in this test, which shows that my VO2 max is only 30. 6mL/kg/min which is a poor result (as shown in Appendix A).

Because of my current fitness level I require a more simple approach to the training program, starting off easier, and slowly progressing through the six weeks, towards my goal, of completing the hilly 5 km orienteering course successfully. Aim, Overview and Justification of Training Program Competitive orienteering requires a specific form of fitness that should be developed through a carefully constructed training program, applying the principles of training to the demands of the sport.

The training program I have created will improve my VO2 max, stroke volume and will increase my cardiac output, which is the volume of blood pumped by the heart per minute, while improving my cardiovascular and muscular systems. The first week of the training program is just to start off slowly to get the heart rate pumping faster then, gradually increasing the speed, altering the terrain and extending the time of each effort to correspond with the improvements of muscle capacity, lactate threshold and VO2 max. The first week of the program included a lot of aerobic exercise with

In the sixth week of training, cycling is one of the sessions specified. It was chosen because cycling strengthens the quadriceps and stomach muscles, while avoiding the foot strike pounding of running. The quadriceps muscles, in the front of the upper leg are the main muscles for both cycling and running uphill. (Harding. J 2011) The cycling would therefore assist my ability to perform uphill to the best of my ability during the orienteering courses as my leg and stomach muscles would be better developed and would allow me to perform for longer periods of time at a more intense level.

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