Track and field for Masters Athletes 6: understanding energy systems

This is the sixth in a series of articles covering all aspects of Masters Athletes’ training and nutrition for track and field events. Here, we will take a look at how properly planned training will greatly impact your success.

Energy Systems for Athletes

In a previous article, we explored the benefits of periodization and high-level planning for your training program. We then took a closer look at the phases of training, and how they are laid out over a specific period. Before we dive into building the desired microcycles (your weekly schedule), which would incorporate the appropriate training and recovery sessions, we have to take a good look at how your body produces the required energy in order to do the work for your discipline. This is important because it will clarify the reasons why you include certain workouts in your particular training program. Once you understand this, you can specifically tailor a training program that will suit your goals. We could go down the rabbit hole because this is a very complex subject, but I’ll try to keep it simple, and stick to the basics when it comes to energy production and needs for athletes.

Energy Pathways

We use energy from food to fuel movement and essential body functions. Once food is digested, the carbohydrates, protein, and fat break down into simple compounds: glucose, amino acids and fatty acids, which are absorbed into the blood and transported to various cells throughout the body. Within these cells, and from…

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