Critically Evaluate the Training of Mo Farah and Explain the Physiological Changes that will Occur.
Mo Farah had to go through tough training to become the athlete he is today. Due to Mo’s type of events, (10,000 and 5,000 meters) he needs a high aerobic capacity and VO2 max. Aerobic capacity is how well the lungs, heart and the blood vessels work together, and VO2 Max is the maximum oxygen consumption attainable during maximal work. VO2 max can only be improved in 10 – 20% of the population, with training. The training that is best suited to improving VO2 max is: Continuous Training which is about running at moderate to high intensity. Athletes who use continuous training will become aerobically fitter and will be able to train at a higher intensity for a longer time. Another type of training that helps improve VO2 max is altitude training. When training at altitude, the amount off red blood cells is reduced and activity allows the body to cope with less oxygen for activity.
When back at sea level, red blood cells become more efficient and are able to use oxygen more efficiently for exercise. It is undoubted that Mo Farah has a high VO2 max. Ways to measure this is using the multi-stage fitness test. This is beep that is a set amount of seconds apart and as the levels increase the time between beeps decreases. The higher the level the athlete gets, the higher their VO2 max. People like Mo Farah will most likely beat the multi-stage fitness test due to their highly developed and efficient aerobic capacity. Another way to measure VO2 max is by using the PWC 170 test which is considered a more reliable test as it actually measures the VO2 max. The test consists of a mounted cycle with a heart rate monitor and breathing apparatus is used to measure your breathing and then give your VO2 max. We can also assume that Mo Farah has a high count of type 1 and type 2 slow twitch fibers which have been strengthened with high aerobic training. Slow twitch fibers are slow to fatigue and are better to use for long distance events. With aerobic training, slow twitch fibers can increase in size. This means that muscle fibers are able to contract for a longer period of time. When looking at an athlete’s diet, Mo Farah would stock up on a high level of carbohydrates and a reduced amount of fat. This is because carbohydrates supply a high level of stored energy within our food stores within the first 3 minutes of activity, and will continue to thereafter.
However after the three minute mark, we start to burn energy from stored fats in the body. The lactic acid system is mainly reliant on carbohydrates and sugars whereas the aerobic system is mainly reliant on carbohydrates and fats in the later stages of the activity. Physiological Changes that will occur in Mo Farah is the hypertrophy of their cardio vascular, respiratory and vascular system. As aerobic capacity is how well the systems work together, all three systems need to be sufficient enough to work together. In the respiratory system there is a greater efficacy of breathing, a higher maximal breathing rate and is less susceptible to fatigue.
In the Cardio Vascular System, physiological changes that will occur will include a higher end diastolic volume, a higher stroke volume and a higher force of contraction. As a result of this high training, athletes can develop bradycardia (a heart rate of lower than 60bpm) Changes that occur in the vascular system will include in a more efficient and effective vascular shunt mechanism, in order to re-distribute blood effectively. This will result in clearer arteries in the body and plod will flow more efficiently. Also venous return will be greater and more efficient due to increased use and speed.