The high performance director for Indian athletes in India, Volker Herrmann has a few plans in place for the athletes who train a lot on usual days but are not getting to exercise or work out due to the country wide lockdown for 21 days.
He talked to The News Indian Express and shared his concerns on how will these athletes be impacted after they start their training again. These times seem to be more difficult for athletes who are used to training 2-3 times a day as their bodies are accustomed to it than a common man.
The high performance director said, “They’re highly-trained machines. Lack of endurance or strength training may cause certain health problems. Gaining weight is an additional problem, one that we’ve to avoid. When you are not able to train, two things happen. Doctors advise endurance runners to not stop training immediately. Improper detraining can affect their cardiovascular system, even weaken their immune system.”
One of his major concerns was gaining weight from the excessive rest or lack of physical activity.
“It has to be checked. For example, they have to reduce the quantity of carbs. Or else they will gain weight. That increases the risk of injury when they start training again. If bones are not exposed to regular strength training, density also reduces slightly.”
Keeping the lockdown in mind, he also sad that we are introducing basic core exercises which will be done in smaller groups so that they can still be socially distant. “To stay flexible, we have introduced basic core exercises: push-ups, planks, crunches and yoga sessions. We are trying to make groups of three, four athletes so that they can maintain social distance while doing these things. It’s all done inside the hostel. They have their own yoga mats and towels. So, it’s very safe.We are planning to request National Institute of Sport for additional weights.”
“For heavily-trained bodies, recovery is faster. Once they get back to their routines, the process is faster as compared to a regular human. But, you also have to consider this. A year has 52 weeks. Usually, there is around 8 to 10 weeks of competition. And after the main events (Olympics) — when the athletes are still at their peak — they rest for three to four weeks to recover and relax their joints, muscles, and even their brains. Now, we have stopped training and competitions at the lower level. So, they will take more time to regain fitness afterwards,” said the high performance director to the daily.