Ath­letes with al­ti­tude

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - REGIONAL EXTRA -

THIS week’s pet of the week at Wan­garatta RSPCA is Bear, a seven month old, de­sexed male do­mes­tic short­hair cat who is tabby and white in colour.

To see more an­i­mals up for adop­tion at the Wan­garatta RSPCA, visit the shel­ter in Con­nell Street or phone (03) 5722 2874.

One such per­son is mixed mar­tial arts (MMA) ath­lete Rob Whit­taker, cur­rently the Ul­ti­mate Fight­ing Cham­pi­onship (UFC) mid­dleweight cham­pion – who will de­fend his ti­tle at a bout in Fe­bru­ary next year.

He and his MMA team­mates from the Gra­cie Smeaton Grange gym spent time train­ing on the moun­tain last year, and Rob’s high per­for­mance man­ager, Fabri­cio Itte, said that it was a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence for all in­volved.

“I think the team en­joyed the time there,” he said.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful area, a beau­ti­ful part of the world.”

Fabri­cio said Rob and those who trained on the moun­tain got a lot out of the high al­ti­tude train­ing, which in­clud­ing run­ning, a moun­tain bike tour, and more, and they are hop­ing to re­turn to train more there in the fu­ture.

Among those who reg­u­larly take ad­van­tage of high al­ti­tude train­ing on the moun­tain is the Mel­bourne Track Club.

Head coach Nic Bideau reg­u­larly over­sees club train­ing events on the moun­tain, in­clud­ing for the club’s younger mem­bers.

He also reg­u­larly trained there him­self as a young run­ner in the early 1980s.

He said the regime for those train­ing there in­clud­ing run­ning twice a day – ex­cept Sun­day – cov­er­ing around 160km a week, as well as gym vis­its three times a week.

Nic said that he found Falls Creek to be a peace­ful and ef­fec­tive train­ing en­vi­ron­ment, say­ing club mem­bers “can rest and re­cover from train­ing in a peace­ful, serene en­vi­ron­ment.”

“The al­ti­tude helps mul­ti­ply red blood cells needed for bet­ter en­durance,” he ex­plained.

“The rugged trails im­prove strength and rhythm.

“It’s a great place for cy­cling long dis­tances for ath­letes that are in­jured.

“We like that it’s far from other towns.”

Rob said the group, which has trained many world class ath­letes over the years, found high al­ti­tude train­ing to be a valu­able tool.

“We bring younger ath­letes into the group, and they learn the stan­dards that have been re­peated up there for 20 years now,” he said.

“Stan­dards and com­mit­ment to ex­cel­lence in the en­vi­ron­ment there – with few dis­trac­tions – gives us an edge.”

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