Endurance and stamina training are good for conditioning the body to do more intensive exercises, but it shouldn’t be at the heart of a high jumper’s training regime. There is nothing wrong with a high jumper having the speed endurance to run a 400m sprint in under 60 seconds, however if you train a high jumper to become a champion 3000m runner, then you can expect their performance to be affected.
High jumpers need to have the stamina to perform explosive movements several times throughout their competition. So their ‘endurance’ differs from others in the traditional senses.
Rather than aiming for the amount of time or distance the body can perform for, the muscles need to be put through intensive exercises that will allow the high jumper to improve their muscle strength, speed, power and explosiveness.
In a competition, a high jumper will usually have around 8 jumps where they will be able to produce their maximum height before the muscles start to fatigue and the athlete’s performance begins to decline.
The athlete must condition their body to maximise their explosive power for as long as possible throughout the competition.
High jumpers endurance training will be more like the following.
This can be done through a combination of weights training or plyometrics trainings.
Weights training would involve doing resistance weights exercises with an emphasis on vertical explosive power. For example, doing squats, leg press, step-ups, power cleans and snatch exercises for repetitions of 6-8 for 3-4 sets will help condition the explosive strength-endurance of the muscle.
Plyometrics training is effective as it too conditions the muscles for speed and the execution of power for several repetitions. Typically, jumping movements such as explosive vertical bounds, single leg hops, step-ups, hurdle hops and box jumps. Repetitions of 8 or more for at least three sets should develop the explosiveness of the athlete.
High jumpers won’t run more than 30m in their run-up. Furthermore, many high jumpers won’t be able to run at their top speed because they cannot transfer it into vertical power. With the exception of the occasional speed endurance runs over 100m, most of a high jumpers speed training should focus on the acceleration over 30-60m.
What do you think about your endurance in the high jump? Do you ever feel tired or fatigued partly through the competition? Or do you find that you perform better as the competition goes on? Share your experiences in the comment section below.
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