treadmill training


Dr David Evans is strong advocate of treadmill training in addition to racetrack training for equine athletes because:
 

  1. High speed gallops uphill on a treadmill can be administered at precisely the right speed to train heart, blood and muscle.
     
  2. Research shows that treadmill training in addition to regular track training in Japan had an added effect on fitness in yearlings.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3765425/
     
  3. High speed treadmill training has shown to be safe, and of course racetrack training has high injury rates.
     
  4. Treadmill training allows regular measurements of fitness, enabling week-by-week assessments. These assessments also enable fitness of different horses to be compared.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.2042-3306.1993.tb02987.x/abstract
    http://jap.physiology.org/content/78/4/1447.short
     
  5. It is easier to give uphill treadmill gallops at exactly the right speed to build muscle resistance to fatigue.
     
  6. Training can be done at any time of the day – so freeing trainers from the constraints applied by racetrack administrators.
     
  7. Training can build fitness independent of the risks of high speed track gallops, without the added weight of a jockey. It also avoids risks of injuries associated with high speed gallops on racetracks, which are often inadequately maintained.
     
  8. Rehabilitation programs can be precisely controlled.
     
  9. Recovery in days after a race or after fast gallops on a track can be assessed.
     
  10. Fitness tests can be used to evaluate horses with poor performance.
     
  11. Fitness tests can be used to identify horses with lower probability of good race performance.
     
  12. Tests can be used to assist diagnosis of overtraining.