The Rugby Football League are very serious about winning the 2013 World Cup. So serious that they are looking to become pioneers. They are looking to go to extremes to get that winning edge. They are willing to go to all ends of the Earth to make sure they are the best prepared team bar non.
Wales, Scotland and Ireland can go fuck themselves though.
I don’t know who came up with this idea but they didn’t even Google it. I’m sure they sat down with someone else who was just as ignorant and said “Yeah, a lot of athletes do it. The Cyclists do it all the time. Even Olympians did it. We should do it too! It will give as an edge over everyone else. The Aussies don’t even do this sort of thing!”. Then they went ahead, got the funding for it and planned a ten day camp in South Africa.
The problem is….they didn’t even look into how high altitutde training even works.
Let me say right now that I’m not expert in high atlitude training. I just Googled it…
Basically the idea with high altitude training is that, in the thinner atmosphere in high altitude, the boody compensates for your environment by producing more red blood cells, the cells that help oxygenate your blood. If you stay in the environemnt for long enough your body produces red blood cells to a high level. Then when you go to compete at sea level, theroetically, you will still have the effects of having more red blood cells in you body and it wll give you a slight advantage when it comes to cardiovascular work.
Some studies done have said the performance increase is as small as 3%.
For high altitude training to be effective you have to spend 4 weeks at high altitude. Once you leave high altitude, the effects last for a maximum of three weeks.
There are benifits to high altitude training but also draw backs…
Because of the thinner atmosphere, it is harder to train at high altitude, so many times the costs of poorer training far outweigh the gains you get in return. The most effective way seems to be to spend your time in high altitude, taking quick trips to sea level to train at full capacity, and then returning immediately to high altitude again.
Taking all of that into account, some athletes still see no benefit from high altitude training. As we are all made differently, some peoples bodies just don’t react in a way that gives them a benifit from it.
Now having read all of the above, this is the Rugby Football League’s plan for the England Rugby League team.
They are going to spend just ten days at altitude. They are then going to come back and because of that altutude training they are going to having an advantage over Wales and France as well as Australia and New Zealand in next years World Cup.
Stupid and simplistic just doesn’t even begin to describe this plan. I bet when they booked into where they are staying the people in South Africa got off the phone and said “What is staying here ten days going to do?”.
I remember heading into the 2008 World Cup, the RFL boasted that the England team was the best prepared Rugby League team in World Cup history. That no expense had been spared.
Then won 1 games….against a mostly amateur Papua New Guinea side….and they only just beat them.
The sooner the RFL and England team stop thinking they are something special, the better. All of the altitude training in the world isn’t a match for one day of running sand hills until every single player in the squad and thrown up. The RFL needs to get it through their thick heads that England is not important. They are not special. They are just another team.
England has never been willing to put in the hard work. They are always looking to cheat their way to success somehow. Whether its changing the shape of the ball in the 2000 World Cup, demanding every single combination of referees possible, including English ones, arguing over rules and schedules…..even this stupid high altitude training, its just all an attempt to try and find a way to improve without putting in the hard work.
Does anyone honestly think the England team will take advantage of high altitude training as it is meant to be done anyway? I bet we see them settle into their camp, and then send out to the press pictures of players taking in safari’s at sea level during the day.
The Rugby Football League and England camp are off their heads. They won’t why they are a laughing stock and yet it took me ten minutes to point out what a ridiculous, money wasting failure their high altitude training program is before they have even left for it.
So congratulations to the RFL, you sure do know how to make the rest of the world laugh at your expense!
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
Feb 21, 2020 0