The cardiovascular portion of the exercise session is generally conducted in a walking, walk/jog,
jogging, or running modality. The majority of training facilities will have access to a track or field
where the cardiovascular portion of the exercise session can be administered.
Where facilities exist with additional indoor modalities such as stationary ergometers, cross
county ski simulators, rowing machines, elliptical trainers, etc., additional cardiovascular workouts
can be prescribed based on individual needs.
In some cases, a walking and stationary ergometer program may be more beneficial than a
walking only program. Additionally, a non weight bearing activity can be prescribed based on
past history of injuries/surgeries or as an adjunct activity in combination with a weight bearing
activity. Even in the case of trainees who may be excellent runners, a cross training approach
may improve overall fitness to a greater degree than running only.
The instructors should attempt to guide trainees to individually monitor the intensity and duration
of their cardiovascular exercise programs. Following initial assessment, trainees can be
categorized into several small exercising groups utilizing a walking format for the less fit trainees
and progressing through to more demanding running groups.
Following a 3 5 minute progressive warm up each trainee should exercise at a training heart rate
between 60 80% of intensity, depending on initial level of fitness. (Please see Appendix C,
Calculation of Training Heart Rate.) Heart rate should be monitored 2 3 times during the
cardiovascular segment maintaining target heart rate range. A large display clock centered in the
exercise area will support the concept of the importance of maintaining a prescribed training
Eventually, heart rate monitoring can be reduced in frequency once a trainee adjusts to the
appropriate training intensity based on judgment, experience and knowledge of the rating of
perceived exertion scale. (Please see Appendix D, Rating of Perceived Exertion.) In general, a
rating of perceived exertion of 13 15 (somewhat hard to hard) is suggested for the majority of
trainees to maintain a training intensity of 60 80% of maximum.
The duration of exercise is dependent on the initial fitness level and history of exercise training
prior to entrance to the core course. Generally, the group of trainees who have low
cardiovascular fitness should attempt to complete 30 45 minutes of cardiovascular activity
utilizing a combination of weight bearing and non weight bearing activities to avoid lower