The Sigatoka Sand Dunes and pain
05 August, 2011
|The Flying Fijians tackle the Sigatoka Sand Dunes. |
If there’s a phrase that the Flying Fijians have come to associate with pain then it surely must be the three words Sigatoka Sand Dunes – that’s if the word dunes is even the correct description. One look at the monstrous mounds of sand that greets you makes you feel the word dune is an understatement – mountain is probably a more apt description of walls of sand that rise almost vertically to a height of 300 feet.
It’s on these sand mountains that national trainer Nacanieli Cawanibuka put the Flying Fijians through their paces this morning. For an ordinary mortal just walking up the dunes produces a burning in the legs that can only be described as someone clamping your thighs and calves together in a vice and squeezing them lifeless.
Cawanibuka revealed it’s the feeling you get when doing anaerobic exercise or in layman’s terms any exercise you do without the use of oxygen such as short explosive runs with little recovery in between or in other words sprinting up and down the dunes like the Flying Fijians did this morning.
“Running on the sand dunes helps the boys cope with lactate tolerance, or the formation of lactate acids in the muscles when it runs out of oxygen supply and thus helps to increase their anaerobic intolerance,” Cawanibuka said.
Transferring the sand dunes training to a game situation Cawanibuka believes can help the team not only physically but mentally too.
“Training on the dunes really pushes them to the edge and tests them mentally and challenges them individually as players and these are some the things they get to draw from in tough matches as they know they’ve been in the zone in terms of fatigue and exertion and when that repeats itself in the game they know they’ve been there and it gives them that mental edge,”
The Flying Fijians end week two of their Rugby World Camp today with the news prop Penijamini Makutu is out of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) after fracturing his forearm in Nadroga’s win against Suva in last month’s BSP Farebrother-Sullivan Challenge. Maukutu is replaced in the current 35 member RWC squad by the recalled Graham Dewes.
The Flying Fijians march back into camp on Sunday afternoon. View photos of the Flying Fijians RWC 2011 squad