You can build muscle and strength

You’ve probably heard the idea that endurance training blocks or greatly reduces the ability to muscle mass and strength through strength training. It’s been “common knowledge” for decades.

However, there is some evidence that’s not totally accurate.

More important for those of us who are focusing on maximizing our running performance: what does this do for the runner? It appears the greatest benefit comes from fatigue resistance. So, along with already documented injury prevention benefits, strength train to improve your performance late in races when you are exhausted but looking for that extra gear to chase down the competition or your goal time.

Continue reading “You can build muscle and strength”

Spotlight workout: Hill repeats

You can do hill repeats anywhere you have a hill available

Hill repeats are always good workouts. Combining an interval workout with strength training. Reducing impact forces and lowering injury risk for other more technical reasons. There are all kinds of benefits to hitting the hill for your next interval workout.

During this time when many of us still can’t get into gyms and even tracks may be either off limits or not wise to go to for some, hill repeats can be even more powerful. Sure, you can get in a good strength workout in your living room and, with GPS watches, you can do almost any kind of interval workout you want anywhere. However, hill repeats can combine all of these things in one workout.

Continue reading “Spotlight workout: Hill repeats”

Summer running

Image

Summer will soon be here! It may not seem like it right now here in Wisconsin but summer weather is just around the corner.

In this crazy year, there’s no telling right now when racing will again be happening but most of us are still training through as we hope our fall racing plans will not be postponed.

We all think of winter as the challenging and dangerous season for runners but there are challenges and safety considerations we need to keep in mind during the summer also. As well as the adjustments that we need to make not for our safety but to ensure we’re getting the most out of our summer time training.

Continue reading “Summer running”

Why do we feel and do worse when running alone?

I’ll kick this month’s recap off with a timely topic. If you’ve ever run a solo time trial, as many people are doing now, you’ve probably noticed that you can’t quite go as fast as you can in a race. I know, personally, I can’t even come close in a time trial to what I can do in a rac.e

But why is this? The stock answer is always that competition pushes us to do better and there’s obviously truth to that but what about the competition? Drafting doesn’t count for all of the difference. Motivation? Some other psychological component?

Well, this isn’t the complete answer but it does point in the direction of a potential answer. Essentially, most people feel “better” when running with others, which allows them to run harder. Feeling “better” is hard to define and it’s hard to say what we can do about this while running by ourselves. However, it’s bringing some additional level of understanding to the topic.

It’s also a good reminder right now that, especially if you usually have training partners, it’s ok to be running slower right now even while the run may feel just as hard or harder. It’s actually perfectly normal for that to happen.

Continue reading “Why do we feel and do worse when running alone?”

Training at home

This wasn’t done at home but it is something you can do at home

Now that almost the whole world is spending what seems like it could be a significant amount of time at home, it’s past time to discuss training at home.

Fortunately, running is a simple sport. For most of us, heading out the front door for a run is an option. However, what about those of us for whom that isn’t an option, either because we live in a place where things are serious enough that we can’t go outside even to exercise or because we live in a place where running from your front door isn’t an option?

Affecting probably more of us, what about those other things I hope you’re doing? What about your auxiliary training? Do you normally use public weight rooms that are now closed?

Continue reading “Training at home”

Rethink the base

Right now, we’re all in the same boat. Even if you had spring racing plans, they have been put on ice. We don’t know when our next race will be. It could be next month, though that’s looking less likely all the time. It could be that we have to wait until fall.

So what do you do? If you have a May or June race on your schedule that hasn’t been canceled yet, maybe you are holding out hope that it will be able to happen and you continue with your training plan.

If you’re not expecting to race until fall, though, maybe you’re going to take a step back and build your base.

Continue reading “Rethink the base”

Can you boost your immune system?

Before I even start: For the best information and advice on COVID-19, trust the CDC.

I, as I’m sure many of you, have been a bit distracted this month with COVID-19. I admit that I haven’t been reading as much about training and racing as I normally do. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading.

On the topic of current events, one of the things I did read was quite timely. Some good advice on giving your immune system its best chance to not just fight off COVID-19 but whatever infectious disease may be going around.

Please stay safe. Keep running but consider solo runs. In the meantime, more of what I did manage to read is below.

Continue reading “Can you boost your immune system?”