April 28, 2005 at 7:37 pm #4160
Our fitness center at work has several personal trainers. Most of them are young women fresh out of school, but there is one guy who really seems to know what he is doing and works people pretty hard. I go to his core conditioning class twice a week. Personal training is only $12 for 30 minutes, so I asked how he could help me in one session a week. My main goal would be to improve flexibility. I spend about 10 minutes after every run stretching, but I think that is just maintenance and doesn’t improve flexibility. I asked what he could do besides stretching to help in other areas. We had a pretty good physiology discussion while I should have been getting back to work.
He believes the most important factor for nearly any sport is lactate threshold so that’s how he trains people. Moving quickly from one exercise to the next, pushing each set to near failure, some short cardio intervals between some of the sets. Since I’m training for endurance, he would do high rep, low weight sets. We also talked about when the workout should fit in with the rest of the training. I pretty much agreed with him until we started talking about recovery days. He thought I probably run too often. He agreed it is good to get blood flowing on recovery days, but thinks it can be better accomplished with crosstraining. Part of recovery is repairing damage and running is one of the most damaging activities. He said every workout should accomplish something and asked what running on a recovery day accomplished. I said that running easy (I did stress easy) on recovery days increases total volume and total volume is important for increasing mitochondria, increasing capillary density and improving running economy. He didn’t address these, but he wasn’t buying it either. I suspect he doesn’t understand how easy an easy run is. But I bet he also thinks most of those same improvements can be made with an easy workout on the bike or elliptical, without the muscle damage from running.
One of the reasons I like this forum, is that there is good knowledge here to go with the encouragement, without all the “I know you can do it, just believe in yourself” that is on some of the other running forums. So here is a discussion topic, with some of my thoughts to get started:
1. How does total volume contribute to marathon performance?
– increased mitochondria?
– increased capillary density?
– improved running economy?
– improved ability to utilize fat? ( I thought of this one later)
2. How important is total volume versus long runs and medium long runs? (Does a five mile recovery run really contribute to the above factors?)
3. Can the above be accomplished just as well with a 40 minute session on the bike or elliptical instead of a recovery run?
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