Optimal strength training for runners

Discussion in 'Health, Nutrition, Injuries & Medical Conditions' started by Abide, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Robin Barefooters
    1. Belgium

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    Actually I'm training to do my first 100miler next year...We'll see what happens :)
    last year I ran a couple ultras up to 100K,this year I didn't run any so next year something has to happen :)

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  2. Robin Barefooters
    1. Belgium

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    I think you overdid it with the lifting(my guess),what helps me to recuperate is some lifting,for instance doing cattlebell swings,clean&jerk or squating.What I do is throw on some weight(140lbs or so for squats) and do 3 sets of 15-20reps.When I'm in muscular pain it really helps me.
    Personally I don't have any problems lifting and running,I would have to be there and see what is going on.I don't rest before a race,at all.I differ the intensity,for me resting isn't all that(I get so stiff laying on the couch).I would do an interval training 2days before a race,the next day I go walking for an hour or 2 with the dog (that's the nice thing about having a dog,you HAVE to go out:)) and that's it.If you have to get ready for a race,don't get musle sores the week of the race.The run did for you what you should've done the day before the race,if you'd gone out for an hour on your bike,my guess is it would've cleared your legs up for the run.oh the next time just enroll in a mtb race after your run lol;)

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  3. Robin Barefooters
    1. Belgium

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    a half hour on the elliptical helps clear up muscles too.I have this little set-up in the living room.
    I think training for recuperation is underrated by amateur athletes. DSCN0023.JPG

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  4. Robin Barefooters
    1. Belgium

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    Lee to get faster,aside from the obvious (speed intervals,strenght training).Last year I read this book on marathon running,there was that this exercise I liked, you go out walking for a mile 2times a week(for example) and try to take steps as large as possible.this has helped getting faster.I thought of it as BS but was to curious to find out:DI considered the possibility of losing more weight,which will get me to be faster for sure!Then again I don't want to look like Haile Gebrselassie...

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  5. Robin Barefooters
    1. Belgium

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    Yeah,the expensive bikes might help,but don't think to much of it either:DYou can only go so fast...

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  6. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Hmmn, interesting. I'm actually pretty fast when sprinting. What I would like is for my aerobic pace on longer runs to drop a bit. It had been until July, so I think maybe I've been overtraining the long runs since then. Mostly, I think I need to do more tempo-paced running, either as a proper tempo run or as tempo-paced intervals within a longer, aerobic run. That's what my body is telling me anyway. I'm thinking of limiting my long runs to the 10-to-12-mile range for a while, and focus more on making the weekday runs a bit faster. We'll see. Like you say, losing some weight would also help, but right now I'm also making a push on the strength end of things, so I don't want to mess with diet too much, and I'm damn sure not going to sacrifice any upper body strength for greater speed on longer runs.
    That's an interesting point Robin. I think my daily run-commutes might function as recovery runs, but sometimes it feels like they hinder, like a whole day off from running might be better. Still too early to tell I guess.

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  7. NickW Guest

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    Lee I thought you were really liking the whole running every day thing? For me it was great for a while, but then my body just needed a break so I ended up giving it a big break. I do agree with Robin about using an elliptical or bike on non-running days to keep the legs loose and work out the kinks and soreness/stiffness. Thinking about using the money I get for selling my bike, trainer, and bike work station on an elliptical or recumbent bike for out in my home gym. I do miss having the recumbent bike from my old gym a lot. Was nice to be able to go ride for a half hour at an easy pace while still keeping the cadence up. Always seemed to help me keep loose.
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  8. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Well, I don't really like or dislike them. They're just sort of there. I do them, and I no longer have to brace myself mentally to head out in the cold, dark morning, but it's hard to say how much I benefit from them in terms of running fitness. The run-commutes the day after a longer run seem to be getting easier, as my recovery time in general seems to be getting better, but I'm not sure how much those short runs contribute to the recovery, or if I would be better off with complete rest. I just know I was starting to break the 9mm pace barrier for my aerobic runs late July, but since then I've been slower.

    Still, I'm being patient, and giving my body a chance to adapt to the the more frequent and longer running I've been doing since then. Once I'm forced to start running back and forth on that one fairgrounds street in the winter, I may just do tempo-paced intervals for a while, and see how that goes. I'm just a little frustrated that I can't consistently run aerobically sub9mm, but I've only been running well for 9 months or so, so I'm giving it another 6-12 months before I think about altering my haphazard approach. I still believe in the tempo/interval/longrun mix for my three 'quality' runs per week. Just gotta be a little more consistent in following through. I've been running long a bit too much lately I think, may be overtraining. I'm also hopeful that the (re)new(ed) emphasis on plyometrics will help.

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  9. Robin Barefooters
    1. Belgium

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    Getting faster on longer runs is mainly a case of heart-capacity,which we build on by doing interval/resistance training.You also mentioned that you don't sleep very much,though you feel rested,that might not be the case?I've been struggling with sleep too,I watched some documentaries of ultrarunners,they all say the same:"sleep is the number 1 most important tool."The runners I met in Kenia sleep up to 12hrs a day some even 16(not every day,but when needed)!!It's a thing to consider,they all give pointers on how to achieve better/longer sleep.I won't go into how I do it since I sometimes try pretty extreme things to achieve what I want.I got this video,he has some hands on means to get the job done.
    sleeping bit starts at 17.30min.I think you know that training in the mountains helps tremendously,altitudetraining is fantastic.We used to go to italy(the alps) 3 times a year.Just doing LSD there for 8-12days,you come back a changed person!
    The benefits you can feel up to 6weeks afterwards,then decline sets in for me.So practically everybody should go do that stuff every 2months lol.
    Now if we can only win the lottery and we'd be set...:D:p

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  10. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Yah, I've been overdoing the sleep-deprivation lately. And now I got a head cold because of it. I started to feel the symptoms Monday. A nap then might've nipped it in its bud. Instead I spent several more days sleeping just 5 hours a night and then it really hit me Friday. It didn't help that during the week I had to get up a lot when the kids were coughing.

    So one thing I want to do is get better at power-napping. I even have a small futon in my office, but I almost never use it. And I like some of the ideas in the video. One thing I can change is my caffeine intake. I used to limit myself to two espressos a day, but lately it's been more like 3-4. Also, working in workouts at a greater intensity might help. When I push the pace on my runs, or when I do my plyo stuff, I feel more like I've gotten a real workout. On the half-marathonish runs I've been doing the last few months, I don't get that feeling. The post-run soreness is more in my joints than in my muscles, and I'm not sure if this kind of tiredness leads to the same kind of restful sleep as a more intense workout does. But I've always been a light, low-volume sleeper, even as a kid, so I don't know how much I can do.

    Thanks for confirming the benefits of interval/resistance training. I know this to be true, but in my recent push to increase my mileage, I haven't been doing much interval work. I really want to hit that over the winter, and also really hit the squats, as you and Abide have been discussing. I re-read some stuff on running and strength training, including two of Abide's links on the first page of this thread, and it all makes sense to me. I know at my age and weight there's a limit to how fast I'll be able to run aerobically, but I feel like I could run a lot better than I run right now. As I've said before though, my pace goals aren't performance-based. I simply feel better when running between 8-9mm pace.

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  11. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    OK, yet another revised workout plan. I know Abide's already had a look at it on the mileage forum, but I thought I'd upload the plan here, in case he or anyone is interested in the details.

    The new idea, subject to change at the slightest whim, is to lift and run every morning, at least a little, without worrying too much about performance--energy levels, maxes, pace, distance, etc. I really want to become more consistent this year, which I think may lead to better performance gains than trying to optimize performance per se, which sometimes seems to get in the way of being consistent ("oh, I don't have time for my scheduled long run today, so I won't run at all", or "I'm too tired for a good lifting session, so I'll try to get it in tomorrow"). Working out first thing in the morning will allow me do something everyday, and allow me push it if I'm really feeling it, without having to worry about time constraints as much as I have to at the end of the afternoon.

    Su: Lift (LB), 1-3 mi run
    M: Push (UB), 3 mi run
    Tu: Pull (UB), 5 mi run
    Wed: Squat (LB), 3 mi run
    Th: Press (UB), 5 mi run
    Fri: Row (UB), 3 mi run
    Sa: Dip (UB), 5-15 mi run

    UB = Upper Body
    LB = Lower Body

    The plyometrics and mobility stuff on the Excel doc are to be done a few times a week in the middle of the day, as a 10/15-minute break.

    This was inspired a bit by Abide's 40-day program (the results of which we haven't heard about yet!). I know in that program you work a little of everything each day, whereas I'm focusing on one body area each day, but the idea of being able to work out everyday, and let one's energy levels dictate the quality of the workout, was at least partly inspired by the 40-day program.

    Attached Files:

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  12. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    Haha the 40 day experiment was interrupted by life. I did like the routine but it did get boring after 3 weeks. My legs grew quite a bit which I wasn't very happy with either.

    I came across another place from some guy I stalk on another site. It was really handy when I could only get to the gym twice a week but was similar to what you mentioned in the other post. It's pretty simple and consists of heavy timed leg work dead and squats 1 or 2 reps on the minute for 20 and then laddered supersets of bench/press and pull ups/rows. It's a relatively high volume heavy scheme but spread out more than the typical 5x5 etc... I also felt like the lower reps did not lead to weight gain but did build strength. The only bad part was you would be pretty sore the next day due to the lack of frequency but heavy reps. It goes pretty fast too and you can add additional work at the end.

    I think it would be a great plan to mix in for 4~6 weeks.
  13. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Hmmn, I still get email notifications from this thread. I don't do that anymore anywhere else on BRS.

    That new routine sounds pretty similar to my latest refinement (attached), which was partly inspired by your input and Westside's conjugate system.

    Basically, work the 'bottom' with Squats and Deadlifts spaced 3-4 days apart, then fill in with 'front' (Bench/Press) and 'back' (pullups/rows). I've been going at it pretty good for 2-3 weeks and already getting results. Sunday I deadlifted 285 x 5 for two sets, and one set x 3 reps, pyramiding up and down before and after, and then yesterday I got my bench press up to 225 x 2 reps for two sets. So I'm close to being as strong as I was 10 years ago. Feels great.

    I normally don't have any specific st goals, but I think I'd like to get the deadlifts up to 350, the squats up to 300 (I just did 225 x 2 reps last week--a first for me), and the bench press up to 245. I'm still trying to figure out what reasonable goals would be for the shoulder press and power cleans, for pullups I guess it would BW x 10 reps, but I'm a long ways off from that.

    So each day is based on one of the six basic exercises, and each session lasts 20-40 minutes. I think I read in one of your links that there's really no point in lifting much past 30-40 minutes, because cortisol or something kicks in and blocks muscle-building. On my day off I get in my long run. The rest of the time I try to get in 2-5 miles of running per day, with one possible rest day after my long run day, when I do the deadlifts. I'm also converting to early morning running, but during this transitional time I'll probably do more afternoon running in order to take advantage of the bareable temps that are just around the corner. So far I'm really getting into running less per run but more frequently. I used to stagger running and lifting, but I think doing a little of both--running mostly in the morning, and lifting mostly in the afternoon--pretty much everyday may be the way to go for me. There's seems to be less recovery time involved, and my metabolism/energy levels seems to be more regular/consistent. I also like how this schedule bookends the workday with aerobic and anaerobic activity.

    Attached Files:

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  14. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    Yeah I liked doing both in one day too. As long as you are eating and sleeping enough and staggering the hard efforts between lifting and running it should work great.

    Your getting strong too nice. Pull ups are a tough one for me tto think doing heavy rows was definitely beneficial but working them frequently always helps too.
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  15. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    I am thinking of re-outfiting the garage at my new place but having a hard time figuring out what to get. Maybe just a rack, bench and weights? Maybe a trap bar? The place we are moving has good trails for running and mountain biking and my bike commute will be around 20 miles a day so that stuff is covered now I just need some lifting time. Any other recommendations that I'm not thinking of?
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  16. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Yah, one advantage of doing things every day is that there's no pressure to have a good run or workout on any particular day. If the energy isn't there, I can just run slow or lift light. Also, although I have a six-day schedule for lifting, the last two workouts can collapse into one if I miss a day. I also don't sweat missing the secondary exercises. Like yesterday, I didn't have much time, so I just did the bench press and skipped the flies, dips, curls and triceps extensions. As long as you do the big lifts, for at least 10-15 minutes 4-6 times per week, you'll always make progress I figure.

    For the home gym, I like cables too. If you have the money it would be great to get a rack that has cables too, so you can do cross-over flies, pulldowns and seated rows, etc.

    I also like having a swivel platform and lat-blaster for bentover rows and landmines, but that's a bit of a luxury, something you can pick up later after the initial investment. In the meantime you can just put the end of a barbell in a corner. Do you do Landmines? They've become one of my main exercises. I do them on the bent-over row day.

    I'm also really getting into box jumps, so either get some cinder blocks or an adjustable plyo box. I was surprised how quickly I got up to 24", but I don't anticipate going much higher than that.

    An incline sit-up bench is nice, but not necessary, maybe some suspension straps and a medicine ball.

    I also got a 'power wheel' which is an ab wheel with fixed pedals for your feet. Good for pikes, walking with your hands, and hamstring curls.

    Once you get your basic home gym set up, all this can be added in time as funds permit. I guess the only really essential addition for me would be the cables. I would put those ahead of a trap bar for sure.

    Near Rotterdam huh? I guess you're in beer heaven now.

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  17. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    I ordered some weights a bench and a rack. I am also going to pick up a landmine. Can't wait to get back into lifting it's been 5 weeks now since I lifted last. I get the weights next week and the other stuff in a month. So buckets of dead lifts, presses and rows. Maybe some cleans and front squats?
  18. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Cool.
    If you got the platform for the landmines, you mis' well pick up a lat blaster bar for bentover rows too. I do them both as part of my "Row" workout. I haven't tried front squats yet, but I love overhead squats as a variation.

    I'm a big believer in power cleans too, and I just tried power snatches the other day. The latter didn't quite feel right but that's mostly because my garage ceiling is so low that I had to use a super wide grip and 5-lb plates to avoid bumping it. I'm going to try power snatches with dumbbells instead of the barbell, either two-handed or one-handed, next time and see if that works any better. In general, I've been trying to work in a few more 'explosive' or plyometric-type lifts.

    What are you doing for pullups/pulldowns? My pullup is pathetic, but I do three variations on the pulldown--neutral grip, wide, pronated grip, and supinated (chin-up) grip, then straight-arm, then face-pulls and triceps with a rope accessory, then seated rows with a triangle grip and the neutral grip again. It's a pretty good upper back workout, and complements the Row workout, which attacks the lower back and obliques more. Both days are in the uploaded file, in case you're interested.

    I've never really had any specific goals in strength-training, but recently I've been thinking about trying to attain the 'intermediate' level of ExRx.net's strength standards for all the main lifts. I'm already there with the bench press, and should probably be able to get there with most of the other lifts I do before the end of this year. The advanced levels are probably out of reach at my age. Once I get to intermediate level for everything, I'll probably hold steady and try to diversify a bit more into something like yoga or more plyometric/balance/agility training.

    Attached Files:

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  19. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    That's a good list I think I would like to fall in the middle of the int/adv level for the lower body stuff and maybe advanced for the upper body. At least that comes easier for me.

    Well the squat rack has a pull up bar and I bought some rings to do other things. I might shoot for hitting 20 some day? I would love to get that lat blaster it's only €45 so maybe I will eventually.

    What are you thinking for pull ups? I kind of like doing heavy back work instead of high reps it feels better from my experience. But without a good lat pull down or row machine it's hard.
  20. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    And you should start yoga sooner than later. Those muscles get tight when lifting.

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