Showing posts from September, 2013

Strength Training for Distance Runners and Cyclists: A Look at a New Review

A recent review from Ronnestad and Mujika has evaluated the effects of strength training programs on performance and the components of performance in runners and cyclists. An abstract can be found here . As I found with my literature review for hill sprint training ( here and here ) this review notes that strength training, either heavy-weight and slow or light-weight and explosive, improves running economy. Interestingly, this review states that it may also improve cycling economy, especially as an athlete becomes fatigued. Ronnestad and Mujika also evaluated the effects of strength training on VO2max, lactate threshold/anaerobic capacity, and performance measures. I have written on concurrent strength and endurance training in the past , questioning what effect(s) endurance training might have on strength for the strength and power athlete. While this review is concerned with concurrent training, it is strength training for the endurance athlete - and it appears that there i

Tips from the Top - Where'd you hear that?

I recently defended the student of sport science on a message board. It wasn't pretty. Vern Gambetta nailed it here , in a much more peaceful way. "All that being said remember the immortal words of Gertrude Stein 'the answer is there [is] no answer.'" Much like my mentor's saying, "the answer in exercise physiology will always be 'it depends.'" Where do you get your information from?

Marathon Periodization and Taper

I came across  this case study of 3 professional  distance runners (Reid  Coolsaet , Rob Watson, and Dylan  Wykes ), following them through a 16 week build towards a marathon, where they would run personal bests of 2:11:23, 2:12:39, and 2:16:17. There is some discussion of their training on  pg . 396. "The 3-week  premarathon  taper featured a 52% reduction in volume with no appreciable change in training frequency. This taper is congruent with the recommendations from a recent meta-analysis on the effects of tapering on performance, which found the ideal length of taper to be ~2–3 weeks, where training volume was decreased 41–60%, without any modification of training intensity or frequency ( Bosquet ,  Montpetit ,  Arvisais , &  Mujika , 2007)." These guys went from running 142, 165, and 124 miles/wk to an average of 71 miles/wk in the last week including the race. Talk about a taper. If you're running 70/wk that would mean dropping down to ~35 miles (includi

"Burnt Cookies" - Overtraining from the Perspective and Experiences of an Exercise Physiologist

I stumbled upon a good read today. The excerpt from  Overtraining Athletes: Personal Journeys in Sport,  can be found at this link . The interview with Dr. David Martin, a physiologist with the Australian Institute of Sport, highlights the importance of monitoring athletes' physiological and psychological well being, as well as the value of interpersonal coach-athlete relationships. All around, a good read and sound advice from an experienced professional.