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Thread: 10,000ft a week

  1. #261
    Member MarkR's Avatar
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    Since the start of lockdown my training log tells me I have 'climbed' 50,000m, of which 9,000m was in two recent visits to the Lakes. The rest has been on my box at home.

  2. #262
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    Step-ups are great.

    I’ve been lucky enough to have a loan of a barbell and plates from a closed gym during lockdown, and I’ve been regularly doing step-ups with a bar on my back… I started to get a bit sore, though so I’ve backed off.

    I haven’t really thought it through but I do believe that if you’re a hill runner there’s probably merit in doing both weighted stepups with a barbell to improve your max strength, and long bodyweight sets to work on your endurance. horses for courses.

  3. #263
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    Quote Originally Posted by skipchris View Post
    Step-ups are great.

    I’ve been lucky enough to have a loan of a barbell and plates from a closed gym during lockdown, and I’ve been regularly doing step-ups with a bar on my back… I started to get a bit sore, though so I’ve backed off.

    I haven’t really thought it through but I do believe that if you’re a hill runner there’s probably merit in doing both weighted stepups with a barbell to improve your max strength, and long bodyweight sets to work on your endurance. horses for courses.
    I'm a great believer in strength/conditioning work... lots of squats for me.

    Only issue with really pushing your max strength, you have to lift heavy, i.e typically what you can lift for no more than 5 reps at a time... this can really fatigue your legs and leave you struggling to get enough running in. I don't necessarily think you need to be able to squat 140kg to be a great fellrunner (although it wouldn't harm you if you could!)

    I personally prefer to push the squats more towards the endurance range, so will do reps of 15-20 with lighter weight (perhaps only 40kg on my back, a bit more if i'm doing leg-press rather than a traditional stand-up squat). I think, coupled with plenty of running and uphill work, gives good strength and conditioning.

  4. #264
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    Quote Originally Posted by skipchris View Post
    Step-ups are great.

    I haven’t really thought it through but I do believe that if you’re a hill runner there’s probably merit in doing both weighted stepups with a barbell to improve your max strength, and long bodyweight sets to work on your endurance. horses for courses.
    As someone who lives miles away from the fells, the only time I ran on them was when I raced. To be competitive I used big weights, and was doing very small sets of squats with almost 3 x my body weight on the bar. It took some time to reach this weight, but it made a significant improvement to both my uphill and downhill speeds.

    I'm no longer able to race, but would recommend small sets of big weights (like weightlifters do) and if I had my time again I would do the same again

    ****

    Travs has just posted a message as I was writing the above so I didn't see it. I don't want to contradict him, because he knows what he's talking about, but the big weights worked for me. And as we talking figures, I was squatting with 158kg on the bar when I was weighing in at 56kg
    Last edited by Marco; 03-08-2020 at 06:28 PM.

  5. #265
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    Nice post Marco... you have the benefit of experience, age and wisdom, so i don't wish to argue with you...

    I know i couldn't lift "heavy" and maintain a decent mileage. But strength is strength, whether you use it for work, combat sports, ball sports, or indeed running... and the accepted best way to maximise your strength is indeed your approach "high weight, low rep".

    I guess all our bodies are different, as are our approaches to training.
    Last edited by Travs; 03-08-2020 at 07:29 PM.

  6. #266
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    This is a tricky balance to find.

    To actually get stronger, you’re both right: lift 'big weights'. At the start of the year, my 'S&C' work was basically heavy squats, heavy pause squats (to try and get my squats heavier), and heavy deadlifts…

    …And I was absolutely knackered. At that time, I wouldn’t have been able to pair this with the running volume needed to be a good runner.

    However, since March, I’ve been working how best to manage some peristant knee/hamstring pain I’ve been stuck with, so my running volume has suffered badly (hence I haven’t lurked on the boards because reading about other people’s running was just depressing).

    During that time I’ve built both my squat and deadlift to roughly sets of 6 x BW… and it no longer feels like I’m working hard. I just go into the garage, do them, and crack on with the day. My running volume’s not back to where it should be, but I’m pretty confident I can get up to 30mi/wk without over-taxing myself.

    I think the right approach is good old periodisation, over a number of years. For instance, 6 weeks HEAVY strength work, dropping that off a little as you do a few months 'base training', then dropping it right back to 'maintainance mode' as you do a few months really hard hill running training. Six weeks chill, then back at it.

    ALL THAT SAID, to clarify my original musing: I do suspect (I’m not a scientist and I have no research to back this up!) that it could be worth doing step-ups in BOTH the strength and endurance ranges because of the specificity principle: If you want to be good at taking a lot of steps uphill quickly: the best training is to take a lot of steps uphill quickly!

  7. #267
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    I think periodisation is generally the best way to train for anything (I've recently watched a couple of lectures on the Lydiard training principle of loads of base mileage, then adding in phases of hills/intervals/speed work...)


    It's certainly a lot easier to maintain strength once you've got it, than it is to build that strength in the first place...

    Whilst I try to structure my training as best as possible, the nature of fellracing does throw up some unique challenges for peaking and periodisation. I recently discussed the very same with a Lydiard coach, and very competent runner on both the flat and the fells...

    So I usually end up just trying to cover everything and be consistent, having a decent base all through the year... Which means I'll never really have a calculated "peak".... One of the drawbacks of a hectic racing schedule...
    Last edited by Travs; 03-08-2020 at 09:53 PM.

  8. #268
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    I'm not aware of any recent studies or indeed any currently active researchers that advise against periodisation, it's the underlying training principle in every sport.

    I think strength training is important in endurance sports as it gives you a higher ceiling such that the lower level stress becomes a lower percentage of your max strength, i.e. it's easier to run at 60% of max effort than at 70% even if your pace is the same in both instances.

    The Lydiard training principle sounds very much like polarised training: roughly 80% base in Z1(recovery) and Z2 (endurance) with the remaining 20% being high intensity.
    Bob

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  9. #269
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    I think strength training is important in endurance sports as it gives you a higher ceiling such that the lower level stress becomes a lower percentage of your max strength, i.e. it's easier to run at 60% of max effort than at 70% even if your pace is the same in both instances.
    This is exactly why I train as I do. I nicked the idea from my brother’s rock-climbing mates… I have no idea how scientifically-supported it is, but I’ve seen it work very well anecdotally!

    Only thing I’d add is that I’ll see your 'endurance sports' and raise you 'hill climbing sports' — I suspect that most great fell runners have super-duper-strong legs, although the strength will have been built on the fell rather than in the gym.

    As a corollary, I (a not-very-strong bloke) ran both Ennerdale and a trail marathon last year… I finished my mara in the top 7%, but finished Ennerdale in the bottom 25%. At Ennerdale I still had ample legs for the run-in, but every single ascent was a miserable exercise in watching people pass me.

  10. #270
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travs View Post
    I know i couldn't lift "heavy" and maintain a decent mileage. But strength is strength, whether you use it for work, combat sports, ball sports, or indeed running... and the accepted best way to maximise your strength is indeed your approach "high weight, low rep".

    I guess all our bodies are different, as are our approaches to training.
    I think you could lift "heavy" and maintain your mileage if you approach it from a competitive weightlifting viewpoint.

    Although I'd been very fast downhill on the road and Xcountry, I found my legs were buckling on the fell descents when I went with the leaders. I was light enough to be well up the field, but I didn't have strong enough legs for the descents - not at the speed I wanted to go at.

    The solution I found was to research the sport of weightlifting, where the aim is to increase strength but not body weight so you don't go up a weight category. Now I am most definitely retired, I'm happy to share what I discovered.

    For those of you are interested, I was doing 1 set of 3-6 squats on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays before I went running. If I could manage 6 squats the bar was too light, and next time I would add 1kg. I never failed to manage 3, but if I had I would have reduced the weight for next time. It doesn't sound very much, but that's the whole point. The aim is to stress your legs but not fatigue them and damage the muscles

    On a safety issue I must point out I live alone, so bought some metal racking - the sort that will take 120kg per shelf. I put these up as two towers, with the bar perpendicular across them, so if I did collapse I wouldn't be crushed by the weights (like a Smith's machine). Because of my hip problems I also set the shelf high enough to prevent me doing deep squats.

    A year of this and I was squatting with competition level weights for my age and body weight, without adding any body weight, and running the whole of AS and AM races with no leg buckling or walking

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