Week of 1/16/17: Workouts this week, Saturday Hill Repeats, Training Tip article

Hi Folks,

updated on 1/19/17:  Remember to renew your Tamalpa Membership online at Tamalparunners.org. All those who are part of the Thursday workout groups need to be members of Tamalpa so that you have insurance coverage with our training sessions.

Remember to dress in layers because it’s still cold out there! Also it looks like rain for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – and the weekend. If you’re running in the upcoming Kaiser Half Marathon on SuperBowl Sunday get in solid long run of 10-15 miles the next two weekends (depends where you are on long runs and weekly mileage); then a taper run of about 8-10 miles at the end of the month. During the next two weeks substitute some mileage with either 3-4 x Mile (400) at 10K pace; 2-4 mile tempo runs at half marathon GP or 5 x 1000 (200) to acclimate the body to race pace.

We will have SATURDAY HILL REPEATS this weekend at Seminary College; it’s been a while. Time to get back on track with a solid hill repeats and key exercises in between sets of five repeats. Looks like a break in the weather Saturday morning.

1/17/17 TUESDAY 8:45 am Start. TEMPO on MV bike path; meet at “log cabin”, Tenn Valley Rd. ( Doing 8:45 am start to keep some of the group on track so they can get to work or next appointment on time).

1/18/17 WEDNESDAY 8:15 am start for MADISON AV GYM Circuit with Kees at Warren’s.

1/19/17 THURSDAY 7:30 & 8:45 am starts for TRACK at COM. Shorter and medium length intervals emphasis this week. After the usual 1.5M warm-up run and 4 x 50 (50), 2 x 100 (100) stride-outs:

A/B gps:  Two rounds of:   (2 x 200 (200) @ mile pace; 4 x 400 (2 1/2′) @ under 5K GP; 1 x 600 (200) @ 5K GP).  Then for those running Kaiser Half Marathon add a 1000 @ 10K pace.

C gp:  Two rounds of: ( 2 x 40 Meters; 4 x 50 (50), 2 x 100 (100), 1 x 200 (200))

1/21/17 SATURDAY 7:30 am HILL REPEATS/Key exercises. Held at the Seminary Theological College as usual. Get there earlier (about 7:10 am), park along Seminary Drive near the College entrance area, do a warm-up out/back run along Seminary Drive and the Bay; then run up the entry road to first level where I’ll have the workout stations set up. This workout is designed to develop leg speed, strength, power and fitness (hill repeats) and a mix of strength and explosive exercises (strength/balance). The workout is followed by “Loaded Carries” for all-around body strength, posture and core. Plus some sprinting Tire Pulls for fitness and power – it’s a wind worker!

Coming so far: Vicki, Lisa, Shirley, Linda, Judi, Dave, Gayle, Michelle.

If Raining I will include exercises with minimal or no equipment.  So far it looks like we have a break for Saturday morning.

TRAINING ARTICLE – for Winter time training:

Coach’s Corner January 2017, Part One

Training Tips for the Winter Months

            By Kees Tuinzing

During the Winter cold months runners may want to make a shift from their usual running routine with three months that includes strength training, hill training, tempo, and even longer intervals on the track leading up to races from April onward.  After building up the base in those four areas you will see improvement in your Spring races; avoid doing the “same old, same old,” if you are striving for a breakthrough. Due to space limitation, we’ll cover the one or two topics for now. In this month’s issue we’ll look at the need for strength training; not just for improving running, cycling or triathlon performance, but also for health and aging ( we do have many Masters in our Club!).

Aerobic exercise improves circulation, endurance and longevity; most of our Club members have that part of your program in place. However, endurance athletes still need to address the dramatic decline in muscle mass and strength that is a part of aging. Around age 40 on muscle fibers lose their normal innervation and become connected to adjacent motor neurons disrupting the normal firing patterns that we enjoyed during our younger years. Firing patterns become compromised;  It’s not just that you lose muscle tissue, but that you need strength training for power and neural coordination. Strength training not only helps with muscle growth ( studies have shown there is a training effect during ages 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s),  but helps with an improvement in coordination; specifically improving the coordination of motor units that fire the muscles that make the running, jumping and other coordination activities possible. It’s helping with all those connections and bringing them to life where the weight training makes a difference. The quality strength training helps keep neural coordination from declining as quickly.

You’ll lose half your muscle cells during your lifetime and lose half your peak fitness but you can still end up stronger by continuing with the weight training. You build new muscle mass inside each remaining cell. You can reverse the decline and maintain strength for many years! So include weight training twice per week into your program. The world record for the bench press for sixty-year old is 440 pounds; for young men it’s 700 pounds. That’s a decline of 40 percent! (from the book, Younger Next Year, by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D.). The record for 85 year olds is 175 – still excellent!

How to implement the strength training and still keep up with the running lifestyle?

Strength Training: I’ve found not only for myself at age 69, but more importantly for a number of the runners in our group, that with a low volume and fairly heavy resistance training, their running improved and injuries were reduced. The goal is not to “workout” , but train for strength – and the endurance will improve. Progressive resistance overload will force your body to “damage” your muscle cells on a cellular level which then forces it to repair all those strength units. It’s a system of a stress and recovery to make the improvements happen. The adaptive changes take place during the rest days and that’s why, as runners add a strength program, they should keep it to one to two sessions per week. Unlike endurance units, which recover from the running or swimming overnight, your strength units need about forty-eight hours for repair and time to make the adaptive changes. I’m finding that even one strength session per week with our runners produces significant improvement in overall strength. The main message is to get started with it: strength training is critical to the rest of your life.

The difficulty is to increase leg strength, while avoiding fatiguing the legs: you need to save that for your sport of running, cycling or triathlon training. I have the group include the weight training to increase the strength and muscle firing,  but also to balance out their musculature, build a very strong core, and to prevent injuries resulting from overuse with a one-sided activity sport as running.

The trick with runners on a busy schedule, is to find what minimal volume of strength training produces an increase in strength but allows them to improve their running – and especially recovery.

The proof has been with our ultra runners and triathletes: their legs are holding up better on the 50k, 50M, 100K and 100 mile events with a less “beat up’ feeling; especially after long downhills you encounter during ultra runs – and knocking down finish times. “Strong legs, happy knees,” says Dr. John Rusin, noted trainer and physical therapist.

This means you include key lifts even once per week, such as Deadlift ( all-out total body strength move for hips, back, legs, arms, traps), barbell or kettlebell Clean, dumbbell or kettlebell Goblet Squat, Quarter Squats, Turkish Get-Up (TGU) and Kettlebell Swings. There should be about twice the training for the posterior side of the body versus the anterior side. In addition, I’m big on maintaining hip and shoulder mobility to keep the athlete injury free and have a better range of motion (ROM) for their sport;  it all affects your running – and health ( Refer to “Ready to Run”, by Kelly Starrett that I reviewed last year. A very helpful book that address balance and avoiding injuries)

I start novices ( and seasoned athletes) with Loaded Carries (LC) to  acclimate to putting the body under substantial tension, “Time Under Tension,” (TUT) individualized to you prior to a lifting program. This helps to build a strong frame, legs, shoulder stability, and posture prior to launching into a lifting program.  They include the Farmers Walk, Rack Walk and Waiters Walk and are done for 1 minute to 1:30. Repeat for two rounds. Don’t underestimate the benefits they produce for the body for a best overall effect.

Farmer Carry: (as if carrying two suitcases) Carry a heavy but manageable dumbbell (DB) or kettlebell (KB) in each hand and walk while maintaining a strong upright posture with head held as an extension of the spine, and walk for a minute about 50-75 feet out and back to start with. It’s felt throughout your body: your pelvis and back works individually to you, works the traps, shoulders, arms, grip, buttocks and legs. It’s also one heck of a calorie burner! The eventual goal is to hold about half your body weight in each hand – no hurry on this!  It’s considered one of the best exercises you can do by renowned back specialist, Dr. Stuart McGill of Toronto who has done research and advising on back care for many athletes.

The Farmer Carry works all muscle groups in the back, shoulders, legs, hips, traps, and grip. The core is stressed hard as back and abs work in sync to brace the body and helps develop shoulder and back stability.

The Rack Carry works the back area between the waist to the top of the back by holding two kettlebells close to your chest, knuckles touching with the bells resting in the “V” of your arms. Walk the one minute time period to start with. I’ve found that with two 53# kettlebells I’m puffing like a steam engine from the tension produced while holding the KB’s within about 40 seconds and can just get through the minute time period.

The Waiter’s Carry puts the emphasis on shoulder stability and strength while holding one or two KB or DB’s overhead, arms locked, biceps along the ear. I don’t let members of group do any overhead presses unless they can do Waiters Walk for a minute with any weight. Doing at least one exercise holding a weight overhead for the very upper torso is much neglected by endurance athletes and the general population.

The Turkish Get Up (TGU) is a total body and core strengthening movement that ties together the upper and lower body; right and left sides of the body and brain; improves leg and shoulder strength, balances out the musculature, and promotes ROM that most all “tight” runners need to work on. It is performed slowly referred to as a “grinder” requiring you to maintain a hold for 20-30 seconds at each step of the movement. It  has the “biggest bang for the buck”: if you had time for only one lift; I’d encourage the TGU. Practice this movement without weight; then gradually begin with a light kettlebell (preferably because the weight “hangs”) or dumbbell, and working your way up.  It’s a “Hurry up slowly” progression. The focus is on the movement pattern of the TGU that counts for the best general effect to help your running and other athletics. I’ve seen women at 125 pounds do the TGU with 62# kettlebells! The overall body strength and core that holding such a weight requires is amazing. The book, “Simple and Sinister”, covers the KB Swing and Turkish Get Up in detail.
Reps on most of the other lifts will be in the range of 3 sets of 3-5 reps. The description for these lifts you can find online or learn from a trainer. It just takes a half hour to 40 minutes to get in a solid circuit of exercises to make substantial improvement. Take the time to learn how –  then get on with it.    …..(end of part one)

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