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Whats with Altitude Training

By: Jason Blackham

Imagine yourself running a trail along a trickling stream in the mountains.  It is a bright sunny day with a few white clouds in the deep blue sky.  The flowers in the meadows flash brilliant color.  However, you can hardly enjoy it because you feel like your heart is pounding out of your chest and you are panting worse than a dog as you go up the ridge.  You can’t enjoy it until you stop at the top to see the vista.  As you stop, you think to yourself, at what altitude should I be training?

Much research has been done to determine optimum elevation for training to enhance performance.  The model that has been shown to be best is to live high and train low.  The premier initial studies were performed with athletes living in Park City and training in Salt Lake compared to living and training in Park City and those living and training in San Diego.  It was found that living in Park City and training in Salt Lake increased performance the best.  Athletes train with altitude by high altitude training camps, living at higher altitude and training at lower altitude or by sleeping in tents that simulate higher altitude such as at the Nike training camp.

Without getting into too much physiology, exposure to high altitudes over time increases red blood cells thereby increasing hemoglobin, the molecule that transports oxygen in the blood.  Other things change as well such as a molecule called 2, 3 bisphosphonate which aids in unloading oxygen from hemoglobin.  There are increases in blood vessels in muscle and probably changes in mitochondria energy uses as well.  All of these changes occur due to extreme elevation changes causing a low oxygen state.  It is why traveling to sea level from Utah feels like you can run forever or traveling to high in the mountains feels like you get winded.   Read More….

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Trail Running Can Prevent Injuries. Say What!?

by: Janae Richardson

When we think about the topic of injury prevention a lot of things come to mind…icing, massage, foam rollers, strengthening exercises, etc.  What if I told you trail running could also be added to this injury prevention list? Say what!?  I know right now you are picturing rolling your ankle, tripping over a rock or root, falling off a steep cliff, or running into a rattle snake.  While these are all possible risks of trail running, one could contend that while running on the roads you could just as easily trip over a curb or pothole, get bit by a dog, or even hit by a car.  The truth is, trail running has some definite injury prevention benefits and here’s why…

Read More….

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How far out from my goal race should my longest run be?

 

long-run

Image Source: running.competitor.com

As a running coach, I often get asked the following questions,

“How far out from my goal race should my longest run be and how many miles should I complete for that long run?”  

According to an article that appeared in Competitor magazine by 2:22 marathoner/coach Jeff Gaudette, it takes approximately 4-6 weeks to reap the benefits of a long run.  So ideally, your longest run should be at least 4 weeks out from your goal race.  Which, if you want to have a 3-4 week taper leading into your race, you want to be tapering off your long runs about this time anyway.  What adaptations or benefits are our bodies receiving from logging those long run miles? Long runs are designed to build the body’s aerobic system.  Physiologically this means increasing the number and size of the mitochondria in your muscle fibers and increasing the number of capillaries, which both contribute to the body’s ability to more efficiently transfer and utilize oxygen and fuel within the body.

My former college coach Paul Pilkington coached me through my 3rd marathon and I remember him telling me that my longest run before the marathon should not be based on miles, but rather should put me out running for the same amount of time that I planned on finishing my marathon in.  Since I was shooting for a 2:46 marathon, my longest runs ended up being in the 2:45 to 3 hour range.  I never covered a full 26.2 miles in that amount of time, but at least my body was used to working for a similar number of running minutes as my planned race.   

Good luck logging those miles!

 

by Janae Richardson – Runner | USATF Certified Coach | Masters in Exercise Science

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Postpartum Exercise Part 2: Training Plan

**See RUN UTAH’s April/May issue page 15 “4 For Core” and June/July issue  page 17 “Simple Strengthening Exercises” for some sample strengthening exercises

POSTPARTUM TRAINING PLAN (Weeks 1-3)

 

WEEK 1:

Monday

  • 30 minute brisk walk
  • Strengthening Exercises: push ups (2 x 10 reps), triceps dips (2 x 10 reps), leg lifts (2 x 15 reps), bridge-squeezers (30 reps), bridge-thigh abductors (30 reps), side planks (hold for 30 seconds each side)

Tuesday

  • Yoga

Wednesday

  • 40 minute brisk walk
  • Strengthening exercises: static doorway (2 x 30 seconds), full body clench (3 x 15 seconds), squats (2 x 30 reps), push ups (2 x 10 reps), triceps dips (2 x 10 reps)

Thursday

  • Yoga

Friday

  • 5-7 minutes of abs and strengthening exercises: planks-sides and middle, supermans, boat, leg lifts, clams, squeezers, regulars, sides, scissors, V’s

Saturday

  • 50-60 minute brisk walk

WEEK 2:

Monday

  • 40 minute brisk walk
  • Strengthening Exercises: push ups (2 x 10 reps), triceps dips (2 x 10 reps), leg lifts (2 x 15 reps), bridge-squeezers (30 reps), bridge-thigh abductors (30 reps), side planks (hold for 30 seconds each side)

Tuesday

  • Yoga

Wednesday

  • 50 minute brisk walk
  • Strengthening exercises: static doorway (2 x 30 seconds), full body clench (3 x 15 seconds), squats (2 x 30 reps), push ups (2 x 10 reps), triceps dips (2 x 10 reps)

Thursday

  • Yoga

Friday

  • 25-30 minute brisk walk
  • 5-7 minutes of abs and strengthening exercises: planks-sides and middle, supermans, boat, leg lifts, clams, squeezers, regulars, sides, scissors, V’s

Saturday

  • 60-70 minute brisk walk
  • Strengthening Exercises: push ups (2 x 10 reps), triceps dips (2 x 10 reps), leg lifts (2 x 15 reps), bridge-squeezers (30 reps), bridge-thigh abductors (30 reps), side planks (hold for 30 seconds each side)

WEEK 3:

Monday

  • 15 minute brisk walk.  15 minutes of running or 3 x 5 minutes of running with 2 minutes of brisk walking in between.  10 minute brisk walk.
  • Strengthening Exercises: push ups (2 x 10 reps), triceps dips (2 x 10 reps), leg lifts (2 x 15 reps), bridge-squeezers (30 reps), bridge-thigh abductors (30 reps), side planks (hold for 30 seconds each side)

Tuesday

  • Yoga

Wednesday

  • 15 minute brisk walk.  20 minutes of running or 2 x 10 minutes of running with 4 minutes of brisk walking in between.  10 minute brisk walk.
  • Strengthening exercises: static doorway (2 x 30 seconds), full body clench (3 x 15 seconds), squats (2 x 30 reps), push ups (2 x 10 reps), triceps dips (2 x 10 reps)

Thursday

  • Yoga

Friday

  • 25 minutes of running or 10 minute run, 4 minute brisk walk, 15 minute run, 5 minute brisk walk.
  • 5-7 minutes of abs and strengthening exercises: planks-sides and middle, supermans, boat, leg lifts, clams, squeezers, regulars, sides, scissors, V’s

Saturday

  • 70-80 minute brisk walk
  • Strengthening Exercises: push ups (2 x 10 reps), triceps dips (2 x 10 reps), leg lifts (2 x 15 reps), bridge-squeezers (30 reps), bridge-thigh abductors (30 reps), side planks (hold for 30 seconds each side)

 

by Janae Richardson – Runner | Coach

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Training Log (Download Here)

If you aren’t logging your miles you are really missing out on an important part of running.  A training log can help you stay motivated and injury free because it gives you a chance to track your progress and analyze your training.

Tom De Marco a well known engineer once said, “You can’t control what you can’t measure”. This is even more true when it comes to running.

Click Here to download the excel spreadsheet file Training Log.

Log your runs, plus your cycling, swimming, and other cross-training activities.

For each workout, keep track of your time and distance, route, planned workout, actual workout, heart rate, food, shoe mileage, daily & weekly mileage, personal notes and more.

You can download the file here:

We know that there are more sophisticated tools out there, but we like this training log because it’s free, simple, and effective.  Make it your own and see the results!

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