I apologize for not getting these up right away. On day three the theme was hill work. Great 5 mile round trip trail run; first half uphill @ 10% grade – I averaged 11:00 miles. The benefits are multiple. The steady steep climb builds general and specific running strength. Remember that uphill running will always be slower than flat or downhill so remember with a neuromuscular focus, this means though you are indeed getting stronger, you are not directly getting faster. In fact, after hill work, your legs are slower… unless you follow the principles of year-round training and maintain forms of speed work in your routine.
On the trip down, I averaged a bit under 7:00s pace. This was challenging but very good for working quads and focusing on “quick feet”. Anyone who is running a downhill marathon (St. George, Tucson) should do some fast downhill training to innoculate the quads to that type of running. It will reduce the chances of your quads deciding to quit on you late in the race.
In the afternoon we ran repeats up a 17% graded hill. These were hard short (75-150 meters) repeats and bounding type running. The focus was on form and strength. The research has shown better performance results with combinations of steep incline training such as this workout along with modest inclines (5-7%) that you run at about 5k pace over 600-1000 meters.
On day four we had a nice run on the beach followed by power and strength drills. Lots of good choices. Other than some of the power drills which I avoided because of my Achilles tendon issues the run was very smooth and I wasn’t too sore form the past days’ runs. I am listening to my body as I experiment with drills, hills, slightly faster paces. See my other posts regarding Achilles tendons. I am following my own advice.
At noon we did a session on running specific stretching and then in the late afternoon we followed those with lactate stackers – repeats on a dirt road. These are great for improving your lactate threshold (remember – this is a key physiological variable which is very predictive of performance). 1:00 is run at faster than your vVO2max pace (very fast – about 800 meter pace) with 2:00 jog recovery. This is repeated for up to 8 repeats. Today we did 4-6 depending on the condition of the runner.
Lecture topic on diet and nutrition. USDA website usda.gov has a FREE food calculator. http://www.mypyramidtracker.gov/ If you use this, do it for about three days worth of eating.
Carbs are the fuel for high quality energy. Low calorie diets and carbohydrate deficient diets will yield poor running performance. You can calculate your need this way: 4 Gms per pound of body weight for carbohydrates. If you are low, gradually and not dramatically increase to this level otherwise weight gain will occur. It is a matter of your body adjusting and increasing the metabolism Yes, eating more can increase your metabolism… deficient diets force the body to “conserve” energy and therefore it becomes stingy. (170# person = 680 Gms)
Protein needs is calculated as 1.2 gms per kilogram of body weight. (170/2.2 = 77.3 Kg x 1.2 = 93 Gms of protein)
The rule of thumb for calories to stay alive (BMR – basic metabolic rate) is your body weight x 15 = calories. (15 x 170 = 2550) Then need enough for working out. Add approximately 100 calories per mile run.
Timing of meals is important. The best time to take in carbohydrates is a window of 30 minutes after a run. In the hour after running get 1Gm of carb per pound of body weight. (170# – 170 gms = 680 calories) It is just as good to use an energy replacement drink along with solid foods to obtain this.
Fact: Kenyan diet – 75-80% of their total diet is carbs; 20% of their total diet is raw sugar; and they are lean. It is a myth that carbohydrates make you fat.
Eating later at night does contribute to weight gain. Growth hormones appear about 1-1.5 hours of sleep and are keys in recovery process. Eating stimulates production of insulin which inhibits those growth hormones’ release. It also contributes to increased fat retention. Rule of thumb is to refrain from eating 2-2.5 hours before bedtime.
Sports drinks are helpful only for exercise of an hour or longer. The minimum concentration is 6%. No absorption occurs in the stomach. Higher concentrations than 9% delay passing into the intestines. Do not mix sports drinks with more water as this will decrease carbohydrate absorption. If you happen to have a sensitive stomach and straight sports drinks upset your stomach, experiment. Just be clear that if you make a 50-50 (water-sports drink) drink you will not obtain the carbs that others do.
Gels are tricky at best. Never use with a sports drink, the combination creates a “new” sports drink and will greatly impede carbohydrate absorption. There are very high possibilities of diarrhea. You must take water with gels only and be sure that the combination in your stomach does not exceed the 6-9% carbohydrate concentration. Higher levels impede absorption. Experimentation is a necessity before using these in any race.
Set up patterns for you eating. High protein and fat for a meal before a workout is bad because those will stay your stomach longer. Experiment with high carbohydrate foods which settle well on your stomach. Don’t deviate before races.
If you tend to be susceptible to high glycemic foods, (Glycemic index) focus on low glycemic foods before runs to avoid the fatigued feeling.