Tag: Seafair

Strength Training for Endurance Athletes

Endurance training works one of two physiological energy production systems in our body; the aerobic cardio respiratory system, while resistance or strength training works our anaerobic energy system. Energy is used primarily in the muscle fibers, often referred to as the slow twitch and fast twitch fibers. The aerobic system trains our type I muscle fibers, which are more densely packed with mitochondria which utilize oxygen to make ATP. Meanwhile, the type II resistance fibers create ATP in the absence of oxygen by splitting molecules. Since many sports and other events rely more heavily on one type of fiber more than the other, athletes and the general public often train for that specificity. Most the population is composed of each fiber type by a 50:50 split, but specificity in training can shift the ratio of fibers either way slightly.

What happens when an endurance runner trains not just for their endurance abilities but also for strength simultaneously?

There have been multiple studies on this topic, with some studies suggesting that training simultaneously with both strength and endurance takes away from the optimal performance of one to improve the other, meaning you can be highly trained for endurance or just moderately trained for both strength and endurance, or vice versa. However, in opposition to many of those studies, others have tweaked the study method in finding how both can be trained for the benefit of improving upon an already trained ability. That is to say, if a runner was to train aerobically and then perform strength exercises used in running, would they improve? In the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, one of many studies was conducted on well trained endurance runners on how the addition of strength training to endurance training would affect stride ability. Groups were assigned to a periodized sport specific strength conditioning program with endurance (strength exercises changed each week), a consistent sport specific strength conditioning program with endurance (same workout), and an endurance only group. They found that the combination of periodized strength conditioning program with endurance training greatly resisted fatigue in overall strides than both the other groups. The exercises were sport specific to running, including squats, calf raises, hamstrings, and others. Many studies done on cyclists, soccer players, and rowers suggest the same findings.

There are several things to note on how this training would optimize performance. Strength was done at sub maximal weights and moderate repetitions – never to fatigue. This type of training will train the muscles for more endurance prolonged use, while enhancing strength. In the case of the runners the addition of strength increases the threshold of fatigue that the muscles endure by improving power. More muscular strength in the leg muscles contribute to greater power in each stride the runner takes. With that said, the studies in which competitors improved both modes of exercise were all trained with sport specific muscle groups. For instance a competing runner would not want to bulk their upper body like a rower might; it would only take away from their running ability. Studies among the general population show that those who want to improve health should train both modes for better overall conditioning. Strength and endurance training does not seem to negate one or the other for improving health and rehabilitation, but for those with an athletic specific goal, remaining sport specific is key.

Tips to Become a Successful Multisport Athlete: #1 Consistency

There have been a handful of commonalities I have seen in athletes throughout 9 years of coaching that have lead to some reaching success or their goals sooner than others. Not one tip makes an athlete better than another, it is just a common base of similarities that has been recognized amongst athletes.

Consistency.
Making your training a priority regularly, starting early with base building and continually making your training a habit has lead to many athletes reaching their successes. Several athletes use the procrastination technique due to online programs such as 12 weeks to your first half ironman and such, and as this does get many to the starting line it is eliminating the importance of base training and there is very little room for error with such a short time frame (ie: illness, injury, etc.). When an athlete has been training consistently, lost time tends to have little to no effect on their performance due to the solid base they have established with their base training methodology.

If you are interested in beginning training, or you are ready to take your training to the next level, contact Teresa Nelson to begin.

Goggles for Open Water Swimming

Goggles are goggles right? Not necessarily. Just like choosing which layers to put on when going outside, choosing your goggles for open water swimming is a must.

Some things to consider:

  1. Light reflects off water. The brighter the sun the harder it is too see. Opt for reflective and darker gogglers at this time. The TYR metalized tracer or nest pro-nano are perfect in these conditions.
  2. Even during “overcast” there is still some light reflection from the water. Opt for tinted lighted goggles in this case. The TYR tinted Tracer or Nest Pro Nano in pink and blue or clear are great for these conditions.
  3. If it is dark and gloomy and the visibility is limited in the water (think lakes that look red, murky, etc) then opt for lighter colored goggles. The clear, pink, and blues.
  4. If the water is super clear then still err on the side of caution and opt for the light reflective goggles. As for goggles fogging up, well, it happens, and as an athlete we must deal with what is thrown at as. There are different temperatures in the lakes, the air and such causing the “foggy-ness”.

Tips:

  1. Anti-fog liquid works for some lucky folks, try it and see if you like it.
  2. Buy new goggles for race day that are the exact same pair you currently train with, try them once before hand to make sure they fit and there are no “leaks”. New goggles tend to fog less.
  3. Avoid putting your fingers or other products on your goggle lenses pre-race. Imagine sunscreen lathered fingers in lens creating a mess and limits visibility. The fit is super important, especially for the longer the races. Find goggles that fit comfortable, yet snug. It is nearly impossible to find goggles that don’t leave the “I just swam” lines on your face hours post training, so forget about trying to fix this look.

Fit:

  • Make sure it is snug but not overly tight.
  • Make sure the goggle straps are straight behind your head, not sitting down super low and super high.
  • To tighten goggles, tighten the strap, but also pull the strap a tad more snug by the eyes. No need to push on the front of the goggle to jam the eye holes on your face.
  • Happy Swimming!

    Pilates + Running = Speed + Distance

    Training for a marathon this summer? Maybe a 5K race? Whether you’re a marathoner, short distance or casual runner there is no doubt running is great cardiovascular work. But your body can take a beating and this can lead to muscle imbalances in the body that can sideline runners. Pilates can help balance things out and get you running faster and further.

    WHY PILATES?
    As a runner, you have great leg strength. However, you may notice that your hamstrings (back of legs) are weak. Your quadriceps (front thigh), inner thighs and hip flexors may feel tight. These imbalances in the muscles of the legs and hips can potentially cause pain and injury for runners, especially the knee, hip, ankle and foot.

    PILATES EXERCISES WILL:
    • Strengthen hamstrings, inner thighs, and gluteals, taking pressure off the front and side of the leg
    • Elongate and align the spine for better stability
    • Improve technique, flexibility and balance so you move efficiently
    • Recover faster from injuries
    • Increase range of motion in hips and shoulders
    • Enhance concentration through focused breathing

    The best way to know what your body specifically needs is to meet with a Pilates Instructor who will learn your weaknesses and tight areas, and develop a program based on those needs of stretching and strengthening.

    But, in the meantime, here are some at-home exercises you could start today:

    1. The Hundred
    2. The Abdominal Series of five
    3. Single leg stretch
      Double leg stretch
      Single straight leg stretch
      Double straight leg stretch
      Criss-cross

    4. The Swimming

    A balanced body will keep you out on the road, track or treadmill all season long; not to mention shave seconds off your times!