Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday strides and uphill plyometrics

Am)3 mile warm-up.
6 X 30" uphill strides at ~5:30-5:40 pace. Not a super steep hill because I wanted to work more on uphill "speed" (relative to my goal pace at Mt Evans).
Then (also uphill) 20 steps per leg of FOUR plyometrics (my own acronym standing for Front, Out, Up, Rear which describes the direction of movement).
3 mile jog home.
Uphill plyos are the bomb.


Mountain Way said...

Were the uphill strides intended to be at that pace? Or, was it more a perception of effort? I always try to go "hard" (in my mind 90-95% effort)for my shorter uphill strides, attempting to promote speed development and power/strength.

Any more detail on the uphill plyo?

Like the blog!

Lucho said...

I definitely had a pace in mind, but ran by feel. Relaxed and smooth with out straining or sprinting. These are more for neuromuscular coordination than anything. The hill was too shallow and the effort too light to build power. Speed was more the goal. I am ending my 'base' phase in 2 weeks and am starting to build in to the interval and rep sessions I have planned so this is a start.
The plyo's were just basic like hill bounding and super high cadence knee lifts which is brutal. Some side stepping lunges up hill.

Rick said...

I'd like to run Mt. Washington this year where the average grade is 11.5%. The auto road is a pretty steady climb without a whole lot of varying grades (yea, there are a few spots, especially the infamous "Wall", but that's just a very small portion at the end). I understand the importance of training at the grade of the race as well as the flat speedwork that needs to be done. But what about all the grades in between? Is there any benefit to going out and doing specific speedwork at, say, 5-6% grade for a race like Mt. Washington if 0% and 12% are easily available to train at?
Thanks Tim!

Lucho said...

With the 11%+ grade you need power which I think you already have from soccer. Your weakness will be holding pace for the duration. So you want longer hill sessions (which you're doing) to help with the endurance at goal pace.
In this order starting ~16 weeks out.

Strides right now will go a long way in helping your speed. Just like soccer, 10"-30" at near top speed followed by 1' jogging. You need to be able to climb comfortably for long periods of time before thinking about running fast uphill for long periods, that's always the order.

About 18-10 weeks out your focus should be more on running shorter intervals at slightly over goal effort, and then try to build the volume of the total workload to ~40:00 total time. So start with 6 X 1:00 at harder than goal effort and definitely over LT. Then build on to them, maybe the 8 week progression would look like:
6 X 1'
5 X 2'
5 X 3'
4 X 5'
3 X 8'
3 X 12'
2 X 16'
2 X 20'
It depends on how quickly you are adapting to workload, so those may progress less or more quickly. Maybe throw in a rest week in the middle. Do the intervals at varying grades between 0%-12% so you are doing some fast running which should be enough with out actually focusing on it, but a lot of it should be >8%.

Then 10 weeks out- one approach would be to start off by picking a barely realistic and quite optimistic time goal for MtW. Start with intervals at goal pace but at ~3-5% grade. Then gradually add time to the intervals until you can do maybe ~2 X 2 miles steady with out going over LT (this is a huge key). Then step back and start over with the same process but use 6-8% grade. Then build again. This would be just maybe one key session each week.
Once you get within ~8 weeks of MtW you also want to be doing long tempos (about ~20:00 shorter than the goal race time) within 10% of goal pace that simulates the race with varying grades where you maybe run at 12% for a long interval (~5:00 maybe) and then drop to ~6% to recover (but still hold within 10% of goal pace). You want efforts at LT followed by recovery that is only slightly easier, just enough to allow a moderate amount of lactate buffering.
One key for MtW will be to run at goal pace below LT. So your LT obviously needs to be developed to a higher level than goal pace. For the marathon this will fall around 4%-8% disparity in AeT pace and LT pace. Not sure what MtW would be but (depending on your goal time) it certainly will be closer, probably nearer 2%-3% if you train right.
Does that make sense?

Rick said...

That makes LOADS of sense, thanks alot Tim! I probably would not have put in any work between 1%-8% except for it just happeneing where it happens on the trail/road, so that info/examples are a huge help. Running times at MW are close to 1/2 marathon times/efforts so I think the 2%-3% you're thihnking is right. Even though it's not suprising it's still amazing that you took the time to write all that out for me and pretty much give me the blueprints. Thanks!

Lucho said...

Rick- I can send you more anytime! You still have 'credit' with me if you're interested. Anything I can do to help!

Lucho said...

Rick- Now that I've had my coffee my mind is a little more lubricated. With the hill specific race we (I'm doing Evans and hopefully Pikes ascent) have to look at the race in two specific ways in terms of training. Running fast AND uphill. So this makes it much more unique than a typical road race where you are simply trying to train one of those aspects. So the two factors have to be trained simultaneously which is a two fold stress. When the grade is ~5% your energy expenditure is about 20% higher (VS flat terrain at the same speed) and a 10% grade requires ~50% more energy. The increased energy is from needing to propel yourself not only forward but also up. "Elastic recovery" is much lower. As you run uphill the flight phase of your stride is shorter meaning that your foot falls from a shorter distance and as your foot plants then the extension of your muscles (your calf especially) is reduced and they store less elastic energy which then reduces the energy that is returned to the push phase.
From your soccer background you have more power than the typical runner so you have a strong push phase (IE: you can accelerate more quickly). When you run up a steep hill the flight phase (leg moving forward) is much shorter than the push phase. If you are weak in the push phase (IE: like a typical marathoner who can't sprint) then you should focus more on short and very hard hill intervals.
For you however I would GUESS that you have issues more with long efforts that require strength. When an effort is long and moderate you are using primarily 'slow twitch' or Type I fibers and then as the race progresses and the incline increases you shift more toward FTO or fast oxidative fibers which is where you might be lacking. The way to train this is to focus on training that targets these fibers. Long uphill runs are where you will make the most gains. FTO fibers will only come in to play after you have exhausted your Type I fibers (your glycogen stores run out). Usually this would take an elite marathoner ~20k of running at marathon effort (AeT) to do this. With you, uphill, this will come sooner so you want efforts of at least 10k long at ~10 beats below LT (or VERY roughly 10 beats above MAF HR). If you are a 'fast twitch' guy then your FTO fibers use little oxygen, that's what they have been trained and are genetically programmed to do. Since you need these fibers to perform for a longer period of time, doing these long uphill efforts increases the aerobic enzymes in these muscles forcing them to produce a greater amount energy using oxygen.
Just a couple of thoughts behind the method...

Rick said...

Saying no to that kind of credit would be like saying no to warm clothes at Leadville ;-).
MW is a lottery (for me) and it's usually the beginning of April when the list comes out, so that would be about 10 weeks out from the race. Your assesment of my strengths and weaknesses are right on and you've given me plenty of info/examples to work with for a while. So maybe around the beginning of April I can access my fitness, come up with a very optimistic goal then get some really specific guidance from you?

Lucho said...

It would be my pleasure, just say the word and we'll start!