Tip of the Week -- Tidbits

The Forum for Endurance Athletes

Tip of the Week -- Tidbits

Postby natellerandi » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:12 pm

Here are some things I've come across and/or learned recently...

1) Define and know the difference between "tired" and "fatigue". "Tired" is related to lack of sleep-type feelings; "fatigue" is what we feel after a challenging workout or day at work. They are different and should necessarily impact how we approach subsequent training in different ways. Be clear with what you're feeling and how you're feeling; avoid using catch-all, ambiguous terms when assessing how you're feeling.

2) Eating during workouts and during the day should mirror the type of workout(s) you have planned on any given day. Said another way, fueling and refueling is critical on the days of your challenging workouts. Recovery days should not be about "catching up"; hopefully you fueled and refueled adequately on your interval/long workout day. In which case your muscle glycogen stores are probably full or nearly full. In which case, any "catching up" you try to do on your recovery days will spill over your already-full tank and create more fat stores (the fuel has to go somewhere). East slightly smaller portions on recovery days and avoid between meal snacks unless your body is telling you to feed it. Don't just eat a mid-afternoon snack out of habit.

3) Muscles tend to be least flexible 2 days after a hard workout or lifting session. When planning your key workouts, you can take one of two approaches -- either schedule back-to-back key days or schedule the key workouts every 3rd day. Or a combo of these 2 approaches. In any case, the key is to have the 2 less intense days between key workouts instead of taking the generic, popular approach of alternating hard and easy days. Taking the 2 mellow days between key workouts will allow you to get more out of the key workouts -- which means you will make better progress more quickly. Try it, you'll like it!

4) Weight lifting for endurance athletes is about injury prevention and strength-building. The more I read about this topic, the more I tend to believe the school of thought that less is more. Lift no more than 8 reps per set (a max of 6 reps would be even better); no more than 5 sets per exercise; and no more than 15 sets per lifting session. See what I mean about "less is more"? If you cap your routine at 15 sets and complete 3 sets per exercise, you're done after 5 exercises. The key is to choose compound exercises for starters -- those that require multiple joint movement to complete the lift, such as squats or the bench press. Compound exercises are clearly more economical and efficient. Instead of a round of bicep curls, wrist curls, shoulder presses and lat pulldowns, instead complete sets of chin-ups for the most bang for the buck. If you can do more than multiple sets of 6-8 chin-ups, start adding some weight around your waist.

5) Get creative with cycling your hard weeks and recovery weeks. Do we need to follow the definition of a "week" in the first place? Are there more natural cycles we can tap into and follow which may better indicate and predict peak performances? Read "Consistent Winning" to see how you can alter your flow of workouts toward improved performances on race days.

6) Finally, I'm convinced that more focus on L1/L2 training and less focus on intervals is the key to an endurance athlete's success. We are aerobic animals, so the more we can spare our glycogen stores by maximizing our aerobic efficiency, the better we set ourselves up to perform.

Happy Training!
Nate Llerandi
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:44 am

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