ATC 249: Free Weights v. Machines, Keeping Motivation High During Winter, Mastering VO2Max Intervals and More

December 8, 2017

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On this episode of Ask the Coaches:

  • Article discussion: Weight machines vs. free weights
    • It’s not an either or – they work synergistically.
    • It depends: What are your goals?
    • Machines may be safer for some (especially those new to weights).
  • How to keep winter training motivation high when it’s lonely and cold?
    • Cross country ski season is here – while everyone else seems to be in offseason.
    • Find inspiring documentaries or idols to watch and follow. Tawnee always love the film, What It Takes.
    • On intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation.
    • The fear of failure vs. willing to go for it even if failing is a risk.
    • For more mental tips check out our Brave Athlete podcast.
  • Training for long course/ultra when you have a physically demanding job as well.
    • Training/racing resulted in an injury: piriformis syndrome. Did the combo of physical labor at work combined with 50k training lead to overtraining?
    • How to factor in physically demanding jobs with your training schedule – usually the physical work won’t substitute training sessions, but the physical work does need to be factored into the schedule.
  • Piriformis injuries – what are the usual causes:
    • Increasing training mileage too quickly
    • Running mechanics
    • Weakness of hip abductors/glute med – if hips aren’t strong enough, then more strain is placed on the piriformis, which can lead to overuse, muscle tension and injury.
    • Sitting (commuting) for a relatively long time
  • How to plan your heavier weight sessions with your endurance training.
    • Ultrarunners who need weight lifting legs, but finding that it’s causing the legs to be pretty wiped out for up to 2-3 days preventing any quality runs from happening. 
    • How much strength training do you really need based on your priorities?
    • Periodizing strength and endurance training.
    • When it’s ok to run even if your legs are trashed from weight lifting.
  • Nursing mama wants to know how to approach training for the 2018 season, with plans to do an ultra.
    • Focus on intensity or volume?
    • Keeping a close watch on your body, and in this case breastmilk supply, to make sure your providing enough for your baby – if the goal is to breastfeed.
    • When is it ok to get back to training soon after giving birth? It depends. Largely on what your fitness was pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and how fast you heal from the birth.
    • Tawnee says: Don’t worry, we don’t all have to be super moms – go at your own pace and don’t feel guilty if some moms can achieve more prenatal and postnatal.
    • Dr. Tamsin Lewis speaks on breastfeeding for athlete moms.
  • How do you decide training interval duration?
    • Interval duration depends on intensity you’re looking to achieve.
    • How to properly execute VO2max intervals – what’s too much, what’s too little and what is the sweet sport for interval duration.
    • Recovery intervals play a huge role too.
    • Using field tests to determine HR zones that will get you to the intensities you want.
    • Keeping intervals appropriate to your needs and race goals.
    • How much is too much?

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