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Fist of all, I love all of your insight and efforts to look into the literature regarding the questions on strength training. I am a physical therapist and specialize in treating endurance athletes and spend much of my “free time” nerding out by reading articles specifically on this topic so I can best direct treatment and injury prevention programs. The question on episode 283 RE: body weight vs loaded strength sparked and interest because this is a topic that I have changed viewpoint in the past few years. usually, I am a fan of higher load, lower rep exercises that specifically target the muscle/tendon/joint of interest (calf, quad, glute, ham). Of course, this means the loading is much less “functional” but does elicit actual tissue adaptation and general load resilience. Since it seems like you guys get a lot of questions regarding injury prevention and strength training, I though you might appreciate this podcast with Dr. Rich Willy. He is one of the leading experts in the field of running injury prevention and rehabilitation, and happens to live here in Missoula (yep, I’m in Missoula and was stoked to hear that you came through here last year and met Julie and that she is now a part of your show!). He has become a wealth of knowledge for me and has spoken on may other podcasts. I think this interview provides a nice, simple summary that you may be able to pass along to your athletes or use in future questions. Also, I loved Lucho’s contribution about importance of lower leg strength…often so under appreciated. Ok, I apologize for the rambling, but this stuff is my true passion, so I could go on about it all day.
Now for my question: I am a runner, but over the years have dealt with enough of my own injuries (mostly due to relative overtraining and under fueling…getting a handle on that and love the episodes that discuss this btw) that I mountain and road bike just as much. At the moment, I am running healthily and training for several races this summer — a few 30k’s, 14 mile trail race, and maybe a 50miler. I tend to stay away from shorter races because I have a serious problem with operating for very long at high intensities. I have gotten a HR monitor and wear it quite often. My max HR is about 163bpm, and my LTHR is about 149-151. My FTP wattage on the bike is 192 and this correlates with the LTHR mentioned above. My resting HR is about 40bpm. Ok, so my issue is, I feel like i don’t have a lot of wiggle room between my LTHR of 150ish and completely maxing out at 160. Does this seem normal to you? I also find it interesting that my MAF HR should be around 148 (I’m 32), but this is way to hard for me to sustain for a 3 hour run. I have given up on that and followed Lucho’s advice to think more as training in Zone 1-2. I do believe that I tend to train too much in a zone 3/4/5 and rarely train in the 1-2 range, so I have been working on that (125-135bpm), but, I do continue to incorporate 1 day/week of high intensity work (hill repeats, tempo, 800s). My question is: 1) would you suggest focusing more on tempo runs in the 150bpm range on terrain that mimics the race (hilly), or shorter efforts pushing into my max HR with more complete recovery if my goal is to be more competitive in a 3-5 hour trail race but also be able to hang onto the front group when someone attacks in a bike race? As I write this, I’m thinking that I may not be able to get the best of both worlds, but would love any insight you have on the matter.
I have been running as an adult for about a year and half now focusing on half marathon. My last race (road) was early March and my next one is my first full marathon (trail) in November—getting married in June and maintain fitness until I start my marathon training program when I am back from my honeymoon in July.
Right before my last race I got my first Garmin and am new to watching heart rate. One of the episodes I listened to, there was concern about an athlete running 12% in V4. Looking at my last race, I was 95% in V5 or 1:33. I have been looking st each of my runs and I live in V3-5 for everyone of them. Looking at easy hikes I will hit up V3 but spend most of the time in V2. Watching my Garmin today, it looked like my lowest heart rate was 36… I am questioning how accurate my watch is. If it is accurate, what does this mean for me? If it is not, what should I do? How important is it to watch my heart rate? Not sure if this is helpful regarding my heart question but my Garmin indicates my VO2 Max is 49.
Other useful info: I am 29, female, 5.5 feet, 130lb and healthy body fat range.
I cross train 3-6 times per week and run 3 times per week. Cross training includes rock climbing, circuit training, Olympic weightlifting, and mountain biking. I also walk my dogs, walk to get places, and go hiking regularly.
My goals are:
1) To not get injured
2) Run the distance and climb the feet for my first full (5000 ft trail marathon—North Face Endurance Challenge in Marin Headlands)
3) Run a Boston Qualifier time at some point—first opportunity early March 2020
4) Run a 5:30 mile
I’m an avid listener and so enjoy your podcasts.
Quick backstory on myself:
37YO female that lives in the glorious PNW.
Grew up an avid swimmer and cyclist, picked up running in college.
Played football in college (quarterback and free safety) for a women’s team. When I comment more on this, my husband calls me “Uncle Ricky.” 🙂
Post-college I got into tris (sprint and Olympic distances).
About five years ago, I got into CrossFit and LOVED the competitive nature of it, and for five years have gained a lot of strength, but my running has suffered (just gotten a lot slower, which is frustrating).
I recently got into IM70.3. While training for them, I still did CF 4-5 times per week. Mostly because I’m competitive and I didn’t want my gym friends to be stronger than me. Haha. But…Now that I’ve completed two 70.3, I want to be a bit more competitive in them. This fall, i made the hard decision to leave my CrossFit gym to concentrate more on running (my weakest leg in IM).
I’ve ran the better part of 1/2 my life, but never with a lot of structure or strategy.
For three months, I’ve been trying to put into practice a lot that I’ve learned from y’all. My week now consists of shorter runs (3-4miles 3+ times per week) followed by simple strength WODs, 8×400 once per week, and then a tempo run (6 miles) and long run (8-10miles depending on how I feel).
My pace per mile has dropped 1 min (was running at a 9:30 pace, now under 8:30) for my tempo runs.
I love that improvement and it confirms my decision to leave my CF gym.
Two questions that I have regarding all that I’ve learned from listening (and I know I still have a lot to learn, so If anything in my description above sounds off, LMK!):
1) when doing strength wods, is it okay to up the intensity (like I would for CF?)? Or is it better to keep it at a lower intensity and more reps. Does upping my intensity on these shorter wods give more risk to injury in running?
2) my left ankle is constantly giving me problems. I’ve learned that I need to “floss the nerves” in my ankle often to prevent this. Am I the only one that struggles a lot with this? Is it from running? Any advice? I wear Altra shoes and try never to wear high heels. Is the increase in pain due to the more miles I’m running (or the fact I’m getting older?)?