Hello Eric and everyone! I am planning to go to the Mt Washington to run the autoroad to the summit just to see what kinda time i can expect! The qualifying time to enter the race is 3h02! I dont know if i'm ready for this but before i go and try i want to give my legs a litle kick by training them for maximum strenght but no bulk to get lighter as possible!!! Any suggestions to maximize my strenght/weight ratio:exercises,way to train,nutrition...e.c.t...would help! thanks
J-F, to get the max leg strength you are looking for, as well as overall metabolic conditioning, I suggest that you get to the nearest crossfit. I am a crossfit trainer and can tell you that the athletes we train, from marathoners, ultra runner, triathletes, to soccer and basketball players all end up blowing away their prior PR's in their sport or taking their game to the next level and yes, without looking like Arnold. Moreover, all of the endurance athletes that we train have been able to achieve these new PR's while cutting back on their hours and miles of running. If you have read BTR, this type of training goes along with the notion of athletes being Tarzans and the body needing to be shocked to resilient. This is what the crossfit methodology of training provides the runner ("assembly line worker"). Give it a shot and please let me know what you think if you do. Best of luck. Mike.
Mt Washington race it is huh? looks like a serious event! but summiting fast? this is toughy my friend! can you do the exercises that are on this site? It's taken me about 6mos before I could do a bosu run. and this may sound obvious, but you need efficiency; and ability to move liters-and liters of oxygen as much as you need new-found strength.
maybe all you need is a mad-barrage of hill repeats. i had a youtbe vid by scott jurek explaining how to attack uphills by leaning, and tilting the pelvis correctly (the pelvis is like a punch bowl, and pretend you don't want to spill the 'liquid' in the bowl...). Can't find that vid right now :(.
this is only slantly related, but a convo i get into frequently:
my girlfriend is way into crossfit and i agree that it's a real kind of 'strength training'. ((I came from the old school 'bulk is good' trainer school from back in the day)).
there's a few things crossfit can't do for you (I wish I were more biologically-trained to better explain my theories). but it's not just muscle that running builds, it's bone density as well - only impact can strengthen bones. also there's the concern of flexibility. this link (that I've posted before in another thread: http://www.scribd.com/doc/13695/Gordon-Piries-Running-Fast-and-Inju...)
he explains how there are certain lack of of flexibilities a runner can use to their efficiency advantage being tight in the right areas assist in some of the movement you need to run without firing muscles. flexibility is one of the pillars of crossfit, but may not help running economy.
From my reading of it, J-F's question was about building strength and giving his "legs a litle kick." Even though his question was specific to his legs I felt it important to suggest a training program that will not only strengthen his legs but increase his overall level of fitness.
The Crossfit methodology does this through training the phosphagen and glycolytic metabolic pathways (which are not usually trained by endurance athletes). Studies demonstrate that the adaptations caused by anaerobic training (which impact the phosphagen and glycolytic pathways) are similar to high volume endurance training, however, this adaptation comes at much lower training volumes! (Similar metabolic adaptations during exercise after low volume sprint interval and traditional endurance training in humans. J Physiol. 2008 Jan 1;586(1):151-60. Epub 2007 Nov 8.)
Although a "mad-barrage of hill repeats" in a quest for efficiency may have some benefit, for an individual who, I assume, is already running uphill (in preparation for this race) quite a bit, the improvement will be marginal at best. In endurance training the traditional belief is that the more you run, the more efficient you will become. This is not correct. Studies show that running economy will be improved more through anaerobic training than endurance training (Explosive-strength training improves 5-km running time by improving running economy and muscle power. J Appl Physiol. 1999 May;86(5):1527-33.). Remember, muscles must be shocked to become resilient.
Mark, regarding your assertion that "only impact can strengthen bone," I have no idea where you could have come up with this but it couldn't be further from the truth. Please take a moment to Google: "strength training and bone density." You will get thousands of results featuring studies and articles from the mayo clinic, tufts univ, etc etc, extolling the benefits of weight training with regard to improving bone density.
Finally, I think that you mischaracterize flexibility being a pillar of Crossfit. Crossfit's "First Fitness Standard" mentions flexibility as one of the general physical skills you need to be competent in to be considered fit. It is by no means the goal of CF (as far as I know) to turn anyone in a Yoga Master.
Bottom line is this: As I mentioned in my first reply, all the endurance athletes that come to us ended up blowing away their personal record with less mileage and time running etc.
Your call J-F!
tried not to make it a sermon, just a thought (backed up by some science with reference material provided) ;)
Hey there J-F,
May I suggest that it is not max strength you are looking for but speed-strength. Max strength suggests you want to move something very heavy, very slowly, not great for athleticism or fast running!. Mt Wash is a great challenge and as Mark L suggests, you will need economy of speed/power, which is the holy grail for runners. Simply put, you need to train your neuromuscular system as well as your speed endurance and it is hard to achieve this speed-strength with weights because you can't move fast enough. And you also need to add a strength/reflex element, which again is hard to achieve with the use of weights.
So I would suggest you do some very hard, very steep hill repeats of 8-10 SECONDS in length, not longer and with 3-4 MINUTES of recovery between each. Knowing a little about you, you will dig this workout. make them as steep as you can.
On another day do some VO2 max hill repeats of 3-4 min. in length. These are hard, but not max effort, just slightly harder than threshold effort or to a heavy breathing condition.
On a third day, prior to an easy run, add some depth jumps off a box finishing with an explosive jump high in the air, some one leg body weight squats using poles and on your fore foot, and a few sets of one leg hops up a set of stairs fairly fast and/or strides up a hill.
(Eric) Thanks a lot this is exactly the kind of stuff i'm looking for!(hard as hell to do) but i love it! And yeah what i wanted to say was speed/strenght (i speak french and have to choose my words in english)! One more question just for my learning thirst: witch kind of muscles fibers are most solicitate by those exercises (slow or med twitch fibers)? cuz i remarked that tarahumaras witch ARE amazing climbers seems to have small legs and even smaller lowerlegs!They are perfect exemple of (speed)strenght/weight good ratio!So they certainly not developing big fast twitch fibers!
(Mark) Yes it is a MT Washington race and it is 7.6 miles in length, has an average grade of 11.5% with extended sections of 18%, and the last 50 yards is a 22% "wall" to the finish. The course record goes to Jonathan wyatt with an unbeleivable time of 56m41s !!!I've already saw Scott jurek video about climbing technic (very usefull for good form at begining) and i'll sure give a look at Gordon Piries stuff you suggest me!!
(mike) I got some freinds who give me good feedback about crossfit so maybe i'll give it a try even if (having a 2 weeks newborn son) i like better to train at home! I know the CF wave had recently spread very fast across america but the basics of circuit strenght training are kinda not new at all! In fact this is the way i train at home in my home made home gym! Again very hard but good stuff! Also got a freind who want me to try his P90X DVDs! Those are alike crossfit right??? I also thumbles across MOVNAT vids on youtube this IS for sure Tarzan stuff!!!
Finaly thanks a lot I'll keep you posted on my mountain training and trying at MT WASH!!!