Posted in Coach's CommentsNovember 27, 2007
OK – now that the season is over and everyone has had a chance to rest a little bit, it’s almost time to hit the weight room. While endurance running, cycling
and triathlon are primarily aerobic activities, even ultra endurance athletes
can benefit from improved muscular strength. While many coaches place the
emphasis on strength training for performance enhancement, possibly the most
important reason for endurance athletes to lift is injury prevention. Here’s a little info, some of which is stolen from the literary masterpiece that I co-wrote.
off-season, your goal should be to get as strong as possible. During the
season, as your mileage increases, you should aim to maintain your winter
strength gains. If you try to keep up the same routine while your racing,
you’re begging for overtraining injuries. On the other hand, if you lay
off your lifting completely, you’ll quickly undo all the good you’ve
done. Aim for two or three lifting sessions (on non-consecutive days) in
the off-season and once a week for maintenance in-season. Try to keep
your in-season workout on a different day than an intense ride or run, and at
least a few days away from a race.
The following table lists a
suggested training program. Remember to do a thorough warm-up before you
Legs and Hips Squat or leg press
Abduction (outer thigh)
Adduction (inner thigh)
Standing calf raise
Seated calf raise
Back Pull-ups (assisted if needed)
Chest Dips (assisted if necessary)
Shoulders Shoulder press
rotation (for swimmers)
Arms Biceps curl
Midsection Reverse crunches
I can hear you now, “but coach, those exercises seem pretty
generic. What about specificity?” While I’m impressed that you used a
5-syllable word, I’m afraid that you don’t fully grasp the meaning of said term. Specificity is like pregnancy. It is, or it isn’t – nothing in between. In other words, if you want to increase the
range of your jump shot, determine what muscles are used in a shooting motion,
strengthen them using conventional strength training exercises, and then go
practice shooting a basketball. To mimic
your shot using a medicine ball or pulleys simply confounds the neuromuscular
pathways and does not recruit muscle fibers as effectively.
A well thought out training
program shouldn’t take as long as you might think. First of all, you only need
to perform one set of each exercise. Here you go again, “but wait coach – if one set is good, isn’t
3-4 even better?” Not so much. While additional sets may increase your
strength gains a little more, they’re not worth the extra time. Remember
that you’re not a competitive weightlifter. Your goal is to get strong and then go practice your sport; there’s no
need to have your mail forwarded to the weight room. The key to muscle fiber
recruitment is intensity (rather than volume), and it’s only logical that you
can (and will) work harder if I ask you to do one set instead of 3 or 4 or 5.
Another common source of wasted
time is rest between sets. While there’s no need to zip frantically through
your routine, you don’t need more than 1-2 minutes of recovery between
exercises. Perform all exercises in a slow, controlled fashion – three
seconds up, three seconds down. Here’s
your cue. “But coach – I want to race
fast, so shouldn’t I do my exercises fast?” No, but thank you for asking. The momentum of faster movements makes the exercises easier and increase your
risk of injury. Though it may seem counterintuitive, your goal should be
to make every exercise as hard as possible to do. That’s because you’re in the weight room to
gain strength; not to demonstrate strength. Use a weight that allows you to do 12-15 reps, and adjust the weight if
you’re outside of that range. While you should make sure that the last
rep of each set is a challenging one, never sacrifice form or safety for the
sake of squeezing out an extra rep.
Posted in Coach's CommentsNovember 16, 2007
Until moments ago, I was pretty sure that the anorexic on a hunger strike would be the most ridiculous thing I'd hear this week. Then I read about 51-year-old Robert Stewart from Scotland who has been put on probation for 3 years for having sex with his bicycle. In case you're wondering what the charges are if you're caught whilst getting it on with your bike, it's "sexually aggravated breach of the peace".
Posted in Coach's CommentsNovember 13, 2007
While I usually limit the contents of this blog to the swim-bike-run realm, this one is too good to pass up. According to the New York Post, 19-year old Aretha Choi collapsed after a four day hunger strike to protest Columbia University’s expansion into Harlem. At first glance, this seems like the sad consequence of a woman who believes in a cause and is willing to endure tremendous hardship to call attention to said cause. Upon further examination, it turns out that Ms Choi is an anorexic! That’s right – an anorexic on a hunger strike.
On a related note, Ray Ray – the basehead who’s always on my corner – has vowed to smoke crack every day until there’s an end to China’s annexation of Tibet.
Posted in UncategorizedNovember 11, 2007
Several City Coach athletes braved the cold this morning and raced the Prospect Park Duathlon. Lauri Young and Sarah Wenk were 2nd in the 45-59 and 50-54 year age groups, respectively. Tom Buffolano and Drew Koncz were each 4th in their age groups, and Johanna Bjorken made her return, teaming with Jack Rabbit’s Terry Moore to win the relay division.
Down in Florida, Rod McClave finished 15th in a field of over 300 in the Miami Man Tri.
Nice work all.
Posted in Coach's CommentsNovember 11, 2007
Please join us Thursday November 15 at 8pm at the November edition of the Niketown Speaker Series, with guest speaker Sharon Richter.
Sharon will address topics including: how to eat
healthy during the holidays, ergogenic aids, supplements, and protein
requirements for athletes. Coach Cane will be the moderator, and as usual, there will be raffles and refreshments. Please join us at Niketown,
57th Street between 5th and Madison Avenues.
Posted in Coach's CommentsNovember 6, 2007
We were recently interviewed for a series of running related videos. Here’s the first.
Posted in Coach's CommentsNovember 4, 2007
you’re inspired to run a marathon and don’t want to wait until next
Fall, why not join us in New Orleans next February for the Mardi Gras Marathon
or Half Marathon? The race is fast, the town is fun, and the post-race
party is a blast. We’ll create a custom training program for
you, organize selected group runs, help you with travel plans and accommodations, and come to New
Orleans to provide race day support. Plus City Coacher and NOLA native Rod McClave will be there as a tour guide. Contact us for details.
Looks like a tremendous day for our athletes and friends at the NYC Marathon. Here are some early highlights:
- Worku Beyi 2:25:56
- Thom Little 2:32:46
- Brad Weiss 2:51:56
- Terence Gerchberg 2:57:56
- Andrew Motola 3:30:40
- Nyles Garrison 3:33:45
- Jeannine Bardo 3:45:27
- Federico Infantino 4:06:30
- Rob Meislin 4:28:11
plus lots of happy Nike RunNYC and Jack Rabbit athletes. Congratulations everyone.