Week of 11/2/20: Workouts this week,Saturday HR/XTrain/Loaded Carries, The 3-Minute Hill workout

Hi Folks,

11/6/20: For Saturday Hill Repeats: Lisa, Elizabeth, Tom, Shirley, Judi, AJ, Hans, Andy, Paula, Alexandra, Lorene,

Update on 11/5/20: A tip on the Strength Workout regarding the Plank Press ( see below).

Looks like we’re in for a good weather week of training – take advantage of it! I will be updating the blog and adding commentary on track and hill training. (..more to come).

11/3/20 TUESDAY. TEMPO workout. After the warm-up mile and 6 x 10″ pickups you’ll do:

2 x 5′ (5′) at 5K effort, then 4 x 3′ (3′). Follow with a cool down run and stretching.

11/4/20 WEDNESDAY. STRENGTH TRAINING. Will include two new variations of familiar exercises.

Deficit Reverse Lunges: Hold two dumbbells or kettlebells at your sides while standing erect, step with both feet onto a low block 2-3″ high, step, delineator base, or good size weight plate ( probably a 35#, 45# or 100# plate). Step back with left leg, sink down into split squat position to where left knee of trailing leg is a few inches off the ground and right thigh parallel to the floor . Come back up onto the plate or block, then reverse lunge with right leg and come back up onto the plate to standing position. Continue alternating legs until you have 4-6 reps completed for each leg. If you don’t have a low height piece, simply do the reverse lunges from ground level.

Plank Plate Press: While in plank (push-up) position, grasp a water bottle vertically, or a 2.5 or 5 lb plate; bring the weight up to shoulder height and extend arm forward keeping it parallel to the floor at shoulder height and back. Continue for 5 reps. Do the same on the opposite side. Keep weight low, because it’s difficult to keep your body in proper horizontal form during the press; there’s a tendency to tilt the torso. It’s also more about the horizontal pressing motion forward than how much weight one uses during this exercise.

11/5/20 THURSDAY. SPEED-WORK. A ladder format using time format ( if you have access to a track, fo for it; if they allow you at the facility).

45″ (1′) – 2′ (1:30) – 2:30 (2′) – 4′ (3′) – 4′ (3′) – 2:30 (2′) – 2′ (1:30) – 45″ (1′). Follow with cool-down run.

11/7/20 SATURDAY. HILL REPEATS/STRENGTH/LOADED CARRIES. 8 am start.( let’s see what the weather holds for this day. likely be cold!) At the Seminary College off Seminary Drive. Arrive prior to the start, park along Seminary Drive and get in your warm-up run; then meet at the exercise station spot one block up the entry road.

HILL TRAINING….Some brief notes on the 3-Minute Hill workout:

When you’re coming back off an injury you have to bring back strength, power, VO2max, and lactate threshold components. They are all reduced by the time you’ve finally healed up from an injury and need to get back in shape. One of the best ways to get it all back is the “three-minute” hill workout at 5K effort level. ( our Saturday Hill Repeats focus on shorter hill repeats for leg strength and power so that you maintain leg speed, strength and keeps you injury free).

Hill training quickly builds up running economy and specific strength ( Research Running News, edited by Owen Anderson, PhD, August 1998). The three-minute provides a moderate time period that’s not too short or too long when regaining your fitness. As you reach the top of the hill you’ll be at 95% of your VOxMax. Noted Finnish exercise scientist had just a few weeks to prepare for the Finnish National Championships which involved taking to a 3-minute hill for repeats to boost his VO2Max- in a hurry. The workouts would also boost his leg strength. (During the 1960’s the Swedes and Finns did a great deal of the research on fitness testing cross country skiers, runners and swimmers. My exercise physiology textbook that we used at Cal was authored by the Swedish scientist, Per Olof Astrand; soon after our own George Brooks, PhD and Tom Fahey PhD wrote Textbook of Exercise Physiology)

Research has shown that working at an intensity of 90-100% of VO2Max is optimal for boosting a high fitness level. One study showed that running at 90-100%VO2Max improved performance capacity 35% more than working at 70-90% VO2Max. A study by three-time Gold Medalist, Peter Snell of New Zealand done at Texas Southwestern University (he earned his PhD in exercise physiology after his remarkable running career. He was driven to learn how the running body works and the effects of altitude training). He found that completing about 30 minutes of intervals each week at 90 to 100% VO2max tripled improvement in aerobic capacity compared to running about 60 minutes per week at 80% of VO2 max.

The hill should be a steepness that doesn’t slow down your leg action. Begin with four to five reps; then gradually add reps just twice per week. I believe that for most of our group four reps will do the job without over taxing those who are running modest weekly mileage. You will achieve noticeable improvement in fitness. You’ll need to add three mile workouts at a bit slower than 10K pace and apply your strength fitness gains. This extended time period will acclimate you to sustained running and racing.