Tag Archives: endurance training

Plyometric Training Benefits Distance Runners

16 Jun

Plyometric training is great for developing explosive strength in athletes whose sports require short, intermittent, powerful bursts of movement.  But what about endurance athletes — specifically competitive middle- and long-distance runners?

A new study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests that plyometric training has a beneficial effect on endurance and explosive strength performance in distance runners.

The plyometric training regimen was carried out for six weeks, and included depth jumps and squat jumps20-meter sprint and 2.4-kilometer run times were measured before and after the explosive strength training.

The runners participating in the plyometric training showed a significant reduction in 2.4-km endurance run time and 20-m sprint time, and an increase in squat jump and depth jump explosive performance.

The authors (Ramirez-Campillo, et.al.) concluded that “properly programmed concurrent explosive strength and endurance training could be advantageous to middle- and long-distance runners in their competitive performance, especially in events characterized by sprinting actions with small time differences at the end of the race.”

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Is Strength Training Good for Endurance Athletes?

24 Sep

361012_orig[1]Most experts recognize — and relevant literature supports — that endurance athletes benefit from both heavy resistance and endurance training.  Maximal strength and power training have recently gained attention as a potential strategy for increasing endurance performance.

A recent review of the literature concluded that concurrent training (the simultaneous training of resistance and endurance exercise) has a positive effect on endurance performance.

One determinant of sport performance is the ability to appropriately and effectively exert force into the ground (e.g., running, jumping) or an apparatus (e.g., cycling).  When all other factors are equal, the athlete with a greater ability to exert force will perform the best, as they will cover more distance per muscle action.  Therefore, even endurance athletes benefit from increases in force production.

According to a recent Strength and Conditioning Journal article, strength training improves motor recruitment patterns, which lowers energy expenditure at any specific submaximal intensity because fewer motor units (and therefore muscles) are activated. Any adaptation that allows an athlete to use less energy at a given speed will decrease the oxygen requirement and should therefore increase athletic performance. Moreover, less muscular contraction leads to less blood flow restriction, which allows greater delivery of fuels and removal of waste products. High-intensity power training (such as plyometrics) offers extra benefits, as it enhances efficiency of elastic energy by increasing musculotendinous stiffness (a measure of how readily tissue reforms after being stretched, compressed, or twisted). This shifts energy production from active (muscular contraction) to passive (elastic rebound) sources.  (Martuscello, Jason MS, CSCS, HFS; Theilen, Nicholas MS)

Please see related article, Plyometric Training Benefits Distance Runners.

The addition of strength and power training should be done with caution, in order to avoid overtraining.  Strength and conditioning professionals need to be aware of proper periodization principles and specifically control volume and frequency throughout the training cycle to reduce this risk.  The relationship between strength training and endurance training should be inverse.  The addition of strength and power training should be countered with the subtraction of some endurance training, and vice-versa. For example, replacing approximately 1/3 of endurance volume with explosive strength training has been shown to improve leg strength, speed, power, anaerobic capacity, running economy, and most importantly 5k running time.

Strength and power training has many benefits for endurance athletes, including improved force output, musculotendinous stiffness and elastic energy efficiency, running economy, and race performance. In order to minimize the risk of injury, proper monitoring of program design and exercise technique should be closely observed.

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Improve Your Cardiovascular Endurance and Fitness With This Workout

18 Aug

Adrian Peterson, Leon HallHere’s a challenging, efficient cardio circuit for you to try.  Basically, it’s a one-mile run consisting of progressively longer distances and rest intervals.  Please note this workout is not meant to be done at a “light jog” pace.  Push yourself to maintain as aggressive a pace as you can manage for each interval.

After an appropriate warmup, do the following:

8 x 50 yards — 15 second active rest interval (keep moving; walk, light jog, etc.) between sprints; 30 second rest interval upon completion of all 8 sprints

4 x 100 yards — 30 second active rest interval between sprints; 60 second rest interval upon completion of all 4 sprints

2 x 200 yards — 60 second active rest interval between sprints; 2 minute rest interval upon completion of both sprints

1 x 400 yards — cool down until breathing normally

You’ll notice I’ve described all the runs as “sprints.”  That may or may not be realistic, depending on your typical cardio routine and fitness level.  You’ll probably be able to maintain a faster pace running the 50 yard intervals than you will running the final, 400 yard distance.  That’s okay, as long as you’re challenging yourself to do your personal best.

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Plyometric Training Benefits Distance Runners

7 Feb

coe[1]Plyometric training is great for developing explosive strength in athletes whose sports require short, intermittent, powerful bursts of movement.  But what about endurance athletes — specifically competitive middle- and long-distance runners?

A new study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests that plyometric training has a beneficial effect on endurance and explosive strength performance in distance runners.

The plyometric training regimen was carried out for six weeks, and included depth jumps and squat jumps20-meter sprint and 2.4-kilometer run times were measured before and after the explosive strength training.

The runners participating in the plyometric training showed a significant reduction in 2.4-km endurance run time and 20-m sprint time, and an increase in squat jump and depth jump explosive performance.

The authors (Ramirez-Campillo, et.al.) concluded that “properly programmed concurrent explosive strength and endurance training could be advantageous to middle- and long-distance runners in their competitive performance, especially in events characterized by sprinting actions with small time differences at the end of the race.”

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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