This post may be a bit long…I tend to type fast…but there are some good questions to come…
This is a horse of another color…or a thread that might just be ignored on a “strength & muscle” site.
First some background before a question: I have a BS in Exercise Science, an ACSM HFS cert and had been a top level distance runner for over 15 years before changing my competitive focus and putting on 20lbs of lean mass. That being said, I’ve learned more about strength and nutrition from my fellow coworkers, research, and seeking out various information from authors on this site and others (Sidenote: It’s scary to think how little most “trainers” know simply because their degree program or cert is basically horseshit in terms of practicality)
I bring this up because I’ve become sort of a “Distance Runner’s Strength Coach” in certain circles and the elite distance running community is about 50 years behind, for the most part, when it comes to strength & nutrition. Studies have shown that resistance training (strength training or plyos) improves running economy or distance running performance. Studies have also shown a high fat/low carb diet actually IMPROVES endurance performance. Yet still high level distance runners continue to follow the dogma and consume too many carbs and do nothing but run, most don’t even stretch or do any ancillary things.
So here’s a few questions or discussion points I have and would welcome any insight from you, or anyone listening for that matter:
A high level distance runner and a ‘bodybuilder’ or ‘weight lifer’ may have similar protein requirements. For the distance runner the goal is muscle recovery from INTENSE amounts of catabolic activity and prolonged breakdown. The typical course I’ve seen is:
a) Person starts a running program
b) If the person is ‘normal’ he never progresses past the beginner stage as he’s simply not genetically geared to run. Most are not.
c) If the person is genetically geared to run he has success through high school and college. If he’s lucky he remains uninjured.
d) Eventually, even in high school or college, the runner succombs to the imbalances caused by running and is repeated injured. He doesn’t eat right, he doesn’t lift, he becomes weaker and weaker and continues to have more problems.
Would an endurance athlete benefit from a para-nutition protocol similar to what a bodybuilder uses, but for the purpose of muscle recovery?
Would an endurance athlete benefit from an amino-pulsing protocol for the purpose of muscle recovery?
With high level endurance athletes the problem with strength training is programming it so that it does not intefere with running. That means consolidating your stresses. The normal, and flawed, approach is a 2-3 set ciruit of 10-15 reps for total body 2-3 days a week. For high level distance runners this likely leads to too much stress when that athlete may be running 10-20 miles a day. My basic prescription is one of “Getting as much down with as little as possible”. Resistance training 1-2 times a week, one strength day, one plyo day. Resistance train on your highest stress day (interval training day, intervals am, strength training pm). A simple progression: 1 warm-up set, 1 work set progressed from 10 reps down to 4 reps over the course of 6-8 weeks. Progress from basic compound to unilateral movements.
So a related question is do we know any high level strength coaches that have worked with distance runners or other endurance athletes? I know Dr. Eric Serrano recently worked with a top level cyclist to get his diet in order. I know CP has worked with his share of track athletes…but no endurance athletes that I am aware of.
Anyway, just looking for some insight and discussion on an “outside the T-Nation box” topic.