T Nation

Endurance Transfering to Bodybuilding


#1

CT,

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.


#2

I'm glad to see this post and curious to see additional post related to this topic.

Quick background for me

I've been "physically active" for 6 years now, lost a bunch of weight and will never gain it back. Running and lifting are both my passions. I sometimes donĂ¢??t know which one I like better. Normally I do the same or similar split you stated in your post alternating days. Although my average runs are only up to 5-6 miles when I have the opportunity. Mixing family, training and work throw in some injuries, has made for some challenges. No sad sob story, just my obsticles that I had to overcome. I had a spinal fusion of the L4 and L5, (I did not have a par bone to connect the vertbre). I had a minor slippage many years ago and while training for my first attempt at a marathon my vertebra slipped almost 50%. I couldnt feel most of my foot anymore an the sciatic nerve pain was excurating at times. Blah blah for 6 mos I tried all the therapy in the world first prior to making the decision to have the fusion. In the end I had to stop running and my lifting was also compromised, so surgery was my last attempt at getting back to doing what I love the best. 8 months later (not by the advice of my surgeon) I completed my first and only sprint triathlon. Had to prove to myself I was still in the game so to speak! OK, so that was 2 1/2 yrs ago now.

This past winter, I decided to train for a 10 miler, that was my goal.. and pulled a hammy 8 weeks into training. So I just ran the 5K portion. To reedeem myself this year I signed up for the VA Beach Rock-n-Roll 1/2 marathon now in September (I'm going to start my training for that now). I'm also newly over a shoulder injury. I let the pain go for too long and I pretty much had overdeveloped my pecks so they tell me. My pecs were pulling my shoulders forward). As a result of the spinal I gravitated on doing more "push work and not enough pull". I did alot of back work, it just wasnt as much as the front.. OK lesson learned and hopefully I'm all done with injuries.. wish me luck on that!

Now back to your post, your questions are exactly what I need answered myself. I want my distance running to get longer however, I don't want to compromise my muscle mass. I love my biceps, my triceps and I'm getting my shoulders back. My legs are good and strong. (I also bike, just completed a 60 mile ride for MS). Biking to me is more for fun. Running and lifting are my Vice, I have to do both or I'm just not a happy person! So like you.. I'd like to hear/see some thoughts on nutrition, training ect. for both, your not alone.


#3

I'm glad to see this post and curious to see additional post related to this topic.

Quick background for me

I've been "physically active" for 6 years now, lost a bunch of weight and will never gain it back. Running and lifting are both my passions. I sometimes donĂ¢??t know which one I like better. Normally I do the same or similar split you stated in your post alternating days. Although my average runs are only up to 5-6 miles when I have the opportunity. Mixing family, training and work throw in some injuries, has made for some challenges. No sad sob story, just my obsticles that I had to overcome. I had a spinal fusion of the L4 and L5, (I did not have a par bone to connect the vertbre).

I had a minor slippage many years ago and while training for my first attempt at a marathon my vertebra slipped almost 50%. I couldnt feel most of my foot anymore an the sciatic nerve pain was excurating at times. Blah blah for 6 mos I tried all the therapy in the world first prior to making the decision to have the fusion. In the end I had to stop running and my lifting was also compromised, so surgery was my last attempt at getting back to doing what I love the best. 8 months later (not by the advice of my surgeon) I completed my first and only sprint triathlon. Had to prove to myself I was still in the game so to speak! OK, so that was 2 1/2 yrs ago now. This past winter, I decided to train for a 10 miler, that was my goal.. and pulled a hammy 8 weeks into training.

So I just ran the 5K portion. To reedeem myself this year I signed up for the VA Beach Rock-n-Roll 1/2 marathon now in September (I'm going to start my training for that now). I'm also newly over a shoulder injury. I let the pain go for too long and I pretty much had overdeveloped my pecks so they tell me. My pecs were pulling my shoulders forward). As a result of the spinal I gravitated on doing more "push work and not enough pull". I did alot of back work, it just wasnt as much as the front.. OK lesson learned and hopefully I'm all done with injuries.. wish me luck on that!

Now back to your post, your questions are exactly what I need answered myself. I want my distance running to get longer however, I don't want to compromise my muscle mass. I love my biceps, my triceps and I'm getting my shoulders back. My legs are good and strong. (I also bike, just completed a 60 mile ride for MS). Biking to me is more for fun. Running and lifting are my Vice, I have to do both or I'm just not a happy person! So like you.. I'd like to hear/see some thoughts on nutrition, training ect. for both, your not alone.


#4

Thanks, my post was more about adapting bbing nutritional strategies to endurance sports:

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?

What's an effective strength training program for an endurance athlete that would not interfere with endurance training.


But you bring up a good point. There comes a point where no matter how much you eat the endurance activity will prevent you from gaining or maintaining mass. I do however know a guy that's around 200lbs and is JACKED and can run a sub 3 marathon.

I think the key to having it both ways is periodization. Have a period in which your goal is mostly gaining mass and strength. You do enough cardio to maintain what you have or minimize losses. You can maintain your endurance with very little training...maybe 2-3 days a week 15-30 minutes, but it's individual. Your main problem with maintaining endurance would be your increased size. I've put on 20lbs since I stopping running competitively but I can still jog around at 7-8 minute mile pace and recently rode a 34 mile bike ride on a lark. I'm a special case though in that with my history I can handle much more cardio than most who are trying to gain size and strength. For someone who's done 100 mile weeks and has trained at high level for 15 years a 15-30 minute run or bike ride is a drop in the bucket. Try to find what works for you, do as little as you can to get the best results.

So after this period of size and strength you could then go on an endurance phase. Do as little lifting as you can to maintain what you have. You can do a total body twice a week for maintenance while you increase endurance. You'll lose some muscle and some strength, but not as much compared to stopping cold turkey.

I think this periodized approach would be better than a combined approach.

Alan


#5

Bantam -

Hopefully this doesn't come across as a hijack, but I'm just looking for some clarifications:

Do you want to be a bodybuilder who runs or a runner who bodybuilds?

What do you mean by endurance sports? I think there's an enormous difference between training for a 10k, a marathon, or a ironman triathlon. The main difference is that the longer the race, the less time you'll have to lift during in season training.

What are you looking for in your off-season resistance training - mass gains, strength gains, or a way to bullet proof your body so that you can handle the rigors of your endurance training.

What are you looking for in your in-season resistance training? How much time do you have to do it?

What do you think normal nutritional strategies are for endurance athletes? I've always thought the general approach is to eat everything not nailed down (usually high carb)while you're training and then - if you're worried about weight gain/loss - after a recovery meal, go low carb. What bb'ing strategies do you want to incorporate?

Thanks.


#6

My typical meal plan for a day is based on body building for muscle recovery plan. I've never actually geared my meal plans for endurance training. (The days I run I'll eat higher dose of carbs the night before or add some to my breakfast, pending my run timeframe.) In a pinch I'll eat a piece of fruit or energy bar prior 45 min prior to running. If I'm running longer than an hour 1/2 I might use a hot shot during, for that extra lil boost. Then it's shake when I'm done.

bottom line.. LOL I can't add any real advice about what's best, but I'm so willing to learn from the posts. I did see alot of this type of conversation in the supplement thread. i'll go do some homework. At some point in time I'm gonna post a workout plan that I'd really appreciate the feedback on. I'm building it now.

thanks
pebs


#7

My intitial post wasn't really about me. I'm not much of an endurance athlete anymore. I used to be a 2;32 marathoner. Now I lift and have put on 20lbs of lean mass.

My question was more about what can we learn from the bodybuilding and strength world that has value for endurance athletes. The mods changed my topic title.

"What do you think normal nutritional strategies are for endurance athletes? I've always thought the general approach is to eat everything not nailed down (usually high carb)while you're training and then - if you're worried about weight gain/loss - after a recovery meal, go low carb. What bb'ing strategies do you want to incorporate?"

The norm is not optimal. Most distance runners eat anyting that isn't tied down...and they develop overuse injuries and weaknesses because of it. They develop things like celiac disease and are typically not as lean as they should be...unless they are just genetically gifted to be lean.

Most top level runners consume around 60-70% carbs and follow a low fat low protein plan. This is flawed.

Studies have shown endurance performance enhanced by following a high fat diet. The caveat is that you have to be adapted to it. That is the initial problem. You basically go through carb withdrawel. You're groggy and feel like ass for 1-2 weeks or more. It can take up to 10 weeks or so to become fully fat adapted.

Also, you don't necessarily NEED to consume carbs to have glycogen in the muscles. The body can create glycogen internally though the breakdown of protein and fats. Your biological need for carbohydrates? ZERO.

Also, nor fat or carbs fuels exercise. Exercising muscles are all fueled by one source: ATP. In fact, Dr. Eric Serrano talked about his work with a pro level cyclist at a recent seminar. The cyclist came in complaining of tiredness, lethary, etc. Serrano put him on a diet full of fat and protein AND BCAAs. You see these free form amino acids can actually be used immediated as energy for muscle contraction as they bypass the digestion process, they bypass the liver. The results? The cyclist set a 3 second PR during his upcoming time trial. These results are of course...not published.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/k4l6436785p5v354/

http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/abstract/56/1/78

http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=1207083

The problems that researchers run into is a decreased performance during high intensity training (80-90% Vo2max). This is because the athlete just isn't fully adapted yet. In the above two week study the high intensity trial was unchanged after the high fat diet.

I've fashioned myself sort of a distance runner's strength & nutrition coach and am looking at new ideas and solid techniques to try with my athletes. The hardest part is to get them to let go of their carbs. Even down to 150g you would think I'm telling them to cut off their legs.

The vast majority of top level distance runners don't strength train.
The vast majority of top level distance runners eat more carbs.

I'm trying to change that. I think if an advanced distance runner were to follow a better nutrition program, getting the right nutritients pre and post workout to advance the recovery process...along with the strength training to raise testosterone and growth hormone...they would be stronger, leaner, and faster over distance.


#8

Interesting topic. I want to learn a lot more about weight training, high protein, higher fat, lower carb diets and how it can be applied to endurance athletes as well. Here's my story:

I ran competitively in college, but developed a hamstring injury that lasted a few years after college that was either a result of running, job, diet, or a combination of the 3. My job was framing houses, so it was labor intensive. I burned a lot of calories and my weight was in the mid 160's - I am 6 feet even. My racing weight was 155ish in college. Building houses may have lead to more muscle imbalances than I already had as a runner? I still don't know the answer. Plus, it was often difficult to physically work hard for 8-10 hours, then run 6-10 miles or vice-versa. My diet has never been terrible, but it is not nearly as good as a competitive lifter either.

At the age of 28, I finally figured that I should try a different line of work, but I knew I still didn't have the patience to use the degree I earned from college, so I joined the Army. Things did not get better there. We rarely ran in basic training/AIT. We didn't do much strength training either. What drill sergeants called physical training (PT) was designed to make you hurt, not much else. I maintained my weight of 165 for about 6-7 weeks because they did not let us eat much, and we had anywhere from 40 seconds to 3 minutes to eat each of the 3 daily meals. Seven or 8 weeks later, I got out of AIT and I weighed 180 lbs. My civilian pants didn't fit any more because I gained 15 lbs. of fat. I was happy to have some the freedom to run regularly again, and I thought I'd lose the weight in no time. My right IT band began to bother me so much I had trouble walking up and down stairs, never mind running. That took 5-6 months to fix. Army health care is free, but it's slow. I was 185 lbs. at this point, but I was happy to start running again. I got down to 172, then I strained my right calf leaping from one stump to another across a 30-foot body of water during a competition. I couldn't run for a month and got back up to 180.

Soon afterward, my work schedule changed a lot, and my left foot began acting up. I went to a different company where the work schedule changed even more, and there wasn't much time for PT. A horse threw me into a fence and I hurt my right shoulder. I did a lot of physical therapy, had 3 x-rays and 2 MRI. 14 months after I hurt it, an orthopaedic said he would do surgery even though nobody could tell for sure what was wrong, but he'd figure it out during surgery. My rotator cuff was torn, so he did what he could. I was in a sling for 6 weeks, so no running then. When I got out of it, I was limited to jogging and physical therapy for the RC.

I am almost 7 months post-op and I am on terminal leave, so I have a lot of time to strengthen the RC, run, and read this website. My right shoulder still bothers me, but it's getting stronger thanks to the physical therapist and the contributors of this site. My left foot still bothers me from the front of the heel into the arch.

Anyway, here I am at the age of 31, no longer just another stubborn runner, trying to figure out if many of my injuries could have been prevented had I ate more like a weight lifter than a distance runner, and if I had spent some time in the weight room. I know... it took me long enough. I started lifting for my RC, but I discovered that I like weights, so I have begun strength training the rest of my body. My strength training knowledge is still low, but my nutrition knowledge is even lower. I am still in the base training phase, and I start my new high protein/high fat/low carb diet on Saturday. I will provide updates and I am open to any suggestions.


#9

This has been an interesting discussion. I used to be really into hitting the weights and nothing but the weights but over the last couple of years I've dabbled in endurance sports. I still enjoy lifting and will continue to do so regardless of whether it benefits endurance performance or not. Regarding what's being discussed, here are my "notes from the field" based on my experiences. There is no science here whatsoever.

  1. Carbs. Trying to train for an endurance event while on a low-carb diet is an absolutely miserable experience. Perhaps someone who is extremely fat-adapted can do it, but I could not. On the plus side, I've read (okay, I guess there is some science) that endurance/aerobic training (not HIIT-type workouts) will improve insulin sensitivity. I've found this to be true. So, if you're doing lots of endurance work, I don't think carbs will have the same negative affects like they would on an obese couch potato.

  2. Weight training. If you ever go on an endurance site and start a thread about weight training, you might as well start a discussion about religion - the posts will be way more civil. But seriously, I've been interested in this topic and I've read studies that showed that weight training improves endurance performance and some that have said it does nothing. I haven't yet come across anything that said that weight training will impede endurance performance. In my experience, it helps - a little. A lot depends on the sport. I've done two triathlons, a half-marathon, and have recently taken up cross-country skiing but haven't competed in it yet. Of these four sports, I think weight training helps XC skiing the most (this is especially for skate-style skiing which uses a double pole technique; focus on exercises that will improve upper body strength, particularly the lats), then swimming, then cycling, and finally running.

  3. Combining endurance training and weights. There is no such thing as a weight training program that won't interfere with endurance training. Generally speaking, if all you're doing is running, you can get in a good, hard upper body workout with no ill effects. But try to combining running and squatting and your legs will hate you. However, I've found that I can do deadlifts, particularly Romanian DLs, and these seem more friendly for legs that run. At least in my experience.


#10

That is a critical paragraph. When elite runners and endurance athletes race they keep their heart rates in and around their lactate threshold so its going to be in the high intensity range and usually in the mid to high 80% level. This is the very level where the emperial evidence traditionally shows a decrease in performance for high fat vs. high carb eaters. The fact that some studies show that lower intensities benefit slightly from high fat vs. high carb is useful for those recreational runners who never race or push themselves to their limit. My take is that it may be fine for building a base, but come race day, the carb eaters are going to be passing you.

If you have ever trained as a fat adapted athlete you'll know that it isn't a picnic and that your intensity drops dramatically - you can go all day but you don't have power. Your finishing kick is gone and quick accelerations do not exist. For an elite level athlete this is unacceptable so racing as fat adapted would be a mistake for someone looking to improve their performance.

To address the question "what can endurance athletes learn from body builders?" there's a number of things, and most elite level endurance athletes are already doing these things.

Strength train. Yeap, the best in the world do this because they know that an extra 1/2 inch in stride length will equate to fewer steps over the long haul. They also know or are coached to strength train to fix imbalances - VMO weaknesses have a dramatic impact on patella tracking and IT band tightness so a good coach is going to make sure their athletes fix these issues to prevent injury.

Consume the right food during and after competition. An endurance athlete will be able to keep the insensity high if they bring in the right foods during their races and the right foods are not fatty foods, they are quickly digested foods. The same applies to after racing or training.

Eating frequent meals. Again, something body builders do and something that successful endurance athletes do. To be drug free and the best in the world you need to do everything correctly. Skipping meals or eating foods that can't be digested quickly caps potential.

Many endurance athletes (participants) do not eat enough, particularly during training and, as a consequence, have fairly high cortisol levels after 45 minutes of training. Cortisol promotes fat storage around the belly button. They end up being skinny, but fat in certain areas. These individuals would perform better if they are appropriately during and after training - they need something that will combat cortisol release or prevent it from bring released and this is fast acting carbs.

People have been racing for 1000's of years and in this time EVERYTHING has been tried that could possible offer an advantage to an athlete. If fat adapted was the way to go it would be common wisdom by now. But it isn't because it will make an endurance athlete race slower. For recreational races being fat adapted is a good way to get and stay lean, but if they want to improve their performance they need to get lean and race with carbs in diet.


#11

I think too the question of carbs is how low is low? Also it's a matter of not counting veggies...which are also carbs. Not counting veggies, 100-200g carbs is about 2-3 times lower than what most endurance athletes consume but is not "low carb" by bb standards. I would suggest most runners follow this approach, 50g carb in the morning, then 100-150g per hour of running.

Again, I bring up Dr Eric Serrano who had success with a pro level cyclist on nothing but lean meat, veggies and BCAAs(these are the kicker).

I also know a 3:00 marathoner who's on a modified paleo diet and am Ironman Triathlete who's on a low carb diet.

I think it's a matter of adaptation. I've been on 80g carb a day for two weeks and have set PRs in training. I lift 5 days a week for 60 minutes and do some supplementary cardio as part of my commute to/from work. Maybe about 30-40min of cardio every other day. In fact I went for a 34 mile ride on a lark and had no problems.

Also I point the study I linked too involve the cyclists. The high intensity trial showed NO detrimental effects from the high fat low carb diet and their diet was extremely low carb (7%).

It's also a matter of individualization of course. Endurance athletes, especially top level, should be fairly well adapted to fat burning anyway.


#12

Addition...

The problem with strength training while running is program design. I've done lifting, including squats, while running. It can be done if programed correctly. Low, low, low volume...1 warmup 1 work set. Even if you did nothing but 1 work set of squats a week you would increase strength and thus performance. Is it an optimal way to increase strength? Not at all...but any increase is a good increase and it's more than most distance runners, especially top level, do anyway.

In my running past I've run my best (2:32 marathon) while strength training twice a week (granted it was mostly bodyweight stuff for a bootcamp class...but overload is overload). I was running 100 miles a week plus hard interval training plus bodyweight strength training. In fact, the high volume stuff should be way more detrimental to running performance than a simple 1-2 sets of 5.


#13

What a great discussion. This will be my approach to training for my first 1/2 marathon and maintaining my lean muscle mass. My stats.. ( I WOULD LOVE TO HERE SOME FEEDBACK.)

5' 31/2"
146 lbs
20% body fat
Age 39 pushing 40 fast!!! (overall goal is to drop body fat to 15-18%) I don't care what the scale says. I also want my run pace to be around 9:30 min by race day September 6th. I'm at a 10 min. pace on treadmill, outside is closer to 11, not including up hills!! lol

Monday Strength
20 reps in sets of 3-4 till I get to 20 and or failure
40 reps in sets of 5-6 till 40 or failure

Chest: bench 20 (I did this today with 80 lbs and could have done 90.) I was up to 130 at one time (been healing a shoulder injury, feels good now)
Back: Hammer Row machine 40 (45 plates)
Tricep pushdown: 20 reps (80 lbs with slant bar or 60 lbs with cable
Preacher Curl: 12lbs on each side
Cable Crunch: 90 lbs for 50

Tuesday: 4-5 Mile conversational pace run

Wed Strength
Squats (20 rep range)
Hammer Pullover Maching 40 rep
Incline Bench (20 rep)
Barbell curl (40 rep)
Crunch Machine 50 rep.

Thursday Interval runs treadmil .1 incline 40-60 min. (I have not yet decided my splits yet and or mins of them)

Friday: Strength
Deadlift with Hex bar (20 rep)
Pull up (gravtron machine 40 reps
Leg Extension (20 reps)
Rear Dealt (40 reps)
Abs: Leg raises

Sat easy run 3-4 miles
Sunday Long Run 6-8 Miles

Then the plan is to repeat the Sequence and change a few of the exercises to accomodate bigger muscle groups and eventually increase my running distances. I'm also going to throw in a few shoulder therapy moves to keep the shoulder stronger low weights higher reps.

Eating Plan: 6 meals
Lower Carbs on Weight Training Days, main source being from vegtables, Post and Recovery Protien Shakes for the BCAA. (I think this is crucial for maintaining muscle mass) I'm going to read some of these articles you posted from Dr. Eric Serrano. I like the insight..
Run days: Will add a slightly higher carbs from whole grain source in morning Oatmeal, brown rice.. prior to run
Long Runs: Night before I thought about adding additional carbs from whole grain source to dinner meal time.

I'd love some feedback.


#14
  1. Too much lifting volume if you want to run well. Your lifting program is more of a muscular endurance program. You'll get plenty of that from running. If you want to incorporate strength training in your plan go for more intensity/less volume. This will lead to better improvements in body composition and strength....which will improve your running. 1 warmup set, 1-2 work sets, start with 10 reps progress down to 4-6 reps. 90 to 120s rest.

  2. Program design: There is no reason in the world for a runner to do bicep curls, tricep extensions, or the crunch machine. If you're training like an athlete...then train like an athlete. Stick to compound movements: Squat, Bench, Row, etc and stick to core work that resists motion, not core work that creates motion. Do planks, side planks, resisted rotation with band, etc.

  3. I would not recommend any kind of deadlift if you value your running. Too much back stress. Stick with variations of the squat and split squat.


#15

BantamRunner, thanks for the feedback. I see your point.

Cool on the split squat, I had thought about them at one point of adding them in to take place of the deadlift. (I dont usually deadlift, because I had a spinal fusion 2 1/2 yrs ago and I just plain don't care for them) My back is pretty strong now and I normally do all the core work you suggested to help keep it that way. I'm like a plank queen). My overall goal is to maintain the strength that I do have and increase my overall speed for the 1/2 marathon. I trained this past winter for a 10 miler and have managed to do enough runs to at least maintain my current speed and milage (dang hamstring, such a pain in ass to heal). My focus for the last 8 weeks was to heal my hamstring, finish up with my shoulder therapy and train for 60 mile bike ride for MS in foot hills. (Which I did complete.. woo whoo). I eased my shoulder back into a weght program and just completed 4 weeks of a Hi-low program to increase my strength and my overall muscle endurance. It's worked great for me. My shoulder isn't 100% but it's close, hamstring is awsome. I just take extra care to stretch more freq. after a lil warm up.

Compound movements is for the most part what I plan to do. I don't want to take the chance of overtraining so a lower volume would prob. be better and yeah overall body composition. I do have to keep my bicep/tricep in the mix, I know compounds hit those areas.. just wouldnt feel the same to me. The lifter in me won't let go :slightly_smiling:
thanks again.


#16

Interesting blog post from Mile Roussell on endurance performance while doing low-carb. He's right that you need to be very patient until your body fully adapts to losing fat. Until that happens, it's going to be lethargy and misery.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/s/#33JXcI/nakednutritionnetwork.com/low-carbohydrate-diet-exercise//


#17

Good research. I've posted these findings on running boards to create a discussion on "running on a low carb diet"...and of course I get blasted....:slightly_smiling: Runners are obsessed with carbs. Even "runners" only doing 3-5 miles a day. Carb intake is athlete dependant....is something not understood by even the elite running community.

The problems brought up by the studies:

  1. Studies on cycling not running.
  2. Studies not intense enough.
  3. Most studies which test a low carb diet on highly intense prolonged activity (90% vo2max or greater) show a decreased performance.

Now, my problems with these studies.

  1. They go too "all-out". 3%? 7% carb intake....is a little overboard...especially when the protein isn't that high. To be that low carb you need much higher protein intake. So, instead of 60-70% fat, you'll need something like 50% protein, 30-40% fat, 10-20% carb....depending on activity duration and intensity.

  2. Not long enough. Some people need much longer than 2 weeks to adapt to a low carb diet....up to 10 weeks for some is what I've heard before.

  3. Intake not cycled for activity. On lower intensity exercise (69-70%) you can get by with very little to no carbs. But, in preparation for highly intense activity you'll need slightly more glycogen. No thought is given to para-workout nutrition in these studies.

  4. Basically these studies are not holistic enough to be realistic. Low carb throughout the day, then work your para-workout nutrition to match your glycogen needs and then have a 'carb-up day' centered around your longer run(s).

A typical top tier runner is going to do something similar to the following:

Monday: run 60 min
Tuesday: run 60 min including high intensity
Wednesday: run 60 min
Thursday: run 60 min
Friday: run 60 min including high intensity
Saturday: run 60 min
Sunday: run 90-120 min
*optional: 20-40 min slower secondary run 3-5 times a week.

So there are three "high glycogen need" days to prepare for. These needs can be taken care of with para-workout nutrition. High carb 60 min before and immediately after. Then another 60min after on the longer run day. All liquid sources for easy digestion and all including protein for muscle recovery.