Saturday, February 14, 2009

My best workouts Feb 9 to 15

I decided to start to post two of my main workouts of each week. My athletes always wonder if I train similar to them. Some of my workouts are the same but others are not. So I thought for fun I would post a couple of workouts each week. I also train with people and they tend to just do whatever I am doing. This week I did a bike workout on Wednesday night with my bud Syl Corbett. It was the hardest bike workout we have done this year. Syl commented "I think I might throw-up". If you have ever been in a criterium or a draft legal race in triathlon or duathlon, you will definitely begin to see how this workout simulates these events.

15 min easy spin eventually getting into gear 39 x 16
Set 1:
Repeat twice: ("on" being cadence of 100 to 110 rpm and "off" being cadence of 80 to 90 rpm)
5 min 53 x 17 20 sec On / 20 sec Off
3 min 53 x 16 20 sec On / 20 sec Off
4 min 53 x 17 20 sec On / 20 sec Off
4 min 39 x 16 Spin recovery
Set 2:
10 min 39 x 14 30 sec On / 30 sec Off
15 min 39 x 16 Cool Down

Total workout time: 72 min

The second workout which I will be doing every Saturday morning for four weeks before my long bike is a treadmill workout. It is a hill workout that consists of long steady climbing. Its purpose is to build strength. Before I describe the workout, I thought it would be good to talk a bit about the benefit of hills.

Hills are great way to become more efficient as a runner as it glorifies economy through a basic strengthening effect. Leg-muscle cells develop the capacity to exert more force in response to hill training - they become stronger (because of the need – during hill running - to create not-only forward-directed propulsive force but also to lift the body against the pull of gravity). Since the cells become stronger, fewer of them need to be recruited to generate the propulsive force necessary to run on flat ground at a specific speed. A smaller number of cells required means that for a particular velocity of movement, oxygen demand decreases, and economy improves (remember that economy is defined as the rate of oxygen consumption associated with a particular running speed). As economy enhances a particular velocity can be sustained at a lower percentage of VO2max, and thus that speed can be handled with a reduced amount of effort. Lactate accumulation in the blood at that velocity should also fall.

So what is the workout. The workout is called “Shane’s ‘Mill-Hill Tempo Run.” Start by jogging very easily on a treadmill for about 10 minutes. The workout then proceeds – without any break – as follows:
(A) Five minutes of running at the 4-percent inclination,
(B) 10 minutes at 5 percent,
(C) 10 minutes at 6.5 percent,
(D) 10 minutes at 7.5 percent, and
(E) 10 minutes cool-down ambling at 0 to 1 percent.

This will give you 35 minutes of running “under hill-simulated pressure.

You can make this workout harder in couple of weeks by increasing the treadmill speed. So if you start with 7 mph, you can upgrade the treadmill speed by .5 mph for your next session.

You can find out more about this hill workouts and others by checking out:

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