If you have experience racing 3 kilometer (1.86 mile) events and are working hard to gain a competitive edge, a study published in theJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests thinking about hitting the weight room a couple days each week.
Eighteen well-trained runners were randomly assigned to incorporate resistance and plyometric training, endurance strength training at 40% of one rep max load, or resistance band training into their regular endurance runs. Strength and endurance weight training twice weekly improved physical strength, running economy and peak velocity, but only the subjects who lifted for strength development improved their 3K run time.
True Strength Moment: It turns out that being stronger might just translate into a stronger finish. This study illustrates the benefits of concurrent training. Whether you’re a strength athlete looking to round out your abilities or an endurance athlete focused on closing a speed gap, don’t shy away from the weight room or the treadmill.
Cyclists who race in sprinting events don’t always have a lot of time to recover between contests. There are a number of different recovery strategies you can try, and a study published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology & Performance tested four using 11 very experienced cyclists.
Subjects raced four separate 30-second all out sprints with each race separated by 20 minutes. Some wore compression garments while others employed electronic muscle stimulation, humidification therapy or just a passive strategy of walking it off. Results suggest that compression garments and humidity therapy might help propel you to a faster finish during the next race.
True Strength Moment: Some of these techniques would be impractical for many active adults, but wearing compression garments presents you with a simple yet effective approach to sustaining performance through multiple sprinting events. To see what the post-competition recovery of a natural bodybuilder looks like, read today’s Performance Blog atABBperformance.com
Experienced cyclists don’t have to put in long hours on grueling distance rides to get something out of a workout, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. In fact, 30-second intervals can make a difference, and you can rest for a minute between rides.
Scientists had 13 competitive cyclists perform three different interval protocols to exhaustion. One timed out to 50% of each rider’s Tmax (time spent pedaling at maximum capacity). Another tested their ability to perform intervals at 80% of Tmax. The most effective protocol turned out to be 30 seconds of all-out effort at 90% of capacity with a minute of rest between intervals.
True Strength Moment: Without the help of sophisticated instruments, it can be a real challenge to accurately determine how long you’re able to work at maximum capacity. Fortunately, 30-second all-out intervals can be performed by anyone with access to a basic timer.
If you’re thinking a couple minutes of treadmill running can make up for a candy bar moment of weakness, some calculations from Harvard Health Publications HEALTHbeat might change your mind. That few minutes of enjoyment a typical candy bar brings will require about 45 minutes on the treadmill to erase.
The magic number is 3,500. This represents the number of calories in one pound of body fat. Walking or jogging burns about 100 calories per mile, so you’d have to put in 35 miles to lose one pound of body fat. That’s about 9 miles more than a marathon.
True Strength Moment: If this sounds discouraging, consider the power of calorie reduction. By cutting 250 calories out of your daily intake, you could lose a pound of body fat in a little more than a week just by walking for 30 minutes a day. Weight training helps increase your resting metabolic rate, so you burn more calories even when you aren’t exercising. Now you’ve got the needle moving in the right direction.