Maintaining strength after the ME at home plan

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  • #44987

    I’ve managed to complete the 10 week ME at home plan outlined here. I did one of these once evey 7-10 days. In the final few weeks I found these took around 90 mins and left me pretty sore for 2-3 days (I’m a 51 year old ultra runner). I’m now jumping into a 32 week training plan based on one of the 100 mile plans in the TftUA book. This recommends an ME workout once per week in the early base and then some hill sprints in the late base. My question is how do I maintain the gains from the 10 week plan and where should these ME workouts feature within a relatively long plan (32 weeks)? Do I have a break fromt he gym based stuff and then re-introduce it or should I continue with where I left off the 10 week plan?

Posted In: Mountain Running

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    Dada on #44993

    Scott answered this on a similar question: ME maintenance

    Best regards

    rich.b on #45004

    Dave, Dada’s link to an earlier discussion is helpful. Two other things to consider are — as a master’s athlete – to not necesessarily view a training week as 7 days. This is highly individual and relates back to the time you need to recover from any harder training sessions. Ned Overend (veteran cyclist) has been quoted in numerous places as saying he trains as hard at 60 as earlier, only it takes longer. Obviously for most of us, longer outings only fit on the weekends, but for harder sessions like intervals or gym-sessions these may need to spread out a bit more. The second thing is to at least go into maintainence mode for strength/ME training and do not go on hiatus. At 57 I have found it best to at least maintain the foundation, I think it helps with overall durability.

    davelockyer101 on #45032

    Thanks. The other post is helpful, I found that once every 7 days would have been too much and tended to go for a 10 day cycle. My plan is to maintain some of the ME throughout the training blocks with weighted climbs and the h ill sprint work and some occasional gym based sessions but to then jump back into the 10 week progression plan on a 10 day cycle leading up to my taper for the event, which is a 200 mile hilly ultra. Does that sound reasonable? I’m enjoying the podcast btw. A really good addition to the resources you guys are making avaialable. Thanks 🙂

    briguy on #45037

    Separate but related question as I am curious. What did your gym ME routine look like towards the end when it was taking 90 minutes?

    davelockyer101 on #45039

    I followed the 10 week plan which is posted on the UA website. Once I’d progressed to 9 x 10 reps I stuck with that for the last 3 weeks and maxed put at about 10% of bodyweight as I couldn’t add any more weight into my (small) backpack. I probably took a little longer in between the reps before moving to the next one hence ending up with a 90 minute workout. A couple of weeks after completing the pkan I completed a mini fastpack adventure of 85 mes over 3 days with a fair amount of ascent. The ME work definitely added resilience…

    briguy on #45042

    I was curious as am an older (49) ultra runner too and I got up to the following and it wasn’t taking 90 minutes.

    Core routine (3×30 pushups, 3×10 chinups, 3×50 ab rollups (3 different kinds), 30sec hold in plank, bicycles, mtn climbers, flutter kicks, plank jacks, etc)

    6×10 each of the following with 30-40sec rests between
    Step ups
    Squat jumps
    Split lunge/squat jumps
    Step forwards

    (I got up to about 18% of bodyweight on the above)

    Seems like the entire routine never took me 60min so maybe I was rushing through it?

    davelockyer101 on #45044

    That’s broadly similar to where I ended up. Here’s a summary of what I did for the last few weeks. The step ups were done with 10% bw and the lunges, swings, squats with a kettlebell of 20% bw.
    Warm Up – (5 mins)
    20 air squats
    10 Turkish get ups
    10 burpees

    Core – (2 sets x 5 reps each)
    Bird Dog
    3 point 2 point
    Super push up
    Side plank

    9 x 10 reps on each leg of split jump squat
    Rest 2 mins
    9 x 10 squat jumps
    Rest 2 mins
    9 x 10 on each leg of box step ups
    Rest 2 mins
    9 x 10 each leg of front lunges
    6 x 10 goblet squats
    6 x 10 kb swings
    10 mins cool down aerobic

    davelockyer101 on #45045

    I didn’t add weight to the jump squats and split jumps. That must have been HARD…

    briguy on #45048

    davelockyer101 ON SEPTEMBER 14, 2020 AT 12:47 PM#45045
    I didn’t add weight to the jump squats and split jumps. That must have been HARD…

    Yeah, it really made me question what the heck I was doing. Especially since I was often sore, as you said, for 2-3 days after each session. Made it hard to fit into a week since I was also running long 1 day and also at least one day was devoted to a speedwork session. So the ME was always within 2-3 days of either of those quality sessions. Soreness was in odd places too, like down in the groin around to the back of the high hamstring area.

    Of all the UA methodology, I think the gym-based ME has been the most worthwhile though. After Pikes Peak each year usually my quads are SHREDDED for a few days and this year I had very little soreness there and instead in other strange places like my ankles where I’ve never had soreness before. I am not 100% on some of the other UA stuff but I am sold on the ME program.

    Incidentally I used those cheap weight vests that are available on amazon and about 12-13lbs each. They’re cheap enough that I doubled them up to get to around 18% bw. I have a bigger weight vest that will go up to around 30-35% bw but it’s not as comfortable for the jumping around stuff.

    rich.b on #45053

    Impressive dedication dave and briguy. I absolutely agree about the value of ME training, although I have my own routines for that, which took form over the past decade but accomplish the same thing. Maybe because running has been my outlet of choice for a few decades, but excluding the first one or two sessions back in the gym after some type of break or the first big downhill training session, which might leave me wrecked for a few days, I wonder about regular workouts that would do that. Tired for a day maybe two, ok, and on the odd occasion some DOMS (which for me hits in the 24-48 hour window), ok, but never sore enough to negatively impact running.
    Of course, how we distribute our training efforts likely reflects what we each feel are our strengths and weaknesses and where we gain the most for our efforts. Running volume has worked best for me (mentally as much as physically), with strength training tailored to fit within whatever training phase I might be in. Whereas both of you seem to do your ME workouts as a stand-alone session, I back it mostly onto a morning commute run. But this is the fun of the learning process – finding what works for ourselves for any given objective.
    Good luck on the 200 miler.

    briguy on #45065

    I’m naturally fast-twitch and easily put on mass/strength so I tend to gravitate towards the strength-work like ME. In addition to the ME session I described above, I also (early in the plan before overall training volume got me just too tired) would add on 2 other sessions in the week dedicated purely to strength. So instead of doing 6×10 step ups for example, I would do something like 2 or 3 x 10 but either with heavy weight or max reps. I really like the step ups a lot. One variation I’d sometimes add on as well was “sit ups” where I’d sit on a bench (the same one I’d use for steps) and “sit up” using just one leg. These are sort of a variation of pistol squats but without the danger of descending too low.

    One thing I also found about the ME set of step ups, split squats, and jump squats was that it definitely made a difference what order I did them in. The jump squats take the most out of me so if I did those last I usually was not able to do as many of them well. So typically just for that reason I’d usually go in the order of step ups, split squats, and then whatever I had left in the jump squats.

    rich.b on #45066

    A variant acheiving the same thing is the Leg blaster (which is on my fall agenda to get back to) with 10 squats, 10 lunges, 10 jump squats and 10 jump squats. (Mountain athletics called this mini-Leg blaster, the full is 20 each.) But often when I do do these, I throw in a few sets and other bodyweight exercises while making dinner, chopping vegetables for recovery – sometimes you have to squeeze things in where they fit. Gym (weight) training (and Ski Erg as one of my new favorite additions) is paired with commute runs.
    Definitely slow-twitch.

    briguy on #45072

    I’m assuming you meant one of those 10 jump squats as split squats instead.

    Doing those for the first time was an eye-opener. First of all the coordination required to land the trailing foot properly, and then I think that’s where most of my initial soreness came from.

    davelockyer101 on #45088

    Yes, split squats. They took some getting used to and definitely require quite a lot of control. Must be challenging doing them weighted. I fing the box steps the easies to execute so start with the split squates then squat jumps then box steps (full set on one leg then full set on the other). This was a real focus over the lockdown so I didn’t sctually have much running going on in the schedule at the time, maybe just 20-30 miles per week and some time on the turbo trainer.

    briguy on #45095

    Yeah, the split squats weighted are more challenging than all the others. The vest(s) I use is pretty good, and allows for pretty good “cinching down” but it still bounces on the jumps a fair amount.

    But since I’ve ended my race prep ME and entered more of a “starting over” phase I’ve been doing them unweighted and I have a significant amount of more control with these than I did when I started. I feel almost like a different person with the coordination I’m able to hold and how quickly I can do them. Makes me think it might be good to alternate in an unweighted version of these alternatively with the weighted? Kinda like how I alternated the step ups with heavy-weight or max-reps in with the standard ME 6×10 protocol.

    One other observation too: I do a fair amount of cycling as cross training and I feel far stronger on the bike now having gone through the ME process. Makes sense of course but it’s clear the application definitely can cross over to other sports.

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