ME workout for trail running

  • Creator
  • #3721

    Any ideas in for a “muscular endurance workout” for trail running? Water carries seem tailored to climbing with a pack, I’m curious if there is an unloaded, running version? I’m tempted to substitute long uphills in zone 2, on the same duration as the water carry plans outlined in tftna… but maybe that is just more aerobic base work?

Posted In: Mountain Running

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    ConMan on #3743

    I’m curious what you’re trying to achieve? Based on “the book,” muscular endurance refers to mainly training your anaerobic endurance. to me, this would mean some sort of interval training for your goals. In your case, I would run intervals of stairs, just to be able to control some things a bit better. Rest should be long and passive. Depending on what you want to do, you may eventually work up to that 3000′ slope where you burn up it in an hour or 2??? But, zone 2 is not where you want to train.

    Another word of caution, over stimulating your anaerobic endurance will cause your aerobic pace to drop if you don’t bring your aerobic endurance along with the anaerobic training.

    Scott Johnston on #3796


    Yes, you can use uphill running intervals for ME training. But, those Z3-4 uphill runs will have a very powerful global training effect that may or may not be desirable for the athlete at the give time. If you read the ME article on UA and watch the video you should be able to see/hear that the point of these uphill ME workouts is not to hit the whole aerobic system in a global way like, say running hard up a steep hill will do. These workouts are meant to target the weakest link in the endurance chain. If your aerobic capacity is high (AeT within 10% of the Ant) then the weakest link will be local muscular endurance. That is, the ability of the higher power fibers being recruited to make maximal utilization of the oxygen that is being delivered to them. This is a metabolic training adaptation. By adding sufficient weight you artificially isolate those fibers and tax their aerobic capacity while not overloading the central pumping capacity (O2 delivery). It has been well demonstrated that for well aerobically conditioned athletes (see 10% comment above) the limit to endurance is local muscular endurance. This pertains to runners, skiers or alpinists; all the same. This method I show in the video is the same one I have used with World Cup XC skiers, Skimo racers, mountain runners and alpinists all to very good effect. The reason is that in all these “events” the basic locomotion is the same: stepping up hill.

    For the highest level athletes this ME phase is included near the end of the base period after which there is a shift to more event specific training modes such as you suggest in your comments about uphill running intervals for a trail runner. For these runners the ME work merely serves as the base for the more globally powerful stimulus of uphill interval work. For lower level athletes the ME base can be part of the final event preparation.

    I can tell you from over 25 years of using this methodology on everything from Olympic XC skiers, Steve House, David Goettler, Luke Nelson and many many others: THIS SHIT WORKS. If you do a period of this before you move into your event specific workouts you will be amazed at how much more effect those workouts become.

    I hope this helps

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