Phasing out Muscular Endurance For Races

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  • #41832

    The gym protocols for muscular endurance (ME) are phenomenal. I’ve seen a huge improvement over the past year in ability to sustain higher intensity efforts when running both uphill and downhill.

    During my base period I do a ME workout every 7 days (adding weight each week, finally topping out at 8×10 sets with 25% BW). Once I transition to speed and intensity phases, I drop decrease the frequency to every 10 days, sticking to 6×10 sets and 20% bodyweight. This has worked well for me – it allows my legs to recover and include more quality speed workouts.

    My question is how far out from the race should I phase out ME?

    Specifically, I have a 50 mile race July 25 (let’s be real, it’ll be cancelled any minute, but still) when about should I do my last ME workout to allow for ample recovery while minimizing any loss of muscular endurance?

Posted In: Mountain Running

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    Anonymous on #41868

    Hey Izzy,

    Nice work on staying consistent with the ME and I’m glad you’ve seen solid results – it is a real weapon!

    As far as tapering off the protocol in advance of your 50-miler, I’d suggest stopping the ME gym workout 3-4 weeks in advance, and in your final weeks (maybe two) before you fully taper all training, you can do some more specific ME training such as harder uphill repeats and/or some fast, sustained downhill running, both of which will push that M.E. system you’ve developed in a very specific manner.

    We’ve seen in many athletes, and i’ve observed in my own training that the effects of that ME protocol will last for many weeks following cessation of the workout. That means you can take the gains you make in the workout itself and apply them very productively to more specific training in order to boost economy.

    Good luck; I’m keeping my fingers crossed for all of us that these late summer races are able to happen!

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