Aaron, I need your advice…I am increasing in my milage like a crazy women, but I feel good about it and I am doing great…except one thing…my long run today was 20mi =) in 3hrs, it was a great run except, my legs were giving up on me…I had enough energy to keep going but once I slowed down it was like, holy crap this freaking hurts, I will tell you though the pain was in my quads and hip flexors…is there anything I can do in my training to strengthen my legs…I feel like I am doing great runs thruout the week…maybe more sprints? or try to incorporate more strength training…if that is the case, then what can I do? I appreciate your help! Oh and the count down begins…4 weeks till the big day…26.2!!!
P.S. I hope you are doing great!
Here is a little help from the best personal trainers in Orange County!
This has little to do with muscular strength and almost everything to do with stamina. There are three components to your stamina. The first is muscular development, the second is energy conversion, and the last is mental ability.
Let’s talk about the most important in any competition first, mental ability. Your mental ability to continue when it is painful and finish what you have started. The continue when you are in pain will come from deep within–maybe even a spiritual level. The finishing what you have started may be helped by visualizing the whole race and specifically the finish line. Keep watching yourself cross that finish line in a happy, winning state of mind.
Now for the first part, muscular development. You should now have a plethora of Type 1 muscle fibers. These red, oxygen fueled, muscle fibers are smaller and become less fatigued, while working for longer periods of time, because they are fueled by oxygen instead of your other muscle fibers which are Type 2a and b, which are non-oxygen utilizing muscle fibers. My suggestion would be to spend less time in the gym and more time on the road to create less use of your anaerobic muscles and more use of your aerobic muscle fibers. You may only spend one or two 30 min sessions in the gym, just to work speed and technique and still be able to perform huge on race day. The closer to race day the more you want to train for a race not a body-building show. ( make sense?)
The last part we will go over is your energy conversion. There are three issues here: lactate threshold, oxygen assimilation, and glucose usage (catabolism and anabolism). The lactate threshold can be trained through hill repeats until you think your legs are going to fall off and then continue to eek out a couple more, training your mind, body and spirit to adapt to the chaotic stress through its physiology, biochemistry, mental capacity and spirit. The oxygen assimilation is done through progressive overload and breathing techniques while you run and when you visualize your run (meditation). The glucose usage may be your biggest barrier, because of the distances and times you are running. Anything longer than an hour and a half is sure to bring about a catabolic state (this is where your body feeds off of its muscles, fat, and stuff because there are no glucose or glycogen reserves left). My recommendation would be to consume something with sugars, electrolytes, and water every 30 min. Something I have used in the past is Accelerade. I have also used goo, cliff bars, and powerade. One time I was hard up and cramping so I went to a corner store and put salt, sugar packets and water into my bottle and kept making it and drinking it until I was good again.
I hope this helps! 🙂
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