Friday, July 30, 2010

Catch-Up Through 7-29-2010

July 29, 2010

3 miles - 19:43 (Eq92Brdway)
OHS - 155# x 7, 160# x 6, 165# 6, 155# x 6
Front Squat - 205# x 7, 185# x 6, 6, 135# x 12

I completely chickened out of an attempt at 180#. I'm just never confident about my ability to push-jerk the weight overhead. The OHS is a very tricky exercise that really requires that your entire body be "up" to get top flight performances. I hit 175# x 10 the previous OHS workout, so was very surprised that 155# as a warm-up was difficult. As always, for me, the shoulder girdle was the weak link. Of course, since, in most gyms in NYC (like NYSC or Equinox) the OHS is actually an exotic exercise, I get lots of compliments for doing a load < bodyweight (180#) from trainers.

Read the above .pdf on the train before getting into the workout. Lots of things to process and I'll detail them in a stream of consciousness way:
  • Snell kept a training log; but, like me wouldn't write down all the workouts because, frankly some of them were too depressing to note. I loved that. One of the few things an Olympian/WR holder will have in common with me. 
  • The interview is wide-ranging and is a conversation. The interviewer (Richard Englehart) doesn't just ask questions but actively participates and is a good runner (not Int'l class, but very, very, good). 
  • It's pretty clear there's not even a an idea of what improves performance. 
  • VO2max is not the holy grail. Snell mentioned that his VO2max didn't change in between '65 an '74. But in '65 he could run a 4 minute (or better) mile. No way he could have done that in '74. The difference? Muscle fibres. 
  • 3 types of muscle fibres - slow twitch, 2a and 2x (fast twitch)
  • 2a fibres are recruited by moderate intensity; but 2x require heavy intensity. Translation, highly anaerobic activity where you're left gasping for breath; so hard interval training or intense weightlifting.
  • Confirmation bias exists everywhere, it's actually all pervasive. 
  • Snell critiques U.S. methods for being so blinkered that they fall back on "the opponents are genetically superior" if Americans don't win. In other words, the U.S. athletic thinking is that "our methods are perfect, failure to produce top results is a condemnation of the talent not of the training." He clearly thinks this is bullshit. He's right. 
  • Snell thinks that top flight talents like Alan Webb should have skipped college. I'm inclined to agree. College athletics is about a lot of things but the focus is always: win now. The focus is never ensuring the long term health of the "student-athlete" career.
I'm just going to quote a passage that speaks to how moderate (NOT low) intensity training can/should improve high intensity performance: 

"So, the way that slow running makes you fast is because if you’re doing a moderate pace – and by moderate pace I’m – my experience is 7 minutes a mile or faster, not slow plodding. You have to be moderate, at least. And you run for a sufficient duration, where if you run long enough, eventually the fibers that are being recruited to handle that pace will become depleted of their glycogen stores, and they can’t continue to contract. So other fibers are recruited to take up the slack, to be able to continue the effort. And so – and we have some evidence of this. It wasn’t done with running, it was actually done in cycling. But eventually you get to these type 2 fibers if you run long enough.
And so, if you say, okay, I’m only a middle distance runner, therefore I’m only going to run 6 miles, then you don’t get much of a training effect at all. But if you go out as far as, say, the 20 miles occasionally that we did, then you’re really getting in and using those fibers."

July 28, 2010

7 miles - 50:33 (7:14.3 mins/mile)
The LifeFitness machines are ridiculously easy to run on. Running 5 miles on a Woodway at 7:30 per mile is much more taxing. I can see that the marginal benefit of running on treadmills is getting lower and lower. Switching to outdoor running 2x a week is going to be the way to go. At least I that gives me an excuse to pop for some cool Oakleys. I like this one:

or this

The half jacket is favored by most runners. I'm not a runner per se, just a guy who uses running to keep the triglycerides low. 


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