Understanding a Gym-based Stamina Session
There are many misconceptions as to what the phrase “Gym-Based Stamina” means. In fact there are many misconceptions as to what stamina or stamina training means and pertails to.
The concept is actually simple (as most training practices should be) and the title is actually self explanatory.
GYM-BASED (meaning in the gym), STAMINA (meaning the ability to sustain a level of performance for a drawn out duration).OK, lets lose the overly analytical approach and go back to the knuckle dragger way of looking at this. I want to prepare my athletes for the upcoming race season. We spent the summer working on strength training with Olympic lifting and then applied that strength into a month long “Crossfit” fomrat that allowed us to speed up using a “met-con” prescription. But fall is approaching and the 5K’s and 10K’s are coming (for some of us the 42K/50Milers). How do we train to be successful at them. Many times people think that they must stop going to their gym and download some lame ass program from the internet that lays out a running plan that has them go jogging down the side of the street with increasing time and intervals each day, monotonously over and over drawn out like this run on sentence Im typing. For some people that may work and if a lame ass running program fits you then please dont take offense. But where the mistake is commonly made is in the purpose… The purpose of that program was simply to get you running. To make you proefficient at being a runner. But I train athletes. Well rounded humans who can perform at far above average levels in almost any scenario, sport or event with little to no modifications in their training and nutrition. I want my atheltes to excel on race day and still return to the gym with muscular strength and squat snatch an Olympic bar bell the very next day. Another mistake of these running programs is that due to the monotonous pounding and repetition to the runners body many “average” people find themselves with a nagging repetitive stress injury long before they even reach the race. (I personally have experienced this in years past).That is when I began to think about the ability to simulate the necessities of training required to succeed at a longer distance event such as a 10K or above..but be able to do so without being stuck in a “monostructural” movement like jogging. What are the necessary aspects for this training? Simple: Cardio-Vascular strength-endurance, Pulmonary strength-endurance and experience of the feeling both psychologically and metabolically from sustained activity in the 60 minutes or above realm. This can all be simulated in the training facility and then once every 7-10 days you hit the road or trails and familiarize yourself with the actual act of distance running.The cardio vascular strength-endurance can be achieved by designing a training session that has exercises in sets that elevate the heart rate to about 75% and minimize the ability to take rest breaks (just as you will experience while in the race).The pulmonary strength-endurance aligns almost hand in hand with the cardio vascular side and exercises intervals such as short runs and rowing can ensure that the atheltes lungs are being forced to pull in maximum amounts of air and process as effieciently as possible.The psychological training comes in just having the balls to take the sets of the prescribed exercises and make them in quantities that would freak out the average gym go-er. In other words if you are tryig to compete in a half marathon then you need to be conditioning your mind to work with and anylize your bodies reactions to a 90-120 minute session.The metabolic training comes into play by needing to provide the proper amount of fuel before, during and after training to allow the body to continue to function and then repair through out the duration of training. Eventually through experience, trial and error you and your body will acclimate to the requirements. Here is an example.. Today I trained my athletes at a 10K length format but made it a sort of worst case scenario 10K.They first conducted 10 rounds:17″ Tire Step Up X25 each Foot / 250 Mtr run on a fairly steep hill / sit up X10(this gave them the simulation of climbing a sudden hill then stepping back out into their run pace for short sustainable durations..the sit ups allowed them to maintain the heavy breathing rate and build core strength which will help them maintain their posture and hold their lung cavity open while running later.)They were alotted 40 minutes to accomplish this at which time, no matter where they were in the workout, they were ushered in to a downward scaling repetition prescriptioin of: 12 down to 1Back Squat / Push up /D.B. Row / Kettle Bell Swing. Final totals: 8,500 vertical feet climbed / 2,500mtrs of hill run / 120 sit ups / 312 weightlifting repsTime cap required: 60 minutes or less. I.E. a nasty 10K duration.To cap this up lets be clear. If you are a dedicated runner and all you want to do is run….then run. But My athletes like to to go to the races and have a good time then go back to the gym, jack steel and sling bumper plates without fighting back to their pre-race season strength levels.And its just a simple fact, We always get weird looks standing at the start weighing in at 190lbs, but those looks usually change when the top three of each age brackets is swamped with our team shirts.