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    Training

    Build Power with Plyometrics

    DR. PARKER FARABEE

    NEURO BASE CAMP

    Plyometrics are power based exercise that maximize the combination of speed and force development. They can be intimidating at first but by controlling the size of movement and beginning with two-legged exercises you can be very successful at these advanced exercises.

    Core Workout #1

    Dr. Parker Farabee

    Nero Base Camp

    A strong core provides the foundation for a successful running season. This circuit will help you create power and stability for your stride.

    Dr. Parker Farabee is a physical therapist, exercise physiologist, and runner in Portland, OR. He is the co-owner of Neuro Base Camp Physical Therapy. When he isn't in the clinic he enjoys hiking, backpacking, camping, and road trips with his wife and three dogs. Neuro Base Camp provides specialized physical therapy to athletes of all levels to promote longevity and performance. Our focus is on improving the brain-body connection and achieving better strength, balance, coordination, and movement patterns. We offer injury prevention, injury rehab, and customized strength programs designed for runners.

    Downhill Running

    Downhill Running

    By Andrew Miller


    Downhill running is often overlooked in training because it is less aerobically challenging than running uphill or running on flat terrain. Because it feels easier, most runners see downhills as a chance to recover before the next climb. However, downhills are a great place to go faster without much extra effort. And on race day it doesn’t matter if you are gaining time on the toughest uphill on the course or a gentle downhill. Here’s what to do to become a better downhill runner.

    First off, you will need to set aside time to practice downhill running. The goal of this run is to build your downhill speed which means you will be practicing running downhill fast! Do note that fast downhill running is hard on your quads so you may be a little sore after the first few downhill specific training runs. The soreness will go away after a few runs as your legs get stronger and more adapted to downhill running. However, due to the strain that downhill running puts on your legs, stick to one downhill session per week. More frequent downhill training may not give you legs enough time to recover.

    When running downhill on trails, there are two limiting factors that affect your speed: your maximum speed and the percentage of your maximum speed that you can run on trails. Here is an example to help illustrate this. Let’s say you can run down a road at 8 mph. This is your maximum speed for that grade. For a trail with the same grade, you may only be able to run downhill at 6 mph. This means you can only run at 75% of your maximum speed on trails. The two ways to improve your downhill trail running are to increase your maximum downhill speed or increase the percentage of your maximum speed that you can maintain on a trail. Whether you increase your maximum speed or your trail percentage, both will increase your downhill trail running speed, so we will talk about strategies to work on both.

    Improving your maximum speed and your trail percentage will require similar training. If you feel slow running downhills, regardless of the surface, focus on your maximum speed first. To improve your maximum downhill speed, find a sustained downhill. A downhill that is at least 0.5 miles long with roughly a 10% grade is a good place to start. Choosing a steeper or shallower downhill may be advisable depending on your skill level. Generally, steeper downhills are harder to run.

    For your first downhill session, aim to accumulate 10 minutes of fast downhill running. Before you start running downhill, make sure you have been running for at least 20 minutes to ensure that your legs are properly warmed up. The 10 minutes of downhill running can be done in one single downhill or multiple downhills. Aim for downhills at least 5 minutes long. The downhill should be run at a very fast pace, but still under control. Do not be reckless when running fast downhill! There is a good chance that you will be sore the next day. Each week, you can add 1 or 2 minutes of fast downhill running to your downhill training session until you hit 20 minutes. Do not go beyond 20 minutes. You will begin to lose focus on the downhill and run slower. Additionally, it will become very difficult for your legs to recover in an appropriate amount of time.

    Training to improve the percentage of your maximum speed that you can run on a trail will require similar training. Use the same progression of beginning with 10 minutes and building to 20 minutes of fast downhill running. Instead of selecting a road for your downhill training, pick a trail. It can be tempting to choose the most technical trail possible, but this is usually not the best choice. If the downhill you choose is too technical, it will be too difficult to run fast and your downhill training will be less productive. Aim for a downhill that is challenging, but still allows you to run at a fast pace. Here are a few pointers for running fast downhill on trails: look ahead so you can plan your route down the trail, take short quick steps in steep or technical terrain, stride out on smoother, gentler terrain.

    Downhill running is a great way to gain time in a race. To improve your downhill running, it is essential to practice running downhill. Use the guidelines above to help guide your downhill training. If you have questions, please send them to info@andrewmillercoaching.com

    Uphill Strength Workout for Runners

    Dr. Parker Farabee

    Neuro Base Camp

    Have you ever felt limited in your trail running by the uphill sections? Try adding this circuit workout a few times a week to strengthen the important muscles for pushing uphill.

    Dr. Parker Farabee is a physical therapist, exercise physiologist, and runner in Portland, OR.  He is the co-owner of Neuro Base Camp Physical Therapy. When he isn't in the clinic he enjoys hiking, backpacking, camping, and road trips with his wife and three dogs.

    Neuro Base Camp provides specialized physical therapy to athletes of all levels to promote longevity and performance.  Our focus is on improving the brain-body connection and achieving better strength, balance, coordination, and movement patterns. We offer injury prevention, injury rehab, and customized strength programs designed for runners.

    Coach Panel: How to Navigate GI Issues on Race Day

    Coach Panel: How to Navigate GI Issues on Race Day

    There are a lot of unknowns in running. Everyone's body is different and when you get out there on race day and see some clear areas to improve upon it is hard to find the right answer.

    We have heard several questions asked more than any others when it comes to running and racing so we have a series of articles addressing them by our favorite knowledgable running coaches.

    The third topic in our series breaks down what can go wrong with stomachs during races or long runs and how to reduce the chance of having issues. 

    Yassine Diboun, Danielle Snyder and Andrew Miller lay out their answers below.

    How do you navigate through GI issues during racing and long adventures?

     

    Danielle Snyder:

    Stomachs are tricky business in the running world! I don’t know many runners who haven’t struggled with some type of indigestion, diarrhea or vomiting while racing.

    My number 1 tip: DON’T PANIC!

    Yes, this is hard to do but anxiety or worrying can make matters worse. You are capable of handling what is thrown at you, so breathe and make a plan!

    1. Assess the situation: Are you under or over hydrating, what is going with your electrolytes? Have you had enough fuel (yes, this can also impact your stomach if you are underfeeding), are you overheating?
    2. Take a break. Oftentimes, if we sit down (out of the sun and/or weather elements), try to eat something slowly, we can allow our stomachs to get back on track.
    3. Always pack for disaster (bring tums/imodium or other stomach aids— such as ginger).
    4. The biggest key is prevention. Practice drinking and eating during training runs, find out what works for you. The sooner you start fueling on these big days, the better your stomach will do.

     

    Yassine Diboun:

    Oftentimes when I am struggling with GI issues while racing I will give myself a little time to sit or lay down. This will give my stomach and digestive system a break from all the jostling caused by running. Even taking some extended hike breaks with focused deep breathing into the diaphragm can help.

    Also, sometimes laying down, getting horizontal, will move things around and allow gas bubbles to dissipate. Eating ginger or drinking ginger ale can help too. The best thing to do is to figure out how to preemptively avoid GI distress while racing!

    I've found that limiting greasy and acidic foods at aid stations, and using gels such as Spring Energy Nutrition (bananas, rice, applesauce, etc.) are easier on my GI tract and thus don't allow me to get too aggravated during endurance events. Carrying ginger chews, Tums, even digestive enzymes, or probiotics can help if you feel that distress coming on.

     

    Andrew Miller:

    Gastrointestinal issues can be one of the most debilitating problems in ultrarunning. Most often this problem is caused when your stomach osmolality is too high. Osmolality is the number or particles in a volume. In our case, this is the number of sugar molecules or electrolytes in your stomach. When your stomach osmolality is too high, your body cannot process the contents of your stomach.

    Your body will either need to pull water from elsewhere in your body, either your bloodstream or your cells, or expel the food in your stomach without processing it. When the latter happens, you will either be puking or heading to the bushes. If you have GI issues, stop eating for 30-60 minutes. Keep drinking plain water to get your stomach osmolality back to a normal level.

    This will allow your body to process what is inside and stop your GI issues. Slowing down during this period will also help. A slower pace puts less stress on the body and will allow the body to divert more water to the stomach.

    Coach Profiles

    Danielle Snyder is an avid ultrarunner who is constantly reminded of the importance of mental training in addition to physical training. She has run countless 100-mile races, set the FKT on the Oregon section of the PCT, and holds the FKT on the Rogue River Trail.

    Danielle has worked with countless professional athletes and Olympians and specializes in helping athletes avoid the pitfalls of negative self-talk, so that they can achieve more balance in all parts of their lives. Using multiple different techniques, Danielle guides her clients along their paths to physical and mental well-being, helping athletes reach their potential. Danielle is a Certified Running Coach and a licensed clinical social worker with extensive additional training. Learn more at Inner Drive Wellness

    Yassine Diboun is a co-owner of Wy'east Wolfpack where he remains highly active coaching athletes of all abilities, including kids, office workers, folks in or seeking recovery from substance addiction. He still likes to get after it on the ultramarathon racing circuit and has enjoyed a long sustainable career. You can learn more about him and the wolfpack at: Wy'east Wolfpack and follow @WyeastWolfpack and @YassineDiboun on Instagram

    Career Highlights: *4-time Western States 100 finisher (once in the top 10) *3-time HURT 100 finisher (once in the top 3) *Top 100 finisher of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) *Top 25 finisher at Hardrock 100 *Top 5 finishes at Bighorn 100, Cascade Crest 100, Pinhoti 100, & San Diego 100


    Andrew Miller lives in Oregon where enjoys running and volunteering on the local trails. Andrew has won 16 ultramarathons, including the 2016 Western States 100, and works as a running coach at Andrew Miller Coaching. *Represented Team USA at the IAU World Trail Running Championships in Annecy, France (silver medal)