Bobby McGee Study Update 7/24

The moment of truth arrived this week when we measured results of study participants as they ran their second 200-meter and 2k halfway through the study. This was a test performed at the midpoint of their training, during the week requiring athletes to run their highest mileage. Therefore, many of the partipants were fatigued, a consideration which amplifies their improvements!

Results of All 14 Involved Athletes:
 
1. The group was on average six seconds faster in the second test than the first. Almost 60% of participants improved their times on the 2k test, and the average improvement was by 23.1 seconds.
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Figure 1. Athlete times for the second measurement of their 2k distance
Results of the Nine Who Synced Data from Both Tests: 
 
Cadence, stride length, leg spring stiffness and ground contact time improved for 88.8 % of the nine athletes.
-Cadence improved by an average of 2.46 steps per minute
-Stride length improved by an average of 5.61 cm
-Leg spring stiffness improved by +15.59 N/m/kg
-Ground contact time reduced by 6.6 ms on average
Stay tuned for the third and final measurement of the progress of our runners!
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Featured Stryder Jason West

A lot of people think you’re joking when you say you want to be a professional triathlete.

That’s how many people reacted when I announced my decision to go pro. It probably seemed even more ridiculous considering my lack of experience in racing.

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My background in wrestling hardly prepared me for my first triathlon, but that didn’t stop my dad and I from signing up for one when I was 16. I raced well considering my lack of training, which made me realize that running was something I might be decent at.

Since that first triathlon with my dad, I never looked back. My career as a runner quickly gained momentum; in 2015 I won the collegiate nationals and soonafter decided to work with Apex coaching based in Boulder, Colorado.

After graduating from college in Pennsylvania, I packed my bags and said goodbye to my lifelong home. I had never been to Colorado before, but I had a good feeling about making it my new home base.

I managed to avoid any serious injury until last year when I broke my foot. A few days before a race in China, I felt an unfamiliar dull pain and soreness overcome my foot. This was the first time I ever felt anything in my foot so I banished any worries that crept up to the back of my mind.

It was the day of the race. Biking and swimming felt completely fine. Then, 400 meters into the 10K run, I felt something snap in my foot, followed by searing pain. For 100 meters I thought I would have to drop out of the race. Then, something amazing happened. My stride came back and I fought through the pain and finished the 10K. After the run, the pain was so severe I couldn’t walk, but still I made my way home. By then, the pain was so intense that I headed to the emergency room. The X-rays of my foot didn’t look good, and the doctors determined that I needed surgery the next day.

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After almost a year of healing, I once again rose to triathlete status. Since then, I have successfully competed in a number of races and am currently training for the 2020 Olympics.

The slow healing process reminded me of the importance of patience in training and in running. In running, it’s easy to be your own worst enemy by pushing yourself too hard too fast. Even when it’s the last thing I want to do, I err on the side of caution and remember that when I’m hurt, I can’t run at all.

I had to remind myself of that when my coaches took track workouts out of my training. The track is where I felt in the zone- there, I would run super hard and fast, sometimes so much it would lead to injury. My heart sank when my coaches nixed those workouts.

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It took so much patience to accept that I couldn’t do my favorite type of workout and instead do what my coach prescribed. As it turns out, not running on the track made me more successful than ever.

 

Bobby McGee Study Recap Week 7/17

 

Two weeks ago, the main workout activity was 6 x 30 second hill repeats. This week, study participants ran two additional hill repeats.

Short hill repeats allow the body to put more force on the muscle and effectively target the potassium pump in training. These workouts improve the body’s ability to produce and recycle energy thereby improving running cadence, posture, power, and overall running economy.

SESSION RECAP:

  1. 10-15 walk/jog
  2. Dynamic mobility drills
  3. Four progressive strides
  4. 8 x 30 second hill repeats (progressive)
  5. Cool down jog
  6. Pre-plyometric strength drills

The goal of this session was to increase power output over each repeat thereby lengthening the distance covered in the 30 seconds. Check out the Stryd data below demonstrating an athlete who was able to meet the goal of the workout and increase their power output for each hill repeat vs an athlete who went out too fast and was unable to progress throughout the workout.

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Bobby McGee Study Recap Week 7/3

 


We were back this week as the action continued in the fourth week of the Bobby McGee training camp!

The main set of the this week’s workout was 6 x 30 second hill repeats. Short hill repeats allow the body to put more force on the muscle and effectively target the potassium pump in training. By working the potassium pump you increase its ability to push potassium back into muscles, resulting in greater endurance. Hill workouts are also great to include in your training because they improve the body’s ability to produce and recycle energy thereby improving running cadence, posture, power, and overall running economy.

SESSION RECAP:

  1. 10-15 walk/jog
  2. Dynamic mobility drills
  3. Four progressive strides
  4. 6 x 30 second hill repeats (progressive)
  5. Cool down jog
  6. Pre-plyometric strength drills

As shown in the Stryd data below, managing your intensity appropriately so that each repeat is truly progressive can be challenging. Fortunately, participants will be doing more hill repeat workouts over the next few weeks giving them the opportunity to improve upon their results.

Check out the Stryd data below demonstrating an athlete who was able to meet the goal of the workout and increase their power output for each hill repeat!! We also had athletes plateau after only 4 hills and had to fight hard to maintain their power and form for the final 2 reps. Even more inspiring were those athletes who started breaking down before final 2-3 repeats and had to maintain composure to get the most out of each remaining hill repeat.

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Seeing the focus, grit, and power of these athletes was motivating to say the least. Some of the members of our team couldn’t help but join in on the suffering during the workout. Here at Stryd we look forward for more quality sessions like this as it provides athletes opportunities to push through barriers and monitor their improvements using Stryd! Stay tuned for weekly updates to follow the journey of our participants as they Stryd toward their goals.

IMPROVE with Stryd

Runners are continually evolving. With every step of training we influence our performance. The intensity and duration of our runs determine the type of runner that we become. Stryd’s IMPROVE Training tools in PowerCenter identify your core running characteristics and track your training over time so that you can continue to improve and evolve into the best runner possible.

Improve

Stryd Runner Profile

Identify the key limiters in your training. Focus on your Metabolic Fitness, Muscle Endurance, and Muscle Power. Metabolic Fitness is your overall current fitness, in terms of both metabolic and aerobic performance. You can build your current fitness to its ceiling in a relatively short period of time. Moreover, it is possible to slowly raise your overall fitness ceiling with consistent training. Muscle Endurance is your ability to keep running. Your ability to run long should be improved slowly. Research recommends increasing by ~10% each week, and a single long run should not be more than 20-25% of your total weekly load. Muscle Power is your instantaneous power, and it is directly linked to running economy. Improve the strength of your muscles, the stiffness of your tendons, etc., and get the most out of each and every step.

Really interesting addition / tool, which can really help to indentify some weak spots or game changer for reaching the next running level.

Training Optimizer

Each of these characteristics can be developed with specific types of training. Identify the characteristics which present the best opportunity for improvement and highlight the types of training that will be best for developing them. For example, if your weakness for a 5k target race is Muscle Power, you should slowly begin to add hill sprints, speed work and supplemental training (such as weights, drills and/or plyometrics) to your routine.

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Training Power Heatmap

Get a better understanding of how your training has influenced your current Runner Profile. A visual description of your running history in terms of both intensity (power) and duration. Bright red “hot” areas indicate combinations of power and duration that you frequently achieve in your training. Dark blue areas occur less often.

The Training Power Heatmap has two primary purposes: 1) a time-in-zone comparison and 2) the maximum power that you have sustained in your training. The simple rendering of your time in zone allows you to quickly identify how you have been spending your time while training. It helps you to quickly determine if you have been targeting the correct running intensities for your target race. Additionally, the Curve Power will always display the maximum power that you have achieved in your training for that given duration. Use this information to determine what you are able to accomplish in your next race!

Fabulous enhancements – well done, guys!

Adjust your Training

You can apply these new insights to your training today! Start by building up your limiters. First focus on the workouts that address your weaknesses. For example, if you are strong in Muscle Power, but Metabolic Fitness is relatively lower – begin to shift your focus towards intervals and threshold workouts. Keep in mind that as you focus on weaknesses, they will take a bigger toll than workouts that build upon your strengths. Slowly build the volume of these workouts over the course of several weeks, and be sure to take your recovery seriously. Find the right balance of adding workouts that focus on your weaknesses without creating a high level of fatigue, which limit adaptations.

While Running Stress Score (RSS) is not a new feature for Stryd, it is an important element to consider for your training. Too little stress will limit your ability to reach your potential, too much and you increase your risk for injury. Monitor your overall training stress so that it builds slowly and stays consistent through the meat of your training, and when it is time to taper you are fresh and honed for race day.


Stryd is the Ultimate Training and Racing Technology and is available for $199 at stryd.com.