Run Faster - Performance Tips and Training Methods to Help You PR Your Next Race

Run Faster - Performance Tips and Training Methods to Help You PR Your Next Race


We asked our community:
"What do you want to hear from Coach "B" and Kevin? What are you struggling with? What are the things that we could provide to you?"

And performance tips were number one.

There are so many things that we've learned over the decades that we could tell you about. And so what we wanted to do was really, reduce it down to the most important things that will help you!

And there's going to be several follow-on episodes to this as well.

At a very high level, when we talk about performance and helping you hit a new PR, we want to do is make sure that we understand what distance that PR should be at.

Is it at the 5K, 10K, half-marathon, marathon, or other distance? And where are you physically today? At the end of the day, it will be the weakest link in your armor, that is going to be the thing that takes you down.

So, what we're going to do in this episode is really talk about body physiology, and how we incorporate training to help you improve those weak links.

In this episode we'll touch upon:


Podcast Transcription

The following transcript is provided for your convenience. It was created through a program, and may not be entirely accurate to our conversation.

Intro Quotes

Kevin Chang: [00:00:00]

I think when we were trying to take a look at body physiology, getting you ready for the starting line, it really came down to a couple of major systems in your body that we try to train to get you at peak performance.

Bertrand Newson: [00:00:13]

What we'd see with their athletes is, at least when they come to us, is the gap in including that level of variation, where we typically see runners when they're maybe running consistently or consistent movement. But having the right workout in the given timeframe in their week, that's going to benefit their overall running capacity.

Episode Intro

Kevin Chang: [00:00:37]

Hello, and welcome to the RaceMob podcast, where we're all about running long, having fun and making the human connection. This is episode number 42. I'm Kevin entrepreneur technology and fitness nerd. And I'm joined by the head coach of RaceMob and master motivator. The incomparable Bertrand Newson.

Conversation Summary [00:00:56]

We asked our Facebook community, what did you want to hear from Coach "B" and myself? What were you struggling with? What are the things that we could provide to you? And performance tips was number one. So we went back, we had a quick discussion that turned into a two, our discussion, a three-hour discussion.
We said, man, there's so many things, there's so many things that we've learned over the decades that we've been running. Everything that we've picked up that we could tell you about. And so what we wanted to do was really, reduce it down to the most important things that will help you. And there's going to be several follow on episodes to this as well.
So at a very, very high level, when we talk about performance and helping you hit a new PR, what we want to do is make sure that we understand
what distance that PR should be at. Is that the 5k distance is that the 10 K half marathon marathon and where you are today because, at the end of the day, it is really The weakest link in your armor, that is going to be the thing that takes you down.
So, what we're going to do today is really talk about your body physiology, how we incorporate training to help you improve those weakest links at a very high level. And if I pull back the curtain a little bit, there are many, many different things that will help you reach a new PRs on race day one, and most important is your physiology.
What we've done training-wise to get you ready for the starting line. That's probably the most important piece, but the other pieces to it are the mental aspect, the mental mindset, your plan going into race day, how you're planning your paces and your distances as well as. You know, have you built the toolkit in order to really push during those last miles?
So that's something that I think we'll talk about at another point in time, right? Coach? Yeah.

Bertrand Newson: [00:02:47]

Yes, absolutely.

Kevin Chang: [00:02:48]

Another thing is around nutrition, hydration your strategy on race day. Have you really dialed that in another item is gear and a final item is those external factors, right? What's the temperature on race day? What's the humidity on race day. What's the course elevation. What are the other things that are happening on race day that may impact you hitting a new PR?
So all of those things, I think we will get to at a future episode, but today, in particular, we wanted to talk about physiology and your training, getting you to the starting line.

Conversation Start - Body Phisiology [00:03:21]

I think when we were trying to take a look at body physiology, getting you ready for the starting line, it really came down to a couple of major systems in your body that we try to train to get you at peak performance.
One of them is your cardiovascular system. So that is, you know, your heart, your lungs, your blood, basically the transport chain there. And that's usually what we are really working on during most of our training cycles, So it's that cardiovascular system.
Then it's muscular composition. So that's fast-twitch muscles, slow-twitch muscles. That's plyometrics. Your muscular composition.
Then it's body composition, your fat versus lean muscle mass, right? That impacts your performance on race date.
Then it's flexibility and pliability. Are you flexible enough?
A lot of that plays into running form, which again is another episode that we will get into. Are you at efficient running form? Right?
And then the final one is around energy utilization. So there is a whole transport chain within your body that allows you to utilize energy effectively. That's the glycogen in your muscles. Are you fat-adapted? This goes into fueling your body. The nutrition that you're putting into your body are you training your body for those race distances.
So at a very high level, that is a lot of what we're looking at. And that's a lot of what we're looking at today is how do we train our body to be ready for the starting line to be able to hit those new PRs?

The Cardiovascular System [00:04:48]

So Coach, maybe you can help us break down the cardiovascular system a little bit. But basically as a coach, we are trying to train that cardiovascular system so that the athletes are ready for race day.

Bertrand Newson: [00:05:00]

Yes. Well said KC, and at its core, we're looking to build endurance, and endurance has not built overnight. Endurance is built over time. So we look at building the cardiovascular system. We're looking at base-level training, meaning long or slower runs, getting the body adapted to running for longer periods of time.
from a coaching perspective, that's what I'm generally doing, looking and assessing what the athlete's current fitness level is, what may be their base long run distances, and then working forward off of that building again, a sustainable base with some progressive, gradually picking up the distance over a training cycle.
A training cycle may be three months. It may be four months. But also again, taking into consideration currently where the athletes, maybe weekly mileage is their current max long run distance, establishing what their conversation paces. And those are all key components when you're looking at understanding the athletes, cardiovascular health.
And really in relation to what you touched on earlier, Casey is what are we training for? What is the distance? What's the task at hand? Is it a 5k distance, 10 K half marathon, or marathon that also dictates on what the mileage prescribed workout weekly module is going to be? And then we kind of can build from there.
But in layman's terms, longer slower runs building a nice cardio base, and then from there, we can add on different types of exercises, different types of workouts that are modifying the intensity and impacting different types of energy systems within the body.

Kevin Chang: [00:06:41]

I think you bring up a good point, which is. We need to take a look at the athletes and the race and figure out what is the weakest link, what is bringing that athlete potentially down at that distance? Right?
So if the athlete is already at their maximum endurance or already at their maximum length, so they can't run any further than a 10 K where they can't run any further than a marathon, that is their maximum distance than really endurance is the thing that is going to prevent them from running faster.
And so what you're really taking a look at when you look at like building a base, first you're looking at mitochondrial density, you know, you're looking at bone density and other things, but it's really can that athlete run that distance? You know, at even a slow pace, can they run that distance, right?
And so if you look at professional athletes who are running a potentially a marathon, they can run much, much further than the marathon distance, right. They can have long runs that are 30 miles, 40 miles, 50 miles easily. And so what is bringing them down at that point in time is probably the things that you're training for in the stamina realm, right?
So you're looking at lactic acid thresholds. You're looking at other things in maybe the cardiovascular system other things as well that you are planning for it. In your training. So endurance, that is the base. And when you look at periodization of the body and how long it takes for the body to adapt to long runs and, you know, endurance and aerobic kind of stimulus, it takes a long time.
And that's why at the beginning of every training plan, you're usually building that base. You're taking a look at those long runs. How long can we extend it? How long can we build it out?
But we also are taking a look at other types of runs during a training plan, right. We're taking a look at other types of workouts during a training plan.

Different Types of Runs [00:08:31]

So talk to us a little bit about threshold runs, anaerobic runs, why we mix them in how they benefit the end-user.

Bertrand Newson: [00:08:39]

Very good question, KC. So as we're looking at the training pyramid or training cycle, the base of that training cycle is longer again, looking at from a pyramid outline. We're looking also to improve the cardio endurance, meaning what are we doing to pick up intensity?
Maybe the focus is not so much on duration, it's more on intensity and we're increasing maybe the pace or meaning higher intensity, or if we're doing some type of hill work, increasing intensity as well. Those challenge, the cardiovascular system. Those stimulate growth in cardiovascular system.
Those will expand capacity, lung capacity, meaning you are able to run at a faster pace for longer period of time. When your cardiovascular system is being challenged with different types of workouts, temple runs, interval runs, lacked at threshold runs. Things along those lines where you're running a little bit out of your comfort zone, challenging yourself, and giving a little bit of time to recover and see where the growth is happening, which stacking on top of building that base.

Kevin Chang: [00:09:46]

I think that's a great, good point. So I think, you know, a long endurance base is usually the thing that people are lacking or missing the most. You know, that's the thing that we help, beginner athletes is how you build your base. How do you build the length of your run, have you have more endurance.
But for those that already have the endurance at the distance, that they are targeting to hit a new PR, what are we doing in order to help those folks out?
And I think one of the big things a lot of them don't have structure their workouts. And so giving them these structured workouts, I think help target different areas. That may be, the weakest link of their chain, right? Whether that be VO2 max or whether that be some anaerobic workouts.
That will both help them improve efficiency in terms of energy utilization, improve their lung capacity, improve the size of their heart, the amount of blood that they can pump through. Reducing that BPM, the beats per minute of their heart, the resting heart rate as well.
So there are a number of things, and the cardiovascular system that we are taking a look at for those specific athletes. And I think in general, what we're looking at is during their goal race at their goal pace, which part of the chain is breaking down. Is it that their muscles are on fire because there's so much lactic buildup, and so we need to do more threshold runs.
What we want to do during those threshold runs is not increased the pace, but increase the duration at those higher intensity runs. So is not really doing something that's three minutes, five minutes, but doing something that's 10 minutes, 20 minutes at a bit of an increased effort, and see, can I maintain this pace for a longer period of time? So that is really like how you would improve your threshold, distance running.
And then speed work, which I think people are missing out on a lot of speed work. Sometimes it's the variety of the speed works. Sometimes it's the intensity or, or the way that they do the speed work.
But, you know, I know Coach you're big on speed work and different types of speed bursts sometimes in training, sometimes different types of Strides is sometimes it's 50 meters. Sometimes it's a hundred meters. Sometimes you need that mental, ability to push through. And that leads to, mental mindset.

Speed Work and Training Plans [00:12:04]

But talk to us a little bit about the different types of speed work that you incorporate for your athletes.

Bertrand Newson: [00:12:10]

What we'd see with their athletes is, at least when they come to us, is the gap in including that level of variation, where we typically see runners when they're maybe running consistently or consistent movement.
But having the right workout in the given timeframe in their week, that's going to benefit their overall running capacity. So speed work to be specific speed play. We've thrown that term around in general. It's speed play.
And you can have some fun with this. That's one thing which people don't generally associate speed, work, and fun. It can happen and it can happen, but it would fartlek. So an example of a fartlek workout.
If you're running on a trail or running on the street and you encounter traffic lights or fire hydrants. You can alternate meaning at you pick that visual landmark and you are at a cash we'll paste you the next visual landmark, whether it be a traffic light, you pick up the pace between segment to segment, meeting, running faster, next, visual landmark you pull it back.
So that way you're stimulating the body on picking up speed. It's going to challenge your cardiovascular system. Expand your lung capacity. Forced the body's ability to manage lactic had acid, maybe the onset of it longer, or you want to be able to kind of get that out of your system, so you delaying the onset of it, and allowing for a period of recovery, which is important with fartlek.
Another example of an attract setting is doing some strides. Kevin, we talked about this on a previous episode, and what is a stride? A stride does not mean that at once you heard the whistle go off or you start that you're going right from start to sprint. It's a gradual progression, which we also call negative split effort, which is very, very key with our athletes.
Training a negative split perspective. So we'll take you through, they're like a hundred-meter stride starting off maybe at 50% of effort, gradually easing into it. And as we get to that halfway point, maybe 50 meters on the track, thereabouts, you're starting to pick up 60%, 65%, 70%, and maybe peaking out at 85% of effort. As you get to that hundred-meter Mark and maybe 60 seconds of rest and recovery, and then repeat that maybe upwards five to 10 times.
That's a nice way to kind of warm-up up and get some speed work in without too much intensity too soon. And this is something that we see athletes who are just mixing in speed work is not knowing the proper amount and doing too much intensity too soon.
In some cases, realizing some short-term benefits, but if you do too much speed work too soon, you could end up getting injured. So we've seen examples of that. So really important. Everybody on your speed days get into your dynamic warmup exercises is very important. You know, get the body loose and warm.
We can talk more about what some of those exercises look like. But what we're saying not to do is to go from home to track and get right into the workout that it's critical especially on speed workout days to get a nice warmup, which also includes probably a half-mile warmup jog at conversation pace.
What is conversation pace? If you can maintain a conversation with yourself, or if you have a running buddy, then you a conversation pace. If you cannot utter a word, if you feel you're laboring, then slow down. Okay.
That is conversation pace. Conversation pace is going to be key, and you understanding that as part of your running journey because it's going to be a core of where a lot of your miles are going to be at that pace as it allows you to sustain your endurance longer. We're a lot of positive running benefits happen while you are at conversation pace. But we can give some more examples, KC of, of speed work if you like.

Kevin Chang: [00:15:52]

I like what you mentioned, you know, we have a lot of speed work workouts online, or you can find them on either the RaceMob website or on the Too Legit Facebook page, we have speed work. Every Wednesday, that Coach runs the Hammertime workouts.
I like what you mentioned about strides. I think the huge benefit of around strides is that you actually activate your muscles when you're accelerating, right? So that's the thing that people forget when you're at a constant velocity at a constant pace that oftentimes is due to the springiness of your ligaments and your tendons.
But you're actually activating your muscles when you're accelerating when you're going faster. So that's what really was strides are doing when you're going from a slow acceleration throughout that a hundred meters, you are activating your muscles. You are having to push your body at a faster pace, you know. Force is mass times acceleration.
So we're talking about accelerating throughout that entire a hundred meters, and you are actually producing more force against the ground and against your body. So I love the inclusion of strides and making sure that that's part of speed work.

Bertrand Newson: [00:16:58]

And at that distance, you can do strides at, you know, 25 meters, 50 meters. But if you're doing it at a hundred meters, you have more time to gear up to higher intensity. The last third of that effort. And when you're running faster, it automatically improves your running economy.
You have increased turnover. I E cadence. And it's very tough to heel strike when you're running faster. And it's very tough in many cases to overstride when you have you're running at it effort as well.
So when you're running faster, I sprint works 50-meter sprints, a hundred-meter sprints, 200-meter sprints, they're good ways to naturally have the body auto-correct in regards to running form arm swing, tight middle torso, a good leg turnover. All are good traits in helping your longer distance running form from an efficiency perspective.
So that's another good benefit by doing speed work is it helps your running economy and. Your steroid, et cetera. Yeah.

Kevin Chang: [00:17:56]

And what I want to get back to is everybody has these concepts, right? Like if you take a look at McMillan running, if you take a look at Maffetone, if you take a look at Jack Daniels, everybody has this concept of easy runs of, threshold or stamina-based runs, of speed runs and then of, this burst sprint runs, right?
So whether you're taking a look at a training pace calculator, and you're taking a look at, okay, what is my marathon speed versus my 10 K speed versus 5k speed versus all-out sprint.
Or you're taking a look at a mathaton chart where you're looking at heart rate. What's my low heart rate, what's my maximum heart rates. Everybody has this concept for endurance runners. And so we can say, Hey, this is what you absolutely need to do, but it's different for every single runner, right?
The thing that is going to break down for them is different and it's different for every single distance. So we go back to, Hey, is endurance the thing that's going to break down for you? Is it lactic acid threshold that's going to break down for you? Is it that VO2 max. For that, Billy too.
Hey, I'm breathing hard. But it seems like my body is not able to produce any energy, right. It's like, I know we've all been there where it's like, I'm breathing. I know I'm breathing, but I just can't utilize the oxygen that's in my system.
And very seldom are we really able to get into that cardiovascular and aerobic zone? Most of us aren't sprinters, but some of the more elite people, you can really do those five Ks. And Hey, those last like five, 10 minutes, you can do it almost at a -panting noises- you know, you're breathing really, really hard, you're getting the maximum out of, out of everything.
So really what we're taking a look at is we have to take a look at you. The athlete, we have to take a look at the distance that you're trying to run. We have to take a look at what is it. That is your weakest link. What is it that is bringing you potentially down?
Most of the time, we're going to work on the endurance piece of it because, slower training, we're able to build up mitochondrial density. We're able to build up energy efficiency. We're able to build up a lot of those things.
But individually, you know, we all have different weaknesses. And so when we understand, and we can take a look at your workouts and what you're struggling at at a specific pace, and we can take a look at your perceived effort, then, that's where some of the magic of being able to.
Have a training plan that is going to get you to the starting line in peak performance. That's where some of that magic comes in. So I guess we've probably beat this cardiovascular...

Bertrand Newson: [00:20:27]

It's key. It's key, it's critical. And again, the body's ability to navigate lactic acid, okay. When are we still, we feel that burn. We feel the heaviness of legs, you know there are workouts that we... we've spoken about. That can delay that or the body's ability to navigate when we feel it coming on. And then there's a mental toughness component as well.
Some cases it is again, just slowing down, slowing down, and having a nice sustained effort. And too many times runners find themselves running in that kind of middle zone where you're not running too slow and you're not running too fast.
And sometimes that's no man's land. We'd rather be fast, no hard days hard, maybe you have a speed day or day when you're looking to push pace and you want the body to be rested enough where you can go and get into that higher intensity effort. And on slower days, quite the contrary, you want to be able to cruise and cruise longer and feel comfortable where it almost that you can get to it, this endpoint.
And then when it comes to the combination of your hard days hard and your easy days when you're ready for that threshold run or tempo run or interval run the VO2 max test, a time trial that you can draw on both the heart day and the speed day to really get you through that effort.
All that again is leading up to what we talked about in the beginning, what is your goal distance?
If you're training for that race day, a race 5k, these workouts will get you ready for that day and being able to, give feedback. So when you have a coach or a community where you can bounce off days that maybe didn't go as you anticipated. I'll use an example, had an athlete, whose workout I saw come through.
It was a 5k Coach prescribed, a 5k at, conversation pace, and the athlete knocked out the 5k. But like, Coach, it was hard. I had to stop twice, you know, I had to take two breaks and I looked at the net pace and like, Whoa, wow. That's not conversation. Pace. Because that pace going back when the athletes start first, working with us was almost a minute faster than that, what their max was.
So they've made some fantastic gains, but they probably ran that 5k at a harder than 5k pace in their body was pushing back on them. I think the day before they run a 12 mile or so at face value bet was a fantastic effort. But again, conversation pace was prescribed for a reason, easier effort.
And sometimes we get into a zone. If we come off of a great middle distance run, we feel the progress. We're like, yes, all this hard work is paying off. I'm going to go ahead. And that same effort into the next workout. Sometimes I'm gonna say timeout all in time.
And that's where having a coach and a plan where each workout has its own role in the puzzle of getting you ready for a bigger picture. And if you start to self-correct and I can bend my speed day pace. When I'm running in eight 30. So I was able to run eight 30 miss speed day. Can I do that on my middle distance day? Can I do that on my conversation pace day?
From a coach's perspective, your body's going to also let you know that I've run at a pace that's too fast and your body's in some cases, going to start to push back on you. It also makes you a bit more prone for injury as well.
So again, when conversation pace is prescribed easier day when a speed day you're going at those with a higher intensity, the combination between the two really sets you up for the bigger picture.
###### Kevin Chang: [00:23:59]
If you like our podcast and sign up for our newsletter, where we give you weekly tips on how to run your best race and have fun in the process. Just go to RaceMob dot com and sign up today.
Love it. Yeah. And you know, having a coach that can actually take a look at your workouts actually prescribe you workouts, and knows the bigger picture, right?
Because at the end of the day, as athletes, all this planning, all this, figuring this stuff out, what's gonna work, what isn't gonna work. It takes a lot of energy effort, all of that, and you know, thankfully Coach, you've done this for athletes, you have plans out there.
So, having those prescribed plans, I think helps tremendously having that structure helps tremendously, but you got to put in the work.
Like at the end of the day, we can say, Hey, this is the best scientific plan for you. This is what we, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. If you don't put in the actual work, the actual effort, you're never going to get faster.
That's right. We got a very, in the intensity, we got to figure out what's. It's going to benefit you the best on race day. We gotta make the most out of the time because we know like how long it takes for the body to adapt how you give a stimulus. How long are those periods? What is the the periodization strategy? How do we get you in the best shape possible for race day?
But you gotta put in the work and you gotta do it at the prescribed efforts. Cause otherwise, you may be putting yourself at risk for injury. You may be inadvertently not again, hitting your endurance pace. And going a little bit too fast. So do it at the effort that the Coach prescribes.

Bertrand Newson: [00:25:38]

Fantastic. What's the the opposite of that? For one, If you don't put in the work, it can have some adverse effects. On the flip side, putting in too much work. You know, we applaud those athletes that are wired to the point where, you know it, Coach, I just want one-off day. I want, I want six days of activity, like, Oh, okay.
Maybe we'll go ahead and factor in one complete off day, then maybe an active recovery day. And we can talk about some examples of that. In the future, you know, generally like, you know, two days off, but I do have some athletes that are one day off, or maybe it is six days of workouts.
They make consistent of running cross-training, some strength exercise, and they're stretching yoga. It's a nice little medley variation, which is good for the body overall, especially the stretching component. Yoga yoga's good for the body, but it's also good for the mind is welcomed the mind. Some opportunity to rest.
But seven days a week, if there's an active recovery day, there's certain athletes are able to pull that off in maintain that fine line and not putting themselves over into the red zone where they're more prone for injury, but sometimes injury does happen in the best way to offset that is to have structured off days things you can do that don't have a lot of repetitive movement, you know. Is that meaning an exercise bike? Doesn't mean, as we talked about yoga? And then another variation, which really helps the total body and core, and Kevin used preached this religiously is the incorporation of sprint training. There were a game-changer that can be so rest very important.

The Importance of Rest [00:27:05]

You know, we don't want to kind of gloss over that: rest days are incredibly important.
Rest, meaning minimal exercise or, minimum impact, but also rest as it relates to sleep. The body tends to recover most when we are sleeping. And what's happening when we're running, we're getting tears in the muscle and the body needs time to repair those tears, whether it'd be running, or what's drink exercise, and that happens at a state of rest.

Kevin Chang: [00:27:32]

We're not only getting tears in the muscle. I mean, what we are doing is you're getting micro-tears in your tendons, in your ligaments, you are impacting your bones and, you know, bone density increases over time. But if you're not careful, you can very easily get stress fractures.
That happened from repetitive use. So really the rest is critically, critically important. The not overdoing it and not doing too much too soon is critically, critically important.
The getting enough sleep because it's not just rest and recovery, it is sleep, you know, your body repairs itself the most winter in a deep, deep state of sleep.
And so there's all sorts of, you know, books on, and supplements and other stuff on getting sleep and the importance of sleep, but it all comes down to all these other factors of the physiology for getting you ready for race day.
So let's dive into it a couple of these, I know we're already getting a little bit long-winded, but I know we wanted to. At least touch on a couple of these subjects. And then we'll let's revisit some later on in our podcast series because we want to be able to distill all this information, all this knowledge that we've gotten from our guests, from our experience down to you guys.

Muscle Composition [00:28:46]

So one of them is around muscle composition. And we had this great conversation with Kevin Vandy a couple of months ago, where he talks about the running blueprint and he talks a little bit about muscle composition, we talk a little bit about fast twitch muscles, and we talk a little bit about slow twitch muscles.
Kevin Vandy talks a little bit about activating certain muscles, because if you take a look at running form many times runners, we're not activating our posterior chain, we're not activating our glute muscles or hamstring muscles, things along those lines enough. And as runners, actually, those muscles are probably your highest endurance muscles, right?
Like if you're using your quads too much, you actually are probably less efficient on race day. So, you know, activating the right muscles, training your muscles. So we talk about strength, training, heavier loads, because as runners you're getting enough endurance out of your muscles over time. Jason Fitzgerald talked about this.
We want heavier loads, fewer reps really building up strength. Maybe it's more eccentric movements. So it's a slow three, two, one descend and a quicker plyometric pop-up, which w we want to do is build strength, not necessarily build size. Making it so that you are leaner but stronger, right? So if you can have a longer stride length and still with a good running form, you're going to run faster.
So strength, and we've seen that as a game-changer from a number of different members. We just had a coaching Q and a and G . Bud told us about strength, training, being a major game-changer for her not only, you know, running faster, but also less injury prone when you incorporate the strength training in there.
And then kevin Vandy also talks about alignment. So alignment of your muscles, sometimes this is flexibility. Sometimes this is, you know, the other stuff that we talked about with dynamic warmups, but then also the plyometrics.
So plyometrics, I guess, is kind of a combination of muscle activation as well as the springiness of.,.

Bertrand Newson: [00:30:46]

Explosive force.

Kevin Chang: [00:30:47]

Exactly. Explosive force. Coach, talk to us a little bit about how we train for muscle composition. We know strength, training, key key portion of it. You've also mentioned strides Kiki portion of training for muscle composition. So how do you get your athletes, to think about getting stronger?

Bertrand Newson: [00:31:05]

One thing that we've entered into on a couple occasions, there were some challenges, pushup challenges, upper body core, planks as well, that work on some mental toughness and hanging on into that plank position, but also directly benefits the core and a stable core is also incredibly key.
As it relates to, running efficiency, running form bead work certainly is a key component of that, which we talked about previously, and exercises that I like that are pliable in nature that help the lower torso, jumps, squats, air squats, things along those lines that have a benefit to runners. Especially if you're looking to run 10 K and above.
When the legs start to fatigue, if you're incorporating those types of exercises, that's going to benefit you later on in those efforts as your competition, who may not be incorporating any print training at all, or any plyo work at all you because you've also had a running strategy that is not going to have you running.
Fast from the start. If you're running a negative, split up with some layered in strength training, you're going to be stronger as that effort continues and it will get you to the finish line before your competition and closer to your PR goal.

Kevin Chang: [00:32:14]

Yeah. You know, we've had a number of guests talk to us about different types of strength training, right?
So even if you don't have access to a gym, like ideally, you'd have access to a gym, ideally, you would have access to a barbell. Ideally, you would probably be doing some compound lifts. Like squats, heavy, deadlifts, things that are you going to, help with major, muscle groups in your body without having to, and a ton of time in the gym, right? You're just getting stronger at those different lifts.
But if you don't have access to plyometric bodyweight exercises, you're talking about lunges, lateral lunges is as well as, you know, forward-backward lunges. Those are really going to help your posterior your change. You're talking about squats. Or jump squats.
Those are really the things from a lower-body perspective that you are going to help you. And if you can find something heavy around your house, milk jugs or, a broomstick with other stuff, a spouse, a partner, a kid, and that you want to put on your back and do a couple of squats there

Bertrand Newson: [00:33:09]

A pet, if you've got a pet as well.

Kevin Chang: [00:33:11]

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. So, these are all things that can really help you. In the long run and they help you build muscle. And as we talk about core, right? You talk about planks. You talk about upper body push-ups core building core strength. Core is usually one of the things that actually if you don't have a strong, solid core, it's the thing that will force you to lose energy over time because of floppy core means that your upper body is moving around.
It's not going in the same direction. A strong, solid core will actually help you run much, much faster. So doing again, the planks, doing the pushups, doing exercises that help with your hip muscle, your hip flexors, right? All of those things are going to help you tremendously.
So structured strength, training workouts, and dynamic flexibility workouts. So as we talk about playability, As that other core portion of the physiology. So we've talked about cardiovascular system. We talked about muscular system.

Pliability and Stretching [00:34:12]

Let's talk a little bit about pliability and the importance of dynamic, warmups of yoga, of other things. We know that, that you talk about this a lot in training plans and training programs for athletes, but why should people do them? What workouts should people be?

Bertrand Newson: [00:34:30]

Thank you, kevin. As much as we focus on the dynamic warm-up portion. So doing something before you actually get into your running exercise, very important, essential key. And as much as we talk about the necessity to stay active and getting in the work.
Once you've completed the work. You must cool down and cool down effectively cooled down, utilizing a foam roller, incorporating some level of stretching. Maybe it's a seven to 10-minute yoga routine, something along those lines. But stretch out, lengthening those muscles post-workout after they've been warmed up.
Once the body's worked out, you're going to get the most bang for your buck by having a good cool-down and that good cool-down is going to carry over into your next workout to make you less sore and reduce the likelihood of injury. So taking 10 to 15 minutes.
Find the time foam roll stretch. We have lots of different stretching routines. There are a lot of, seven to 10-minute yoga routines. There can be longer, but again, making that time is going to help you in the long run. Are you going to be happier? You're going to feel better and you gonna get the most bang out of your buck by having a good warmup, good workout, and a good cool-down those three. Are going to be game changes for you in the bigger scale of your running journey.
And we like to use this term, do the prehab. So you stay out of the rehab, you know, all about self-care. So all about self-care, you know, make the, to make the time as much as we get focused and say, what's the workout for the day.
Okay, I'm going to go in and do the Hill repeats. I'm going to do the fartlek. So I'm going to go out and do my long run and we start to think of I'm so busy, what can I cut out? I can't cut out the workout. I don't want to cut the mileage short. No, one's looking, I'm going to cut out the warmup. You know what?
No, one's looking. I'm gonna go ahead and cut out the long run. Those things can be the weak link in your chain and put you at risk. For injury and when you're injured, you're not available, you will miss workouts and will delay your goals for that race that you're training for.

Kevin Chang: [00:36:35]

Yeah. And let's talk a little bit about the importance of pliability because what happens with your body is, if you're not flexible enough, then your body tries to make up for it by doing all sorts of other things, right? If your ankles aren't flexible enough, then your running form isn't going to be perfect. Right.
So, you know, one of the first things that we often do in CrossFit is we just do a squat. We squat all the way to the ground, you know, and we can see if we can squat and keep your torso upright.
And is your body doing something? Are your heels coming up off the ground? Are you trying to compensate for your body not being flexible enough? Right. And so if you're not doing the foam rolling, if you're not doing other stuff, then your body's going to try to compensate.
that's why you get into these awkward situations. You're starting to get injured because Hey you one side's not flexible while the other side is more flexible. You start to break down your running form and that can again be your weakest link. That can be your, the chain that breaks along the way.
So building flexibility, building pliability, building some of the dynamic stretchiness, and it takes time tendons and ligaments take longer to repair than muscles do.
So that's why stretching every day. You may not see it right away. It may not come back next week, but if you continue to stretch it, if you continue to do the dynamic stretching, We should really clarify that static stretching has been shown not to be as effective, but dynamic stretching, dynamic, warmups, dynamic foam, rolling all of these things.
And sometimes, you know, collagen supplements, other supplements to help build the ligaments, to help build some of that flexibility and pliability over time.

Improving Recovery

Bertrand Newson: [00:38:15]

And things that help expedite recovery outside of rest and sleep. Sometimes it's need to chill out. And what I mean by that is, Hey, ice therapy. So if that's localized, you know, styrofoam cup, you cut an inch off and you have exposed ice and you put that on you targetedly.
If you have a sandwich bag or a gallon bag with water and ice if you're jumping in an ice bath with Epsom salt. Or a five-gallon container with ice and water and Epson salt. All of those things, cold therapy does expedite recovery. So if you can build up the temperament to in include it, that can be a game-changer for you.
It can allow you maybe to squeeze in an extra half workout a week, or maybe an extra workout every two weeks. That's getting you ahead of the game, get me one step closer to your race day goals and building speed and endurance and the body's resilience. So incorporate ice therapy into your routine.

Kevin Chang: [00:39:08]

All right. So I know that we're getting a little bit long-winded here, and I love what you talk about, about getting into ice baths, getting into recovery, making sure that your tendons or ligaments have enough time to, to recover.
We talk a little bit about college and that sort of thing. There's whole studies on cold therapy. I don't know if you've heard of Wim Hoff and the Wim Hof Method, you know, him like diving into ice-cold oceans and the Arctic and, and all that.
We can talk about how cold therapy can actually change your body composition from regular white adipose tissue into brown fat, which actually allows you to utilize fats more efficiently, allows you to have a leaner body mass.
That's a whole nother episode that we'll get into. We'll get into diets. We'll get into training your body to utilize energy efficiently.
But let's talk a little bit about body composition, how that affects you on race day.

Body Composition

Bertrand Newson: [00:40:04]

Quite simply, the leaner you are, the faster you are. And there's a healthy lean, and there's an unhealthy lean, but generally, we have a reduced amount of body fat.
Your diet influences this your activity level influences as well. As a, an active individual, you do want to be mindful of what your scale weight is, and you can maintain the same scale, but if you're modifying your body composition, say hypothetically, you're a male mid-forties and your body weight is 200 pounds, but you're 25% body fat. You can still maintain that same level of weight and reduce your body fat, increasing your lean mass and be a healthier individual.
So your health is not dictated strictly by scale weight. And it's not a bad idea to understand what your body fat percentage is from a composition standpoint, and to measure another component of how healthy you you are versus just time and distance or scale weight in general.

Kevin Chang: [00:41:00]

And I mean, this is why it's again, so important to understand the athlete's goals. Do they have an overall goal to lose body fat? Many of our athletes do, they're looking to lose body fat, and yeah, if you lose body fat, most likely, depending on where you are on body fat percentage, but most likely you will get faster if you lose body fat.
Maybe your goal, isn't a fast, fast marathon, right? Maybe it is around something else. It's not always just hitting maximum peak performance at a certain distance.
And so that's why, again, it makes sense to look at the athlete. What are your goals? But if you want to get faster at a certain distance, then oftentimes it's looking at the workouts that you're doing. It's looking at what you're eating your diet. How your body is utilizing the energy that you provided and, putting together an overall plan. And so, you know, I think that's, at the end of the day,

Training Plans

Bertrand Newson: [00:41:52]

You said it right there, man.

It's the plan. It's the plan. Goal. what's the goal, and then a plan that works towards it. Because if you don't have one without the other, you just can't. Spin your wheels. and we see a lot of athletes coming to us when they feel they've plateaued. Meaning because they are putting in the work and find themselves constantly injured.
Or if you always do the same thing, you'll always have what you got and they can't seem to maybe break that sub 10 minute pace. They can't seem to get that sub one hour 10 K. We'll get that sub 2:30 half marathon or sub-two-hour marathon because there's something in their training routine that is not happening.
Sometimes it's not enough rest. Sometimes it's not enough speed. Sometimes not enough strength training. Sometimes it's no prehab or post-workout cool-down things along those lines.
But finding what is missing in your fitness puzzle through a plan, it can help. Make sure you have the right puzzles in the right spot, so you can get where you need to go.

Kevin Chang: [00:42:48]

I love it. And as we mentioned before, you can't get there without putting in the work. So we've got plans for you. We've got all sorts of things that we help you with coaching and training. So go online to RaceMob dot com. If you're interested in finding a training plan, That will fit your goals. It fits your needs, but at the end of the day, you still have to put in the work.
And if you put in the work, we know that you're going to toe that starting line in the best shape of your life and with the ability to really hit those PRs.

Conclusion [00:43:16]

So I think we'll cut it there for today. Because we have so much more that we can talk about scratching the surface. This can go on for hours and hours and hours obviously, but hopefully, you guys found some use out of this.
If you want to have more conversations and chat with us, you know where to find us, we're always there to help you guys and support you guys. So thanks so much for listening and we will talk again real soon.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this episode of the RaceMob podcast. Check out all of the show notes or find a running buddy online at RaceMob dot com. Please subscribe to us on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your podcasts and leave us a review until next time.
Keep on moving.