I get asked running and strength training questions all the time on twitter. However there aren't enough characters on twitter to fully answer the questions. Today I'm going to answer some of your questions in more detail.

Stephanieruns Fitness

January 13, 2019 Newsletter

Your Questions Answered

January is a time when a lot of people make fitness and health related goals and resolutions. Personally I love it. You can commit to becoming more active or healthier any time of the year but if the new year is what does it for you all the power to you! We don't lose when more people want to be active. Someone else becoming healthier doesn't take away from our training or goals. So when you're in the gym this week high five the new kid. We've all been there at one point. We all used to be beginners.

Today I want to answer some of your running and strength training questions. I get asked questions all the time on twitter. I'm a huge fan of twitter however it's almost impossible to give a full answer in the amount of characters available. So every so often I love to do a newsletter issue where I just answer your questions. So keep sending me your questions. I try to give quicker answers on twitter but save the fulsome answers for my newsletter. 

Let's get started with some questions!

Run Simon Run, @SimonGerhardt asks on twitter 'I am taking on a 24 hour Ultra in June, aged 50. Am a good runner and have a training plan. Looking for the best advice for strength/core/non run training to help build my resilience and strength to cope with the challenge.'

I love this question Simon! I love that you realize in order to crush this large goal you have of running for 24 hours you need to do more than just run. Running alone isn't enough to prepare you for this challenge. I would recommend full body strength training as you use your full body when running. You need to give your muscles the muscular endurance in order to be able to support you running for 24 hours. Muscular endurance will help get you to the finish line.

Depending on your training schedule you could cover full body strength training in one to two workouts over the week. The important thing to remember is you need to work opposing muscle groups. So often I hear runners tell me they are squatting. That's great, but what about your hamstrings. Hamstrings/quads, biceps/triceps, are opposing muscle groups. You need to work both opposing muscles. I find it's easier to work both in the same workout so you ensure you're working opposing muscle groups. I have several sample strength training workouts in past newsletter issues. I also have strength training plans for sale in my training peak's store. Form is important so if you haven't done a lot of strength training before consider seeing a personal trainer or at the very least do the exercises in front of a mirror to help correct your form.

Besides strength training flexibility training is also important to help you get to the finish line of your race. Make sure you're doing a solid dynamic warm up before each of your runs and your workouts. I'm a huge fan of the flexibility workout Essentrics. They have some short 5-10 minute minutes on youtube that will help with your flexibility and you could use them as part of your cool down after a run.

The key is to add in some strength and flexibility into your training plan to help keep you running and help you finish strong! Thanks for the question Simon!

Gary Talamini @talamini_gary on twitter asks 'How far should strength training and hard run workouts be spaced out in days or should they be on the same day?'

This is a great question and one I get asked all the time. When we are adjusting our training plan we need to be mindful of our training load. Which is a fancy way of saying what workouts can I put back to back. It's important to note that hard running workouts and strength training workouts work different muscular systems, which means you can place a strength training workout the day after a hard run. Whereas it wouldn't be advisable to put two hard runs back to back. Putting a hard run and a strength training workout on the same day wouldn't be advisable for most runners. This is something you'd want to run by a coach who would be able to assist in what is right for you. Most runners however could put a strength training workout or exercises on the same day as an easy run.

As always when we are talking about managing your training load and what workouts you can do and when you should be checking in with your body. How do you feel? Don't just complete workouts because they are on your training plan. We want each workout to have a purpose and to keep you running towards your goal. Thanks for the question Gary!

Thanks for all the questions. I really do enjoy answering your running and strength training questions. If you have a question chances are someone else has the same question. Please keep sending my questions on twitter @srunsfitness or by e-mail fitness@stephanieruns.com

Stride Length VS Frequency

I received a question from Higgs 14 @AsphaltCamel on twitter. He asked 'To increase speed, should one consider stride length or stride repetition? Or which one is more important?'

Your stride length is the distance of your running stride. It's how much ground you're covering each stride. Your stride frequency is your turnover. How quickly are each of your strides. So when we are talking about speed your speed is directly related to your stride frequency. This is why there are so many running drills that focus on stride frequency.

Are both important? Absolutely! However if you're looking specifically at speed the quicker you get through your running stride the faster you'll go. Think about when you're getting tired when you're running or you're running through a tough obstacle like sand. Your running stride frequency tends to slow down. When you're in the zone and feeling good your frequency picks up and you're faster.

Increasing your running stride frequency means you need to move your legs faster. However this takes work and training to do. When you're looking at increasing your stride length you need to consider your body mechanics. When you're changing the length of your stride depending on your mechanics and your body you could change your gait which could lead to injury.

For one runner increasing stride length will be more efficient than increasing stride frequency. The key is really to take an individual approach and work with a professional. There are many ways to help increase your speed however I feel running stride vs frequency you should seek professional advice. I would however, encourage running drills which can help with your running stride frequency.

If this topic interests you there are some scientific studies that have been done on the topic. Give it a google or send me an e-mail and I can send you links to the studies.

Asking for Help with Your Training

With running, strength training and really anything in life, you don't know what you don't know. This is why it's important to ask for help. You might be getting up each morning and working out but if you added one or two small things you could propel your training forward. It's not your fault. You're doing the best you can with your training with the knowledge you have.

I'm sure every year you review your work performance, your household bills and insurance. When's the last time you had help reviewing your training? We use professionals through various aspects of our personal and professional life because we depend on their knowledge. Running and training is no different. You don't have to employ a full time coach to get help with your training. Take your training log for your last month or two of training and have a professional look it over, offer recommendations and advice. The amount you can learn from this can really propel your training forward.

This is also a service I offer through my running strategy sessions which reviews your current training program and offers recommendations on how to improve your training. I love being able to share my knowledge. When we've been training for a long time we can get into a groove. Having a someone else look at your training with fresh eyes will give you insight you might not of considered. My athletes often tell me, 'I wish I knew this sooner.' Or they have some regret over how they have been training. I would encourage you not to focus on the past but to look forward to the future and get help to propel you from where you are now to where you want to be.

With my Running Strategy Session you get two coaching calls (on skype) and recommendations from me. You will first send me your training plan/logs to review prior to the first coaching call. The second coaching call is a follow up after you have had time to implement the recommendations. My Running Strategy Session is $99 USD. If you'd like to learn more or book your session please send me an e-mail at fitness@stephanieruns.com

If you're looking for a strength training plan geared for runners check out my Training Peak's store. I have several plans up for sale and am always adding more.

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Stephanieruns Fitness

461 North Service Rd West
Oakville Ontario,  L6M 2V5 - Canada

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Disclaimer: Always seek medical advice before starting an exercise program. This newsletter is not medical advice. Medical advice should be sought from a medical professional. Stephanieruns Fitness assumes no liability for any injuries or damages as a result of the above content.