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Strength Training for Endurance Athletes

Late winter has become one of my favorite times of the year. The little glimpses of warmer weather act as a reminder that spring is just around the corner, and you can begin to feel some payoff from the big training loads. This time of year is also one of my favorites due to the emphasis on strength training in my, and many other endurance athletes’ routines.

While it may come as a surprise, myself and many other elite-level endurance athletes lift year-round. Done correctly, weight training can add strength, stability, and power to every pedal stroke. Despite a common misconception that weight training adds weight and “bulk” to the endurance athlete physique, lifting can actually be a tremendous tool in keeping weight down and staying lean throughout the year. Here’s how:

Power Development:

During pre-season, weight training takes a priority role in my routine. I focus on multi-movement, power lifts like squats, lunges, and deadlifts. During this time of the year, I’ll typically lift 3-5 days per week with lower rep frequency and higher weight. A typical day in the gym will be something like:

  • 20 minutes of light cardio warm-up
  • 5 sets of 5 reps:
    •             Squats
    •             Lunges
    •             Box steps
    •             Leg press
    •             Dead lifts
    •             Calf raises
  • 20 minutes of stretching

 

The goal during this part of the year is to build muscle and power. I’ll typically gain some mass in my legs, but lose weight overall due to the boost in metabolism that comes with weight training.

Maintenance:

When race season starts, lifting frequency drops to 2-3 times per week. Reps increase and weight and sets decrease. The primary goal during this portion of the season is to maintain the strength and power that was obtained during pre-season. A typical in-season workout will consist of:

  • 30 minute warm-up
  • 3 sets of 12 reps:
    •             Lunges
    •             Box steps
    •             Leg press
    •             Dead lift
    •             Calf raises
  • 30 minutes stretching

 

Combined with your regular riding or running routine, these higher-rep exercises at moderate weight will help maintain muscle tone, power, and overall metabolism rate without adding any additional weight or "bulk" to your physique. Even more, it's just a great way to mix things up and keep motivation high throughout all 12 months of the year.


Brownie Almond Butter Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are my go-to for busy mornings. I love grab and go breakfasts that I can prepare the night before. This brownie almond butter overnight oats will become your new best friend!

Brownie Almond Butter Overnight Oats (serves 2)

Ingredients:

- 1 cup oats

- 4 tbsp chia seeds

- 2 tbsp flaxseed meal

- 2 tbsp cacao powder

- 1 1/2 cup almond milk

- 3-4 tbsp almond butter

- 2 tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in an air-tight jar. Shake and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy the next morning with a chopped up Nature's Bakery brownie in your favorite...


A Cycling Everest Attempt

An “Everest Attempt” in the world of cycling is where an individual tries to climb the elevation equal to Mt. Everest in one ride. That’s about 29,000 ft or 8,800 m of elevation gain in one ride, so its usually a pretty big day in the saddle. I started the attempt with very little prep and a past knee injury that would come to bite me early into the ride.

I did however have sufficient fueling from Nature's Bakery with their amazing fig bars. See the thing with climbing is weight is very important, and with a 16 hour ride...


Rock Climbing in Norway

Norway
A small country with beautiful mountains and a population less than the city of Detroit.

I grew up among the wild mountains of Romsdal, which is famous for its steep terrain, deep valleys, and spectacular beauty. Romsdal is home to Europe’s tallest vertical rock face – the Troll Wall, at over 3,300 feet high. The area is known as being one of Norway’s best trad climbing destinations, but it’s great for all types of rock climbing, bouldering, mountaineering, ski touring and ice climbing.

What to know before going to Norway
It's super expensive unless you eat healthy (fish and potatoes are cheap). It's beautiful,...


East Vs. West Coast Trails

There are a lot of differences between the East and West Coasts. One has Starbucks while the other has Dunkin Donuts. One has poison ivy while the other has poison oak. One has outrageous gas prices, while the other… also has outrageous gas prices. We could spend all day comparing the two, but let’s focus on the differences that actually matter. Let’s focus on the mountain biking.

Weather

The West can get very hot and very cold. There’s no secret here. However, the heat and the cold on the West is...


Fat Biking Through Winter

For as long as I can remember, the first snowfall of the season has symbolized the end of the cycling season here. For some, the bikes go indoors on stationary trainers, but for most they go into storage. Waiting until spring arrives, skis and snowboards take precedence throughout the winter months. However, with the creation and exploding popularity of a new type of bike, this ritual is changing. Rather than putting the bike away, people are beginning to take them out once the snow falls. The bike I’m referring to...


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