Plyometric training improves endurance running performance

Despite the proven benefits of plyometric and strength training for endurance athletes it is still not a widely used training method and is often neglected for a variety of reasons including, time constraints, lack of knowledge of its benefits, or fear that it will lead to muscle gains that could potentially harm endurance performance. Recently there has been a large number of studies published in support of the benefits of strength training for endurance. In a recent study published in the Journal of strength and conditioning research the inclusion of explosive strength training/plyometrics significantly improved running performance during a 2.4km endurance run (by nearly 4%). (more…)

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Coffee improves cycling time trial performance

coffee for endurance | caffeine cyclingCaffeine is known to significantly improve endurance exercise performance in a number of endurance sports including running, cycling and triathlon. Most previous research has suggested that consuming caffeine through coffee may be less effective at improving endurance performance than consuming caffeine anhydrous, this was believed to be due to compounds found within coffee called chlorogenic acid which may impair the performance benefits of caffeine. However, a recent study comparing the effects of caffeine, coffee, decaffeinated coffee and a placebo on endurance cycling performance in eight trained cyclists/triathletes found that coffee appeared to be equally effective for improving cycling time trial performance as caffeine anhydrous (Hodgson et al., 2013). (more…)

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Uphill interval training improves 5km running performance

If like me you’re serious about run training then it’s likely that you include regular hill training as part of your training routine. Hill training is a highly specific way to strengthen the muscles used during running, in fact it is probably the most running specific strength workout you can do. Whilst it is clear that hill running has many benefits for runners there has always been a debate as to what is the best type of hill training (long hills vs short hills, 10k pace vs 5k pace hill reps etc). Recent research has looked to shed some light on the effects of different hill running intervals on 5km run performance in a group of well trained runners (Barnes et al., 2013). (more…)

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The importance of maintaining relative exercise intensity

Anyone who trains seriously knows that as your fitness improves you must increase your exercise workload in order to continue to see improvements. One of the easiest ways to do this is to maintain the same relative exercise intensity during your workout by training to a percentage of maximum effort – normally with the use of a heart rate monitor or perceived effort. (more…)

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