At Accelerate, we don’t have treadmills yet, but at least half of our athletes are competitive runners. And most of them, since starting with Accelerate, have PR’d in at least one race. How is that possible?
First of all, let’s be honest with their motivations. Many of our running-loving Accelerate athletes are there to improve race times, sure, but they have another physique focused goal. It’s no secret that continuous running runs down the derrière and not in a good way. And the way to a better booty is heavy strength training with progressive overload (a process of increasing weight over time). Just ask Alana, a runner-turned-Accelerate-athlete. She was obsessed with running, until she saw her booty progress post strength training. But don’t take it from us, see for yourselves.
But there’s a way to do both. Let’s get science-y for a moment. The neuromuscular system impacts running economy and velocity at Vo2 max. In a study with two groups of runners, one followed a normal running program without progressive strength training. The other included heavy strength training. By the half way point in training, there was already a statistically significant difference in the two groups. The running group showed no significant improvements, but the strength + running group had marked spikes in both running economy and velocity of Vo2 max increase.
By incorporating heavy strength training into your routine (and by strength training we do not mean mini-bands) you can build a butt and use that butt to run faster and with more power. Just remember, to get the benefits mentioned above, you need heavy dumbbells, barbells and weights. “Toning” exercises with bodyweight, mini-bands and light weights will not cut it.
Recently, some of our members took a class at a running-based studio in Seattle. Something interesting happened. The Accelerate athletes were able to run fast without feeling winded. And these particular athletes do not run. But since they consistently strength train for strength, power and Vo2 max, the transition was easy.
That brings me to the other piece of the puzzle, oxygen efficiency. Our athletes incorporate advanced conditioning designed to increase VO2 max. We do this through high intensity, short intervals on the ski erg, bike, sled and rower in our MOT classes. These classes are team based and involve very minimal rest to keep your heart rate high and oxygen efficiency at its best.
Courtney (@purecourn) and Lester (@lezen0), two Accelerate athletes took their training to the track after a few months of solid MOT conditioning and experienced their best split times. Ever. (And Courtney was a former collegiate runner).
So long story short. Elite runners train at Accelerate. Where we do minimal running. They leave with the strength and power to smash plateaus and a nicer backside for all those competitors left in their dust.