The Tough Udder cyclocross race in Dousman, WI, is a no joke of a race for your first excursion into the world of cross. It’s on a farm with rough, rutted paths, steep inclines and declines, and a really muddy creek crossing. Both Amanda and James, the two intrepid souls who took my course at […]
I wrote a long note to the people in my Wisconsin Athletic Club Cyclocross class the night before their first race, and so I thought I’d share it since it gets at what we’re all about. In the class, we’ve been working on skills and training for the past six weeks, and they’ve made incredible […]
Katerina Nash, winner of the recent cyclocross World Cup at the Trek headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin, says having fun and keeping a balance in life is the key to staying successful in endurance sports over decades. Nash, 41, has won world-level races in cross-country skiing, cyclocross, and mountain biking, including appearances in the Olympics for […]
I’m working with a 22-year-old man with hopes of finding a spot on a pro Ultimate Frisbee team. We need to build endurance and strength to get fast His goal is to improve his sprint endurance. Ultimate is a high-intensity game of a lot of short sprints, twisting and jumping, and core strength to do […]
I’m working with a 22-year-old man with hopes of finding a spot on a pro Ultimate Frisbee team. We need to build endurance and strength to get fast
His goal is to improve his sprint endurance. Ultimate is a high-intensity game of a lot of short sprints, twisting and jumping, and core strength to do those things plus catch and throw a disc at high speeds.
He currently plays for his college team as well as a club team. Here’s what he sent me for his current work:
What I do so far:
M: Team practice (sprints and pro agility as well as extended scrimmage)
T: HIIT training at gym. Circuit training (lots of bands and glute work) interspersed by incline treadmill sprints
W: Team practice. Same thing as before.
Thursday: lift day. Heavy squat, heavy deadlift, Romanian split squats are main lifts. I turn it into circuit training with core work, and full body explosive stuff (kettlebell,power clean, push press). Then I end with plyometric burnout
F: I try to play pickup. If not, I do sprint workout on track. Start by running mile and dynamic warmup. Then I’ll either do 10x 200 or 6x 400. Throwing with partner in between reps. Then end with some agility work.
Then on the weekend, I either have tournament or spend one day for rest and the other day for long run.
Initial Conclusions and Suggestions
He needs more endurance training. It’s critical to get at least one long day and one medium long day of slow running to build endurance. If you have the endurance base, you’ll be able to develop more speed.
Strength and Speed Work
With the sprint training, I would do 15 seconds sprint, 15 seconds off for 10 minutes. Then rest 5 minutes, then repeat 2 or 3 more times. Definitely do this once a week, even if means a double session.
On Tuesday the band work is good. Instead of incline work, can you get to squats? Deadlifts? Bench Press. It would be good to get a second day of heavy lifting. Clean and jerks and snatches would also be good.
His response: These are incline sprints, and I think they’re doing me well. I unfortunately only have access to gym so I can lift heavy on Thursday or Friday. I front squat 255. I clean (about 135) but I’ve never worked on jerks or snatches. I put on a good strength base in the winter, but now I’m in the middle of my second consecutive season (college and club is back to back) so I’m struggling to maintain my strength base while practicing a ton and dealing with injuries.
You need to eat a ton of balanced calories. 40/30/30. You’ll probably need to get some weight gainer powder. Look for Bulk Supplements.
His response: Yes, I need to work on this. I eat pretty well, but simple. Definitely not tuned to into what I need for macros. Right now, I eat banana peanut butter oatmeal for breakfast, turkey sandwich for lunch with fruit and salad and nuts for lunch, and then for dinner it’s usually either a veggie stir fry, omelet, or rice and lentils and beans. Sometimes I’ll cook chicken on the weekends. I could definitely get better at planning my meals throughout the week.
Build Endurance and Strength to Get Fast
There are four types of workouts for this client: Skills specific to Ultimate Frisbee; Endurance; Speed work; Strength-building. Since he is in the middle of his season, we’re going to keep to what he’s mostly doing now. When he’s tapering for tryouts, we’ll back off on heavy lifting and add a rest day.
Monday (Workout Focus/Type)
Skills: Team Practice
Endurance: Medium-long, slow run
Tuesday (Workout Focus/Type)
Speed: HIIT; plyometrics (box jumps – practice landing off box, then jumping onto another box; alternate lunge jumps. (skip incline sprints)
Strength:Body weight lifts. Work on controlled, explosive eccentric lift-lengthening the muscles. For example, go slowly on descent of squat, explode on standing up. Weighted squat jump (bands); plyometric pushups; band-assisted pull-up; split squats; bands for flies, reverse flies; Duck walk; Lizard walk; Hindu pushup
Skills: Team Practice
Endurance: Medium-long, slow run
Strength. Lifts: Squats: focus on speed on ascent; Deadlift: focus on speed on ascent. Keep body and core really tight at bottom; Push Press; Power clean. Sets of 5 with 5 reps.
Speed-Strength: Kettlebell swings – many; Plyometric box jump with descent. Jump down from one, jump up to another.
Speed: Sprint training: 15 seconds sprint, 15 seconds off for 10 minutes. Then rest 5 minutes, then repeat 2 or 3 more times. He needs this kind of specific Ultimate training. The sprint work he was doing was too long to be specifically beneficial for Ultimate. Specificity matters!
is a rest day. Sleep and eat. Repeat.
is the endurance day. Go for a long, slow run! With all running, focus on form with running on forefoot with body tilted slightly forward and feet “light”. GO SLOW!
I know this client well enough to know that he feels he has to go hard ALL THE TIME. No. Just jog along, explore the city.
His work needs to build endurance and strength to get fast. It should be a combination of strength training with heavy weights and body weight work; speed work with plyometrics and sprint training; skills work with team practice; and slow endurance runs.
By building a base of strength and endurance, his sprint endurance will improve and he’ll get faster.