Ask the Ultrarunner: Top Leg Strength Exercises and More

December 19, 2011

An hour with Lucho answering your questions. On this show we cover: top-10 leg strengthening exercises without weights, where to fit in strength training into a running program, the effect of DOMS on training, adding hot food stops for an ultra, length of back-to-back ultra training runs and taper, fitting in ultra training into an already packed┬áschedule, ways to maintain endurance after knee surgery, and why static stretching isn’t so great and what to do instead.

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Comments (2)

  • Jeremy says:

    Good stuff Lucho. Here's an observation: You seem to run on much faster terrain that allows faster 5-6 min miles. Stuff like the dirt roads near your home. This seems to fit your temperament coming from a triathlon/roadie background. Here's my question: During the trail season in Idaho, I run very slow, rugged mountain trails exclusively. Is it important to continue to get these speed/road runs to maintain speed? We have jeep and atv roads that will allow that, but I tend to avoid them in exchange for the high alpine runs. How should I mix these workouts into my game.

  • Lucho says:

    Yes I do stick primarily to roads, but remember too that my roads yield ~2000ft of gain every 10 miles and all between 8000-9500ft altitude. So I am working somewhat specifically to the races I have coming up this summer. For Leadville I also trained frequently on technical and hilly single track, my longest run was 41 miles on trail with 8000+ feet of gain. Also, Leadville which was and will be my focus again this year is very non-technical so I feel that my training has been specific to my goal… and that is what I would tell you to do also. If your priority races are going to technical and mountainous then you will want to train on similar terrain.
    I do feel that it is useful to maintain some 'speed' because there are other physiological aspects that you gain from this besides what you see on the watch. During the trail season I would have you do 1 focused faster workout on flatter trail… something like a fartlek of 1:00-2:00 fast on 1:00 easy. You could also do tempo intervals uphill which is one of my favorites. I have a 2.5 mile steady climb and do a progression run up it, starting at a ~Z3 effort for the first mile, then Z4 effort for the 4th mile, then a max effort for the last .5. I did this weekly in my build for Leadville. This isn't a 'speed' workout but more a strength workout.
    You do want to avoid running ONLY steady and slow miles and should mix in some variability to avoid getting stale.
    Does that make sense?

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