ATC 276: Van Life, Incorporating Walk Training, Improving Acceleration & Top Speed, and more!

December 21, 2018


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In this episode of Ask the Coaches, coach Brock, Lucho and guest coach Tawnee answer the following questions about Incorporating Walking into Training, Improving Acceleration & Top Speed, and more!

In the intro section:

  • Tawnee fills us in on how to be healthy while living in a van #vanLife:
  • Where to sleep (Walmart and Cracker Barrel!)
  • Where to get good food (Whole Foods and co-ops)
  • How to get movement in and not get too sedentary (solution: dogs).

Allison asks:

Hi Tawnee, When Dr. Phil was coaching you for a marathon he had you doing walking as part of the training. Would the walking be done as part of a 20 or 15-mile long run?  So 2 mile AM walk then run two fewer miles? Also, what was your heart rate goal?  Was it a stroll or a more intentional walk?

Would running benefit from a quicker pace? Or is there any benefit from a super slow jog/shuffle. I usually do a couple of 1-mile walks per day.  I may test both and see what my heart rate is.

The coaches say:

  • Phil doesn’t write “training plans” per se. More consultations every week.
  • Phil feels that walking can add to your aerobic base.
  • Phil and Dr. Daniels believe that running more than 90-120 minutes is not necessary or helpful.
    • 2 hours may be plenty for health, but Tawnee doesn’t necessarily think all athletes should be restricted to it. There are psychological gains in those long runs.
    • When Tawnee followed this training protocol, her longest run was 2.5 hours with walking 15-20 min pre/post depending on feel. Her walking pace was nothing fast (15-20 min pace), which she found super enjoyable and a good active recovery.
  • See ATC 275 for more info on Walk/Run training and racing.
  • Keep your biomechanics in mind. Fast walking may be better than slow jogging from an alignment and mechanics standpoint. Keep those arms involved for efficiency.
  • Where the 10,000 steps per day idea came from

Erik asks:

I’m a 40-year-old male that started playing soccer again after a 22-year break. The last 20 years or so I have trained for mostly endurance sports. Some marathons, sprint tris, Ragnar, and a spartan sprint.

Right now I want to improve my acceleration and top speed on the field. I am currently doing a Starting Strength workout routine (squats, deadlifts, bench, OHP) 3 days per week, and hill workouts 1-2 days a week, in addition to a game day and a practice day. As I enter the off-season what would you suggest I do if I have 1 hour to train six days a week?

The coaches say:

  • He also asked Lucho on Twitter about maintaining endurance during this training.
  • Sprinting short distances is important but stick to 20 to 30-metre sprints.
  • Good drills:
    • Shuttle sprint: sprint 10M, stop as quickly as possible, jog backward to start.
    • Lay face down on the ground then jump up and sprint. Allow your body to find its own way.
    • Practice de-acceleration and re-orienting to new direction.
  • You’re going to have to change your mindset on what “tempo” means given your endurance history.
  • Walking lunges, RDLs, Sideways Step-ups, Good Mornings… maybe Nordic Curls.
  • Do speed drills (especially those short sprints), uphill sprints, weighted sled drills (or plate push, but don’t overload yourself), lift weights quickly (lower slowly), stair drills, plyometrics are your friend (box jumps and broad jumps, high knee skips).
  • Lose weight (body fat), if you can spare some.
  • Use 3 periods of training:
    • Early preseason: build endurance through shuttle runs and diagonals (running corner to corner on the field with some kind of exercise on the end lines) capped at 20 min, strength training should be major focus to complement acceleration, also actually playing soccer is good for building your endurance.
    • Late preseason (6-8 weeks before the soccer season begins): start working on speed, interval training 60-80M comes into play.
    • Season: enjoy playing soccer!
  • Check out the website.

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