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Re: [at-l] Strength or endurance

Phil wrote:
> Hey all,
> 	If you were to train for one thing, strength or endurance, which 
> one would you do?  And why...?  
> I know strength will come with the trail, but so will endurance.  So 
> which one is better to go for?
> -=phil


I'll try to keep this concise (ask Martha what happens when you get me
going on training).

Train for strength. There are several reasons behind this and I'll hit a
few of them. I'll address leg training specifically.

1. Both types of training will help in the other area, so you're not
totally neglecting one by training for the other.

2. By training for strength, especially in the quads, you will strengthen
the stability of your knees. Not the joint and tendons and ligaments, but
the stability which will decrease the chances of a hard lateral strain on
the joint/tendons/ligaments. Your tendons will also become stronger
(although much more slowly than muscle, that's why it's best to train
heavy, but not outrageously heavy) Repeated heavy use can cause
inflammation and tendonitis (heavy as in time here). 

3. Endurance training tends to raise the levels of fuel stored in your
muscles, the glycogen, while strength training tends to increase the
neural response in a given muscle mass (more strength for the same amount
of muscle) and the amount of muscle mass itself (provided you eat enough). 

4. Having the extra mass of muscle in your legs not only allows for more
storage of fuel once your body starts adjusting to the demands and
compensating, but it also makes the short strenous climbs easier.

5. The trail itself will serve as endurance training, and although you'll
probably lose some muscle mass overall, depending on your body composition
you may well retain most of you leg mass and then you'll just be lighter
up top and have bigger legs that are packed with fuel

6. If you train legs, train the whole leg, not just one muscle group.
Balance in opposing muscle groups is important to injury prevention (ask
any running back with huge quads and a hamstring pull). This is especially
true in regards to the upper section of the quad, not for injury
prevention, but for making the action of lifting the knee easier (due to
heavy boots , extra leg mass, etc) which is one motion that rarely is
excercised (in the gym that is, you do it every time you take a step) you
can train this muscle part by using a knee-lift machine (standing on one
leg with other leg against the pad just above the knee and lifting the
knee, this machine also sometimes doubles as a leg bi's excerciser.)

Good luck,

Will Strickland -ANTELOPE- ME->GA '97
"May the four winds blow you safely home..."
  -- Grateful Dead--
Internet: gt0556d@prism.gatech.edu

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