Olympic Lifting for Better Downhill Running


(Diane Fu photo credit)

Really excited to publish this last article as it represents my evolving understanding of strength & conditioning needs for endurance athletes. It also represents my growing collaborative efforts with other coaches down at San Francisco CrossFit, most notably Carl Paoli of GymansticsWod and Diane Fu of Fu Barbell. I feature both of their websites in this article as they have excellent resources to learn more about the box jump, double under, and the olympic lifts respectively.

Each week I get to coach a lot of Bay area endurance athletes at San Francisco CrossFit, and each week I get to dial in a strength & conditioning program that supports their training and racing demands in new and innovative ways.

I hope you enjoy my latest thoughts and ideas based on my work with these endurance athletes and conversations with these knowledgeable coaches.

Excerpt from my latest Competitor.com article:

In order to run faster downhill, incorporate some weightlifting into your training regimen.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of downhill running and how we can improve it. Any runner who has run marquee races such as the Boston Marathon, the Dipsea, Western States, or faced the steep hills at the Wildflower Triathlon know that being able to run down is as important as running up.

I learned this lesson painfully in my first ultra marathon.

I was running in the chill and salty Cape Town air, facing three miles of upward, unrelenting pavement with a in view of the Indian Ocean. I was about to plunge down a three-mile descent of equally unrelenting pavement along the Atlantic. I was about 15-18 miles into the Two Oceans Marathon — my first (and let the record show) only ultra marathon.

I trained well, chugging by runners on this steady ascent. With 20 miles still to run, this strong feeling gave me that much needed confidence in my plan and preparation to keep going.

Midway down the descent, however, it was me who got passed. While my heart rate was low, I just couldn’t run faster. I was maxed, and my hips and knees ached with the effort. I resigned myself to watching the same runners I previously passed retake the lead. I started to ask myself: what does it take to be a good downhill runner? And why am I a bad one? I suffered through, finished the race, and went back to the drawing board…

Competitor link to the rest of the article.

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