About

Welcome to Training Science, the new home of powerrunning.com.

What is Training Science?  In the past 20 or so years a tremendous amount of new research on both strength and endurance training has been conducted but, unfortunately, much of this data is not well know outside of the physiological community.  Athletes and exercise enthusiasts often don’t have direct access to research journals or the most current published research data.  My purpose with Training Science is to bring you the most up-to-date strength and endurance research and training information in a clear and understandable way so you can optimize your training and performance.

This site is divided into two major parts – strength and endurance.  Each of these two main areas are further divided into physiology and training sections.

In the strength section I focus on reviewing and analyzing the most current physiological and training information as it relates to how muscles functions and how to maximize your strength and/or size.  If you want to know the best way to get bigger and/or stronger then the strength section is the place to start.

The endurance section reviews, discusses, and analyzes the basics of endurance physiology and training, with an emphasis on running.  I discuss and explain traditional physiological terms such as running economy, lactate threshold, and VO2max.  I also examine the latest physiological research on non-traditional topics such as muscle factors, central governor model, and dose-response.  If your goal is to maximize your endurance performance or if you want to learn more about the intricacies of the human body as it relates to endurance performance then the endurance section is your spot.

In both training sections I take facts, conclusions, and theories from the physiological sections and use them to discuss and propose training methods.  All of the training methods and ideas presented here are science-based, not opinion-based, which means they are often very different from what most athletes are familiar with.

If you want to stay abreast of the latest research and thought on exercise physiology and training there is a wealth of information here to read and digest.  My objective with Training Science is to provide you the latest information and research data in a clear, understandable, and useful way so that you are provided with the necessary knowledge to produce the absolute best performance you are capable of.  I work very hard to accomplish this mission and hope you find this site both useful and informative.

PowerRunning

If you typed www.powerrunning.com into your web browser you may be wondering how you ended up here.  Training Science is the new home of Power Running.  Previously I had one web site – Power Running – devoted to endurance training and another web site – Muscle Factor – devoted to strength training.  Maintaining two web sites was a bit too time consuming so I decided to create a new web site that would encompass both strength and endurance physiology and training research, hence Training Science was born.  I am working to migrate all of the content from the powerrunning web site and ask your patience as work on this project continues.


Comments

About — 23 Comments

  1. Great website and great information.

    Here is a a special request or suggestion. Could you provide a bulleted list of all the key points to take away from your findings, knowledge, and philosophies. I have read enough to trust that you have good reasons and data for the training notions you espouse, but I don’t have enough time to filter it down to useful information to help guide my own training plans. Some examples of topics that I have seen on your site are listed below, but I want a quick reference of the nuggets of each one. For example…

    – 6 paces (training muscle endurance across the spectrum from ST to FTB)
    – Intensity: pro: provides big gains, con: risk of over work, what to do in practice: ?
    – Duration: pro: more improvement, con: long recovery periods, what to do in practice?
    – Strength Training with weights: outline the how to’s

    These are just a few of the many topics that you discuss in great detail that would be nice to see on a summary page. As time goes on, perhaps the summary could be an index to the details.

    BTW, how do the energy systems (ATP-PCr, Fast Glycolosis, and Oxidative) interelate with the FTB, FTA, and ST muscle tissue endurance. It seems that the time to exhaustion for each of the three energy systems is similar to, and therefore linked to the three muscle types. In fact, when it comes down to it, is there really a difference between training the muscular systems with “6 paces” vs training the energy systems with 6 paces. In both cases, a training stimulus is provided at 6 points along the human endurance spectrum whether or not it is benefiting the muscles or the energy systems.

    Thanks,
    -Doug Greisen

  2. Hi, Doug.

    That is an excellent suggestion. As time permits I will see if I can put a summary together. In the meantime I would note that the Power Running training guide and the 6 paces training method is the “gestalt” of the total training and research data I’ve accumulated and absorbed to date.

    The difference between training the energy systems and the muscle fibers is that there really isn’t any evidence that the energy systems limit performance. I would challenge your comment that the time to exhaustion for each of the three energy systems is similar to, and therefore linked to the three muscle types. For example, physiologists have measured a range of time to fatigue in intermediate muscle fibers from about 5 minutes to more than 30 minutes. It would be difficult to show that any of the energy systems have an equally broad range of time to fatigue.

  3. Doug,
    Something else comes to mind. The article “Performance Explained”, posted in the Endurance Physiology section, is an overview of the factors governing endurance performance. While it is not a full summary as you have suggested, it is a summary of the main physiological factors I believe control and influence performance the most.

  4. Hi Richard!
    I continue to alert bearpowered forum members of the good insights you’re providing on your site. If you have the time, could you put together your thoughts on sensible training for high school distance runners, especially those who come in to a sport like cross country with little to no summer mileage? This would be the thrust of the seminar sessions I’m still considering having you do for our January state clinic here in Illinois.

    Also, is your e-mail contact still the same?

  5. Hi Rich,

    You are certainly accomplishing your mission. I am always looking for science based guidance and tips on training but am not a scientist or physiologist so find your articles and analysis right on the mark and very useful.

    I have been looking for research on differing workout frequency and volumes for endurance running and cycling. What I mean by this is given a set weekly volume of say 25 miles in preparation for a half marathon, can one expect different results from doing this mileage in 3 runs as compared to 6 runs per week. Are you aware of any research in this area and what is your own view of this?

    • Hi, Phil.

      Thank you for the compliment! I really appreciate you taking the time to post it.

      There has been little research examining the effect of spreading a particular workload over more or fewer days. I recall one that examined the effect of a “weekend warrior” type schedule, where the bulk of the weekly training was done during the weekend. If my memory is correct that study didn’t specifically examine differences in performance, it was focused on whether weekend trainees were injured more frequently (they aren’t).

      My personal opinion is that it isn’t so much the number of days that a particular volume is spread over that is the primary factor in the results enjoyed; I think it is the specificity of the workouts that determine the results obtained. Running a consistent 4 miles a day, 6 days per week would train many fewer muscle fibers and be less specfic for a half-marathon than running 3 days per week with 1 long, easy run, 1 medium, moderate run, and 1 short, fast run each week that totaled the same 24 mile distance. Also, 6 days of 4 miles per day would likely overtrain the primary muscle fibers used for running 4 miles while simultaneously undertraining all the other fibers in the working muscles.

      I think each individual muscle fiber has to be trained and then allowed to rest and recover. While one set of fibers is resting another set can be trained.

    • Hi, Ed.

      I don’t have either posted yet. This is a new web site and I’ve been steadily moving all the content from my old web site to the new site and those articles haven’t been moved yet. I’ll will put them at the top of the list to get moved over.

  6. Thank you so much for this website! I have found no other like this one! I just wanted to say that I really appreciate all of the time and effort you put in to this website. It really helps me and who knows how many other people who visit this site. I am an elite athlete on the quest to becoming a national class athlete and I recommend this website to every runner I come across. Keep doing what you are doing!

    Thanks again,
    Aaron

  7. What a great site, I think I have read every article posted. I keep coming back looking for more, so much useful knowledge. Thank so much for this website it is very helpful

    Paul

  8. Finally! I’ve been looking all over the internet for this kind of scientific aproach! You articles are great and are helping me a ton. I would love for you to comment on cross training with diffrent kind of sports like wrestling, for example, or other contact sports. I’m starting to run in preparation for a beep test and I’m having trouble finding the right way to combine this new activity with my fight trainings, which I suppose go into the high intensity training… but are they a substitute?… Anyway, great work and excuse my english, I’m from Barcelona!

  9. excellent stuff from what i’ve seen so far – especially liked the insights provided in your muscle factor article! you serve substance whereas many other sites just give gossip!

    in friendship,
    prad

  10. Hi Richard. First of all, your website is really amaizing. My name is Mauricio Esquenazi, and I am in the process of launching a company for runners. I believe we can create an interesting collaboration. It’s probably easier if I explain over the phone. Please call me when you can 619-888-0740. Best

    • Hey Rich

      Great website, a lot of good articles. Im about to write an big paper about muscle restitution, and to compare scientific statements in which mode you should train, with a bodybuilding workout plan. I would really like to use some of your articles, as a source for my paper. Therefore it could be really nice, if you mind sending me a link, from where you get some of your information, just so they can backup the information in the articles, or some information about your background. I would be very grateful, if you would mind taking the time to help me with that.
      Mads

  11. Hi Rich!

    Thank you for the valuable insights regarding strength and endurance training. I have been looking for a source where I can find physiological explanations for how the body works as well as advice on how to best train the body, and your website accomplishes this.

    My goal is to simultaneously increase strength, flexibility, and endurance in an overall pursuit of leading a healthy lifestyle. I was wondering if you could post an example strength training workout and complementing cardio workout that implements the research you have done and theories you have developed. I understand everyone varies in terms of recovery times, body composition, weight, etc., but I think it would still be productive to see an example, perhaps your weekly training routine.

    Thanks again for providing a great wealth of essential physiological and training information. I look forward to your response!

    Mike C

  12. I just stumbled upon your website. These are great blogs/articles. I have been looking for more scientific research on running. Do you have any research that talk about the importance of strength training. I always see running programs that have people use their sport to get in shape for their sport.
    Thanks again for your website.
    Troy

  13. Thank you for sharing useful information backed with references. When I was in university, I was a frequent reader of scientific journals and periodical. I even worked part time in the science references and journals library section. You can be assured that I’ll visit this blog frequently.

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