One of the key ways that we can improve endurance is by increasing the total pool of muscle fibers that we can recruit. When your muscles fire, not all of the fibers in the muscle fire simultaneously. The nervous system rather cycles through firing different fibers in order to let the others recover, so the more fibers we have available, the longer the recovery intervals for each fiber. This combination of increased recovery per fiber, and the ability to spread load across more fibers increases endurance. Thankfully, increasing this pool of fibers is very trainable. Considering the extreme endurance demands…


Note: This post is the first of two parts.

Ups and downs are some of the main distinguishing features that separate most trail racing from road racing (figuratively and literally!). But the questions remain… in your next training cycle, should you place emphasis on ups or downs? Should you pick whichever one is your weakness? Can you improve one of these faster than the other? These are all valid questions that I will address.

There is a common notion that since you spend more time on uphills than on downhills in a race, improving your uphill abilities will translate into…


Before you throw a copy of Born to Run at my head, please hear me out!

There has been endless discussion about which footstrike is best and the types of shoes that promote whatever that footstrike is. However, most evidence points towards having your foot land under your center of gravity as the most important biomechanical cue for stride efficiency and injury prevention, rather than the footstrike itself, so it is useful to better understand the link between biomechanical cues that we can observe, such as footstrike, and whether or not we are over/understriding. …


Running training is full of uncertainty. Let’s examine what uncertainty faces a coach when he/she is designing training for an athlete. There is uncertainty in training methodology — nobody has a perfect formula. Even given some best practice, there is uncertainty about whether it even applies to any given athlete. There is uncertainty about an athlete’s physiologic and mental state on any given day. There is uncertainty about how different athletes communicate that state to the coach. There is uncertainty about steps that an athlete will take to recover from a stimulus. Okay, you get it.

In the face of…


We tend to think of running as a master planned, top-down process. We set the training plan, get out the door to execute this plan, run races that are on the plan, etc. But as we invariably make adjustments, we constantly put those adjustments back into the context of the master plan, so that everything makes sense from the level of a single day’s run all the way up to the several month vision. In other words, we have to justify all of the small actions through the grand vision and it all has to be consistent, with definied physiologic…

Alpenglow Endurance

Trail Running and Ultramarathon Coaching at www.alpenglowendurance.com

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