An argument surfaces from time to time about an athlete training traditional volume being better able to recover and continue on vs. those employing a CF/CFE training methodology. My gut feeling is that fitness is fitness and your body doesn’t know how you got there so regardless of how you train your ability to recover will be identical.
Take any distance lets use 100 miles. Runner A has trained volume and would be considered a traditional runner. Runner B trains CF/CFE. We will assume that aside from the training program, our two runners our identical in everyway.
On race day both runners put in a max effort, each completing the run in exactly the same time. They both gave it 100% so the assumption would have to be that they are each at an identical level of exhaustion. They have taken their bodies down to 0.
Now the only variable in the equation is who’s body will recover at a faster rate?
Will the method you have used to prepare for race day matter in how you recover?
I am inclined to say no. I think both runners, everything being equal will recover at an identical rate. I say this because the runners are equal in everyway so if they both put in max efforts and finished at the same time they are both equally fit.
So 24 hours later both runners are required to run another 100 miles. Would both runners still perform equally? I am looking for some research, articles, etc which would help prove or disprove the assumption that one runner would or would not perform better over multiple events.
There’s still too many factors that are not being considered.
1.) When indicating "traditional", what are you saying? How many miles per week are you suggesting for this traditional person? Are they a follower of Daniels, Pfitzinger, Carmichael, etc?
2.) What is the experience level of both athletes? Newbies to the 100 mile distance but not strangers to long distance racing?
3.) How long have both athletes been training?
4.) Nutrition & Post-Workout/Post-Race recovery methods?
There are a bunch of other questions as well, but those are my top 4.
However, I doubt you’ll find any actual researched data on a scientific level for CFE versus Traditional methods when it comes to recovery. Possibly some anecdotal information, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone using CFE training for multiple races (unless you count Primal Quest). It would be interesting to see how someone using CFE training methods would hold up running in the Tahoe Triple Marathon (3 days, three marathons). My own personal experience with doing back-to-back races is that you have to get use to being on your feet and adapt to the lack of proper recovery from day 1 to day 2 when doing more running.
Let me make this easier. What builds a more enduring athlete one built on volume or one built on strength and speed? Is there a difference over time? If no literature can be dug up anybody have any proposed answer and why?
Its not just the training method that is going to be a determining factor. A person’s nutrition is going to play a huge role in how their body burns fuel, and what it burns for that fuel. It will also play a role in how the body recovers from the training/ racing. You can get what you want from nutrition. You can control silent inflammation, and insulin which spikes energy and bottoms energy out. Put in better fuel and you are going to have better better fuel to burn.The training program followed will have different effects on the body and on recovery rates. What is the athlete doing for recovery? That will have an impact as well. An athlete addressing this on a consistent basis and before it is an issue will be different from a person who maybe or is struggling with overtraining or overtraining in a single pathway. The person may not know that they are overtraining.
CFE is a healthier way to train because treats sport as a skill, it utilizes and your body learns to be proficient in all 4 energy pathways which leads to a more proficient athlete. Neuroendocrine and neuromuscular responses are elicited through the set up of the intervals and wods. Its based on developing a skill and not overtraining it. CFE is a mix of strength and conditioning (CF) as the base program with the supplement of sport specific wods. Everything is based on performance. There are specific times where you would increase or decrease a training load which may change the schedule of workouts. Be willing to make the needed changes. CFE also develops the software (neuromuscular) side of performance: coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. These are the aspects that most programs do not address. Developing power and speed requires both the hardware: cardio respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility and software side to be developed. With these 2 parts one is able to develop the needed gearing which races require.
Aerobic training does have a benefit, but it comes at a cost. Overtraining in the aerobic pathway comes at the cost of loss muscle, speed, power, strength, and the endocrine system gets beat up. Performance plateaus when you don’t introduce change.The person becomes adapted to the stimuli, and then it takes a lot to change a little. It has never been said that there is no need for aerobic training it is the amount and volumes that need to be looked at.
Another variable would be the shoes that each athlete wears,how they fit, and how that is effected by the course. This is another area that maybe included in the recovery. If there are shoe issues experienced that would potentially change recovery rates (blisters healing, etc) which would not be the result of their training, but from a races specific situation and how it was or wasn’t dealt with.
There would be a difference in performance over time as the CFE athlete would be refining their training based on their results, upcoming events, and their understanding of what their individual needs to be addressed, and how to address it based on their experiences and their results. The course of a following race would also impact some aspects of training. As noted in another entry on this the background of the each athlete would play a role. If they had experience at the same or same type of race they would know more of what they need from their crew and what they need along the course, at aid station drop bags.
Let me try this again perhaps I have not properly explained my question.
I understand there are many components of training. I am quite familiar with CF &CFE as I employ both. I am also quite well versed in what would be tradional training for running, biking lifting etc…
The only factor I am addressing here is this: If two athletes are identical in EVERYWAY except wether they used lots of volumune to train or wether they used strength and speed to prepare, following the 100 mile race based soley on their prefered training method, who would recover faster? Forget nutrition, shoes, running style, weather conditions, etc… ALL other factors are identical for these two identical twins. The assumption is that each shows up to race day equally as prepared in their chosen methodof training. Just looking to see if there have been any studies to look at endurance. My point being would someone following CF/CFE be able do 50 marathons in 50 days and perfor or run across the Sahara, do double badwater etc…. Any training method can get you from point A to point B the question here is, can it get you back again?
My thought: There is no answer.
Even though there is no research specifically on CF/CFE versus "Traditional Training" when it comes to recovery volume (especially when you have both individuals tied together in every other aspect as completely identical), the body’s ability to recover from a particular event is very individualized. Also, when it comes to training in general, strength conditioning and endurance conditioning are usually going against each other (Steven Low had cited a great deal of information on the main CF boards specifically talking about this topic).
Would a CFE person be able to hack 50 marathons in 50 days or do a double badwater, run across the Sahara, etc AND get everything back (their ability to do CF WOD’s as prescribed and/or jump back into CFE WODs)? Probably. Will they get it back right away? Probably not. But all those types of events are multi-day ultradistance running events and something that CFE hasn’t touched and (technically) traditional training hasn’t touched very much either since the folks that do those events are VERY unique people and none of them train the same way.
My thoughts are that fitness is fitness and regardless of how you trained to get there your recovery should be identical. However there are those that disagree believing if you have trained by putting lots of miles under your feet, you will be better able to recover, turn around and do it again where as the person who trains in a CF/CFE style, can possiblly perform well during that specified event but blows his waddoing so and would be unable to strap the shoes on the next day and do it again. I was just hoping someone had some articles which address this since I have been unable to find anything.
I know the articles may not be specific to CF/CFe but research does not have to cite a particuler program just the tools within the program.
Anyway if anyone comes across something let me know. Thanks.
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Well, here’s one example:
A Masters level rower in the single and double scull (who keeps an ongoing blog), who has about 17 years of rowing experience, started CFE last year because he started questioning a lot of conventional wisdom. He set a goal of winning a national championship at Masters in August, which is a pretty enormous event and attracts a ton of oarsmen & women across a range of experiences and backgrounds, including more than a few former Olympians.
The races are 1000m. He won his heat by a good margin, then won his final by open water a few hours later. Both races were rowed into a vicious headwind (I was there), which in addition to making it more miserable, adds to the length of the event.
He felt great afterward, and raced well throughout the rest of the weekend. The performance confirmed the efficacy of the program, and he said that he "felt a lot better" than he did in years past. FWIW, his diet includes a lot more fat and fish oil. Details beyond that I don’t really know, but for anyone who’s done an all-out 1K test on the erg…well, imagine doing it twice in the span of a few hours, and that’s about what racing on the water feels like!
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