Muscle fiber type and training

Featuring TheRunZone?s resident coach Tinman. All participants are welcome to post and reply to topics in this section whether you?re looking for advice, or sharing your own coaching experience.

Moderators: Moderator, Global Moderator

Post Reply
oro
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:49 am
Location: Oslo, Norway

Muscle fiber type and training

Post by oro » Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:12 pm

This has probably been up several times before, but anyway:
1. What is the simplest way to identify what kind of runner one is when it comes to slow twitch, fast twitch, or something in between?
2. For a 35 min 10K runner: What would be the main differences when it comes to distance training principles? Examples would be fine! :-)

Best regards
Øystein
Last edited by oro on Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tinman
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 4285
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:02 am

Re: Muscle fiber type and training

Post by Tinman » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:04 pm

Oro -

Ideally we'd have you do a well-balanced, all-inclusive, training plan for a few weeks before testing your capabilities over a variety of distances. It would in inaccurate to predict your fiber type after you have only run lots of easy distance work for the last few weeks because you would be unable to activate your faster muscle fibers well. In contrast, It would be inaccurate to predict your slower muscle fiber percentage after you train using just sprint workouts for a few weeks. I suggest that you if you train for the 3000m, or perhaps the 5000m, using all types of distance running, interval training, hill reps, and speed-work, then it's possible to assess your fiber composition reasonably well. Given the above, you may simply evaluate your history in the sport or in sports altogether. Have you excelled in sprint endeavors, relative to your peers, without much training? If so, you are likely to have a fairly high percentage of faster muscle fibers. In contrast, have you excelled in longer distance events, relative to your peers, with seemingly little amounts of training (compared to how much they train)? If so, you probably have a lot of slower muscle fibers. If you sit in the middle of the spectrum, having fairly good speed and fairly good endurance, then your likely to have a fairly even blend of muscle fiber types.

Another tool to predict your muscle fiber percentages is use performance tables. Are your short distance times much better than your longer distance times? However, note, in my opinion, it takes much longer to maximize your potential for longer distance racing than it does for shorter distance racing. The top sprinters in the world can start training at age 16 and by age 21-23 they can be the best in the world. That's just 5-7 years of training. A top distance runner usually needs ~12-16 years of training to be the best in the world. A typical Kenyan or Ethiopain may be the best in the world by age 21, but he or she started distance running at age 6, running to and from school, for 10 years before training under a coach, and then they train 5 more years at a hard level, with a group of the best in the world, and they win. They put in 15 years of training, really, which is 3 times as much as the natural sprinter. I think top middle distance runners tend to need only 7-12 years of serious training to be the best in the world.
Tinman
(coaching available)
Inquire via email:
runfastcoach@gmail.com

oro
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:49 am
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: Muscle fiber type and training

Post by oro » Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:19 am

Thanks Tom!

What do you think about question 2): How would for example stamina workouts vary between the different types? And what about mileage?

Øystein

djjazzyjoel22
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:57 am

Re: Muscle fiber type and training

Post by djjazzyjoel22 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:15 am

I have a similar question along these lines. When the cross country season begins, do you train runners with different body compositions with the same basic workouts, just varying volumes of training? The reason I ask is my cross country team is made up of guys who specialize in the 400 and 800 during track seasons all the way up to guys that enjoy getting a good 10K or half marathon in during the offseason. I know they're all training for the same 5K, but it doesn't seem right to just pigeon-hole them all together.

If there's a thread or article of yours that already addresses this, feel free to just point me in that direction. Thanks!

dkggpeters
Hero Member
Hero Member
Posts: 640
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:11 pm

Re: Muscle fiber type and training

Post by dkggpeters » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:31 am

djjazzyjoel,  you should hire Tnman as an advisor.  Reason being is there is so many variables that without tons of actual experience coaching these different types of runners, I would be hard to setup a model to optimize their training.

Besides the the Fast Twitch/Slow Twitch variables you have such things as:

1.)  What is the appropriate amount of volume for each individual.  You may have wide swings in weekly mileage.
2.)  What is the timing on programming volume and/or intensity.  Some folks can grind away while others burn out.  Some can take a high workload for a shorter period of time and thrive while others become injured or burnt out.
3.)  How well do they recover from hard sessions.
4.)  How do you handle other life stresses which greatly impact running.  Midterms, finals, family issues, etc...
5.)  How do you go about providing the correct stimulus as the season goes on.  The variables are huge here.  Volume, intensity, duration of interval rests, what kind of intervals, tempos, etc....

If you have a program like York you can get away with just developing a program and most of the attention to your varsity squad and you have others to fill the void when you injure and/or burnout some of the runners whom are good but can't handle the work prescribed.  If you have a small team as most schools do, you don't have that luxury.

BoilerTom90
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 407
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:21 am
Location: Arlington Heights, IL

Re: Muscle fiber type and training

Post by BoilerTom90 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:06 pm

[quote="dkggpeters"]
djjazzyjoel,  you should hire Tnman as an advisor.  Reason being is there is so many variables that without tons of actual experience coaching these different types of runners, I would be hard to setup a model to optimize their training.

Besides the the Fast Twitch/Slow Twitch variables you have such things as:

1.)  What is the appropriate amount of volume for each individual.  You may have wide swings in weekly mileage.
2.)  What is the timing on programming volume and/or intensity.  Some folks can grind away while others burn out.  Some can take a high workload for a shorter period of time and thrive while others become injured or burnt out.
3.)  How well do they recover from hard sessions.
4.)  How do you handle other life stresses which greatly impact running.  Midterms, finals, family issues, etc...
5.)  How do you go about providing the correct stimulus as the season goes on.  The variables are huge here.  Volume, intensity, duration of interval rests, what kind of intervals, tempos, etc....

If you have a program like York you can get away with just developing a program and most of the attention to your varsity squad and you have others to fill the void when you injure and/or burnout some of the runners whom are good but can't handle the work prescribed.  If you have a small team as most schools do, you don't have that luxury.
[/quote]

^^^ this ^^^^

djjazzyjoel22
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:57 am

Re: Muscle fiber type and training

Post by djjazzyjoel22 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:51 pm

[quote="dkggpeters"]
djjazzyjoel,  you should hire Tnman as an advisor.  Reason being is there is so many variables that without tons of actual experience coaching these different types of runners, I would be hard to setup a model to optimize their training.
[/quote]

Wish I had the money to afford that, Peters.  :-\  ;)

But I do greatly appreciate the different factors you mentioned that play into those decisions. I have 30-35 guys on a given year, so not York, but difficult to develop an individual plan for each athlete week-to-week. Your different bullet points may help me in building a chart at the beginning of the year to help me divide them into training groups by year, composition, volume, durability, etc. Maybe one day my school will find funding for me to hire Tinman for a season! #fingerscrossed

BoilerTom90
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 407
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:21 am
Location: Arlington Heights, IL

Re: Muscle fiber type and training

Post by BoilerTom90 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:23 pm

[quote="djjazzyjoel22"]
[quote="dkggpeters"]
djjazzyjoel,  you should hire Tnman as an advisor.  Reason being is there is so many variables that without tons of actual experience coaching these different types of runners, I would be hard to setup a model to optimize their training.
[/quote]

Wish I had the money to afford that, Peters.  :-\  ;)

But I do greatly appreciate the different factors you mentioned that play into those decisions. I have 30-35 guys on a given year, so not York, but difficult to develop an individual plan for each athlete week-to-week. Your different bullet points may help me in building a chart at the beginning of the year to help me divide them into training groups by year, composition, volume, durability, etc. Maybe one day my school will find funding for me to hire Tinman for a season! #fingerscrossed
[/quote]

Joel,

I understand the financial part of it. Your best bet then is to scan these forums to build an over-all strategy for training. 

I believe Tinman also has written a paper on base training to help with the summer and winter months.  Though this wouldn't be 100% optimal, you can make great progress with every runner by a steady diet of 1 weekly CV workout (with the 200s to finish for leg speed), 1 weekly tempo/threshold run, and 1 weekly long run.  Throw in hills and striders on a frequent basis and you have a plan that won't burn out your runners, will produce more consistent results, and result in steady gains for nearly every runner on your team.    Once the meets start, some of this quality has to be reduced or eliminated to keep your runners fresh and not burned out.

wysiwyg
Jr. Member
Jr. Member
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:22 pm

Re: Muscle fiber type and training

Post by wysiwyg » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:21 am

I've been reading Tinmans fibre type article in running times....really interesting,and supports my findings that's I've ran my best when just doing mileage and taking it "less serious" because I wasn't doing hard sessions.
Quick question on Tinmans calculator what %of VO2max is moderate?i know tempo is 80% and cv 90%

wuxcalum
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:02 pm

Re: Muscle fiber type and training

Post by wuxcalum » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:59 am

It appears to be around 75-76% after doing some quick math. To find the percentage all you have to do is take vo2 max divided by the the other training pace to determine is percentage. For example and 18 min 5k runner has a vo2 max pace per mile of 5:28 or 328 seconds and a moderate pace of 7:10 or 430 seconds. So take 328/430 and you get 76.3%. Hope that helps!

Tinman
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 4285
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:02 am

Re: Muscle fiber type and training

Post by Tinman » Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:28 pm

To clarify, there's a difference between the percent of velocity at V-O2 max and the associated percentage of V-O2 max pace. In the case of Moderate pace that I talk about, ~75.3% of velocity of V-O2 max (the percent speed/velocity) equals 70% of V-O2 max (the oxygen cost percentage at that pace). Moderate pace is 70% of V-O2 max intensity (that is, the fraction of peak oxygen cost is 70%).
Tinman
(coaching available)
Inquire via email:
runfastcoach@gmail.com

wysiwyg
Jr. Member
Jr. Member
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:22 pm

Re: Muscle fiber type and training

Post by wysiwyg » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:14 pm

Thankyou!

oro
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:49 am
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: Muscle fiber type and training

Post by oro » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:05 pm

Thanks for the answers!

Three weeks ago I set a new PR in 5km in 17:08 (previous best 17:27). Today I raced a 1000m in 2:47 on a dirt road loop. To me this indicates that I'm more of a middle-distance runner. But what CV-pace should I use? The one based on the 5km time or the 1k time?

Best regards from Oslo,
Øystein

BoilerTom90
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 407
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:21 am
Location: Arlington Heights, IL

Re: Muscle fiber type and training

Post by BoilerTom90 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:27 pm

[quote="oro"]
Thanks for the answers!

Three weeks ago I set a new PR in 5km in 17:08 (previous best 17:27). Today I raced a 1000m in 2:47 on a dirt road loop. To me this indicates that I'm more of a middle-distance runner. But what CV-pace should I use? The one based on the 5km time or the 1k time?

Best regards from Oslo,
Øystein
[/quote]

Nice 5K PR!!

From what I understand, is you should use the CV pace for the longer race distance.  It will do a better job of building stamina. But that was 3 weeks ago. It is possible your 5K fitness has also improved?

oro
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:49 am
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: Muscle fiber type and training

Post by oro » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:38 pm

Thanks! My 5K felt like a good race: perfect weather, good pacing, but the PR was a total surprise. I might perform 10-15s better now, but according to Tom's calculator the performances are far from each other still.

But I agree, stamina workouts based on the 5K time is what I was planning to do. And actually what I have been doing up until now.

Post Reply