While the majority of Rea Kolbl’s training centers on aerobic development and leg strength built through trail running, she also does SGX coach Yancy Camp race-simulation workouts a few times per week to develop upper-body strength and grip strength.
For example, she’ll jump on a Stairmaster and after warming up, she’ll do three minutes of up-tempo effort, then hop on a bar, do one slow pull-up, followed by 20 shoulder taps, then a 60-second hang, and another slow pull-up.
Or she might do a 90-second farmer’s carry with heavy dumbbells to tax her grip, then hop on a bar and do a slow pull-up followed by a 60-second hang and a series of shoulder taps. Other features might include a towel hang to exhaustion, a set of lunges, hard efforts on an inclined treadmill, and other ways to mix the stress of cardio work with acute strength workouts.
“Doing active work on a bar with an elevated heart rate really simulates racing conditions,” Kolbl says. “It’s one thing to do a strength workout when you’re fresh and rested and not breathing hard, but it’s a lot harder when you can simulate the conditions of a race.”
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