Tempo option in cold climates

Now that i am going to grad school in a colder climate, i have found (surprisingly) that i cannot train outside yearround as i have been doing the last 4 years in sunny SoCal. All in all, i have access to an indoor track, so my quick stuff is taken care of (eventhough i am doing more martial arts and less sprinting now), but i am wondering about tempo. The indoor track’s surface is rather hard, and i usually run tempo on grass. Are their other options for indoor tempo?

I remember Clemson having his athletes doing bw circuits when his track was snowed in, would this be an option? I am definately doing some forms (kata,poomse etc) work on tempo days (as i have been doing this for some time), but i need to add something else.

Medicine ball circuits, hurdle mobility, general strength circuits (I know LSU’s track team and Dan Pfaff are big on these), and pool work could all be used.

If you can’t modify the surface (meaning indoor facilities during cold periods) you can change the tempo modes to include various drills and modifications to remove impact.

For example I work with a kid who is very slow, very week, very out of shape, very everything. The value is great. If I can get an athlete that pulls a rib muscle sneezing to train in a high low program I can get better athletes to be safer in regards to injuries.

I have him do some fast skips for 200 meters (50 x 4 or 100 x 2) as tempo since Charlie suggested it for another reason. It wasn’t running but I felt some lighter impact work would stimulate the tempo needs without the impact. We still run on grass now but I know come november we will be in trouble. Vern Gambetta has a video with some movements that are good for warm-up and medball. His guides are great but I am not a fan in his training design. slide boards can be used for mountain climbers or even wide slides.

Also I found that some stadium were less of an impact DOMS wise if the heights and length were enough to create smooth knee action and full arm stroke without landing. Since the step was higher the drop was less. Even if you are running just on the ball (even Mo doesn’t at top speed) the drop isn’t enough to overload the achilles tendon.

Thanks for the responses guys. I will definately be adding in some medball work and look into some of those guides.

Clemson, i didn’t know that skips for shorter distance (ala power endurance), although at a lower intensity could substitute tempo. I could work that in, although i am a little unsure how to moderate intensity. I do have some traveling kick chambering drills that could do nicely with this.

I am a little confused about your stadium comment, do you mean running stadium stairs?
I could see how that could work like tempo without having the impact issues normally associated with indoor work. Is the volume of stadium work roughly equivalent to grass work?
Thanks again for your help.

I live in a northern climate and typically don’t find it difficult to go outside on grass (or snow) anytime during the winter. I prefer the softer snow to the harder frozen grass surfaces but either is OK. If the weather is especially nasty, I look for a swimming pool or treadmill and to tempo-style workouts that way. I’ve used circuits with various exercises and light weights as well. My first choice, though, is to get outside. I’ve not tried any skipping or stadium work. My concern (I’m old) is that it would be harder on the joints.

RE: Skips/impact/tempo

The reason I use skips is that from simple marching they are integrated easily by adding a slight toe off and they are like bouncy marching. The hip height is cut off and the impact is less but the elastic work is great for running (speed) athletes. Westside uses sled pulling because it is more concentric (less DOMS) because the bigger guys can’t do the same tempo running. I don’t see Dave Tate doing 20 x 100 m. Rest periods can be dense or open and various other drills can be used between or in sets. The heart and lungs don’t care but some specific biomechanics can teach striking and landing patterns.

RE: Stadiums

Stadium running is based on step measurements and materials. We have a wooden stadium so that is nice and the steps are rather nice for teaching athletes to use their arms. If it wasn’t I would use more hurdle mobility and other means. This is why I like going to conferences that teach concepts instead of workouts (DB Hammer approach).

Surface quality is always a factor but I don’t like to get away from tempo running completely (unless I have NO indoor track). However, I do reduce the tempo volume considerably and incorporate ALOT more calisthetics. For example,

60m run
2-4 exercises
60m rum
2-4 exercises
…and so on

The running density is down (easier on the legs) and aerobic factors are up.

When I was injured, I ran on the spot for tempo because that was the only thing I could do. It’s not a bad idea at all for indoor tempo.

Thanks for the responses guys. I think i might to a bit of each (for variety). The stadium step and skipping can be contrasted with the indoor track tempo (when i have access).

Clemson, re: concepts vs. workouts. That is what put me off about DB’s articles, there is little explanation of how he formulates the workouts and special exercises for specific situations. It is hard to see the similarities between DB’s approach and other’s approach primarilily due to this reason (and the fact that DB cannot write clearly to save his life). I know that you mentionned in a RegenLab article that Supertraining was over-rated, but one of things that it did well (at least for me) is that I felt it oriented the reader towards seeing the concepts behind the different training methods while remaining tractable. Sorry to make this a DB rant, but using workouts without knowing the concepts is like using a formula in a book without deriving it to make sure its correct (a cardinal sin :slight_smile: to an engineering grad student).

RE: Tempo substitutes

Could treadmill running be used as a substitute?

I have supertraining and read it monthly but my problem with it is that it’s like a strength coaches ipod. The trend is great when you can do so much more. I hacked my ipod and put on linux to show that it’s not about looking great.

For example in supertraining a huge point is shared but nobody on any forum, yahoo group, or email list talks about it because the translation and writing was too harsh to digest well. Good content but without my Yuri secret decoder ring it doesn’t help many average joes like me unless I invest time I don’t have.

I see what you are getting at. It is such a monolith that it is much easier to recite rather than discuss and understand, which has its own set of problems.

RE: treadmills

I don’t think that would be a good idea. Treadmills are nasty to one’s legs (impact related)l and they give me the distinct feeling that i am a hamster in one of those wheels getting no where. (a feeling i rather not have when i am training.

sorry to bump an old thread…

But would it be bad to do ext. tempo on a soccer field covered in snow during the dead of winter? with a volume of around 3000m?

Are you going to pull anything? Have you tried it? If you think it is ok and you arn’t turning your ankle because of stud marks then i’m sure it is fine.

Re: tempo substitutes =
Do what ever it takes to get the job done. Personally I would not do anything in the snow or cold as the cost vs benefit is great ( ie= injury risk very high.)
Treadmill has been mentioned and I did a ton of this when I was running and liked it but you need a treadmill to have a flex deck to address the surface issue and most importantly you need to be able to jump on and off the treadmill as many of the treadmills now prevent you from doing this in public places due to ( idiots) I mean liabilities.
I also used the pool and can not say enough good about the pool but many find it hard to get to, don’t want to get wet ,… whatever, it works.
Lastly, what was not mentioned yet was the bike. Keep the intensity low (meaning you need to use a low level maybe Lev 1 thru 4 or 5) and the rpms gradual , the rule is you want to end with at least what you started with. For example= 2 sets of 45 seconds on ( on is when you ride to a pre-determined rpm) and 15 seconds off ( off = is the rest period/ you stay on the bike )use a fairly low rpm to begin ( say~ 120 rpm/Level 2) and repeat for 10 sets ( maybe 2 to 3 minutes rest) then repeat another set exactly the same. YOu do this workout with a 15 to 30 minute warm-up prior to and get back to me with regards to how you felt. ( you will adjust the work as you do more of this but be conservative initially)
NOne of our products have yet to show this but it is a very effective way to replicate tempo and there are many variations to it. GEt back to me if you wish if you have any questions once you have tried it once if you wish.

I’ve used bike during rehab for some of my sprinters but not for tempo as whatever they did on bike was too challenging an stressful. They always say tempo on the grass is harder than sprint workouts, but the bike was an other kind of pain. I wouldn’t recommend bike as tempo if you are not used with bike workout otherwise the stress is counterproductive with the prupose of tempo. What do you think?

It entirely depends on the resistance/rate you choose. there’s no reason why it should be stressful.

Bike sure can be hard. If you try hard enough you can create a lot of lactic. But then again, i’ve used it for tempo with no problems. Just get the resistance right and it should be ok. Maybe you need to start in an easier gear and build up rather than starting on a the gear you want to ultimately get to?

well i’m training for 200 adn 400m so i need have my tempos be more than just recovery… they need to be hard too… the problem with biking is that if i try to make it somwhat difficult i build too much LA… and if itry to avoid too much LA its way too easty.