Axel Rittershaus, Personal Training Client/Strength Training Testimonial

Balancing your training with Lynotherapy

When you start your training program for a specific race you picked out you have everything neatly planned out. You have the best intentions of sticking 100% to your program and you have lined up 10 buddies to make sure you do, the Real Meal revolution is your bedtime reading material and your local sport store has probably made their yearly targets because of you. So now you have no excuses for not challenging for the top spot on the podium, or do you? If you are not a professional athlete chances are you look over the racing calender for the year and pick out one or a couple of races that fits into your schedule in between your holiday in Mauritius, work trips to Joburg and back, your cousin’s wedding and the yearly boys hunting weekend in De Aar. My point being you do life more serious than you do racing racing. The problem now comes in when your training program is going spot on and you have already dropped 3 kilograms and you are feeling more and more like a professional athlete but as you power up the last little hill on your loop towards home you feel…

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How to calculate your Lactate Threshold

We have recently published the training program for the 2016 African X Trail run and we have decided to incorporate a little bit of heart rate (HR) training. A lot of people are fairly new to this but we will try and ease you into it so that you can gain the most out of the 2016 Training Program. What is Lactate Threshold (LT)? The lactate threshold (LT) (or lactate inflection point (LIP) or anaerobic threshold (AT)) is the exercise intensity at which lactate (more specifically, lactic acid) starts to accumulate in the blood stream. The reason for the acidification of the blood at high exercise intensities is two-fold: the high rates of ATP hydrolysis in the muscle release hydrogen ions, as they are co-transported out of the muscle into the blood via the MCT— monocarboxylate transporter, and also bicarbonate stores in the blood begin to be used up. This happens when lactate is produced faster than it can be removed (metabolized) in the muscle. When exercising at or below the LT, any lactate produced by the muscles is removed by the body without it building up. With a higher exercise intensity the lactate level in the blood reaches the…

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Active Patch 4U hits South African Soil!

How many of us has been plagued with injuries, muscular niggles, joint pain or something similar that put us out of action for a day, a week or even months? I know I have had many such episodes and that starts the cycle of rest, frequent trips to the chemist for any remedy they might suggest, trying any handouts from concerned friends or running buddies and eventually that inevitable trip to the Physio. If you read this you may or may not know me. You may or may not know that I have two small kids and I love trailrunning! If you are in the same boat as me you will know what a challenge it is to keep all the balls in the air. If you are not, believe me its not an easy task raising kids, working, keeping your social life going and then also fitting in your training to be able to get your racing career back on track. Recently my husband and I ran the Pronutro AfricanX 3 day stage race. What an awesome race by the way but that’s not the point now. We knew we were way under prepared for the race and we…

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ProNutro African X Trailrun 2015 Training Program

The ProNutro AfricanX Trailrun presented by New Balance, born in 2009, has become one of South Africa’s iconic Trail Races and the biggest Stage Trail Run in the country! From a modest 120 teams in 2009, the event has grown and is now capped at 250 teams! After spending the first 4 years based in Kleinmond, the ProNutro AfricanX moved to the historic Houw Hoek Inn in 2013! Offering the perfect location for the Race Village with the spectacular Overberg Mountains as a backdrop, runners enjoyed three days of fantastic running through some of the best terrain in the area while being spoilt with beautiful views and newly built trails! The Race Village at the Houw Hoek Inn proved hugely popular with the delicious food and warm atmosphere on offer, and we look forward to welcoming runners back in March 2014! I am fortunate enough to partner with the organizers of the ProNutro AfricanX Trailrun by offering the online training program for runners to follow. The program is designed for anyone wanting to compete in the 2015 ProNutro AfricanX Trailrun and finish it. Please note that the program is not designed for elite athletes wanting to race. Please feel free…

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Strength Training for Trail Runners

If I mention “gym” or “strength training” this is probably the picture that immediately comes to mind. (pic) Don’t worry, most of the running fraternity think so and will be forgiven for it because that is what we have been led to believe for so many years. If you do any gym work you will bulk up and look like Arnold Swartchnegger before you know it!   Would you believe it if I told you Landie can squat about 1.5 times her bodyweight? Here is proof! About 4 months ago I started a trail with Landie, Christiaan and another friend to see how focused strength training would help them in their performance and the results have been amazing. All three of them have noticed big improvements in their climbing ability and overall strength. As we all know, if you can climb, you can win races. So why would Strength training benefit you as a runner: Here is the simple science behind it: Endurance performance is a product of three physiologic variables: VO2MAX, lactate threshold, and economy. In fact, these three variables explain >70% of variation in endurance performance between individuals. Training can help improve VO2MAX, lactate threshold, and economy, which…

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Elite Trail Runners Strength Training

Being a trail runner myself and working as a personal trainer in a small private gym in Stellenbosch with a lot of runners and trail runners, I came to realize there is something most trail runners lack. Running strength! Most of us put in the time and the miles on trails and on the road but we never give strength training a second though. Gym is for those unfortunate people that cant run, right? WRONG! I started up a little gym training group that focuses on running specific strength and functional training and I have been getting amazing feedback from all the athletes. If you want to take your running to the next level you will definitely find some strength training will do just that. Taking it a step further. About 3 months ago I started working with elite trail running superstar couple Landie and Christiaan Greyling and close friend Roelof Feenstra on a experimental phase of super focused strength sessions to see how supplementing their training with specific running focused strength training can benefit their racing. We had just about 12 weeks with the main aim being Otter 2014 for Landie and Christiaan. We worked really hard in the…

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Deadlifts: This might be the missing link in your training.

No, a Runners Deadlift is not picking up your mate after he has collapsed on the finish line due to a lack of training. Its actually something you do in the gym and that can benefit your running greatly. The article I am posting at the bottom states that the Deadlift is the “best running exercise that no one is doing” We are changing that and I am making all my athletes do plenty of deadlifts in the gym at the moment. From light weight, many reps to heavy weight few reps and it is starting to pay off!! I have been getting very good feedback from the athletes after recent races that they feel stronger and more on race day and able to climb better. And that, my friends, is what’s winning races! I am not going to rewrite the article because you really can’t make it any simpler than it already is. Just remember, the Runner Deadlift differs from the conventional deadlift. Normal deadlifts start from the floor and end again on the floor, where the Runner Deadlift begins at the waist position. Then the weight is slowly lowered, and then lifted back to the waist: See the…

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Beetroot Juice – the miracle food to improve performance

There has been many an article on Beetroot and performance, the most recent I read on Training Peaks made me put it up on my website for all to read and make their own conclusions. No matter what you decide, one must eat healthy and try and get as many fresh fruit and vegetables in as possible. With regards to Beetroot Juice, it wasn’t until 2009 that it was seen as a product that could possible “improve” performance. I know I have Beetroot planted all around my garden and Brett and myself pick and eat at our hearts content. Our favourite is to just add it to a pan of roast vegetables and then on the odd occasion that we make juice we add beetroot, apple, carrots and ginger – yummy! Some more information: Beetroot contains a large amount of inorganic nitrates. I am not going to go into too much detail, you can read the “Science” here – Science behind Beetroot Studies have shown that around 300ml daily could definitely prove beneficial. It is best to just mix RAW beetroot into a juice but if one does not have a juicer than cooked beetroot should be just as good….

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