"Why so much strength training Rut?"
I've had a number of inquiries and questions regarding my pending Grand Canyon Rim-To-RIm-to-Rim attempt. This will be 25 miles each direction with a vertical component of 10,000 feet (up and down) each direction.
My 12-week plan has been based on a three times per week emphasis on strength development and a modest amount of endurance work.
Here are three reasons why I'm hedging my bets on a rather low volume trekking | RUCKING component.
MITIGATING INJURY: Increasing strength in the anti-gravity muscular can ensure that correct biomechanics are utilized as fatigue creeps into the later miles. If you've ever witness finishers in the 4 plus hours of a marathon you've likely observed a very different kind of posture. I call it "the survivors shuffle."Stride length is shortened and posture eroded. Heroic but at the same time hideous exposing the athlete to heightened injury potential of the feet, knees, hips, and back.
FASTER RECOVERY: Stronger muscles recover faster. With one exception I have finished 20 miles RUCKS feeling as if I could continue. When my hydration|nutrition have been on point I feel ready for some more with very little stiffness or soreness. In fact, my lower body strength focus on Monday (48 hours later) has resulted in a continuing high output of strength production. I've actually become stronger as my RUCKING volume has increased! No small feat for someone pushing 60 years of age.
CONFIDENCE: Strength is confidence. With the exception of a damaged (old) knee, I feel my readiness for this task is excellent. Football coaches often refer to playing the 4th quarter as fast as the 1st quarter. This is simply strength conditioning. I can scale inclines and hills with 30 pounds in my RUCK at the same pace at mile 20 as I do at mile 3.
Still, a bit of polishing left but I am optimistic about this endeavor.