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Training

Why a Marathon is a Poor Test of Fitness 

First, we have much respect for marathoners. Anybody who has the discipline to train for and complete 26 miles of running is a rock star in our book. That said, a marathon is a test of endurance not overall fitness. Full and half marathons are 95% aerobic and 5% anaerobic. In addition, distance running is a test of Type 1 muscle fibers only and only challenges the athlete’s legs and cardiovascular system. Type 2 muscle fibers are minimally utilized during endurance runs and the upper body is clearly not engaged at all.

 

A good test of fitness demands the athlete to use Type 1 and Type 2 muscle fibers, incorporate both the upper and lower body, and test the athlete’s strength, endurance, speed, and power. Power Racing is a new fitness event that does exactly this.

Power Racing merges weightlifting and endurance racing into a single event. There are three Power Racing formats. Runners will be most interested in the Power 5k. The weightlifting events are multiple set events where you use as many sets as needed to complete 50 reps with a specific weight. In a Power 5k event you will do 50 bench press reps, 50 reps of deadlift, and 25 pull ups (5 for females) followed by a 5k run. The weight used for the bench press and deadlift is determined by a smart scaled weight system to level the playing field across men and women and athletes of all shapes and sizes.

I can’t do 25 pull-ups! Don’t worry, very few people can do 25 pull-ups in one shot. But you can get to 25 across multiple sets. This is a core tenet of Power Racing. Depending on your strength level you may need 10 or 15 sets to get to the target rep mark. The total elapsed time will be determined by how many sets you do and how long you rest between sets. The clock starts on your first rep and stops when you cross the finish line after the run. Most athletes will complete each lifting event in 8-18 minutes. This is what makes Power Racing really interesting and fun. A well-trained weightlifter might be able to quickly crush the lifting events at an average of 10 minutes (30 min total) but he/she is also likely to run the 5k at a slower pace than a runner (maybe a 10-minute mile pace). A seasoned runner conversely may need 40 mins to complete the lifting events but will clock 7-minute miles on the run. That’s going to be a tight finish at the end.

If you are an extreme fitness enthusiast there are Advanced and Elite levels that raises the weights and increases the pull-up reps. There is also a Power Triathlon which is swimming, biking, running and lifting in one insane head-to-toe fitness challenge. 

Learn more at GoPowerRacing.com