Yew! We’ve got a new question, let me read it to you. Is distance running bad for your vertical leap? This is a question that I dealt with for the first time. So when I was in college, my first year college exactly I decided to get ready to walk on the basketball team. I was a walk on coach. So I decided I’m gonna run cross country. Now before I started running cross country I was able to dunk okay. Not amazing but okay.
So I though if I was to run cross country, I’ll get all kinds of endurance. So I started running cross country, I ran the whole season. I got a lot better on cross country and then the season came around, I noticed a couple of things.
One, first of all, let me tell you another reason I thought I would run cross country is I thought the repetition would actually make me jump higher. And after asking around a few buddies they said "Well, yeah. You’ll get lighter on your feet, you’ll get lighter in general and plus you know you can run ten miles imagine jumping once should be easy." Well basketball trans, I noticed two things. One my vertical had significantly decreased. Which is funny.
I was so busy with running cross country that I didn’t play much basketball as far as dunking, at least I was too tired and I would just practice my shot. Number two, my endurance went down. Well, that’s kind of confusing. What comes down to one, your body adapts to the activity so I didn’t need a lot of strength levels. I needed very good aerobic endurance levels and so my body adapted which explains why I lost strength, decreased endurance.
But why did my endurance for basketball go down? You see, basketball has a different type of endurance than cross country. Cross country is that solid state for an hour or more running. Basketball is high and low states. So you’d jumping in and out of different energy systems all the time. So it’s not a solid state activity.
Solid state cardio is not your best bet for increasing your basketball levels of fitness. So let’s get down to that. First is running long distances and doing strict solid state cardio won’t help your basketball endurance. You’ve got to do basketball style of training that affects the same energy systems.
So now that we got down, let’s talk about how it affects your vertical. People don’t know if it is or how fast you would change muscle types. So we may not be changing muscle types here. Running cross country probably didn’t change my muscle fibers to slow twitch fibers. However, it may have made them act more like slow twitch fibers while staying the same fiber type. There could be some variance within the fiber type that it changed to. What will probably happen more than that is my body just adapted to the training it was provided.
Obviously, I couldn’t do full jump training and running cross country because I was running miles and miles and miles every week, everyday and so it would have been plain overtraining. My body adapted to the low stress, high repetition training so that I lost strength levels. And my central nervous system adapted to the repetition saying we don’t need to send, you know, it just adapted and optimized for repetitive frequency. So that’s probably what happens.
So the root question to this is how much endurance training can I do, how much cross country training can I do before it starts to affect my vertical? That’s a good question because some of the endurance training is good. But you don’t want it to interfere, so there’s a balance. The best way to go about this is to test your vertical frequently. And also to include activities to keep your strength levels up.
Run cross country but if you can devote one, two days a week to strength exercises and also one to two days a week to testing your vertical you could start to see when your strength levels go down and when your vertical jumps start to decline.
Plus doing that during the week is gonna help reinforce and maintain your muscle mass and your central nervous system patterns so you don’t lose as much. But it’s only in testing that you gonna be able to see what point you begin to lose your vertical leap and you could start to balance that out.
So if I can do that again, I would have kept much more strength records that I can see strength levels decline, I could have seen my plyometrics and quickness go down. Maybe in my sprint times go down as my body began to adapt for another activity. That’s definitely a lot of running that I was doing. And I was doing it because that could have helped me jump higher and run longer in basketball. I learned that lesson the hard way, in a silly way.
Luckily, I made the team which was great but I was fresh grad, I was just like, man, I’ve put in a lot of work and effort again on something that didn’t work. I hope this answers your question.
Unfortunately, I can’t give you, you know, if you run this month, do training this month you’ll be able to maintain and increase your vertical. I can’t give you that and frankly, probably nobody can. What you can do is continue to track your activities and see at what point you begin to decline and also building maintenance or progress for your vertical leap, your strength, your technique, your quickness ability so that you don’t completely leave that to the side because if you’re not using it, your body will say this is just keeping us from running longer distances.
Hope that answer your question, if you have more post it here.