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Lifts to prioritize while learning to run

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  • Lifts to prioritize while learning to run

    I'm training to run a 10k in several weeks. My performance goal for the race is simply to finish without walking. My broader goal is to dramatically improve my GPP and reduce body fat over the next several months. I also want to keep lifting since I know that resistance training is beneficial to meet my broader fitness goal. However, I'm finding that being new at running is a major stress for me physically which has made time resistance training really unpleasant. I'm also having some major work-related stress that is going to continue for at least the next 4 weeks. Lifting 3 days per week does not seem sustainable right now, but I would like to keep lifting 2 days per week. What relative weight, RPE, and rep schemes would be recommended for someone in my position with my goals (mostly thinking low-volume-high-intensity vs high-volume-low-intensity)? Also, are there any specific barbell exercises that I should prioritize? Thanks,

  • #2
    https://www.barbellmedicine.com/blog...rance-athlete/

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    • #3
      Thank you!

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      • #4
        Depending on how much volume you can take, you may be able to get away with lifting for the upper body 3x a week if you reduce the amount of times you strength train your lower body to 2x a week. However, that assumes that you are still placing a fairly high priority on your strength training.

        If you are instead focused on getting better at running, I would try to pick exercises that can make you stronger but that are less taxing. For example for legs I would simply do leg press, hamstring curls, and calf raises rather than squats and deadlifts because they help your strength and are less taxing and allow you spend more energy on improving your running. Is that idea for strength training--no definitely not, but it may allow you to bump up your running mileage.

        When I was the best runner I have been as an adult, I was running 60 to 70 miles a week with no strength work. Do I think I would have been a better runner if I ran 40 to 50 miles a week but did two 90 minute strength training sessions? For the most part no...I think I would have been a faster sprinter and possibly even a better miler if I was stronger, but at the time I was training for half and full marathons and I think I benefitted in those races more by running an extra 20 miles a week.

        Veering from your question, but just throwing out observations, I have found that running 25 miles a week affects my squat progression much more than my upper body lifting progression. I assume it works the other way too though I have never tried to increase my running mileage beyond 25 miles per week while focusing on strength training so I have never tested it... Strength training the lower body likely effects how much running volume you can do a lot more than strength training the upper body.
        Last edited by philibusters; 05-02-2020, 11:14 PM.

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        • #5
          2x/week is really fine for maintenance if your primary goal at the moment is running. That gives you the opportunity to train each muscle group 2x/week, pretty normal frequency honestly and as long as you're not a very advanced lifter it's not like you're going to lose much that you can't gain back quickly.

          Something like -

          Day 1

          Comp squat
          Deadlift/stiff leg deadlift/ romanian deadlift
          Overhead Press/incline bench

          Day 2

          Comp squat
          Pendlay row
          Flat bench

          Accept that your priority is running and that you're not going to be running the ideal strength training program at the same time. Something like the above should be fine. I would disagree with the above poster that you shouldn't do compounds, you'll adapt within a pretty short amount of time and your strength training volume will be significantly lower anyways.
          Last edited by Slightlyaboveaverage; 05-07-2020, 05:26 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Slightlyaboveaverage View Post
            2x/week is really fine for maintenance if your primary goal at the moment is running. That gives you the opportunity to train each muscle group 2x/week, pretty normal frequency honestly and as long as you're not a very advanced lifter it's not like you're going to lose much that you can't gain back quickly.

            Something like -

            Day 1

            Comp squat
            Deadlift/stiff leg deadlift/ romanian deadlift
            Overhead Press/incline bench

            Day 2

            Comp squat
            Pendlay row
            Flat bench

            Accept that your priority is running and that you're not going to be running the ideal strength training program at the same time. Something like the above should be fine. I would disagree with the above poster that you shouldn't do compounds, you'll adapt within a pretty short amount of time and your strength training volume will be significantly lower anyways.
            I guess I will clarify. The original poster probably wants to maintain some balance between running and strength training so I probably agree with you that squatting and deadlifting should be kept in the program.

            That said I think theoretically, if running was your primary goal (basically you treat it like a sport) and lifting was clearly in the backseat in terms of priorities, then I would drop the squats and deadlifts. You can get stronger using the leg press. Plus deadlifts in particularly are a bad fit for running accessory training because most people put the weight down pretty fast and really only focus on the concentric portion of the lift. Whereas lifting for running often has the goal of injury prevention and things like nordic curls or just hamstring curls on a machine where you do the eccentric slowly seem to be better at preventing hamstring injuries when running (probably because most running hamstring injuries in the eccentric portion). If you wanted to use a barbell, RDL's would probably be a much better choice for a runner because most people focus on the both the eccentric and concentric portion of that lift whereas standard deadlifts are all about the concentric. In terms of squats, they are good. But lets say you tired out your lower back while squatting. Then two days later you are doing 3 x 1 mile at 5k goal pace. Running close to VO2max with a tired back is hard.

            I still run 20 to 25 miles a week but I am at a point I know longer treat running as a sport. I think of lifting more as my sport. That said you really cannot treat both running and lifting as a sport at the same time and hope to optimize your training for both.
            Last edited by philibusters; 05-07-2020, 01:33 PM.

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