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Strength Training - When?

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Strength Training - When?

Post  Martin VW on Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:01 am

Saw some advice on "the other Boards" that a poster's personal trainer has her doing strength training on interval days, before running the intervals.

IMO that's not sound advice. We're runners, not body builders. If you tire your muscles out through strength training, your performance during interval training will suffer.

But, I suppose you could build the case that training tired muscles stresses the body more, making it stronger, and therefore that sequence is more efficient.

That's right. You'll be doing your inteval work on stressed muscles. You'll already have broken down your muscle fibers through the strength training, causing microscopic tears. Those tears will rebuild themselves within 48 hours, and be stronger. But while they're torn, they're in a weakened state.

Which means that doing interval training immediately after strength training, or even the next day, results in a higher risk of soft tissue injury (pulled or torn muscles) than the other way around.

McMillan advised me, when I was using him as my coach, to run first, then strength train. You'll automatically ratchet down the amount of weight you're pushing (or pulling) because you'll already be tired. But, don't compromise the effectiveness of the running work by doing strength training first.

Makes sense?
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Schuey on Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:10 am

Well I would have to agree that I would think it is nuts to do strength training before doing intervals or tempo run. I can maybe see it before a easy/MLR run where the pace is not going to be an issue.

Also the only other way that I could see doing the lifting before the the speed work or hard work out is if it is all upper body work. I still feel that can affect the training run but no were near as much as doing leg work.

For the most part I have been doing my lifting after my running right now. And I have been doing three days a week: Monday/Tuesday/Friday. The only way I would do this before a run is if I hit the gym real early in the AM and then give my body the recovery time for the PM run. Just like doing a double run. I might have to adjust things some as I start getting my mileage back into the 100 mile range. That is were the balancing act is going to get tough. Getting the runs in, strength training, recovery/rest and then run again. Man it already sounds tough.

Also I don't know if I like the idea of doing lifting right after the run. I tried that this past winter for Boston and there is no doubt in my mind that is how I tweaked my back. 8 mile run on the mile and then went to do squats, not a good idea at least for me.

I really think depending on what body parts you are working you really have to treat lifting weights like it's own work out and treat it like doing doubles if you can. Just my two cents not perfect not all correct by it's something.

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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Dave-O on Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:17 am

Strength training before interval training? I'd say that's a trainer than doesn't know much about running. The susceptibility to injury would be through the roof.

I do very little stregnth training, but when I do, its for about 15 minutes after my shorter easy run of the day.
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:34 am

My trainer said that he would normally recommend running after strength training for the "average joe", but after working with me for a couple of years, he has learned that for a runner, it is best the other way. I usually do 1-2 45 min sessions each week focusing more on core work and upper body strength while in "race" mode and then adding in more leg work when race season is over. I think I tweaked my hammie/glute again last week (wearing old shoes) because I had not been religious enough over the past month with the leg work.

I never worked with weights when I was younger as well, girls just didn't go to the weight room; however, as I have gotten older, I have found that it has really made a difference especially in powering through a marathon when I haven't been optimally trained (when I was doing a lot of them close together to knock off states). I can tell you that when I look at old running photos of me in my late 20s/early 30s, I had scrawny arms. I don't really now (IMHO).

Dave-O - you are an extremely talented runner and I know that weight lifting is not what runners normally do; however, I wonder if it would help or hurt you? I wonder what it would have done for me when I was your age. I know I would not have been elite, but would I have been a bit faster?
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  charles on Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:35 am

I do a little strength training on occasion.

1. Before easy runs I'll do a 15 to 20 minute full body workout. One set. Fifteen reps. Bench > One legged squats > Crunches > Leg Press > Calf Raises > Leg curls > Leg Extensions > Seated Rows > Military Press > Standing Rows > Bicep curls >>> Out the door. This is really more of a warm up than anything else. But if I do it for about two weeks straight I start to get a little cut. HA!

2. I'll drop my Tuesday AM run and do the above but three sets of all the above exercises and then run easy on Tuesday night.

3. I'll do the above routine on Saturday AM but two or three sets while I do my chores at home (laundry, dishes etc . . . ) and then go out for a very easy 5 miler.

4. I also do maintenance work. Straight leg, leg lifts with ankle weights, resistance band work with my hips.

But as someone stated above - we are runners - not body builders. We get better at running, by running. But I am a strong believer in a little weight work for balance and injury prevention.
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Schuey on Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:36 am

Dave-O - you are an extremely talented runner and I know that weight lifting is not what runners normally do; however, I wonder if it would help or hurt you? I wonder what it would have done for me when I was your age. I know I would not have been elite, but would I have been a bit faster?


+1
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Dave-O on Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:41 am

Michele "1L" Keane wrote:
Dave-O - you are an extremely talented runner and I know that weight lifting is not what runners normally do; however, I wonder if it would help or hurt you? I wonder what it would have done for me when I was your age. I know I would not have been elite, but would I have been a bit faster?

I've experimented with both. Because I spent four years practically living in the weight room (and taking too many supplements), I'm muscular compared to the people I'm up against in races. In order to keep my weight under 170, I need to stay away from packing on muscle.

But I also can't ignore it completely. I tried that for a training cycle and felt like my posture and general strength became a hindrance. Now my strength training consists of: core/hip routine about 3 times per week; push up and pulls up about 2 times per weeks; and 15 minutes of low weight/higher rep weights 2-3 times per week after easy runs. I think that's a good balance.

I'm definitiely open to suggestions though.
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Martin VW on Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:21 am

Dave-O wrote:
Michele "1L" Keane wrote:
Dave-O - you are an extremely talented runner and I know that weight lifting is not what runners normally do; however, I wonder if it would help or hurt you? I wonder what it would have done for me when I was your age. I know I would not have been elite, but would I have been a bit faster?

I've experimented with both. Because I spent four years practically living in the weight room (and taking too many supplements), I'm muscular compared to the people I'm up against in races. In order to keep my weight under 170, I need to stay away from packing on muscle.

But I also can't ignore it completely. I tried that for a training cycle and felt like my posture and general strength became a hindrance. Now my strength training consists of: core/hip routine about 3 times per week; push up and pulls up about 2 times per weeks; and 15 minutes of low weight/higher rep weights 2-3 times per week after easy runs. I think that's a good balance.

I'm definitiely open to suggestions though.

IMO strength training plays very different roles depending on distance. Marathoners use upper/core/leg strength differently than milers.

So it's hard to say what would allow us to be "faster" without first thinking about "faster" at what distance?

For the marathon, any time spent in the weight room is probably better spent adding volume, so keeping strength training to a minimum - 15 minutes a day 1 - 3 times a week, focused almost exclusively on upper body, core strength and balance - is probably enough.

But if we want to be stronger at shorter distances, we can sacrifice volume for muscular strength and can probably devote more time in full body workouts and track work.

I do think doing zero strength training (like me sice the move to MA - I fell out of the routine) is detrimental to running, but if you aren't in the habit of stength training, you'll want to iitially add it when you're between cycles, not when you're trying to peak for a race. But I think you will be a "faster" runner if you do strength thraining than not, both by virtue of being able to spread the load over more muscle groups, and being less susceptible to injury through appropriate counterbalance for different muscle groups.
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Schuey on Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:46 am

Martin VW wrote:
Dave-O wrote:
Michele "1L" Keane wrote:
Dave-O - you are an extremely talented runner and I know that weight lifting is not what runners normally do; however, I wonder if it would help or hurt you? I wonder what it would have done for me when I was your age. I know I would not have been elite, but would I have been a bit faster?

I've experimented with both. Because I spent four years practically living in the weight room (and taking too many supplements), I'm muscular compared to the people I'm up against in races. In order to keep my weight under 170, I need to stay away from packing on muscle.

But I also can't ignore it completely. I tried that for a training cycle and felt like my posture and general strength became a hindrance. Now my strength training consists of: core/hip routine about 3 times per week; push up and pulls up about 2 times per weeks; and 15 minutes of low weight/higher rep weights 2-3 times per week after easy runs. I think that's a good balance.

I'm definitiely open to suggestions though.

IMO strength training plays very different roles depending on distance. Marathoners use upper/core/leg strength differently than milers.

So it's hard to say what would allow us to be "faster" without first thinking about "faster" at what distance?

For the marathon, any time spent in the weight room is probably better spent adding volume, so keeping strength training to a minimum - 15 minutes a day 1 - 3 times a week, focused almost exclusively on upper body, core strength and balance - is probably enough.

But if we want to be stronger at shorter distances, we can sacrifice volume for muscular strength and can probably devote more time in full body workouts and track work.

I do think doing zero strength training (like me sice the move to MA - I fell out of the routine) is detrimental to running, but if you aren't in the habit of stength training, you'll want to iitially add it when you're between cycles, not when you're trying to peak for a race. But I think you will be a "faster" runner if you do strength thraining than not, both by virtue of being able to spread the load over more muscle groups, and being less susceptible to injury through appropriate counterbalance for different muscle groups.

I would agree that strength training plays different roles for different distances. I also agree that adding volume to your training is important for the marathon, something I have found that has made a huge difference for me.

But I don't think I'm on board with you that strength training for a marathoner should be limited to only 15 mins a day and should only be upper body. Now I do believe that you don't have to do as much with your legs since they are getting a good workout from running. Then again it also depends on what stage of training you are in. I believe that one could benefit from a more intense strength training program during the off season and during the base phase of training.

Also I believe that there is many different ways to achieve strength as a runner other then lifting weights. There is so many ways to build strength. I also I would argue one of the reason people get injuried or have niggles is because there is a part of the body that is weak. For most runner's that would be in the core/lower body area. So to me to not do any strength training on my lower body I feel would only lead me to some of the issue that I was just having this past training cycle. As you build those miles which is good we also breakdown the body and muscles down. So I believe that if is done right and that you are treating strength training as another workout and keep yourself rested and recovered for all workouts I feel that you can see benefits from it as a marathoner.

Not to go there but there are a lot of Elite runners that are doing more and more crossing training and strength training then what they did in the past. Again I think the important thing is that you have to be smart about how you do it and have the right balance of it and again the balance of recovery between running and strength training. Yes I will agree though that if you had to limit one I would limit strength training over my running volume.
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Jerry on Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:00 pm

Martin VW wrote:


IMO strength training plays very different roles depending on distance. Marathoners use upper/core/leg strength differently than milers.


This is very true in my recent track meet experience. I must also add that age makes a huge difference too. I don't think I had any better strength when I was 18, but certainly didn't need days to recover from a 1500m. So we masters may need a little more strength training?

I hate it. Good thing is I don't do those track events often.
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Martin VW on Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:12 pm

@ Schuey - For most people, running shortens muscle fibers. And, weight training shortens muscle fibers. So lower body weight training on top of running is compounding the issue. Countermovement exercises or yoga would be the better complement to running, if you're going to devote the time to it.

You are a different runner - I mean that in a positive way. Smile Your muscle composition is not typical of people that count the marathon as their best distance (and maybe it isn't, but you haven't done enough shorter work to know). QWhat works for you isn't necessarily the right advice for people whose muscles aren't as densely packewd as yours.

I'm also a different runner - I'm taller than optimal, and have longer muscles. I've always found that my risk of injury goes up, not down if I train lower body. But,i do more uptempos tuff than most, so I get my strength work that way.

For most people training for the marathon, I would say that they haven't achieved the optimal level of volume, so they really do want to de-emphasize their time spent pushing weights. Time is usually the limiter, But if you unlimited time at your disposal, sure, run 110 miles a week and spend an hour in the gym every day doing strength training, stretching and yoga.

How many of us have that luxury?
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Jerry on Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:18 pm

Martin VW wrote:

How many of us have that luxury?


Me. Lucy says I can do whatever I want, but just in Father's Day. Like I want to run 10 miles, then go to a gym.
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  JohnP on Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:30 pm

Martin, don't Hal's plans have as a basis doing a pace run on Saturday and a long run on Sunday? While a pace run isn't overly stressful, the longer ones seem like they would also have a similar effect. My guess is the brain will automatically scale down what it allows knowing that the interval training is yet to come.
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Dave-O on Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:36 pm

JohnP wrote:Martin, don't Hal's plans have as a basis doing a pace run on Saturday and a long run on Sunday? While a pace run isn't overly stressful, the longer ones seem like they would also have a similar effect. My guess is the brain will automatically scale down what it allows knowing that the interval training is yet to come.

But even under that plan, your muscles would have 24 hours to repair between the hard effort (pace run) and long run. I would have no problem with someone doing a long run the day after weight lifting. That would hold true with Hal's principle of running on fatigued muscles.

That's a lot different from a track workout the same day as doing squats or lunges. By comparison, I could never imagine lifting before football practice.
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Schuey on Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:43 pm

Martin VW wrote:@ Schuey - For most people, running shortens muscle fibers. And, weight training shortens muscle fibers. So lower body weight training on top of running is compounding the issue. Countermovement exercises or yoga would be the better complement to running, if you're going to devote the time to it.

You are a different runner - I mean that in a positive way. Smile Your muscle composition is not typical of people that count the marathon as their best distance (and maybe it isn't, but you haven't done enough shorter work to know). QWhat works for you isn't necessarily the right advice for people whose muscles aren't as densely packewd as yours.

I'm also a different runner - I'm taller than optimal, and have longer muscles. I've always found that my risk of injury goes up, not down if I train lower body. But,i do more uptempos tuff than most, so I get my strength work that way.

For most people training for the marathon, I would say that they haven't achieved the optimal level of volume, so they really do want to de-emphasize their time spent pushing weights. Time is usually the limiter, But if you unlimited time at your disposal, sure, run 110 miles a week and spend an hour in the gym every day doing strength training, stretching and yoga.

How many of us have that luxury?

Point well taking VW! I agree with you so I guess the end result is like it with a lot of running is that us as runners have to find that balance in what works best for us. Once we do that then we have to continue to adjust it just like how we approach each race. Very Happy

By the way great topic, thanks for bringing it up today.
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Schuey on Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:44 pm

Dave-O wrote:
JohnP wrote:Martin, don't Hal's plans have as a basis doing a pace run on Saturday and a long run on Sunday? While a pace run isn't overly stressful, the longer ones seem like they would also have a similar effect. My guess is the brain will automatically scale down what it allows knowing that the interval training is yet to come.

But even under that plan, your muscles would have 24 hours to repair between the hard effort (pace run) and long run. I would have no problem with someone doing a long run the day after weight lifting. That would hold true with Hal's principle of running on fatigued muscles.

That's a lot different from a track workout the same day as doing squats or lunges. By comparison, I could never imagine lifting before football practice.

+1 I agree here with what Dave has said. Also I with you on the lifting weights before football practice! Hell I hated lifting them after parctice affraid
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:01 pm

This is a very informative thread and I wonder how it really applies to me. Just a comment for me to think about because I have found that as I've aged (and I'll be the big 50 in January), I have had to add in lower body strengthening along with the upper body stuff to keep the niggles at bay. I truly believe that my neglect over the fast 4-5 wks led to my glute/hammie flare up once again. Back to those bridges, etc that we mentioned in another thread.

Keep posting, I'm learning.
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:33 pm

My completely non-medically-qualified experience:

I dealt with a ton of niggles/injuries when I started running, especially when I started training for my first marathon. At the beginning of the 2nd cycle, I incorporated a lot of hip flexor, abductor, and adductor work into my strength routine (as well as upper body and core). By a lot, I mean 3x/week, before easy runs. I couldn't bring myself to hit the gym after a run. Once I felt like my hips were keeping my legs stable enough, I turned to more core and upper body, just to keep my arms from disappearing (vanity). Did squats for maybe 2-3 weeks in the beginning, but gave up any quad/calf/hamstring stuff before really ramping up the mileage.

Not sure whether I can attribute the zero niggle count of cycle 2 to that initial strengthening period, but I'm sure it helped.
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Martin VW on Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:23 pm

Schuey wrote:
Dave-O wrote:
JohnP wrote:Martin, don't Hal's plans have as a basis doing a pace run on Saturday and a long run on Sunday? While a pace run isn't overly stressful, the longer ones seem like they would also have a similar effect. My guess is the brain will automatically scale down what it allows knowing that the interval training is yet to come.

But even under that plan, your muscles would have 24 hours to repair between the hard effort (pace run) and long run. I would have no problem with someone doing a long run the day after weight lifting. That would hold true with Hal's principle of running on fatigued muscles.

That's a lot different from a track workout the same day as doing squats or lunges. By comparison, I could never imagine lifting before football practice.

+1 I agree here with what Dave has said. Also I with you on the lifting weights before football practice! Hell I hated lifting them after parctice affraid

@ John - I think you'd have to look at the individual definition of strength training. As I understand it, to gain the most benefit from strength training, you have to work the muscle to exhaustion, either through high weight / low reps or low weight / high reps (two different schools of thought) and then let it rebuild over 24 - 48 hours. Moving weights around on a machine without breaking a sweat (about 98% of the strength training I see in commercial gyms) isn't my definition of strength training.

A "pace run" wouldn't be the equivalent of working a muscle to exahustion, so doing a long run 24 hours later isn't a problem. Doing a full interval workout - 4 - 5 x 1600 @ 10K pace, or 8 - 10 x 800 / 16 - 20 x 400 / 32 x 200 - at 5k pace would be. Trying to do a long run 24 hours later would be overly ambitious, if not next to impossible.

I will also say that trying to do a pace run, or even a GA run, and then a long run significantly less than 24 hours later has led to several bonks for me. I need time between workouts to replenish muscle glycogen. But I've been successful in doing aggressive workouts on back-to-back weekend days, whether 10 / 20 or 20 / 10.
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Schuey on Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:29 pm

Martin VW wrote:
Schuey wrote:
Dave-O wrote:
JohnP wrote:Martin, don't Hal's plans have as a basis doing a pace run on Saturday and a long run on Sunday? While a pace run isn't overly stressful, the longer ones seem like they would also have a similar effect. My guess is the brain will automatically scale down what it allows knowing that the interval training is yet to come.

But even under that plan, your muscles would have 24 hours to repair between the hard effort (pace run) and long run. I would have no problem with someone doing a long run the day after weight lifting. That would hold true with Hal's principle of running on fatigued muscles.

That's a lot different from a track workout the same day as doing squats or lunges. By comparison, I could never imagine lifting before football practice.

+1 I agree here with what Dave has said. Also I with you on the lifting weights before football practice! Hell I hated lifting them after parctice affraid

@ John - I think you'd have to look at the individual definition of strength training. As I understand it, to gain the most benefit from strength training, you have to work the muscle to exhaustion, either through high weight / low reps or low weight / high reps (two different schools of thought) and then let it rebuild over 24 - 48 hours. Moving weights around on a machine without breaking a sweat (about 98% of the strength training I see in commercial gyms) isn't my definition of strength training.

A "pace run" wouldn't be the equivalent of working a muscle to exahustion, so doing a long run 24 hours later isn't a problem. Doing a full interval workout - 4 - 5 x 1600 @ 10K pace, or 8 - 10 x 800 / 16 - 20 x 400 / 32 x 200 - at 5k pace would be. Trying to do a long run 24 hours later would be overly ambitious, if not next to impossible.

I will also say that trying to do a pace run, or even a GA run, and then a long run significantly less than 24 hours later has led to several bonks for me. I need time between workouts to replenish muscle glycogen. But I've been successful in doing aggressive workouts on back-to-back weekend days, whether 10 / 20 or 20 / 10.

Alright I have to give this some thought here on my 10 mile run. Some interesting stuff you had to say here VW
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Re: Strength Training - When?

Post  Natalie on Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:12 pm

Great information here! I always try to keep 1-2 days of strength training per week in my training. It seems there is usually disagreement in the gym, and between trainers, about what and how much to do with regard to clients who are runners. I'm going to share the link to this discussion with my trainer.
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