Runners who lift - what's your schedule/routine like? (Read 430 times)

From the Internet.

    I got into weightlifting last January after messing around with dumbbells for a few months prior. I spent a lot of 2013 either cross-training or running really low mileage while dealing with shin splints and various other minor aches/injuries, so I had plenty of time and energy to devote to lifting. Now, however, I'm finally trying to build a decent mileage base and as I add more miles to my schedule I'm sort of at a loss as to what I'm going to do about lifting. I've been tossing around a few different ideas but I'm very interested to hear what other folks who run and lift are doing.


    Providing some background info, skip over it if you don't care Smile My current schedule has me running 20mpw over 5-6 days with shorter runs on lifting days, my running log is public but I don't record my lifting workouts there. I'm doing a pretty simple/straightforward workout 2-3x/week right now, I'm out of the linear progression range and just try to add weight when I can. I alternate between bench press/overhead press, add in bent over barbell rows on bench days, squat 2x/week and usually deadlift once (but if I'm feeling worn out I'll do variations with a lighter weight instead of heavy conventional pulls). Sometimes throw in weighted calf raises or Bulgarian split squats if I have time and feel like it. Current 5RM stats are 75lbs for bench press, 60 lbs for overhead press, 165 lbs for squat, and 195 lbs for deadlift (5'5 female, 130 lbs). I'm thinking of moving to an intermediate routine for upper body lifts because I keep stalling but I'm still undecided about what to do with squats/DL (follow an intermediate routine or just try to maintain the strength I've built and keep my legs fresh for running). I hear non-weighted strength-type workouts suggested sometimes but I don't have much interest in doing that - I genuinely enjoy barbell lifts and I tend to half-ass or skip out on doing bodyweight stuff.

      Most of last year, I was up around 4:30. At gym at 5 when it opens, lift for 30 minutes or so focusing on big muscles, e.g., pecs, back, shoulders and some core work, then out the door for a 4-6 mile run, work, add 6-7 miles after work when possible. Go home drink beer and hang with the kids. Generally, in bed by 10. That was during the week. Weekends were pretty much all running.


      I haven't been following that schedule too closely the last two months because of some of the races on my schedule, but I plan to adhere to it pretty closely again starting tomorrow.


      rather be sprinting

        Wow, it seems like we're in REALLY similar positions!  I also like to lift and run, and my upper body does lag slightly, as well. I lift twice a week only, full-body, and seem able to improve while still running upwards of 20 mpw.  I may adjust as the season progresses, though.  But so far, I lift once on a short easy run day (I can manage a decent lifting session if I've run only 4 miles or so) and once on a non-running day or a day on which my only run is a warmup and maybe some short sprints, which I count as anaerobic work anyhow.


        I get what you mean about bodyweight stuff, but you can't tell me that chinups or pullups aren't a great move to include in your program.  Likewise, pushups and pushup variations (spiderman pushups, plyo pushups) can be valuable, and pistol squats are an excellent and very challenging squat variation for runners.  Plus it's so cool to be able to do them--a good party trick as well as a strength tool.  And the glute-ham raise is classic for runners but technically also bodyweight.


        Those aside, in terms of upper body, chinups and dips helped me to improve the most, as did doing more more assistance exercises geared toward stabilizer muscles, like flys, lateral raises and external rotation with dumbbells.  Those actually helped my bench quite a bit by helping me to better activate the pecs rather than front delts, which was my main problem.  Honestly, bench is just hard for runners, I think.


        Your program is very good, but you could probably include more variation if you want.  Bulgarian split squats are great; nothing wrong with weighted stepups and lunges, or front squats (great for core stability) or kettlebell swings (or even goblet squats now and again or dumbbell squat to press to include upper body).  Squatting very often is a good way to progress and of course a lot of powerlifting programs will emphasize that, but for a runner it can be quite draining.  I also hurt my SI joint by squatting too often/too much [which is why I haven't tested my 1RM in ages].


        I agree you don't want to deadlift more than once a week--I deadlift more like once every other week because it makes me so sore on runs. And I do variations on that lift as well, sometimes sumo or sometimes stiff-legged with dumbbells.


        You would probably do well with more lat pulldowns, chinups, dips and different row variations than just barbell.  I like face pulls, too.


        Um... was that kinda what you were looking for?  I just know that when I hammered ONLY the three big lifts I got hurt pretty fast, so I like the variations.  So I just gave you a bit list of things.  But I still think including some chinups or pullups and dips could help upper body.  What do you think?

        PRs: 5k 19:25, mile 5:38, HM 1:30:56

        Lifting PRs: back squat 176 lb

        From the Internet.

          jaybar - that's some impressive mileage, gives me hope that I can stick with it with my piddly 20 mpw Smile I know I need to start getting up earlier to run, I prefer lifting early-mid afternoon with my schedule and gym location - it's a 5 minute walk from the building where I work and as a grad student my schedule is relatively flexible.


          Scap - I didn't think that's what I was looking for until you posted it, haha Smile Super helpful, thank you! I kind of hate chinups/pullups because I absolutely suck at them, I hadn't been doing them out of sheer laziness but I really should include them again. I'll add in some of the accessory stuff you mentioned too. Part of my reason for doing such a bare-bones program was time - I'd run a little on the treadmill as a warmup and then lift, but I'm getting to the point now where I want to switch over to a short run in the morning, lift in the afternoon. If I can get up earlier to fit in the run before work I'd be more inclined to throw in a few accessories and/or some bodyweight stuff during the time I'm currently spending foam rolling, hopping on the treadmill, changing shoes, etc. in the gym.

          Old , Ugly and slow

            My plan is full body twice a week and run 4-5 days


            last year I only ran 15 mpw but would like to get to 25-30.


            I run for health.


            I am trying to get stronger and lose 15 more pounds.

            first race sept 1977 last race sept 2007


            2014goals   1300  miles  , 190 pounds , deadlift 400 touch my toes


              The key to weight training is to switch up your routines so your body never gets used to any one workout.    I've found  that super sets where I follow up one muscle group exercise immediately with working th  opposing Muscle group to be very effective.  Flat bench dumbbell fly  followed immediately by one arm dumbbell rows are a staple of mine.   If you can't do a pull up, start with lat pull downs.  Unless you want big legs, don't overdo barbell squats, that is th  single best leg muscle mass exercise there is.  Split squats, step ups and any form of lunge is great not just for running but most any sport.   And don't neglect core, deadlift, side bends , and  powercleans.  I've got a pretty intense gym routine as I do a lot of paddling that requires a strong back shoulders and midsection, so take it for what it's worth.


                 If size is what you want, look into crossfit   The Gold's gym I go to has a couple of ladies that do that and they are BUILT!   However, I did overhear one of them lamenting the fact that On her online dating profile, under qualities about  herself, arm wrestling was  high on the list and didn't get her much attention.    She was  cute to.

              Dad on the run.

                Well hello there Lauren Smile


                I lift 3x a week I try to stick to Mon Wed Fri routine and I run M T T F S


                Right now I do Chest, Lats and Middle back on Monday. On Wed I do Lower back, traps, Shoulders and Legs and Friday is arms and core. If you are wanting to keep your mileage high I would not go all out on your leg days. Whenever I decide to really go at it with legs I'm usually sore Thurs and Fri and feeling better on Sat.

                My parents said I could be anything when I grew up, so I decided to be Awesome!

                Baby Got Track

                  I hate lifting, but force myself to do it four days a week.  I run five to six days a week.  I lift Monday through Thursday, doing it immediately after my run or else I won't do it at all.


                  I do several hip strengthening exercises with a resistance band, plus weighted glute workout (I lay on my back stretch out one leg off the ground, and lift my hips with the other leg, and do it with a 14 pound weight on my hips).  Then push ups, crunches, reverse crunches.  Then I hit the weights.  I have two separate workouts, and I alternate them over my four workout days.  I work biceps, triceps, and shoulders.

                  Leah, mother of goats 


                    I was lifting before I got into running. In my "off season", I lift 3/week on a push/pull/legs split with more emphasis on compound, heavy movements rather than isolation excersises. I also do lots of jump rope rounds between sets, and after. Also include other forms of cardio/conditioning in my 3/week. I also run twice a week on average, one day for shorter, faster paced runs and one day for longer slower runs. As I head in to "my on season", I lift twice a week in a full-body routine, and run 3-4 times. I do however want to start doing some kettlebell stuff as well.

                    running > all else

                      I was following a 5x5 plan three times per week emphasizing the three main lifts: deadlifts, squat, and bench. The program is awesome and I've seen fast strength gains in just four months. But, as I am lifting heavier, squat for example is 160 1rm  (that's heavy for me so far) my runs were suffering.


                      With making the decision to sign up for a HM, I can't squat that frequently.


                      So, now going to do a three day split which I've followed for a few years prior to 5x5: chest day, leg day and back day. I'll see how this goes with my running plan.



                      I think the two can complement each other but I don't think they both can share the front burner. That's just been my experience.

                      From the Internet.

                        Unless you want big legs, don't overdo barbell squats, that is th  single best leg muscle mass exercise there is. 


                        Haha nature already blessed me with ginormous legs, no concerns there Smile Lots of squats and deadlifts haven't changed the size but have changed shape for the better - more muscle/less fat.


                        Forgot about this thread! I've cut back to a FB routine twice a week, mostly due to scheduling issues (I need to graduate sometime in the next year, so less time in the gym and more time in the lab :c ). I've added in some accessory stuff with dumbbells, lat pulldowns. I still really hate pullups/chinups (I can never remember what the difference is), they make me nauseous, but maybe once I get enough lat pulldowns under my belt and my back is stronger they'll start to suck less. Kinda feel like I'm drifting aimlessly without real goals or a program, but as long as I can maintain what strength I have and keep building the running I'm OK with that for now.

                        Thats rad

                          What I've found works the best for me, (and everyone else at my school, it's what the weight training coaches have taught us), is to lift either 4 or 6 times a week. Upper/Lower split. If you have time/can handle 6 days, go for it. I run on upper body days and swim on lower body days, with sprints/ weighted running on two of the leg days.


                          Remember to eat properly, if you want really in depth info, visit the nutrition forum at bodybuilding.com and you will find more info than you can ever hope to understand.




                            Those are great numbers, girl! Keep it up!


                            I've been doing the barbell lifts since June 2013 I think we're onto the same programs--Stronglifts 5x5 or Starting Strength. I have a history of marathons and ultras--although not very fast, I ran lots of distance. I decided I wanted to get stronger before it was too late. I'm a 45 year old man. I' HAVE indeed gotten stronger. I never stopped running, but had dialled the mileage down to 10-15 miles a week. Recently I've increased mileage for an upcoming ultra and have had to rethink some of what I've been doing.


                            Some observations/suggestions:

                            1. Think about what's most important to you. Although I appreciate the strength, running has long been my mental health aid. I like to say I meet fewer a$$hole$ when I'm running a lot. I don't get that same glow from weightlifting. If something's gotta give it might be the weights for the sake of maintaining my relationships!

                            2. Concentrate on gaining strength from your lifts. Doing the 5x5 routine will make your muscles grow, but it won't pump you up like hypertrophy-specific higher-rep workouts.

                            3. Maintain a log for weights and a calendar for running. Recognize that when you have a running event coming up, you'll probably have to taper the weights. For me this has meant squatting two days a week (rather than three) and pressing on days I don't squat. (Based on The "Texas Method" as set out in Mark Rippetoe's "Practical Programming for Strength Training.") And I still deadlift once a week and do assistance exercises (pullups, abs, dips, barbell curls). I'm doing some quality running workouts during the week and a long run on Sundays.

                            4. Eat enough to maintain your energy! This is anathema to most of us runners, but one cannot recover from workouts without enough food. I know. I tried. I've collected a little body fat over the last 8 months, but I've also added a lot of strength (my 1RM squat was 185 when I started and I'm now doing sets across at 265). When I started on the weights I was logging my calories using Daily Plate and trying to "maintain" my weight. I was constantly worn out and unable to recover.


                            Whatever you do going forward, it sounds like your motivated. Keep THAT PART going and you'll do well. Good luck!

                              I just came across this. It's really pertinent to those of us who "who took up the sport as adults and whose non-running hours include a lot of sitting."



                              "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

                              L Train

                                From the comments:


                                I can relate to this. With 8 weeks of strength training I was able to lower my previous 5K time from 20:46 to 16:05 with reserve to dip in the 15 minutes territory.


                                Where do I sign up?