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Weight lifting and running (Read 1500 times)

    Depending on whom you listen to the advice is that weight lifting will add too much bulk to a runners body or that it is an essential ingredient for getting stronger and thus performing better. One of the last issues of Running Times had a pros and cons article that left me even more confused than I was before I started reading. Do you do weight lifting? Do you see any difference in your running if you do?
    I would rather wear out than rust out. - Helen Klein You create your own universe as you go along. - Winston Churchill
      I started running as cardio training to supplement lifting - so I'm not likely to argue against weight lifting (and eventually I'll return my focus there). But I do think (actually I know) that some additional muscle mass slows me down. (It also hampers my golf swing!) I could probably drop 10 pounds of muscle (and another 10 of something else!) and run a significantly faster marathon; it would probably also be easier on my knees. In the shorter distances, I'm not sure it matters as much (and of course actual sprinters are huge!). There are also lots of pros to lifting: I think used wisely and sparingly, you can improve some aspects of running; it's definitely the best way to sculpt your body (I don't personally ever care to actually look much like a runner!); I think some strength training is critical to balanced overall fitness; you might even find it decreasing your injury rates. But more mass means more to carry, more weight on your knees. I think in the end it's a trade-off: the answer depends on what you want your body to look like, what you want to do with your running, and (if you're competitive) what specific events your training for. I doubt most serious marathoners do a lot of bench presses. So what are you shooting for? What's your goal? I think answering that is the first step in deciding what kind of cross-training to do. By the way - as a woman (assuming that's you in the picture), you can (probably - depending on genetics) do quite a bit of lifting with low weight/high reps and not actually bulk up. ------------------------- By the way, there's another sort of on-topic thread down the page a bit. Modified to add: you might wanna ask "Rockenmamaof5." I suspect she still lifts quite a bit - and her results are pretty remarkable. You'd have to ask her - but I don't think running alone can achieve those results.
      E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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        Ok I just typed up this whole page and while doing it somehow I ended up not being logged in and lost it. Anyway to make it short. I really believe weight lifting is beneficial to running! Not only does it help my performance but it helps injury prevention. I've been lifting seriously for the past year and a half during which I have ran 1 marathon, several half marathons, 5k's and a 10 miler as well keeping a weekly milage of over 20 miles (except when I had problems with my neck) In July 2005 a 12 mile run would take me about 2:00's to run. I ran a HM in April in 1:50:53. I know all the progress I've made wasn't due to weight lifting alone but I know I wouldn't be where I am today without it. In fact if it wasn't for my strengh training I don't think I'd be able to run the distance I do now.

        Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head." - Joe Henderson

        vicentefrijole


          Depending on whom you listen to the advice is that weight lifting will add too much bulk to a runners body or that it is an essential ingredient for getting stronger and thus performing better.
          This is a good question.. I was actually just thinking about this today! I don't know a lot about this subject, but I have one comment to make (has lack of knowledge ever stopped me before? Wink): I think the idea that too much lifting (and probably the wrong type of lifting) could add too much bulk to a runners body and thus slow a runner down is completely valid and very important.... if you're an elite runner. If you're an elite-level marathoner then I can imagine that every pound of body mass that isn't going into making you faster will indeed slow you down quite a bit... I met Deena Kastor once (at a promotional event) and I can tell you that her body looks like a perfectly designed running machine; muscular but efficient. But I suspect that most of us on this website are not elite runners. We want to be better runners but probably the best way to do that is to increase our mileage or get more sleep or drop a few pounds of fat. For that reason, I don't think it is going to hurt many of us if we do some (intelligent) weight lifting. (Intelligent = not causing injury.) Probably, it would help (like it does for Rockenmamof5). That said, Jake's point about low weight/high reps is a good one... I've heard that's a good way to minimize bulk and maximize performance. I'd be excited to hear what sort of lifting people do. Rackenmamof5, what's your average week like? And what do you do for abs/core strength?
            And what do you do for abs/core strength?
            What makes you think she does any abs work? Clowning around

            Roads were made for journeys...

              There are different types of weight training. One is for strength and one is for muscle mass. Strength training will definetly help with your running and you won't have to worry about building muscle mass. As Jake said lighter weights and higher reps. That is perfect for building up strength without worring about building alot of mass. That is the kind of weight lifting that is benifitial for running. I like to build mass when I'm "off season" just because I LOVE IT but when I'm seriously training for anything longer than 10 miles I do change my workouts to be more strengh training. As far as how my training goes each week. I workout 3-4 times a week though right now I'm still not doing alot of legs since I'm running alot of hills. I also run 4-5 times a week. As far as ab/core work. I don't do a whole lot now. I try and do 30 reg crunches 30 reverse crunches and side bends after each workout. I really believe alot of my core training is done with my running.

              Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head." - Joe Henderson

                I really believe weight lifting is beneficial to running! Not only does it help my performance but it helps injury prevention. I've been lifting seriously for the past year and a half during which I have ran 1 marathon, several half marathons, 5k's and a 10 miler as well keeping a weekly milage of over 20 miles
                Are you doing high weight lower repetition or lower weight high reps. I understand that muscle tissue responds differently to those exercises, one building more mass the second conditioning the muscle especially if done at higher speeds? It seems that your routine is working great for you.
                I would rather wear out than rust out. - Helen Klein You create your own universe as you go along. - Winston Churchill
                  Ooops! I have not seen your last post when I wrote my reply. I guess you answered my questions before I asked. Thanks.
                  I would rather wear out than rust out. - Helen Klein You create your own universe as you go along. - Winston Churchill
                  Scout7


                  CPT Curmudgeon

                    I'm the person on the opposite side of the fence. I don't lift weights. I don't like them, so I don't generally do them. That's my primary reason. It's funny, because this is a topic that is debate constantly. I see this issue come up about once a month or so on different boards. So far, there is no scientific proof that weight training will make you any better, or any worse, at running. That's it, plain and simple. Notice I didn't say strength training. Just weight training. You can do strength training without weights. Hills are strength training. Certain running drills are strength training. Some interval training is strength training. AND, those are all running-specific. I am not telling you to not lift weights. Feel free. I am saying that you don't have to lift weights to get faster.s