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Thread: Weightlifting for distance runner

  1. #1
    Wannabebig New Member
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    Weightlifting for distance runner

    Hi, I'm a distance runner and i started lifting a couple months ago. I am unsure on what kind of lifting plans i should do. My main priority is distance running, being that i am on varsity for cross country and don't wanna mess that up.
    Mainly, I want to gain strength but am not too focused on gaining mass, but that has to happen somewhat and i want some mass but not a ridiculous amount. I basically only work out my upper body, everything except my legs, they get enough workout running haha.

    I don't take any supplements ever, i don't trust em, and i make decent gains without them. Right now, i'm reppin about 150 on the bench press and curling 75.

    I recently started to do much more mileage because it's the summer and i lost some mass, but my strength is actually better.

    Anyone have any advice, i don't really know anything haha

  2. #2
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    You need to work your legs, running is not enough. Trust me on this, I was once a cross country runner and my coach would never allow us to do legs, but you need it. It will strengthen the joint and the muscle and give you more power in your stride.

    Don't worry about gaining too much weight, the amount of running you do will limit that, so eat plenty and the weight you do gain will be muscle mass.

    Check out Joe Defranco's Westside for skinny bastards (just google it)
    You could also try Baby Got Back, or the Wanna Be Big routines found on the main page of this website.

    Those are all good beginner programs, so pick one and stick with it.

    When you squat, you're going to want to do it heavier during your offseason, taper it down during the season and probably take it out altogether when you are peaking for the big meets in November. But please don't neglect your legs. Running gives you endurance, not strength!

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

  3. #3
    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Flat Press
    OH Press
    Row
    Pullup
    Squat
    SLDL

    do these^^ and their variations. thats all you will ever need.

    maybe incorporating some serious ham and quad work will help you pick up some more speed. training your weakness makes you a better all around athlete.
    Last edited by ZenMonkey; 08-15-2008 at 10:25 AM.
    Sarvamangalam!

  4. #4
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    20 rep squats sound good.

  5. #5
    Wannabebig Member
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    I did distance running for quite awhile, I still do 5ks for fun. Look up the Riptoes program, it will build the strength you are looking for. I used to do biathlons, the weightlifting really helped with the bike part of it.

  6. #6
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    As a runner,gaining mass will be difficult because your burning so many calories.But since your not trying to get huge anyway,I would keep your protein high and basically do an upper/lower body split.Keep the reps in the 12-15 range and pyramid the weight. You need to train your legs.They are accustomed to a certain amount of stress now and making them stronger will only make you better.

  7. #7
    195 lb. endurance geek Willie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee Mike View Post
    As a runner,gaining mass will be difficult because your burning so many calories.But since your not trying to get huge anyway,I would keep your protein high and basically do an upper/lower body split.Keep the reps in the 12-15 range and pyramid the weight. You need to train your legs.They are accustomed to a certain amount of stress now and making them stronger will only make you better.
    I absolutely agree with Mike, but I also want to issue a caveat:

    You have to figure out what your goals are.

    What do you mean by "long-distance?"

    If improving your running is the goal, be advised that, though lifting will make you stronger (and stronger is good, and will help your running) the real improvements are only going to be achieved by, well, running.

    You can build a base strength in the gym, but there are no short-cuts to sport specific training. Time on the run is the single most important thing.

    What part of your running do you want to improve? Is your endurance suffering? You need to up the volume of miles. You need to get your CNS accustomed to the stresses of the distance. You have to train yourself for the true endurance required for the effort.

    Also, know that lifting weights will take away from training time not only due to time under the bar, but time spent recovering from time under the bar.

    Do not expect to put in a good 10 miler the day after you do a set of good squats.

    All that said, I highly recommend weights as an addition to your training, but don't let the additions get in the way of your real goals.

    You might consider buying this book..

    I have it, and though it is a monster, it's well worth it.

    Good luck!

    EDIT- For the record, I have been running marathons and doing biathlons and triathlons since the 80's, so I have done a lot of study on the subject.
    Last edited by Willie; 08-16-2008 at 06:46 PM.
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