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Thread: Running & Starting Strength

  1. #1
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    Running & Starting Strength

    Hi all,

    I am keen runner and I like to race. Due to this I will probably miss out a workout here and there (i.e. if I have a race on a Sunday, I probably wouldn't do the Friday workout). Obviously this will slow my progress, but I assume it isn't a major issue?

    Additionally, I haven't begun SS yet. How much is it going to kill my legs? Am I actually going to be able to run?

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    The first few workouts your legs will be sore if youve never squatted. Otherwise, I wouldnt run on your lifting days, or if you do, wait a few hours (my legs are usually like jello). Expect the progress to be slower as well, as you are burning a lot of calories that would otherwise be used to build up muscle. Be sure you keep protein intake high. You should be fine. Good luck!

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    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    You are asking your body to do oposing things.
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    squat rack curler platypus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    You are asking your body to do oposing things.
    That doesn't mean he can't get results...

    You're just gonna have to compensate for all that cardio with increased calorie intake. I'd never ask you to give up your love for running, but no matter what you do lifting is always beneficial.
    ain't nuttin but a peanut.

    You will have gotten stronger when the weight that feels heavy is actually heavier than the weight that feels heavy now. Then the weight that feels heavy now will be a warmup for the weight that feels heavy then. But the weight will always feel heavy or you're not lifting enough weight. Clear? -Rippetoe

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by platypus View Post
    That doesn't mean he can't get results...

    You're just gonna have to compensate for all that cardio with increased calorie intake. I'd never ask you to give up your love for running, but no matter what you do lifting is always beneficial.
    I dont think Starting Strength would be beneficial for an endurance runner. Especially since it bulks you up which means you have more to carry while running. Now if the goal is to be fast, for sprints, it would be different.

  6. #6
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by platypus View Post
    That doesn't mean he can't get results...
    Depends...what results does he want? He says running is the most important thing, so extra size from lifting will not be a benefit to his running. If he wants to get bigger, then all that running will severely limit his progress. I'm sure it's possible for the select few to do both, but for us mere mortals it's a tough way to go.
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    Got a few responses I was expecting here...

    Asking my body to do opposing things? Endurance running increases aerobic capacity, burns excess fat and consumes excess calories. Lifting weights in conjunction with a high calorie/protein diet increases strength and consumes excess calories. In order to gain muscle mass you must eat more calories than your body uses. If I burn say an additional 500 calories a day through running, I just need to eat an additional 500 calories on top of any bulking excess...that's how I see it anyway.

    I don't mind my pace slowing down a bit through an increase in muscle mass (and some fat) - I would expect that. That might be negated somewhat by increased leg strength anyway (especially when it comes to tackling hills and the like).

    I'm not looking for my strength work to benefit my running per se, I just love my running, and I want to be stronger. The two can co-exist. The purpose of this thread was more for information on how the SS program might affect my running. I think AnotherNumber and platypus answered me. Thanks!

  8. #8
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badgerer View Post
    If I burn say an additional 500 calories a day through running, I just need to eat an additional 500 calories on top of any bulking excess...that's how I see it anyway.

    I wish it were that simple. You have to take into account your total workload and recovery. Just like you can't do 200 sets when you go to the gym and expect to eat your way through it.

    But, apparently you got some guys to agree with you, so you must be correct.
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  9. #9
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    What is your weekly mileage? How many days a week do you run?

    I run and I tried Starting Strength. If you can do heavy squats 3x a week and run 3 to 4 times a week, then more power to you. It buried me so I cut back to heavy squatting 1x a week and light squatting 1x week.

    Off Road is correct - it is not as simple as calculating calories burned and replacing those. You will be hitting your quads, hip adductors, and hamstrings HARD. When are your legs supposed to get rest?

    It looks like your mind is made up so try it. Maybe you will succeed. Remember, you will be adding weight to the bar each workout.
    Last edited by FitnessFreak76; 09-14-2009 at 09:20 AM.

  10. #10
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    I currently use starting strength and have recently began to run again. Coming from being a long distance runner i can certainly respect your love of running. Unfortunately last year when I began lifting I gave running up to pursue weights. I made fantastic results on SS but recently felt the yearn to once again run. recently I have slowly been adding mileage and I do stress slowly. despite this modest increase in mileage my squat has already decreased almost 10 lbs. My squat may have decreased but my bench has gone up and all other lifts remain the same.

    My advice would be try it out. Regardless you're gonna make progress it just might be slower going.
    Hopefully my personal experience helps a little bit.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    I wish it were that simple. You have to take into account your total workload and recovery. Just like you can't do 200 sets when you go to the gym and expect to eat your way through it.

    But, apparently you got some guys to agree with you, so you must be correct.
    There's no need to be like that...your original post simply said, "You are asking your body to do opposing things", which isn't really constructive or helpful. If you had something more like the above first time round I might have been more receptive!

    I can appreciate how squatting would take it out of my legs; that makes perfect sense. Running in itself does not tire my legs especially as I am well conditioned to it. I will give it a crack, see how it goes, and adjust as necessary. I am not expecting to have gains equal to those if I were not running, but I'm sure I can still progress. If not, I'll have to reevaluate!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by badgerer View Post
    There's no need to be like that...your original post simply said, "You are asking your body to do opposing things", which isn't really constructive or helpful. If you had something more like the above first time round I might have been more receptive!

    I can appreciate how squatting would take it out of my legs; that makes perfect sense. Running in itself does not tire my legs especially as I am well conditioned to it. I will give it a crack, see how it goes, and adjust as necessary. I am not expecting to have gains equal to those if I were not running, but I'm sure I can still progress. If not, I'll have to reevaluate!
    However, Off Road is right, you are asking your body to do opposing things. How many endurance runners look like bodybuilders and vice versa. You will have to decide which goal is more important, running or strength. Same as gaining muscle or loosing fat, they are usually not done at the same time.

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    Ah here's a topic that near and dear to me. I do a couple of medium distance races (10 milers - half-marathons) a year but I really hate that it doesn't do much for my upper-body so I lift. Lifting and running do compliment each other. On the other hand, trying to get big and running doesn't work out well, IF your goal is to get big. Yes, you are asking your body to adapt in two different and somewhat opposing ways and for most people the endurance side wins. Remember in order to get big you need three things to come together: exercise (specifically resistance training), nutrition, and rest. If any one of those is lacking, you won't get big. Unfortunately, race training (i.e. running 3-4 days a wk) gets in the way of rest.

    Like I said, if you goal is not to put on some serious bulk, lifting and running can compliment each.

    Let me share some past experience. Last Spring I started a 12wk training program for a 10 miler while at the same time starting WBB1.1. My priority was the race so with that in mind I combined the two programs by dropping the lower body workouts. My legs were going to get plenty of a workout from running three days a week plus additional crosstraining. Working legs would have killed them. This is what it looked like:
    Mon = strength (day 2 of WBB1.1) and stretching
    Tues = medium run
    Wed = cross-train (I did stationary bike in order to balance the development in my legs)
    Thur = light run in the morning and strength (day 5 of WBB1.1) and stretching in the afternoon (Thurs really sucked for me)
    Fri = rest
    Sat = long run
    Sun = cross-train (stationary bike)

    WBB1.1 was a great ass kicking workout and definitely the hardest I've ever pushed myself in the gym. Loved it. I don't have the stats on me, but I did increase my measurements a little (as opposed to going down as is usually the case with just race training). My weight went up 3 pounds or so while bodyfat dropped about 1.5%. I was happy with the results...it was inline with my goals and that's all that mattered.

    I'm probably going to do the above again this Spring.

  14. #14
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    Dropping lower body movements is a dumb idea. Dont do that. Running does NOT make your legs stronger. Id set up a 4day split

    Mon- SS -A
    Tue- Off
    Wed- Run
    Thu- SS -B
    Fri- Off
    Sat- Run
    Sun- Off
    Last edited by ZenMonkey; 11-05-2009 at 03:49 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    You are asking your body to do oposing things.
    There's nothing wrong with asking your body to do different things especially if you ask nicely. More to the point, there's nothing wrong with asking your quads and hamstrings to run an extra mile next week while asking you pecs and triceps to bench press a few extra pounds next week. On the other hand, asking the SAME muscle to do both puts you on the royal road to injury. What I'm suggesting is sub-optimal, but it's doable. You just have to find the right balance that gets you to your goal...assuming your goal is realistic. You will not get super-big while doing a lot of running, but it doesn't mean you won't make some gains and that just might be good enough for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZenMonkey View Post
    Dropping lower body movements is a dumb idea. Dont do that. Running does NOT make your legs stronger.
    Any kind of physical training will develop your muscles...including running. I'll refer you to these two pics of myself in the middle of a half-marathon (I was trying to break the two hour mark).





    Granted I'm pumped after running for an hour, but all that size and definition comes from just running and some biking. Sadly, swinging my arms doesn't cut it so that's why I lift to develop my upper-body.

    More to the point, it's all about goals and what you want for yourself. Are you a runner that wants to lift or are you a lifter that want's to run? I hope you catch the distinction there. I'm a runner that likes to lift. I realize that my gains would be much better and faster if it wasn't for the demands that race training places on my body. I'm perfectly fine with that (gains are still gains) because I'm still meeting my goals of setting new personal records at the races I compete in. I just have to find the balance that works best for my body and lifestyle. I feel that maximizing the amount of rest I get benefits me the most so I cut out lower body training...they (legs) get enough of a workout.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by badgerer View Post
    Got a few responses I was expecting here...

    Asking my body to do opposing things? Endurance running increases aerobic capacity, burns excess fat and consumes excess calories. Lifting weights in conjunction with a high calorie/protein diet increases strength and consumes excess calories. In order to gain muscle mass you must eat more calories than your body uses. If I burn say an additional 500 calories a day through running, I just need to eat an additional 500 calories on top of any bulking excess...that's how I see it anyway.

    I don't mind my pace slowing down a bit through an increase in muscle mass (and some fat) - I would expect that. That might be negated somewhat by increased leg strength anyway (especially when it comes to tackling hills and the like).

    I'm not looking for my strength work to benefit my running per se, I just love my running, and I want to be stronger. The two can co-exist. The purpose of this thread was more for information on how the SS program might affect my running. I think AnotherNumber and platypus answered me. Thanks!
    You lack a fundamental understanding of physiology.

    Your body adapts to a given stress. Distance running and weight lifting require completely opposite adaptations from your muscle cells. Lifting weights jacks up glycogen stores and increases the size of your contractile myofibrils. Distance running jacks up the amount of oxygen handling mitochondria. This is all greatly simplified, but the point is the adaptations are somewhat mutually exclusive.

    You can certainly do both, and you will get a big stronger from resistance training, but not much.


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyman View Post
    Any kind of physical training will develop your muscles...including running. I'll refer you to these two pics of myself in the middle of a half-marathon (I was trying to break the two hour mark).





    Granted I'm pumped after running for an hour, but all that size and definition comes from just running and some biking. Sadly, swinging my arms doesn't cut it so that's why I lift to develop my upper-body.

    More to the point, it's all about goals and what you want for yourself. Are you a runner that wants to lift or are you a lifter that want's to run? I hope you catch the distinction there. I'm a runner that likes to lift. I realize that my gains would be much better and faster if it wasn't for the demands that race training places on my body. I'm perfectly fine with that (gains are still gains) because I'm still meeting my goals of setting new personal records at the races I compete in. I just have to find the balance that works best for my body and lifestyle. I feel that maximizing the amount of rest I get benefits me the most so I cut out lower body training...they (legs) get enough of a workout.
    Your leg size had **** nothing to do with distance running. ZERO!!! If your theory had any validity, the Kenyans would have monster quads...

    Large muscles are inefficient as far as oxygen requirements, hence distance running will DECREASE their size as an adaptation, not the other way around.


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyman View Post
    There's nothing wrong with asking your body to do different things especially if you ask nicely. More to the point, there's nothing wrong with asking your quads and hamstrings to run an extra mile next week while asking you pecs and triceps to bench press a few extra pounds next week. On the other hand, asking the SAME muscle to do both puts you on the royal road to injury. What I'm suggesting is sub-optimal, but it's doable. You just have to find the right balance that gets you to your goal...assuming your goal is realistic. You will not get super-big while doing a lot of running, but it doesn't mean you won't make some gains and that just might be good enough for you.
    I agree with this.


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by badgerer View Post
    Hi all,

    I haven't begun SS yet. How much is it going to kill my legs? Am I actually going to be able to run?
    It depends... if you're like Mr Genetics in the pics above then you'll probably do just fine, although there will be some trade-off what with the mixed messages you're sending your body.

    If you're a worn out old crusty like me, you'll probably die.

  21. #21
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    I did my Master's with a pretty good middle distance runner. We started him doing squatting twice a week working up to a 2-3 heavy sets of 5. This was in his off-season and certainly didn't hurt him, in fact it may have helped his speed some. Of course during his competitive season we would scale back the weight train to simply try and maintain and certainly not make him sore.
    To the OP, it's likely your SQ won't progress as fast as someone who is not doing all that running. Using starting strength as written may be a little too much, but you can certainly do something very similar on a scaled back level and still make some gains. At certain points you may have to scale back the running or the lifting, depending on what you are want to emphasize at that particular time.

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