QT: Lifting Heavy and Running Long Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

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Lord knows there’s no short of nonsense in there, but every once in a while, there’s a bit of substance, too.

A recent question generated some good discussion, and I’m digging into that very question in today’s episode.

Strength Training is Good, Right?

Apparently, I talk about the value of strength training quite a bit.

That’s because it’s important.

Like, vitally important.

Not only can strength training help to improve your running performance, but it also can do a lot to help you avoid various niggles that pop up in runners all too often.

Never mind the benefits of strength training for overall health and vitality, independent of running.

For the most part, seems like the majority of the running world is on board with strength training.

The how? That’s where some of the disagreement lies.

And with disagreement comes confusion.

And with confusion comes inaction, more often than not.

Does Lifting Heavy Negatively Impact Endurance?

This was basically the question that generated the discussion in the FB group lately.

The idea, as I understand it, is that by lifting heavy the legs are fatigued which impacts/limits the quality of your running.

Ok, so maybe that’s a bit harsh.

Because let’s face it, if I go and absolutely crush heavy squats today my run tomorrow is going to be a bit more of a slog than usual.

Can we try not to lose the forest for the trees though?

It really isn’t that hard to lift heavy and still make sure that your key runs are relatively unimpacted by heavy legs.

With a little bit of strategery, one can have their cake and eat it too.

Or, in this case, lift heavy and build endurance.

Lifting Heavy While Running Long

How then?

What’s the key to threading this particular needle?

It’s really not that complicated.

A few things to keep in mind to, hopefully, make this work for you.

Not All or Nothing

You do know that lifting heavy doesn’t have to an “all or nothing” kind of thing, right?

My Bad Running Habits

If you’re worried that two or three days per week of max squats might impair your pursuit of running goals, “just” life heavy once per week.

Strategic Training Plan

I’m a sucker for a pretty predictable training plan, but that doesn’t mean that there is no strategery involved.

If you’ve got a key speed workout coming up? Where you want fresh legs so you can throw down?

Then either do you heavy lifting after that workout or don’t lift heavy that particular week.

Easy. Peasy.

And remember, having a pretty predictable plan doesn’t mean you have to rigidly adhere to it week in and week out.

If it makes sense to shuffle the deck on occasion, then do so strategically.

Taper Time

When it’s time to taper for your next race, dial back your strength training, too.

Maybe you don’t lift truly heavy for a month or so ahead of the race.

Not saying you need to dial it back that far, but you certainly can.

But going “light” for at least a couple of weeks ahead of your goal race is the right call, for sure.

Strength Training is a Good Thing

Strength training is a good thing, full stop.

Does that mean that you have to lift heavy every session?

Should you lift heavy regularly?

Is it better to do strength training with body weight/low-resistance only than to not strength train at all?

So do your strength training.

And don’t be afraid to lift heavy, because it’s really not going to make you a slower runner in the big picture.

Lifting heavy is a good thing for runners. I promise. #runchat Click To Tweet

How Often is Heavy Lifting a Part of Your Routine?

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