When to strength train?

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May 2014
12:41pm, 28 May 2014
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SODIron © 2002
if your muscles are strong and flexible would that not make for a better runner? Strength endurance, or the ability to maintain muscle performance becomes more important the longer you run.
May 2014
12:51pm, 28 May 2014
6161 posts
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Depends what you mean by strong and flexible though.

Hypermobility in muscle groups reduces the amount of power being able to be used, thus being *too flexible* is not a good thing. Similarly I believe with strength - there comes a point at which muscle mass is detrimental to running performance (hence sprinters are not good long distance runners).

My argument would be that any strength that you need for running can be conditioned through running. Which, to me, seems logical. Running, however does shorten the muscle fibres (in general), so some stretching and flexibility work is important (there are some simple spring and dashpot models used for polymers I could trot out here).

I agree strength endurance is more important the longer you run, so that's why long runs are important! And more running is important, rather than "losing" a day's training or more for strength work, that may have negligible benefits. The best strength work would be done of a fresh, rested position anyway, as you can then push the muscles to exhaustion to build strength, so in effect you lose more running training.

That's my view of it anyway.
May 2014
1:10pm, 28 May 2014
1336 posts
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I'm interested that your comment on the first page that climbing is next to useless cross-training for running, V'Rap.

It's a little difficult to say much definitively, not least because my overall running volume has steadily increased over the last few years, but I have a perception of a higher susceptibility to lower and mid-back discomfort and tightness towards the end of longer runs now I don't really climb.

As I say, it's difficult to ascertain whether this has any significant impact on form or efficiency as I now run a lot more than I did, and my times have improved, but at some level it feels like I was better at relieving any tension in my back when I had a little more upper body strength and flexibility from climbing.
May 2014
1:41pm, 28 May 2014
29805 posts
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One of my best running seasons was in late 2010 when I was also doing lots of climbing, MM, but I've previously managed to peak quite nicely while not doing any climbing at all and it doesn't seem to make any difference to anything apart from what my shoulders look like in a running vest and how many bruises I have on my legs :)

I can do flexibility *things* on the climbing wall that I can't do if I try stretching on the floor, even if I try to replicate the same movements, which is not something of which I make a habit. Subtle recruitment of multiple muscle groups again, I suspect. Or cortical inhibition.
May 2014
2:31pm, 28 May 2014
992 posts
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It is not necessarily the case that running without strength training is the best way to build the strength required for running.

One of the major reasons for slowing down during long runs (half marathon or longer) is microscopic damage to muscles.

Endurance training increases cortisol (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21944954)

Cortisol promotes muscle damage.

Resistance training increases growth hormone and facilitates strengthening of muscles.

It is therefore plausible that resistance training will not only help build the strength endurance required for racing a marathon but will also allow you to train more effectively.

Last year when I did more long runs in training than ever before in the six months prior to a race, and ran my worst half marathon ever. I had stopped the weight training during those six months. This anecdotal evidence is consistent with the scientific evidence that too many long runs promote cortisol which damages strength endurance and is likley to impair HM or marathon performance.

It is also noteworthy that some multi-marathoners experience deteriorating marathon performance as they increase their tally of marathons. Simply running marathons is probably not the best way to train for a marathon.
May 2014
3:14pm, 28 May 2014
29808 posts
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The ways people respond physiologically to running lots of miles year after year, and the factors that allow some people, and not others, to cope with multiple marathoning, are all fascinating but would be frustratingly difficult to study properly.

And I completely agree that the best way to train for a marathon is not by running marathons if your aim is to be peaked, rested, lean but well-nourished, and in condition to run the fastest marathon that you're capable of running with the raw material that you've had to work with. Multiple marathoning isn't training, though, it's either an endpoint in itself or a symptom of something else that also isn't training.

This thread is a bad influence on me. I'm looking at the curtain rail and wondering if it would bear my weight for hanging curls and pull-ups :-O
May 2014
3:42pm, 28 May 2014
2435 posts
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Ive really gotten into weight training this year (3-4 sessions a week, set by a PT) and drastically reduced my running because I just havent had the time, inclination or motivation topressure myself into races and long runs this year with so many other things going on and I have to say I have grown to love it just as much as running. Im stronger, fitter and when I do run my posture is noticably improved. I think if nothing else that is a benefit worth having (for me anyway :))

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Maintained by Darting

I run marathons and have been buildiing up my milage after a serious shoulder accident. I'm ...

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