Weights routine for runner- muscle strength or endurance? Watch

hermitthefrog
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I'm a fairly novice runner, but I've fallen in love with it. I ran my first 10k race in June and am working towards a half marathon next year. I'm determined to get a time under the two hour mark so in august I started lifting to compliment my running. I do heavy, low rep compound movements 2-3x a week targeting my whole body. I also do a weights class 1-2x a week which focuses on low weight, lots of reps. My understanding is that with the first option I am training for strength, the second is muscle endurance. The thing is, doing weights 4-5x a week is taking it out of me and I'm only able to run 3x a week. Next year, I'd like to ideally increase my running to 4-5x and weight train 3x a week.
My question is, what's more important in my training? Strength or endurance? Do I need to do both or could I drop one of them? When I look at professional runners they are well defined, so they must be weight training, but they are skinny as anything, which is not something I'd associate with big, heavy weights.
If anyone could help me out with this I'd be grateful, so far I've not really noticed any improvements in my running as a result of lifting.


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Angry cucumber
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Strength, mo farah for instance squats 1.5 times bw for instance

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tomByrne
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It is generally accepted that there are two different types of muscle fibers. Slow twitch (Type 1) muscle and fast twitch (Type 2) muscle fibre From there, you can further categorize fast twitch muscle fiber into Type 2a and Type 2b.

Type 1 muscle fibres are the ones you'll be interested in, these are predominately used in endurance activities, long distance running, swimming, cycling etc. To target these fibers you want to be hitting high reps 15+

As for definition, that is merely a low body fat percentage meaning you can see the muscle more then you would with someone carrying more fat.
That being said lowering the rep range now and then into hypertrophy or even strength ranges won't hurt, just won't be as effective for your goal.





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Angry cucumber
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No natural lifter should have anything to do with +15reps

It's complete balls and no-one is making gains at that high a rep range
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Pegasus2
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You'll want endurance.

Ignore all this 'gainz' rubbish, they are lifters who are working for size, not even perticularly strength.

For long mid and long distance running you'll want high reps, 3x15/20 for each exercise. Low reps will only serve to give you more strength but also size and with size comes weight which you'll only have to drag around for the distance you're running. Large muscle is fine for a sprint but there is a reason why long distance runners aren't built of muscle.

High reps will give you endurance to cover the distances you're asking. You'll be able to keep a higher pace for longer.
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Schrödingers Cat
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High intensity training all the way
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Angry cucumber
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(Original post by Pegasus2)
You'll want endurance.

Ignore all this 'gainz' rubbish, they are lifters who are working for size, not even perticularly strength.

For long mid and long distance running you'll want high reps, 3x15/20 for each exercise. Low reps will only serve to give you more strength but also size and with size comes weight which you'll only have to drag around for the distance you're running. Large muscle is fine for a sprint but there is a reason why long distance runners aren't built of muscle.

High reps will give you endurance to cover the distances you're asking. You'll be able to keep a higher pace for longer.
What would be the beneficial physiological adaptation acquired from 15/20 reps?

You'll gain no muscle, you'll gain no neurological adaptation, you'll gain no significant glycogen, you'll not strengthen your connective tissue

+ Any athelete worth their salt does strength training to some degree. For the amateur, more miles in the pocket would be the best port of call, followed with strength training which will give you far more in terms of a positive physiological adaptation
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addylad
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(Original post by Pegasus2)
You'll want endurance.

Ignore all this 'gainz' rubbish, they are lifters who are working for size, not even perticularly strength.

For long mid and long distance running you'll want high reps, 3x15/20 for each exercise. Low reps will only serve to give you more strength but also size and with size comes weight which you'll only have to drag around for the distance you're running. Large muscle is fine for a sprint but there is a reason why long distance runners aren't built of muscle.

High reps will give you endurance to cover the distances you're asking. You'll be able to keep a higher pace for longer.
No.
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Hype en Ecosse
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(Original post by Pegasus2)
You'll want endurance.

Ignore all this 'gainz' rubbish, they are lifters who are working for size, not even perticularly strength.

For long mid and long distance running you'll want high reps, 3x15/20 for each exercise. Low reps will only serve to give you more strength but also size and with size comes weight which you'll only have to drag around for the distance you're running. Large muscle is fine for a sprint but there is a reason why long distance runners aren't built of muscle.

High reps will give you endurance to cover the distances you're asking. You'll be able to keep a higher pace for longer.
Strength training is incredibly beneficial for distance running performance. It's key in improving running economy, and its positive effect on distance running performance is well-documented. While strength training isn't of great importance for a novice runner, it certainly won't be counterproductive, and provides greater benefits than endurance resistance training.
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Pegasus2
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(Original post by Hype en Ecosse)
Strength training is incredibly beneficial for distance running performance. It's key in improving running economy, and its positive effect on distance running performance is well-documented. While strength training isn't of great importance for a novice runner, it certainly won't be counterproductive, and provides greater benefits than endurance resistance training.
I wasn't arguing its benefits.

I know of someone who went through a stage of solely focusing on strength training, not for running though. It did her a lot of good and her times came down, setting PB's etc. However, she only set PB's for short segment distances after the start and her total race times remained pretty much the same.

That's great, but being first for a 1/4 of the race is totally worthless if you come last at the finish line.

This is how I was able to beat people who were stronger than me and is a valid tactic to slowly crush your opponents. They simply couldn't sustain their efforts, somthing which is vital for endurance sports such as middle/long distance running.

Now, while that is for a large part cardio and aerobic fitness, you do need the muscular ability to go with it and this is not outright strength. It's not about how much weight you can lift, but how many times you can lift it without fatiguing. So we adjusted our weights so that we would totaly fatigue that muscle group by the 20th repitition.

You want the best power to weight ratio you can field, excess weight in muscle or fat is detrimental.

Now, I'm not a runner or a scientist (not yet anyway) and what applies to one sport doesn't necessarily apply to another, even if they are similar but high reps for endurance is what we did, which changed after a couple of months to low reps/high weight for strength. You can be fairly sure that was the general consensus amoungst the higher end of coaching.
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Nichrome
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(Original post by Pegasus2)
You'll want endurance.

Ignore all this 'gainz' rubbish, they are lifters who are working for size, not even perticularly strength.

For long mid and long distance running you'll want high reps, 3x15/20 for each exercise. Low reps will only serve to give you more strength but also size and with size comes weight which you'll only have to drag around for the distance you're running. Large muscle is fine for a sprint but there is a reason why long distance runners aren't built of muscle.

High reps will give you endurance to cover the distances you're asking. You'll be able to keep a higher pace for longer.
What you're saying doesn't really make sense. It's perfectly possible to build strength using high weight/low reps and not put on size, which is exactly what long distance runners and lightweight rowers do, especially during winter months. This will improve both explosive power (emptying the tank near the end of a race) and improve speed endurance when coupled with some HIIT. I agree with the previous poster doing low weight/high reps doesn't really help all that much, especially when any endurance athlete worth his salt is doing lots of long distance cardio anyway.
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Hype en Ecosse
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(Original post by Pegasus2)
I wasn't arguing its benefits.

I know of someone who went through a stage of solely focusing on strength training, not for running though. It did her a lot of good and her times came down, setting PB's etc. However, she only set PB's for short segment distances after the start and her total race times remained pretty much the same.

That's great, but being first for a 1/4 of the race is totally worthless if you come last at the finish line.

This is how I was able to beat people who were stronger than me and is a valid tactic to slowly crush your opponents. They simply couldn't sustain their efforts, somthing which is vital for endurance sports such as middle/long distance running.
This is a problem with the runner's pacing - the study I linked you to was in young, fit post-novice runners and the performance measure was their 5K time. If you have a look, you can see the huge improvement in performance in strength training + running groups vs the just running group.

Now, while that is for a large part cardio and aerobic fitness, you do need the muscular ability to go with it and this is not outright strength. It's not about how much weight you can lift, but how many times you can lift it without fatiguing. So we adjusted our weights so that we would totaly fatigue that muscle group by the 20th repitition.

You want the best power to weight ratio you can field, excess weight in muscle or fat is detrimental.

Now, I'm not a runner or a scientist (not yet anyway) and what applies to one sport doesn't necessarily apply to another, even if they are similar but high reps for endurance is what we did, which changed after a couple of months to low reps/high weight for strength. You can be fairly sure that was the general consensus amoungst the higher end of coaching.
Yep, I totally agree with you, muscular endurance is a important. However, long distance aerobic training adequately addresses this - there's no need for additional resistance training to target this.

Power:weight ratio isn't very important for distance running (it's not a power-based sport), but you're totally right that excess weight is detrimental. Lucky for us, strength training doesn't lead to runners gaining a bunch of dead weight (see AC's example of Mo Farah's RT regime), but let's be honest, are we that worried about dead weight for a novice runner? The possible risk of that pales in comparison to the benefits.

(Original post by Angry cucumber)
What would be the beneficial physiological adaptation acquired from 15/20 reps?

You'll gain no muscle, you'll gain no neurological adaptation, you'll gain no significant glycogen, you'll not strengthen your connective tissue

+ Any athelete worth their salt does strength training to some degree. For the amateur, more miles in the pocket would be the best port of call, followed with strength training which will give you far more in terms of a positive physiological adaptation
Well that's just flat out not true. It's just inferior.
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Angry cucumber
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(Original post by Hype en Ecosse)

Well that's just flat out not true. It's just inferior.
Ain't no-one getting significant adaptation off 20 rep sets without some sweets

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silent ninja
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(Original post by Pegasus2)
I wasn't arguing its benefits.

I know of someone who went through a stage of solely focusing on strength training, not for running though. It did her a lot of good and her times came down, setting PB's etc. However, she only set PB's for short segment distances after the start and her total race times remained pretty much the same.

That's great, but being first for a 1/4 of the race is totally worthless if you come last at the finish line.

This is how I was able to beat people who were stronger than me and is a valid tactic to slowly crush your opponents. They simply couldn't sustain their efforts, somthing which is vital for endurance sports such as middle/long distance running.

Now, while that is for a large part cardio and aerobic fitness, you do need the muscular ability to go with it and this is not outright strength. It's not about how much weight you can lift, but how many times you can lift it without fatiguing. So we adjusted our weights so that we would totaly fatigue that muscle group by the 20th repitition.

You want the best power to weight ratio you can field, excess weight in muscle or fat is detrimental.

Now, I'm not a runner or a scientist (not yet anyway) and what applies to one sport doesn't necessarily apply to another, even if they are similar but high reps for endurance is what we did, which changed after a couple of months to low reps/high weight for strength. You can be fairly sure that was the general consensus amoungst the higher end of coaching.
Just no. You hold some very outdated and old fashioned beliefs and the anecdotal evidence is unhelpful at best.
Your friend simply gassed out because she lacked the aerobic capacity. This has little to do with her lifting weights.

In general, you practice 'strength' then you practice your skill to apply this strength. This is a loose way of putting things. In the case of a runner, he/she is doing plenty of aerobic activity and hence practising the skill already. Now, getting the same runner at the same bodyweight stronger will absolutely improve their speed. Why? Because once their strength increases, they will be able to output the same level of work with less effort - or they'll be able to do more work at a similar level of effort as before i.e. run faster. They will not gain huge legs if they continue to monitor calories and not gain body mass. It is not possible for a lean person to gain muscle size if they consume a calorie maintenance.

Heavy double and triple rep squats will work nicely for a runner. I will partially agree on one point though. Unless you have decent programming the recovery from strength training will interfere with your running. This needs a bit of foresight to programme correctly, and it's no wonder why professional athletes have world leading coaches at their disposal to design such routines. For a reacreational runner, just go by feel.
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