I am 5 weeks in to a 16 week training program for a marathon and I really want to drop about 10 lbs so I can put less strain on my joints. So far I have just gained weight, but I know it is muscle because my body fat keeps dropping. I don't want to cut back my calories (I like my food) and I obviously am already running 20+ miles a week. I was thinking that lifting would be the best way to encourage my body to get a little leaner but I don't know much about it.
I run T,W,Th,S,S and I was thinking I could lift M,W,F. I am nervous about lifting on a day that I am also running, canI lift on a running day? If I do should I avoid my legs? How much lifting should I do? Any suggestions on where I can find a good lifting program? Thanks!
Cross training is an excellent way to balance out your fitness program. I do a cardio circuit workout with free weights several times a week in addition to my running workouts. I usually go for a short run of about 4 to 5 miles and then do a full hour of aerobic lifting. I wouldn't recommend lifting weights on the day of your long run. Also, make sure you still leave in a day for rest and recovery. Don't give up that day to lift weights as your body needs that time to recover. You may want to start out with just twice a week and see how your body responds. There are alot of aerobic workouts with free weights on the market. I have had success recently with Jillian Michaels DVD's. Another series that gave me good results in the past are the firm workouts. They pretty much all use free weights, ankle weights and a step. Good luck.
I run 4 days and lift the other 3. I find they complement each other very well. If I don't lift, my upper body gets quite tired on long runs. So I feel its helping. Many begining runners find they gain weight as they increase musculature. Muscle weighs more than fat. I used a Tanita weight scale and body fat estimator to manage losing 35 lbs and going from 25% body fat to 13% body fat.
I don't recommend lifting and running on the same day. If you do, do the run first. You don't want muscles tired from lifting to provide inadequate structural support while you're running. This will predispose you to injury.
Also, with respect to your quads and calves: running also taxes them. If you work them on running days, working them on weight days may not be appropriate. Depending on your fitness, how hilly your runs are, running and working them with weights may be too much. You might have to forgo exercises such as squats, lunges, and calf raises.
I struggled with the exact same problem with my first marathon last October. I was 175 with around 10% bodyfat. I was part of my school's football program, but before that I had been lifting heavy for two years. I didn't want to give that up, but at the same time, running had become an integral part of my life. What I found, was that I could still run any normal training routine while still keeping and gaining some muscle. The problem I initially ran into was that whatever came first, my run or my trip to the gym, the latter suffered severely. While, what I did, might be excessive, lifting and running and football practice all in one day, I found that as long as I got enough sleep and enough calories I survived very well. I ended up meeting my marathon goal and kept my starting spot of the football team as well.
The important part is knowing your body, and eat a lot.
Just what worked for me.
Weight training is an exellent addition to running and all of you have given great advice. BUT, don't forget your core. Core strengthening will help your running and help keep you strong and tall on your long runs and during the race.
I too lifted during my marathon training and I agree with the advice everyone has given especially paying attention to the core. I would also suggest to not do any heavy lifting for the legs, especially if you are lifting after a run. If you think about it your legs are already being worked enough so you may end up hurting yourself if you push it to hard. So definitely focus on that upper body and core and watch your running improve. Good luck on your marathon!
Finally got onto the new website. I was unnable to get on since the new design. I too am lifting prior to a 1/2 marathon. I will let you know how things go.
How much milage are you putting in? If 20+ means 20-30 miles a week than you should up that; if it means 50-70 or more than you are correct that you need to find another way to become leaner (though I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be gaining weight if this is the case). I recommend a regular routine of strength training that involves more natural resistance rather than weights. Exercises like pull-ups, push-ups, dips, crunches, etc. can be done in high volume sets and seem less likely to cause the types of strains that could really put a stopper in your marathon training.
Thanks for all the great advice! Since my job has a gym on campus I think I am going to start lifting MWF and focus on my upper body more than my lower body. I am only running 20-35 miles a week so this should be the training that my body needs. Any suggestions on free wights over machines? I always heard resistance training and free weights were better than machines.
The advantages of training with free weights are the following: allows dynamic movements, allows the user to develop control of the weights, truer to real-life situations, strength transfers to daily activities, The advantages of machines are: safe and convenient, doesn't require a spotter,provides variable resistance, makes it easy to move to one exercise to the next, allows easy isolation of muscles and muscle groups and many machines support the back.
I personally do a combination of both, back and chest I use the machines, biceps, triceps, shoulders-weights, back and abs- stability ball and machines, squats and lunges-weights(I only lift legs after the running season is over)
Short answer: Lower body lifting won't do squat (pun intended) for your marathon at this late stage, but upper-body weights might help a bit. To take off weight, though, there's no getting around the need to avoid starchy carbs (bread, potatoes, rice), simple sugars, and too much saturated fat. Best diet book for runners I've ever found is Joel Fuhrman, MD's Eat to Live (www.drfuhrman.com). It's documented with mainline, reputable scientific studies. Briefly, the weight will really pour off if you emphasize high-nutrient-density, high-bulk foods. That spells salad and fruit. Worked for me: I lost 30 lbs while running 40 mpw including 3.5-hour runs on weekends. Use dates, raisins, figs for carb instead of spuds, et al. Felt great even as the weight evaporated. Fuhrman uses hard science to disprove the myth that weight loss of more than 2 lbs/week is "unhealthy." Highly recommend that you read the book. (Standard disclaimer: I have no financial interest in Fuhrman's company or products.)
The whole dang book's now onine
I think your biggest goal for the next month should be to up your milage. If you really want to utilize the gym consider hitting an elliptical machine as a way to cross-train; it's an excellent way to work your legs (and a little upper body) without stressing your knees, ankles, hips, etc. If weight loss is still a goal then you should work on increasing your metabolism: read this article:
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