Weight Lifting and Running

Ok so heres the craic, I used to be a runner and triathlete, but stopped to take on rugby as a result ive been in the gym for a long time now and enjoy putting on size, i recently joined a job that is based around running, subseqently i have got involved with running again and have started doing some 5k and 10k races and the bug and desire for running is back.

Now the dilema is i want to keep running and beating PB's BUT dont want to give the gym up and definatly dont want to loose any size....

 Any ideas???


  • Carrying a lot of muscle will limit your running - end of story.  

  • Stick to sprinting ?  

    I would guess if 10K is the maximum distance you run, then you may be ok,  but obviously it isn't an ideal combination.  depending on how much bulk you are carrying.

    There comes a point where your goals will diverge.  Particularly as your PBs come down. 

    Carrying an extra stone in weight is probably 90 seconds in time over 5k  

    I do one weight session per week and around 30 miles running,  and so far my PBs are coming down, (but then so is my weight...)  

  • Muscle is heavier than fat

    Mr J - I am disappointed to hear that an old fart like you can make such a basic schoolboy error............

    muscle and fat weight the same - a kg of muscle weighs the same as a kg of fat

    it's the density that's different

    anyway - JR - what the others say......
  • Jamie, you could stick to weights for your legs and core muscles - supposed to help quite a bit for distances up to 10k and the added strengths reduces the chance of injury

  • I've often wondered about this - if you look at a sprinter like Dwayne Chambers, he has a lot of muscle, and presumably knows what he's doing, so there has to be a point where having upper body muscle is advantageous. At what distance does having muscle start to become a disadvantage?
  • Eat a lot.
  • Middle distance running - It isn't just a disadvantage to have excess muscle, it's hard to compete on the running side and still gain muscle and not actually lose it.  During my marathon training I only get time for two weights sessions a week, both full bodies, and the aim is just to maintain muscle as much as I can, but with running in excess of 150 miles a month, it's difficult to do. 

    I think the odd 5k race isn't going to worry you, but if you're looking to train seriously for regular 10k runs AND build muscle, you'll have an effort doing it.

  • Benjo - just from looking at body shapes you would probably conclude somewhere between 400 metres and 800 metres.

    Dwayne, like Ben Johnson are probably bad examples of overly muscled sprinters due to the steroid/self love thing. 

     The difference in body type between say Michael Johnson and Ovett, Coe or Cram I reckon is a good guide to where an over developed upper body becomes a burden

  • Seb Coe at his best weighed 120lbs and was 5'8".

    Therefore, it would be a disadvantage doing 800m to be too heavy.
  • At what distance does having muscle start to become a disadvantage?

    looking at your average rugby team - at about 5m........when the jessies from the backs go flying past the props.....


  • I had the same dilemma this summer. I had spent a lot of effort in gaining over a stone in muscle mass but had caught the running bug. I decided to do what I enjoyed the most which is running. I still do weights but it's more specific to improve my running than gain mass. I wish I could run as fast and as far as I do now and still be able to lift as much as I did but it's simply not possible. It will get to a certain point where you will either retain mass and not improve much or lose mass and get faster.
  • Thanks for all your responses..... i suppose ill just have to make the decision to run it or gym it! image
  • Keep the size Jamie....I'll wave to you as I pass by!

    PS. Did the weights make your penis bigger........shame!

  • Ive always been blessed with an absolute trojan, ill trip you up with it as you wave passing me by!
  •  recently joined a job that is based around running,  taken up rugby????


    ........when the jessies from the backs go flying past the props.....

    Says the front row beautyimage

    Are you broad in the shoulder naturaly? Yes pump up on dips and arm rows. Skinny shoulders......your fecked, give up rugby and go back to triimage


  • "Ive always been blessed with an absolute trojan, ill trip you up with it as you wave passing me by!"

    image    image   very good Jamie!

  • image
  • There is no reason why running has to result in a loss of muscle mass.

     I used to be into weight training and since I have got into running I have been trying to lose a bit of bulk to help improve my speed a bit.  I've managed to shed about 2kg but I'm still carrying about 10kg too much muscle to be an ideal runners build.  It all comes down to genetics and what you eat (calories in compared to calories burned)

    Muscle doesn't make you run fast - that's a common mistake from looking at sprinters.  All the muscle is for is helping them accelerate as quickly as possible.  Acceleration isn't so important above 400m hence skinny middle distance runners.

    I've found that my build (and by the sound of it yours too) makes me more suited to marathon running than shorter races like 5k or 10k.  The reason for this is that muscle stores glycogen and so we can keep going like the proverbial duracel bunny.  You'll notice that ultra runners tend to be a bit more bulky.  This effect means that my marathon pace is only marginally slower than my 1/2 marathon pace

  • Now then Jamie, its an interesting debate you started!

    I love the gym and lifting big weights but I also love running, mountain biking and playing a variety of sports. I think you should just do what you enjoy. Life is for living and if you enjoy running do it. You can still go to the gym and pump the weights.

    I think it is good to do a variety of sports. It is best to have all round general fitness rather than just concentrating on one thing in my opinion. You will also build a good sporty looking physique which is what I strive for. 

    I laugh to myself in the gym when I see the big guys benching 100k, I think come out for a run with me now and you wouldn't make it out of the car park!

    I currently run 20-25 miles a week and do full body work outs in the gym three times a week. And I reckon I'm in good shape - the missus will back me up! Doing a marathon next year as well and will pretty much stick to the same regime.

    Just make sure you eat loads and rest up. Also listen to your body as well. If you need an extra rest day take one.

    So my advice is dust them running shoes down and get on the open road as well as in the gym - cant beat it!




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