Should I be lifting?

I'm scheduled to run the Berlin marathon in September. Ran Amsterdam last year and wasn't prepared- longest training run was 16 miles, only did a handful longer than 12 and ended up spraining my achilles couple weeks before the race. The achilles wasn't bad the 1st 13m of the marathon, but was a killer over the last 13; ended up running 3:45 with a massively slower 2nd half. Saw a physio a few times after the run who thought the achilles injury was likely a result of weak hamstrings/ glutes (resulting in overloading my calves).

I've vowed to be prepared this year, and to resolve the hamstring/glute weakness, I've been doing a lot of lifting since January designed to activate my hamstring/glutes- squats, deadlifts, etc. Went for my first 10 miler since the Amsterdam marathon yesterday, and felt really strong on miles 7-10, which I think is largely down to the lifting, once I got the rhythm.

The question I have is when I start my marathon training regimen in June, should I keep up the lifting, or should I give it up so as to let my body recover from the running? My training plan calls for 6 days running/week, maxing out at about 50-55 miles. Should I add a lifting session as well? Or maybe replace a running session with a lifting session? Any thoughts would be appreciated.


  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    I wouldn't replace one with the other because they're designed to do very different things.  I got into the habit of twice weekly core/strength exercises whilst nursing a running injury, and when I got back to running I found that building it up gradually I could add it to the strength sessions.  So I would definitely try to keep them going through marathon training.  If you stopped doing strength work, I would guess that over a few weeks you'd begin to lose the benefits - maybe think about dropping some sessions as you get towards taper period (which is what I'm doing at the moment), to aid recovery and recoup your energy, but up till then keep try and keep it going.

  • I have kept up strengthening with weights as part of recovering from injury last September. I've kept it going through marathon training, and when things have got a bit busy running wise, I include it on an easy running/cross training day - 2 - 3 times per week.   Still have some sodding niggles from the injury, but I think the strengthening has helped keep on top of things this time (so far ... touch wood ...)

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