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If You Run You Need to Lift Too

You all know that I believe in a well-balanced workout regimen with both cardio and strength training. I must confess that when I am training for an endurance event, I tend to skimp on the strength training and sometimes due to poor or over scheduling (the kids need to get to swim class or we have run out of milk, bread, and eggs all on the same day) I am forced to skip it all together. Professor of Kinesiology William Kraemer, Ph.D., reminds us that this is not a good idea; you need to keep on using the weights!

Running, when done for periods of time over 30 to 45 minutes can actually break down muscle. This happens when the glycogen stores (aka muscle fuel) is depleted and the body looks for other sources of fuel sometimes scavenging muscles for energy. Aside from properly fueling (like sipping a sports drink every 10 to 15 minutes) yourself on long runs and rides, you need to rebuild muscle with strength training. Kraemer suggests 60 minutes to 90 minutes a week, which I find can be hard to fit in. I try to fit in squats and wall sits (during TV commercials) whenever I can as well as focused strength-training workouts even if they are short.


Join The Conversation
erinslick erinslick 9 years
I'm really bad about not doing weights when I'm training for an event. The last half marathon I did, I injured myself and I swear it's because I cut out yoga and weights. Thanks for the validation.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 9 years
i try to balance things out but to lose weight and keep it off i have to do lots of cardio. i do like the weight machines tho.
KathleenxCouture KathleenxCouture 9 years
I love both! I was always active as a teenager. Track and Dance were my passions and thank god for the intensive workouts of each because now I know what my body can handle AND I love doing them!
megnmac megnmac 9 years
Ha, this reminded me of telling a friend once I had an irrational fear of bulking up... and she said that that is rare and 'usually doesn't happen to girls with hips'... and I, in my self image, had never thought of myself as a girl with hips. I am curvy, but not bottom heavy, and it just was hilarious to me that she'd paid more attention to my lower half than me... I vote that yoga counts, when you're doing strength type yoga and exhausting your muscle. I've been thinking about doing more 'buns of steel' 15 min type things to fit into my life better. Or 'minute minna' - which just flies by since I just grab free weights, and do the different strength training actions for a minute at a time (pushups, situps, lunges, biceps, etc)...
julibul julibul 9 years
I bulk up too. Even before I had started strength training for the first time, people would comment that looked really strong and that they wouldn't mess with me. HAHA it was all fat.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
ST is key!!
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
I'm having a really hard time balancing my work outs as well. I run, cycle, and do strength training, but some days I am just so worn out or don't have the energy to run and do strength training on the same day. Like today was a total write off. I tried running intervals and my knee just gave up. But I still try to incorporate strength training at least twice a week.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I used to do only cardio, but since adding strength training to my routine, I have really had better results with my whole routine.
mirawilliams mirawilliams 9 years
I haven't weight trained for about three weeks, just running three times a week. I guess I'm back go it tomorrow!
Colleeninator Colleeninator 9 years
I'm not a huge fan of cardio (but I do it) so my workout is largely strength-training anyways. And by the by, peoples body's don't all respond the same way to the same things. It's ridiculous to try to tell someone that something they do (like weight-training) won't affect them because it doesn't affect you. Some people DO bulk up quickly. (I can leave off working out for months, do curls for a week, and regain some pretty impressive biceps).
Fitness Fitness 9 years
Yes I say yoga does count as strength training; remember though, you have to really work/exhaust the muscle to challenge it if you want to get stronger. Doing multiple vinyasas in class is just like doing push-ups! I do think, it is important that you like what you are going for exercise/strength training. Nothing works me as hard as old fashioned lunges with hand weights.
tiabia tiabia 9 years
Lou Ferrigno much, Martini....ARGH, LMAO...Just kidding, LOL
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
Yea I was a cardio girl but I recently started weight training and its the best thing ever. My body has changes, my legs are toned, my arms too! Its really amazing. You dont have to start with heavy weights but once you get into it you start to enjoy it. I can leg press 260lbs! I couldnt even do 120 a month ago! And no I dont have Hulk-like legs, there pretty slim. lol
tiabia tiabia 9 years
I am actually good with the strength training, I have a trainer I meet with twice a week for a total of 2 hours. I just wonder what will happen when that eventually comes to an end.
scottdavis0676 scottdavis0676 9 years
I learned this lesson the hard way LOL! When I embarked upon my fat loss campaign six months ago, I PRIMARILY ran and dieted to lose the fat. Well I accomplished my goal rather quickly, but it was a Pyrrhic Victory. On one hand the inches fell off, BUT I lost so much strength and muscle along the way that I literarly appeared emacitated when it was all said and done. My metabolism slowed from a dimunition of muscle mass, so I had to pay particular attention to my caloric intake. It was only after I learned HOW to train for my somotype (ecto-mesomorph) that I was able to comfortably lose weight fom that point forward. That included more weight training and less cardio. IF your diet is VERY clean, you don't need gargantuan amounts of cardio. Clean diet+ moderate amounts of cardio+ consistent strength training = success!
duffy duffy 9 years
Ok, honestly, I bulk up. You can say it's a societal misconception, but my pecs will vouch for it. I've always done it. I'm 5'9" and all limbs, but even when I'm not working out people tell me I have "guns." I hate it. So I've done the whole resistance training, but I like yoga more, and I feel like I get a better workout doing yoga. So does yoga count as strength training? Or is it considered something different? And don't get me wrong - I think a strong woman is a good looking woman. But I am already struggling with the body of a 14-year old boy in a 25-year old woman's body.
Tiny-Bubble Tiny-Bubble 9 years
Yes I have the same question about whether yoga can be counted as weight training. Can anybody answer that?
yasume yasume 9 years
I absolutely agree about strength training. I do full body strength training (weights, bands, my own body weight-pushups) at least 2-3 times a week. No bulk on me at all. I am toned, fit and feminine. I wonder when society will move on from that notion that women get bulky from lifting weights. NOt unless you are a female bodybuilder (they have a very specific training regimen including supplements, etc.) which do not apply to the rest of us.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I actually like strength training more than cardio so I don't usually miss it. Duffy, strength training doesn't make you bulky, try using different weights or machines or just body resistance exercises (push ups etc). Women use that excuse a lot to not weight train, but strength training are important!
duffy duffy 9 years
Ok, I have a question. Does yoga count as weight training? I do that three times a week besides run, and I feel like it's balancing things out. I hate lifting because I get bulky too quickly.
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