I ran a half marathon this past weekend, and (after much pondering), found a nice way to keep up the lifting while doing well on the half marathon. I’ll share here.
I chose the Limited Time templates from the Forever book, but kept DL and squats at lower TM’s and did not push any PRs for these lifts. I did push the upper body pressing throughout. I would do 1-2 days of bodyweight training as my “assistance”, favoring dips, rows, and ab wheel rollouts.
My programmed running was also only 2 days a week, with a mid week run of 5-6 miles and a progressively longer weekend run up to 12 miles before tapering when I was two weeks out from the race. I played soccer 1-2 times a week as my other conditioning. Note also: my running was very submaximal, and I only ran 2 hard runs where I pushed it to stay under 8 min miles for a 5 mile run. The others were focused, but more on “get the miles in” and not treated at all like a competition.
The results were somewhat unexpected, in a good way. For my lifting, I broke a PR on bench with 225 lbs x 11 reps. This was with about 10 days before the race. I was shocked, because I assumed lifting only twice a week and pushing conditioning would not be conducive to setting PRs on a lift, but I did.
For the race: I completed the 13.1 miles in 1:43:25 (one hour, forty three minutes, 25 seconds), which was a 7:54 minute/mile pace. This was far faster than any of my training, and I beat my goal time.
My takeaways: I was very happy that, in the 45-49 age group, I beat my half marathon times from 20 years early. Also, my bench press from any time in my life. I really like the 2 days a week barbell lifting, as I always felt fresh and strong and motivated for each workout. It really suited me well to train like that. Also, the 531 mentality of submaximal work done consistently and progressively translated well to endurance training, which was unexpected.
Anyway, I think these 531 templates like Limited Time (and also the Dan John 2 days a week) are great for anyone looking to push other training or competition goals. Not only did I not get weaker from less frequent barbell lifting, but I actually got stronger and felt better and more explosive on training days.