T Nation

Distance Runners?


Are any fellow t-men distance runners AND strength enthusiasts? My two loves are distance running and olympic weightlifting. I am currently shooting for two goals:

1) 5 miles in less than 35 minutes

2) A bodyweight Snatch

I am 6'5'', 220lbs and 21 years of age. My current bests are 5 miles in 40 minutes and 175lb power Snatch. I know that running and o-lifting are antithetical, but I love both of them and don't want to give one up for the sake of the other.

Any advice out there in terms of my training or diet? I know that I should probably drop maybe 10lbs, but I don't want to sacrafice strength for speed.

My current split looks something like this:

AM)Snatch Grip Deads- 3x5 (sets, reps)
Chins 3x6
Face Pulls 3x15
PM)Power Snatches- 1x5, 1x3, 1x1
Upright Rows 3x8
BO Rows 3x8
Good Mornings 3x15 (prehab)

PM) 5 miles moderate pace

Front Squat 2x5, 1x1(heavy)
DB Military 3x6
GHR 3x8

PM) 5 miles moderate pace

Hang Clean 3x5
Bench 3x5
Pullthroughs 3x12

Snow boarding or hiking.

3 mile Fartlek

What do you guys think? Any advice or perhaps training pitfalls you've encountered while training for both endurance and maximal strength?



No advice, just, awesome and keep it up!


Good luck.

I have been a miler/two-miler/x-country guy as a high schooler, and I am an olympic weightlifter 2.5 kilos away from a bodyweight snatch right now, but I can't even begin to imagine trying to train for a five-mile run and a bodyweight snatch at the same time.

I mean the 'good luck,' seriously, not sarcastically; if your heart is really, really, REALLY set on this, then go for it.

It IS possible to train shorter distance running and oly lifting at the same time. Once, over the period of a couple months when I was getting into oly lifting, I made good progress in my squat and comp lifts and ran a 5:00 mile as well. But the way that I did this was to NEVER RUN MORE THAN 200 METERS AT A STRETCH during the training. I did what Charlie Francis calls 'Tempo'--easy sprint 100m, walk 100m, easy sprint 100m, walk 100m, easy sprint 200m, walk 100m, etc... for a total of 600-800m a day, 2-4 days a week as a warm-up to olys. I got my endurance for the mile from doing CrossFit circuits and CrossFit-like circuits of 5-15 mintues in length. I picked the heaveir circuits--the 30 reps of 135-pound C+J for time, circuits of lighty back squats and weighted chins and dips without rest. I stepped on the track after a couple months and pounded off 5:00 even without much difficulty. If I did anything different to train for this again, I think it would just be to add some harder calf conditioning (do hill sprints or sand sprints sometimes instead of flat-field grass sprints); my calves were the only thing holding me back at all.

You might be able to some longer sprints, but why do your comp distance over and over again? It's not, IMHO the best way to increase distance ability even if your DON'T have oly lifting strength and speed to preserve.

This is just an account of what worked for me up to a point; I'm not sure that it'll work for you, but it might be food for thought.


I enjoy both lifting weights full body Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and running 3 days a week. I have been running since I was about 15. and did 3 years of cross country in High School. I am about to graduate, and years of combining weights and running in varying degrees have taught me a couple things. First of all, it is very hard for me to maintain lean body mass when I am running 15-20 miles a week, and during cross country season I often skipped workouts due to exhaustion. While my lifts such as the Squat and Deadlift and Bench Press have progressed steadily with the occasional plateau since I started training, I don't think that endurance training really hampered my strength gains in any way, and although I didn't do as much lower body work, my legs retained most of their power by season's end. Taking a few months off from running was also an important experience, as I was expending fewer calories that could be used for muscle growth, and I gained 30 pounds in 6 months. I have resumed running, although I focus more on distances like the mile, and 800 meters, my times being around 5:45 and 1:40 respectively. My current maxes for bench, squat and deadlift are
210, 385, and 405.
Nice to see someone on the boards not too scared of cardiovascular activity, and I wish you well in your pursuits.


I would advise you to run a bit more. For you to reach your goal of 35 min for 5 miles and by looking at your current best, you need to run more than 5 miles some days.

For the snatch, I've never done snatches, but I've done just about every other lift in the book. My bests are (not all at the same time):

Bench - 215
Squats - 315 for 8 reps
Deads - 320 for 7 reps

I'm "mainly" a mid-distance runner, but I run up to 8k (5 miles). My bests for running are:

50.1 400 m
1:56 800 m
4:22 mile
16:20 5k
28:53 cross country 8k

I'd say to maximize both running and lifting at the same time, maybe throw in some cycling or another form of cross training. But right now, you're running is pretty low to get that type of improvement for 5 miles.

Additionally, not sure what part of CO you live in, but maybe you're at altitude, so you might want to consider the conversion.


Dude, you're too damn big to be a runner!!

If you like endurance sports so much you've got the perfect build to be a rower.

But then again, I'm biased.


5 miles at 7:00 pace is certainly possible (provided you aren't a terribly untalented runner) but I think you definitely need to run more. 10 miles/week isn't going to get you anwywhere.


Thanks for the help and encouragement, as this is something that I can't wait to get under my belt.

belligerent- I actually do 13 miles a week, but the theme it seems is that I need to increase my running volume if I want to see more improvement.

OARSMAN- Ive been told that I would be a good rower before, but alas, CO isn't the best place to get into it.

itsthetimman- I am at about 6500ft above sea level. What do you mean by conversion?

The reason why I want to do this is because I believe in a more 'overall' sense of fitness. I want to be strong and able to run fast and far.

So I think I may add a morning of running to one of my lifting days, and throw in a 30 minute cycling session when I'm feeling saucy...

Any other help or tips would be greatly appreciated.


One of the single biggest improvements I ever saw in my running was adding a long run in once a week.

It's not the best idea for your weightlifting goals, but a 8-10 miler will probably do wonders for your 5 mile time.

I used to be able to run ~6 30's for a 5 mile, and I was doing about 25 miles a week, on average.

I think you can do it with less, but you'll need some tempo work like mile repeats at slightly faster than goal pace, and the long run will help a ton.

I don't really have anything helpful to say about the snatch other than that's currently my goal as well.


Please tell me there is a typo in there.
Your mile is 5:45 which is what decent high schoolers split for 5k's, and your 800 is a second faster than Kipketer's world record.

If you meant 2:40, I apologize, as those with your lifts are pretty good.


If you are at a reasonable amount of alititude, then it's more difficult to get oxygen, thus, they have created conversions for races. I'm not sure on the elevation, but I know guys from Univ of CO can run a time at Air Force and their times are "lowered" when attempting to qualify for meets.


I ran until last May when i started bulking,and i could run 2.5 miles in 12/15 minutes on a good/bad day.I lifted one day and ran the next mon-fri,sometimes saturday but I always gave myself 1 full day off.I wasnt doing anything near the weight I use now,but I am trying to get back into it.

I always started by skipping across a big parking lot that was next to my house,then I'd jog the 2.5 miles---come home and eat---rest an hour---go outside and do layups/sprints for 1.5-2.5 hours

Since your a runner I don't have to tell you not to run when it feels weird to.

I would concentrate on running and only wokring the muscles you need for your snatch(upper back,shoulders,tri's,delts)and once u get it build everything else up to match


If the snatch was an upper-body lift, this would indeed be easy. What makes it slightly more problematic (though certainly NOT unattainable) is that muscles used in the snatch include the whole of the back and most especially the muscles of the legs also used in running.


haha,it seems I got the snatch and upright roll confuzzled.Well,working legs with distance running(quick running at that)is gonna make you cry...I offer you my handkerchief