T Nation

Distance Running

I was formerly a serious distance runner (mainly 10K’s) and laid off for a couple of years during which time I started lifting weights seriously and using supplements (mainly Biotest). My muscular gains have been more than I ever expected. I am getting back to serious running now, and understand the “issues” I may be facing in terms of bodybuilding muscle loss as a serious runner. I would appreciate any advice or successful approaches from anyone who has been able to maintain a good amount of mass and physique definition while in a serious running program (training, diet, supplements, etc). Thanks!

30 grams of protien before you run will raise nitrogen levels and keeps body from breaking down tissue…branch chainamino acids and l-glutamine may also be added before and after running…

You could try the “Never ending cycle” to preserve muscle.

It really depends on what you mean by “serious” runner. My personal experience is when I start breaking 40 in the 10K The weights and weight go out the window. Around 36 and your back at a runners physique. You could try concentrating on the 5K and do 5 milers as your OCCASIONAL long race. 5 K training volume isn’t anywhere near as intense as the distances over 5K (this fact is of course debatable and if you feel like debating it I’m sure you could stop on over at the coolrunning discussion board). You’ll probably have to learn to be comfortable middle of the pack to accomodate the less days and miles run to preseve your precious muscle. Just my 2 cents.

Replying to minilifter, and adding an observation: “serious” in my case means about 36 min for 10K’s right now, and should be at 33 or less by fall. HERE’S THE BIG QUESTION: One of the inconsistencies I’ve noticed in the T-articles on this site is a description of a runner’s physique as being relatively poor (looking) from a muscular perspective. You (minilifter) even made the comment that once you’re under 40 minutes the weight training goes out the window. One article in fact, (I looked it up today but didn’t record the exact reference) disparages runner’s physiques as almost completely lacking what we’re after in the T-world. It even suggested that running causes the buttocks to sag! The glaring problem with all of this of course, sticking with 10K’s for example, is that it just isn’t true when you look at the guys running our kind of times or better. These guys, although they have obviously given up something on the mass front, are almost always chiseled/ripped, and look a hell of a lot more like T-men than probably half of the guys on this site who are carrying a lot more mass. This gets us to the old trade-off between lean vs larger, etc., and that’s an individual choice, but the point is that these guys who choose lean, and run, don’t seem to be losing that much muscular “impressiveness” through running lots of miles with intensity. Thoughts?

don’t become a seriuos distance runner,distance running is bad,try becoming serious at sprinting or running shorter distances,maybe 400 meter,800 meter,maybe even the mile

I am not really a runner, but due the requirements of the military, I learned to run (Sub 5 minute miles in combat boots, ten minutes for the two mile run, etc.) How, I kept the mass was to cycle running just like you cycle weights. Interval Training Programs, Long Slow Distance Programs, etc. The cycle when like this: Interval Program/Maintenance Weights, LSD/Fat Loss, Maintenance running (Day One: Two miles of timed runs, Day Two: Unit Run 5 miles at 9 minute miles, Day Three: Weekend 10 miler)/Muscle gaining cycle. Best of Luck.

I have to agree that what a bodybuilder calls “runners physique” is not what you see in the real running world. That being said I find it very hard to keep mass training “like a runner” I agree that runners are very chiseled and most people would die for cuts like that. I’ve never been huge (hence the handle) but at 6 foot with a runners skeleton (endomorph ectomorph never really paid attention to which is which) I can’t carry 185 and decent running times, it seems TO ME that that much running sucks the mass out of my quads and chest/shoulders. I’ve resigned to be happy with the races that are closer to sprints (5K)and running 4X a week.