T Nation

How Much Running Is Too Much?

I’ve been lifting weights for 4 years, but haven’t done much aerobic exercise (maybe 10 mins after my regular workout). I’m happy with the goals I’ve achieved so far.

I have some friends that want to do a relay marathon at the end of the year, where we each run 5 miles. Our target is to do the 5 miles in 40 minutes.

My question is: would participating in this sabotage my goals? I don’t want to cut back on my weight lifting, so if I start running 30-45 mins 3x week on top of my regular workouts, will my muscles catabolize?

Based on your profile you seem to have a runners build. Unless you are really trying to bulk I think you could run without setting yourself back.

Make sure you eat enough.

Most of the big guys are against running because they are not good at it and it hurts their joints.

Aerobic exercise makes you live longer.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Based on your profile you seem to have a runners build. Unless you are really trying to bulk I think you could run without setting yourself back.[/quote]

True.

False.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:

Most of the big guys are against running because they are not good at it and it hurts their joints.

False.
[/quote]

What is false?

Big guys are not good at distance running?

Distance running hurts big guys joints?

Please enlighten me with your wisdom.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Please enlighten me with your wisdom.
[/quote]

You wrote: “Most of the big guys are against running because they are not good at it and it hurts their joints.”

Big guys don’t run because running doesn’t help big guys stay big and strong.

I sprint on a treadmill for a few minutes after each workout. There’s no way I could long distance run after squats or deadlifts.

I do 20 minutes after working out on the stair master. Doesnt hurt my joints as much as the treadmill.

[quote]SkinnySwimmer wrote:
Aerobic exercise makes you live longer. [/quote]

Sure, just like Jim Fixx.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:

Most of the big guys are against running because they are not good at it and it hurts their joints.

[/quote]

Yes, big guys are generally not good at running and usually it hurts their joints. But, most big guys don’t run because they don’t want to look like a runner or perform like a runner. If you want to look or perform like a bodybuilder, train like one. If you want to look or perform like a powerlifter, train like one. If you want to look like or perform like a sprinter, then train like one.

I do not want to look like or perform athletically like a runner, therefore I do not run.

To the original poster, if your goal is to be that type of athlete, fine more power to you. You won’t get any crap from me.

On a side note, running athletics should be divided into weight classes just the same as strength athletics are. As a general rule, the strongest guy in the heavyweight class will out lift the strongest guy in a lighter weight class. Extra mass is an advantage.

In running it is the opposite. The smaller guy is generally going to be a better runner. Having less mass is an advantage.

[quote]SkinnySwimmer wrote:
Aerobic exercise makes you live longer. [/quote]

Longer than sitting on the couch? Yes.

Longer than lifting and doing higher intensity exercise? Doubtful.

Humans were not designed to run long distances. If we were, we would look like other animals that run long distances.

As Poliquin said, “We’re made to throw a rock at the rabbit, not chase it”.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Please enlighten me with your wisdom.

You wrote: “Most of the big guys are against running because they are not good at it and it hurts their joints.”

Big guys don’t run because running doesn’t help big guys stay big and strong. [/quote]

Lots of things don’t help you to stay big nor strong… that’s not his point.

If you weigh 260lbs, running causes significantly more impact on your joints and more potential damage; the bigger you are, the worse it is. Also you’re doing much more work to run the same distance than someone who weighs 160lbs.

As for staying big and strong. You can run and still be big and strong (as long as you’re intaking enough calories)… “running” doesn’t mean marathons or crazy distances.

If you’re an athlete, depending on your sport, you might want to have good cardio vascular fitness.

[quote]Nothingface wrote:
SkinnySwimmer wrote:
Aerobic exercise makes you live longer.

Longer than sitting on the couch? Yes.

Longer than lifting and doing higher intensity exercise? Doubtful.

Humans were not designed to run long distances. If we were, we would look like other animals that run long distances.

As Poliquin said, “We’re made to throw a rock at the rabbit, not chase it”.
[/quote]

Yeah, but you’d sprint after a rabbit, nnot try to out-last it in a marathon (seriously have you ever tried to catch a rabbit? They’re freaking fast)… so by extension is Poliquin suggesting that humans weren’t designed to run at all?

And the poster is right aerobic exercise does help you to live longer (unless you have a heart condition). However, you can get plenty of aerobic excerise from lifting (do a set of 10 snatches and tell me that your heart doesn’t get pumping).

[quote]jjoseph_x wrote:
As for staying big and strong. You can run and still be big and strong (as long as you’re intaking enough calories)… “running” doesn’t mean marathons or crazy distances.[/quote]

Did you read the initial post for some CONTEXT? Here is what was written: “I have some friends that want to do a relay marathon at the end of the year, where we each run 5 miles.” That is a lot of running.

[quote]If you’re an athlete, depending on your sport, you might want to have good cardio vascular fitness.
[/quote]

And long running is good for what sport - other than running?

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Please enlighten me with your wisdom.

You wrote: “Most of the big guys are against running because they are not good at it and it hurts their joints.”

Big guys don’t run because running doesn’t help big guys stay big and strong. [/quote]

Heh. I actually think you are both right on this one.

[quote]jjoseph_x wrote:
Nothingface wrote:
SkinnySwimmer wrote:
Aerobic exercise makes you live longer.

Longer than sitting on the couch? Yes.

Longer than lifting and doing higher intensity exercise? Doubtful.

Humans were not designed to run long distances. If we were, we would look like other animals that run long distances.

As Poliquin said, “We’re made to throw a rock at the rabbit, not chase it”.

Yeah, but you’d sprint after a rabbit, nnot try to out-last it in a marathon (seriously have you ever tried to catch a rabbit? They’re freaking fast)… so by extension is Poliquin suggesting that humans weren’t designed to run at all?

And the poster is right aerobic exercise does help you to live longer (unless you have a heart condition). However, you can get plenty of aerobic excerise from lifting (do a set of 10 snatches and tell me that your heart doesn’t get pumping).
[/quote]

I should have been more clear about what I was calling running. I am all for running for shorter distances. Again, train athletes that you want to look like or perform like. Top sprinters have physiques most of us would like to have. They generally don’t run long distances. They sprint and lift heavy. You can’t tell me that a marathon runner is healthier by default than a sprinter. Plus, you’re right, you can get aerobic work doing other things than just long distance running.

The bottom line is, long distance running makes your body want to become more efficient at running long distances and nothing else. Therefore, you feels it must lose weight. The first thing that goes is significant muscle mass. The body wants to hold onto that bodyfat no matter what.

Which one of these pictures would be closer to your ideal physique? (I know there are other factors, such as genetics, drug use, nutrition, etc). But training is also a factor. If the skinny guys want to run really far, then they have built the physique to do it. If they want to run fast, tackle a running back, check someone through the glass, jump high, knock someone out, lift heavy things, attract the hottest women, etc,etc,etc, then they might want to start training like the guy in the next picture.

The second picture I was referring to didn’t post. Here it is.

[quote]Nothingface wrote:

On a side note, running athletics should be divided into weight classes just the same as strength athletics are.

In running it is the opposite. The smaller guy is generally going to be a better runner. Having less mass is an advantage.[/quote]

Not a good idea.

Having weight classes for running is like having weight classes for swimming.

Completely useless and stupid. It’s either you are the fastest or not, who cares how much you weigh.

[quote]HJLau75 wrote:
Nothingface wrote:

On a side note, running athletics should be divided into weight classes just the same as strength athletics are.

In running it is the opposite. The smaller guy is generally going to be a better runner. Having less mass is an advantage.

Not a good idea.

Having weight classes for running is like having weight classes for swimming.

Completely useless and stupid. It’s either you are the fastest or not, who cares how much you weigh.[/quote]

You could say the same thing about weightlifting and powerlifting. Either you’re strong or you’re not. So why do they have weight divisions?

[quote]Nothingface wrote:
As Poliquin said, “We’re made to throw a rock at the rabbit, not chase it”.
[/quote]
We’re made to sit, make snares and nets, and walk our trails all day long, collecting snared rabbits and netted fish.

We are the scrawny-but-brainy geek of the animal kingdom.

– ElbowStrike