T Nation

Increase Run Time Without Losing Muscle Mass?


#1

Anyone have any suggestions on how to structure a 2-3 day a week running program to improve a 2 mile run time without sacrificing too much muscle mass? I have to keep my run time down for ROTC.

Currently doing strongman 5/3/1 which is 3 days a week- upper, lower, & strongman events day (total body day).

I have to run 2-4 miles on Tuesday mornings for PT but other than that my schedule is flexible in regards on which days to put the workouts on. Also able to do two a days on any day other than events day (too exhausting to add a second workout that day) if yall think this could provide for better recovery by creating more off days.


#2

If its just 2 miles and you’re pushing your top sets then you should lose minimal muscle if any. IF really worried get some Plazma or MAG-10 -will stop muscle loss dead. Leucine/Bcaas and karbolyn good if on a budget


#3

Do you think it would be better to run in the mornings the same days as lifting or on their own days?


#4

If it was me I’d focus on 2-3 1.5 mile intervals ran at a slightly faster pace than whatever is your best 2 mile pace, ran every other day.

With regards when to run, running either after you’ve lifted or on a separate day should work plenty fine.


#5

Improving your 2 mile run time requires multiple things:

  1. increasing your overall endurance (heart/lung/energy production)
  2. increasing your leg strength/flexibility/stride
  3. increasing your leg muscle endurance
  4. reducing body fat: the lighter you are the easier it is to run

If it were me (and it was 40 years ago, when I was in the Marines and ROTC and had to do a 3 mile run quarterly for time), I would add to your Tuesday moderate run, one weekly session of hill sprints, stadium stair running or some other type of HIIT/Tabita training, and one long endurance run (at least 6 miles, on a day you don’t do anything else and probably no leg work the following/prior day).


#6

The following template is from Alex Viada, who is known for competing in powerlifting and ultramarathons. Do a google search for “So you want to run? Endurance Training for Strength Athletes, Part 2” for more detail. It’s based on the westside template, but I changed dynamic effort upper to repetition upper becasue I’m running westside for skinny bastards.

Day 1: ME upper, light recovery run (1-2 miles) or rowing ergometer
Day 2: rest
Day 3: ME lower, speed/interval work (4x800m, 4x1200 at target race pace + 10%)
Day 4: Short race pace run (1-1.5 miles)
Day 5: RE upper, running form drills
Day 6: DE lower
Day 7: long slow distance (2-5 miles)


#7

Viada’s plan here doesn’t have enough volume for the two mile run. Heck the only two mile runs are the interval day, which is a whole lot of intervaling, and the long day. Drop the interval day or the short race pace run(that’s what I’d drop) and make it a five to six mile day. And drop the recovery run day. Seriously if you’re so wrecked that you can only run a mile or so then any running is just going to delay your recovery. Day 7 long day needs to be at least 5-6 miles.

You can actually do most of your aerobic work through cross training which has a much lighter impact on strength training and just run enough running to maintain the leg conditioning.


#8

Are you suggesting that some of the running can be taken out in favor of elliptical/stationary bike/rowing ergometer for aerobic work and keep a couple running days to maintain leg conditioning?


#9

In my case absolutely. I’ve done it from it from directions:I development a cardio base with the arc trainer and the elliptical (both set on the highest resistance and ROM) and then transitioned to running a few months before a PT test or event. And then I got my running to where I wanted it and maintained it all with a couple runs a week and crosstraining the rest.