T Nation

Maintaining Running While Training for Strength


For the first six months of the year I plan to focus on building strength, but I want to maintain some running ability by running 2-3x per week (8-16 total miles per week) because I plan to train for a spartan and a few trail races during the later half of the year. How should a program that includes 3 days of relatively heavy squats or deadlifts be modified? replace one day with lighter lunges and kb swings?

sets/reps from greyskull lp
Workout a:
press/weighted dips (alternate)

workout b:
press/weighted dips
kb swings

workout c:
press/weighted dips
partial rom chin ups (elbow tendinitis)

I am 30 years old and will be training using equipment i have at home (barbell, adjustable squat racks -on the way, weighted vest, dip stands, adjustable dumbbells, door chin up bar, 40 lb and 55 lb kettlebells). I don’t have the funds or space for a bench right now.


Hey man, I’m about to head to the gym but you might take a quick look into my log. I’ll write you a more detailed reply later this afternoon!


OK. So we have some parallels. I’m also 30 years old, with a history of barbell lifting from ages 13-22 (HS and college football), some distance running experience, then got into kettlebell stuff, and lately swinging into a combination of all three things (barbells, kettlebells, and running). I’ve also done some of those trail races before, for what it’s worth. I’m (mostly) working on strength at the moment, but also trying to keep the ability to run a little ways. Here’s the loose template I’ve been doing the last few weeks:

Monday - short run (2-4 miles)
Tuesday - kettlebell workout at home
Wednesday - light deadlift (i.e. 10 singles at 315)
Thursday - kettlebell workout or short run (2-4 miles)
Friday - kettlebell workout or short run (2-4 miles)
Saturday - long run (6-8 miles)
Sunday - heavy deadlift (up to 495+ for a couple singles)

I know that’s pretty vague, and our goals are not necessarily identical, merely pointing out that this has worked well for me and that I’ve been OK doing heavy deadlifts and running within the same week.

As for your program: I think that looks quite reasonable. It really depends on how much you’re prioritizing the respective goals, but I believe that you can make some degree of progress with a good hard squat on Monday, a good hard deadlift on Friday, and getting one short run in (Tuesday?) and one longer run on Saturday or Sunday. In the past, during one training cycle when I was coming off an injury I ran a respectable half-marathon (1:35, only a few minutes off my PR of 1:27) by running three days a week (5 miles / 5 miles / 10 miles) with no special speed work or anything. So I’m sure you’ll be able to complete things like a Spartan Race if you lift as you have described here, get a 4-mile run on Tuesday and an 8-mile run on Saturday, and maybe get a little bonus conditioning like hill sprints (since most trail races are dependent on ability to handle some brutal terrain).


Lots of good tips in this thread…


Thanks. I went through your log and I can see our goals are fairly similar. My primary strength goals are deadlift 350, overhead press bodyweight and complete 20 chins. Sometime late this year or early next I’d like to run a trail 50k, not necessary fast. I noticed on your kettlebell days is when you do upper body volume followed by heavy press singles.

Your template is helpful and I like how you can customize your training to your goals.


Good reference. 5/3/1 sets/reps might just work better in terms of recovery than a straight linear progression


You’ll probably find what I did when I did starting strenght two times a week and ran three times- you won’t just ‘maintain’ your running, you will miraculously see it improve. I can’t explain it, but it’s so good when it happens.