T Nation

Weight Training and Endurance Athletes

Can anyone point me in the direction of articles that talk about weight training for endurance runners? If anyone has experience with this I would love to hear what you have to say!! Thanks

Seems to me that endurance training and weight training tend to be on opposite ends of the spectrum, and the two goals will be at odds with each other. Endurance events are very catabolic, and muscle tissue tends to be broken down for energy in extreme situations. The more successful you are at endurance, the less you tend to weigh, and the less muscle mass you retain, for efficiency of movement. Strength training, and muscle building, in general, is an anabolic pursuit, tending to add muscle mass, and slowing running times. You must decide which is more important to you and strike a balance of training and diet. I’m not aware of any articles combining the two goals on this site.
I’ll throw out some ideas for you, and perhaps someone else will pitch in. If you just want to add some functional strength without too much mass, try heavier weights for 3 sets, with 3-4 quick repetitions maximum per set, and rest periods of 4-5 minutes or longer between sets. Choose one good pushing exercise, such as flat bench press or dips, and alternate sets with an opposing pulling movement, such as seated rows or chins with palms facing you. Raise the weight gradually until you are straining to complete the 4th rep on the last set, you’re sweating, and heart rate and respiration are noticeably elevated. There you have most of your upper body done in two exercises for very basic functional strength training to complement your endurance training.

Typically there is no benefit of weight lifting for endurance runners ‘in-season’. Usually the only lifting done is in the ‘off season’ to correct any imbalances caused by months of running and/or to help rehab injuries obtained.

Once you or someone qualified has determined these imbalances in muscle groups, the training will resemble a typical bodybuilding routine [occasionally refered to as rehab method].

The NSCA suggests that resistance training will have no negative effect on VO2max (a good thing), and that resistance training will: create faster recovery from injuries, prevent overuse injuries, and reduce muscle imbalances. Specific to competition, it has been shown that strength training will improve short-term exercise performance (closing the gap between competitors and/or the final sprint).

*** from “Essentials of Strength Training & Conditioning” by the NSCA.

You won’t find any information on this site but I can tell you that strength is the foundation for all other physical qualities, including endurance. I recommend you take a look at some of Tudor Bompa’s material to learn how to structure a training program when competing in endurance events.

There aer several tri-athlete magazines on the web that you can check out. Also Serious Training for Endurance Athletes has gone to it’s second addition. You may want to try searching Air FOrces Special Operations website, they have several tri-athlete links. Best of Luck.