Is it bad to run and lift?
I received a great question about running and lifting from a client recently, and wanted to share my response to help clear up any confusion or stigma against running and lifting.
“What are your thoughts on running while doing weight training? I’ve been told before that it’s not recommended to do both.”
Great question! Running can be an awesome addition to workouts, and can help you increase power, speed, lead muscle mass, endurance and strength. However, effectively programming running with lifting entirely depends on your goals.
When to run toward goals
Running can help you crush goals with a few small tweaks.
▫️ If the goal is FAT LOSS...
How to run: Stick with intervals for efficiency and best results.
When to Lift: Lift FIRST, then do a few rounds of short intense bursts of fast running for conditioning followed by rest. Ex: 0:30 on/1:00 off.
Helps with: fat loss, muscle, definition.
Avoid: Longer runs may seem helpful since they create a larger caloric deficit, but in terms of fat loss, this can be challenging, since long runs likely will leave you feeling ravenous which can lead to overeating.
▫️ If the goal is ENDURANCE for a race...
How to run: focus on gradually building endurance and speed appropriate to the goal distance.
Invest in a solid race training plan and stay consistent.
When to Lift: Lift AFTER running, 2-3x/week. Weight training should be modified for running-specific strength and injury prevention.
Avoid: Lifting before your run takes energy and strength away from the true goal, which is running well.
Helps with: endurance, cardiovascular health, strength.
▫️If the goal is MENTAL CLARITY...
Run however long and often and fast as feels fit! It's no secret that running can be therapeutic. It can clear the mind, boost mood and help you problem solve!
Additionally, if you are being chased by lions, please run.
When to avoid running:
▫️If MUSCLE IS YOUR GOAL:
Reducing longer bouts of steady state cardio can be useful in maintaining muscle. If you decide to run...walk on an incline or add a few sprints to the end of a workout to work on heart health while prioritizing muscle.
◽️ If YOU FEEL PAIN:
You first need to reduce/correct the pain with a PT, improve form w a running coach and strengthen muscles with a strength coach.
Also...it's okay not to run! There are so many excellent forms of conditioning like KB swings, stationary bike, battle ropes, sled pushes! I program completely run-free conditioning as part of my monthly Lift Lab program.
At the end of the day, if you are training to feel better, look better, and move better, then approaching your fitness with a combination of movements you LOVE is best. Because if you love what you're doing, you're likely to stick with it. And consistency is always priority in terms of living a fit strong life!
Running can be an amazing addition to your workout, but it doesn't HAVE to be in order to be fit. Knowing how to program running to match your goals is crucial.
If you’re preparing for a race and would like help creating a strength plan to enhance your performance, I would LOVE to help you with that!
Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!