Gaining muscle and praticing for marathon?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 24, 2011 4:06 AM GMT
    Is it possible to gain more muscle at the gym while still training cardio for a full marathon of 42.2km? (Marathon Oasis at Montreal September 25th)
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    Jul 24, 2011 6:00 AM GMT
    What is your goal? Are you more focused on bulking up or running fast? Do you want to run fast? Lots of running, little lifting. Do you want to look 'hot' in your running outfit? Focus on strength training. Just realize scrawny runners will e flying by you at after mile 20. Unfortunately, the two don't go hand-in-hand for many people, myself included. I find a minimal amt of weight training is beneficial, especially late in race as it is the arms that really power through the last 10K. Hard to overstate the importance of abs for good distance running.

    My #1 piece of advice--find a trainer, even for the shortest contract available if money is a concern. Just be careful about what trainer. Interview 'em. Many people focused on physical fitness focus on strength training ,and some, such as on this site, feel running is negative/waste of time. Go to a quality running store and find out who is training and who might be willing to spend X number of hours for a small feel to help you read your goals.

    Just remember that, contrary to advice you often hear on here, cardio is not a bad word and has a great deal of benefits. MSG me if you have any questions. .

    Best of luck training and hope all goes well. Keep us informed as to how the training goes. Just remember, the race is fun enjoy yourself!

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    Jul 24, 2011 7:05 AM GMT
    Well I don't really need to run fast. I just want to be in the right condition to run the full marathon in the minimal amount of time that they block the streets for runner (5h 45min). But I'm just not sure that building muscle would hinder my condition to run for it.

    On a side note, I did have a trainer for a session, but then he didn't know if both are achievable at the same time and told me to check online. Hence my post right now.

    Since this will be my first marathon, everyone is telling me to put it off and do the half instead. But I feel I can do it and it has always been one of my personal achievements that I need to do.
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    Jul 24, 2011 7:09 AM GMT
    You'll do fine. . . get 3 20 mile runs under your belt, and you will be fine. Building muscle will slow you down, but in the length of time you are talking will be pretty irrelevant. I bet after you run one, you get the marathon bug and are registered for another. Like I said, keep us posted on how you do!
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    Jul 24, 2011 4:22 PM GMT
    Thanks a lot! I will keep you posted. I hope I don't get the marathon bite though, cuz it'll be a big hole in my pocket icon_lol.gif
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    Jul 24, 2011 4:32 PM GMT
    It's hard to do both but it can be done. My goal is always to maintain the muscle that I have, even though my cardio can get pretty intense with marathon and ironman training.

    Muscles don't make you faster...but a strong core will be your best friend at the end of a marathon. When you put in your gym time, just make sure that you are pushing it hard and you will get results.

    I'm not sure how long you've been training for the marathon. Just make sure that you have a good training plan that will get you the results you seek. There are tons of info online and training programs you can use. Get your long runs in and build as your plan prescribes and you'll be fine. Getting in 2-5 long runs (of 20 miles) over the course of your training will be important for both your physical and mental conditioning.

    Good luck. You can do it.

  • in_this_corne...

    Posts: 704

    Jul 24, 2011 4:34 PM GMT
    I'm actually training for Chicago marathon on October 9, 2011, but also working with my trainer on bulking up. It's a little much right now (time consuming), but I love it. Hope to add 10-15 lbs between now and race day.

    He's tailoring some of my weight training specifically for distance running and targeting important muscle groups such that I can lessen my running during training by at least a day. I'm still getting in the long runs - about to head out for 14 miles shortly.

    It's doable if you're not concerned with speed. I am going for a personal best - but I hear Chicago is flat and my previous marathon times are nothing to write home about, so it shouldn't be hard even with the extra weight. Oddly, my training pace has improved with the weight training, but I haven't added too much weight just yet. Shoot me an email if you want to chat more about distance training and adding muscle.
  • SwimBIkeRun94...

    Posts: 480

    Jul 24, 2011 4:36 PM GMT
    My first race ever was a marathon. Since then, I've run lots of 5Ks, 10Ks, 1/2s, and other marathons.

    Go big or go home, that's what I say.

    The best training, in my experience, for a marathon is cardio/breathing. That's not to say don't work on strength, but you really need to get your system used to sustained activity for 3-4 hours. The long weekend runs are critical to your success.

    You have to be mentally prepared to finish, too.
  • in_this_corne...

    Posts: 704

    Jul 24, 2011 4:46 PM GMT
    SwimBIkeRun949 saidMy first race ever was a marathon. Since then, I've run lots of 5Ks, 10Ks, 1/2s, and other marathons.

    Go big or go home, that's what I say.

    The best training, in my experience, for a marathon is cardio/breathing. That's not to say don't work on strength, but you really need to get your system used to sustained activity for 3-4 hours. The long weekend runs are critical to your success.

    You have to be mentally prepared to finish, too.


    This is very true...is this your first marathon or have you done them before? My first marathon I followed Hal Higdon's Novice 2 training exactly. It was instrumental in my finishing and that last 6 miles is a killer (mental game) coupled with the unknown of how your body responds (cramping, hydration, etc.) In Hal's novice 2, the longest run is 20 miles so there's a whole 6 miles tagged on that I had never ventured into before.

    Depending on whether this is your first marathon or not, it might be advantageous to focus on distance and getting all your runs in. If you've done them before and know how your body acts after mile 20, then it's probably OK to throw on some extra goals. But if this is your first, focus on the runs and finish. And if you do serious weight training, this has to be in addition to your distance running if you have the energy, it's not a substitute!
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    Jul 24, 2011 4:46 PM GMT
    i didn't get huge but was lifting and training for my last marathon. I found that squats, incline leg presses, and hip inductor/abductor (machine) were all helpful in building stronger legs and faster times (plus strengthening weak areas that caused me pain after mile 1icon_cool.gif.

    I got cut from all the running and the lifting helped me be tone and look better...but my goal wasn't to get big just more defined so...

    I would say be sure to time your workouts properly. It is hard to go out for a long run if your body is sore and tired and still recovering from a hard workout. Oh and you will have to eat a ton, literally all the time, all day..eat eat eat.
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    Jul 26, 2011 4:07 AM GMT
    JoshTPDX saidi didn't get huge but was lifting and training for my last marathon. I found that squats, incline leg presses, and hip inductor/abductor (machine) were all helpful in building stronger legs and faster times (plus strengthening weak areas that caused me pain after mile 1icon_cool.gif.

    I got cut from all the running and the lifting helped me be tone and look better...but my goal wasn't to get big just more defined so...

    I would say be sure to time your workouts properly. It is hard to go out for a long run if your body is sore and tired and still recovering from a hard workout. Oh and you will have to eat a ton, literally all the time, all day..eat eat eat.


    The problem is I eat mostly 2x a day(lunch + supper) only. I know getting more muscle requires eating a lot(protein), but I'm scared that I will be packed with fat as well. Right now, I'm drinking protein shakes 30mins after my workout, but when I see the nutient content; it's packed with cholesterol and lipids!
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    Jul 31, 2011 11:30 PM GMT
    Ok so today I was able to run 22km, which basically the half marathon on a bridge with ups and downs with a time of 2h 30min. I felt exhausted after my run, but there was the fact that I was running the entire time with a bottle of water only... I really feel I can do this even though it's my first marathon! I'll prove to everyone that told me to do the half instead that they are wrong icon_twisted.gif
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    Jul 31, 2011 11:59 PM GMT
    I'm doing my first marathon this year too... The Chicago Marathon. I'm a little freaked out considering that I had to stop running for about a month because I had a knee injury. I started my long runs again last week. I also lift about 3 times a week at the gym. I do not have a runners body, so I have no idea how I will do. I continue to lift heavy weights and run regularly.
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    Aug 01, 2011 12:10 AM GMT
    not according to my trainer which i found to be true. to much cardio will lean u out and cause the body to stop building up and use it for energy. I guess thats why body builders dont do cardio
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    Aug 01, 2011 12:22 AM GMT
    But I don't wanna loose any muscle... icon_cry.gif I told myself that as soon as the marathon is over I'm going on a permanent bulk period... I want to look like I play in the damn NFL. Even if that means no abs.
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    Aug 02, 2011 4:56 AM GMT
    I learned that cardio uses up energy and where does energy comes from first? That's sugar and as soon as that's over, it's fat. So I think that if you're not doing cardio for more than 2h I think muscles wouldn't be affected that much unless you have 0% fat.
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    Aug 04, 2011 3:10 AM GMT
    Nice thread.

    The goal of anyone's first marathon is to finish -- hopefully standing up and not heaving. Personally I wouldn't try to work on 2 different training aspects at once. Focus on your running, get in those long slow runs, as many as your schedule permits, and keep the gym work-outs to a minimum focused on the core. You can bulk later. Enjoy the running, and enjoy the marathon -- that's the plan.
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    Aug 04, 2011 3:14 AM GMT
    Question for the runners: Im doing the Chicago Marathon this year. First marathon ever... I havent been training as hard as Id like. Is 2 months time good enough to be ready??????? I have 2 months left icon_sad.gif
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    Aug 06, 2011 11:11 PM GMT
    CHIdude saidIs 2 months time good enough to be ready??????? I have 2 months left icon_sad.gif

    Depends on where you are in your plan [you DO have a plan, right?]. If you've been doing the long runs and will have completed at least 2 of 20mi+, you'll be fine. If you haven't made it up to 16mi yet, time's running short. Don't try to recapture what's been lost tho -- that's a recipe for injury. Keep to the 10% rule -- each weekly increase should not exceed 10% the previous week's mileage. Do the math with where you now are, and see what it tells you.

    There's also the Galloway method of walking every X minutes -- it DOES work, but regardless, training is still required. If you work it into your long runs now you can get in the mileage without injury, and be better prepared for the race. See www.jeffgalloway.com/training/walk_breaks.html and many other sites.
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    Aug 08, 2011 5:43 AM GMT
    Gaining muscle is only going to make you heavier which will slow you down. The last winner if the NYC marathon was 5'10 120 pounds so what does that tell you? If your goal is just to complete a marathon without worrying too much about the time strength training will be fine for you.