Half Marathon and Weight Training....HELP!

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    Nov 23, 2012 7:11 PM GMT
    Hey Everyone,

    Let me try to make this short and sweet: I've got a half marathon about a month from now. My general training (for the past 3 weeks) has been 2-3 days run and 3 days weights. One long run, the rest short runs. I'm going to have to increase the number of miles I run each week. Problem is....I'm an ectomorph. I lose weight in the blink of an eye. Is there a way to train for my half marathon and weight train at the same time? Would it be too much work on my body?

    Thoughts and suggestions are helpful.

    Other issues: ankle pain? Is it the running shoes?
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    Nov 23, 2012 9:40 PM GMT
    Funny I asked this question a year ago for my marathon as well.

    From what I learned here, weight training will not help with your marathon. Instead, it would actually decrease your performance as you're running with extra "baggage". On a side note, my trainer told me weight training on arms actually helps though, because as you're running, your arms swings rhythmically so it can actually increases your speed. As you said you're ectomorph, gaining weight is a bitch already and with your running sessions to practice for the marathon will drag you down even more. You can only focus on one either running or weight lifting.

    As for your ankle pain, I had knee pains even the day before the marathon. What I found that helped a lot, is an analgesic topical cream (Capsaicin) and a bandage to go on the region to compress it. As you run, don't run every step with impact on the floor, try to run in a form that soothes the impact, that helped me out during the whole marathon to prevent pain.

    Definitely change running shoes after certain amount of steps used. Usually if you run a lot, you should change every 1.5-2 years as it loses its ability to absorb the impact on the floor. And a GOOD running shoes, not the puma good looking one that has no impact sole absorption.
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    Nov 24, 2012 1:57 AM GMT
    Thanks. That's really helpful.

    On another note, I haven't been working out legs in a while. I figure I get so much leg workout from the runs that I don't need to work legs or it would just hinder any gains there. Am I wrong for thinking this? Should i add legs in there to help strengthen for the run?

    Did you do other forms of cardio while training? Swimming/cycling/etc?
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    Nov 24, 2012 6:00 AM GMT
    Personally I have the opposite problem, I'm a mesomorph and put on muscle really easily. In the last year however I've run four half-marathons and a ten mile race.

    I'd say for you, in order to maintain your muscle gains you need to increase your calorie intake, obviously the good kind. Proteins (meat-if you're into that) and shakes and other good stuff. Keep weight training and go big, usually it's easier to lift heavier with a friend/spotter/trainer.

    And keep working out your legs, yes you are using your muscles when you run, but the weight training can help your speed, stride and balance, which may also be affecting your ankle.

    I don't know that the pain is totally from your shoes, I personally run in vibrams and have no issues. I think running in newer shoes is worse for you, you need broken in ones.

    So to summarize, lift heavy, eat more, and keep running...and don't neglect your legs.
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    Nov 24, 2012 6:02 AM GMT
    I forgot to ask, where is your half marathon? I'm gearing up to do my first full marathon in February of next year.
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    Nov 24, 2012 6:06 AM GMT
    Steduo said
    Definitely change running shoes after certain amount of steps used. Usually if you run a lot, you should change every 1.5-2 years as it loses its ability to absorb the impact on the floor. And a GOOD running shoes, not the puma good looking one that has no impact sole absorption.


    I just want to correct this part. If you're running and going to be running for training as well as for races, DO NOT use your shoes for more than 500 miles. You'll need to get shoes at least every 3 months as a casual runner, more often if you run hard and train for races year-round.

    Check your local listing for running stores. Go somewhere that specializes in running and not just athletics (like new balance). Some new balance stores have employees that know what they're talking about, but you should go to a store that will put you on a treadmill and video your gait. Most of the specialty stores do this for free because it means your shoe will be a perfect fit.
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    Nov 24, 2012 5:19 PM GMT
    I'm running in Galveston's Santa Run Dec. 23.

    As for running shoes: the past 2 pairs of running shoes I've gotten were Asics, but the one I'm running in now are Nike. It just doesn't seem to give me the right support like the Asics did.

    But swapping out running shoes every 3 months? Man...grad student budget here. I can't afford a new $80-100 shoe every 3 months. Other alternatives? Also does more price constitute better quality or fit for you?

    What have your experiences been in buying running shoes?
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    Nov 25, 2012 1:06 AM GMT
    I use Asics as well. I wouldn't change because the shoes I get are specific to my feet and I never have any issues.

    There are stores, like Runner's Roost and Runner's World where they will give you options for certain price ranges.

    You can also call a local university and try to get in touch with the cross-country coach. They are usually more than happy to give advice on what they recommend for certain budgets as well help you out with certain ailments you may be experiencing.
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    Nov 25, 2012 1:39 AM GMT
    Like I said in my reply, I run in vibram five fingers. I know they are not for everyone, but I love them. They cost about 80, and I have three pairs but I rotate then out.

    I highly recommend that you read "Born to Run"

    Amazing book and he mentions that the most expensive shoes are typically not the best, and while be mentions barefoot running, he is not a barefoot runner himself. It's a great book.
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    Nov 25, 2012 1:40 AM GMT
    And those three pairs I acquired over a few years. I did three half marathons and a ten mile race in the same pair; as well as regular training in them
  • rafiki87

    Posts: 331

    Nov 25, 2012 1:42 AM GMT
    Energy systems for 10K marathon: 5% alactic, 15% lactic, 80% aerobic

    Key energy sources: glycogen (blood sugar), free fatty acids

    Need to focus on: muscular endurance, power endurance, max strength

    Need to know: when the race is to determine how much you can develop the above.

    Basically, the recipe for 10K marathons is: approx 3 weeks developing Max Strength, 8ish weeks for Muscular Endurance - Medium Range + Max Strength, 8ish weeks to convert to Muscular Endurance - Long Range, the month prior to the competition maintain Power and Muscular Endurance.

    To develop power, you need to do LOTS bounding or any weight/plyometric exercise that loads the hamstrings and glutes unilaterally.
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    Nov 25, 2012 4:44 AM GMT
    Contacting my university's cross country coach/team. Interesting. Can't believe that didn't cross my mind beforehand. Might contact them for good running stores around town.

    As for running in Vibrams. I can't believer you did 3 marathons in them! I know one friend who got constant blisters in his pair.
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    Nov 25, 2012 5:05 AM GMT
    shuichiro saidContacting my university's cross country coach/team. Interesting. Can't believe that didn't cross my mind beforehand. Might contact them for good running stores around town.

    As for running in Vibrams. I can't believer you did 3 marathons in them! I know one friend who got constant blisters in his pair.


    I've done five. Four alone this year in them. Just to correct you on that. And I use to get blisters, then my feet just got used to them, like anything else.
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    Nov 25, 2012 5:39 AM GMT
    I highly recommend doing leg exercises. Nothing too intense, but consider doing lunges, wall squats, and light weighted leg lifts. When I did my first marathon, my quads were killing me at mile 18. The next marathon, I made sure to add leg workouts to my routine, and I felt tons better. Also be sure to add a good core routine. This will help with your posture as you run further and keeps the rest of your body aligned properly.
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    Nov 25, 2012 5:52 AM GMT
    Sorry wallcrawler, my mistake. In your first message you said you had ran 4 in the past year with a 10 mile one and 3 in the second message so I was just referencing that last message.

    I try to do core/abs in all my exercices 3x a week. Any specifics you'd recommend?
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    Nov 25, 2012 5:56 AM GMT
    shuichiro saidSorry wallcrawler, my mistake. In your first message you said you had ran 4 in the past year with a 10 mile one and 3 in the second message so I was just referencing that last message.

    I try to do core/abs in all my exercices 3x a week. Any specifics you'd recommend?


    Miscommunication, I said I have three pairs of vibrams, but did three halves and a ten mile in the same pair for all. One of the halves I did I buckled and wore sneakers because it was during a blizzard.
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    Nov 25, 2012 6:33 AM GMT
    Planks, side planks, weighted cable crunch, and side to side with a medicine ball. Just make sure you work out your entire core.
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    Nov 25, 2012 9:08 PM GMT
    This could be done daily or every other day no?
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    Nov 25, 2012 9:13 PM GMT
    shuichiro saidThanks. That's really helpful.

    On another note, I haven't been working out legs in a while. I figure I get so much leg workout from the runs that I don't need to work legs or it would just hinder any gains there. Am I wrong for thinking this? Should i add legs in there to help strengthen for the run?

    Did you do other forms of cardio while training? Swimming/cycling/etc?


    Stick to running man, although do not do it like me running past my limit for practice and ending up with knee pain before the big day. Try to heal up that ankle pain before. Just slowly add up miles to practice everytime you run.
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    Nov 25, 2012 9:39 PM GMT
    What's strange is I feel it more at the beginning of the run then it fades away. Maybe I become numb to it, or I just don't pay much attention anymore. Strange right?

    Past shoes, I just got shin splints or knee problems sometimes. This one, just ankle.
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    Nov 25, 2012 9:53 PM GMT
    You should really go to the place that customize shoes depending on your gait as texasrunner was saying. It'll relieve the pain. I don't even know where those places are in my area icon_sad.gif
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4864

    Nov 25, 2012 10:59 PM GMT
    Maximum strength and maximum possible long-distance speed are incompatible. However, unless you are hoping to win a half-marathon, the maximum possible speed may not be an issue. A respectable time may be more important depending on what you want in which case you may wish to work out in a gym to increase the strength and size of all you muscles even if that slightly reduces your speed.

    Increasing muscle mass means increasing body weight and that is not desirable for maximum possible long-distance speed, but would not be a problem for sprinting unless carried to extremes. It could be helpful to do leg exercises in the gym but instead of trying to gain maximum strength, limit the weight, keep the repetitions high, and do the exercises fast. The first runner to break the 4-minute mile could barely do pushups.

    It would be helpful to have a timed interval workout once per week, preferable on a track to expedite timing; I used to do intervals on a track. After warming up by running a mile at about an 8-minute pace (which was very easy for me), I ran 3 quarter mile intervals jogging a quarter mile after each one to recover. I ran all three at the same speed with the speed selected so that I could barely run the last quarter mile interval at the same speed as the first two. I always used a stop watch.

    After the quarter mile intervals, I ran 3 one-eighth mile intervals in a similar manner, jogging a quarter mile after each to recover. Then, I ran three 100 yard dashes at the maximum possible speed, jogging a quarter mile after each. Following that, I again ran a mile at about an 8-minute pace, then walked about a quarter mile. Interval workouts will increase the speed that you can maintain for long distances but doing them more than once a week may not be a good idea since it would increase the risk of over-use injuries.

    There are other ways to do intervals, but that worked for me and increased the speed I was able to maintain for 10 miles. In fact, when I was 50, I was able to run 10 miles in less than 70 minutes, i.e., a pace of less than seven minutes per mile.

    In addition to the weekly interval work out, I'd suggest two additional runs per week, but not on consecutive days. You can do the gym work-outs on days you are not running.

    I believe in experimenting. What works for one guy doesn't necessarily work for other guys.
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    Nov 26, 2012 5:55 AM GMT
    Wow, a 7 minute mile would only happen in my dreams. haha. I've never been an avid runner but a marathon is on my bucket list and so this half is a stepping stone to that marathon.

    I will definitely have to try that interval exercise out. But probably modified for my abilities.

    4 minute mile and 0 push ups.....interesting....
  • jock_n_ca

    Posts: 148

    Nov 26, 2012 6:14 AM GMT
    As mentioned above you're better off doing core work. If you're serious bout distance running lay off the weights.
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    Nov 26, 2012 6:37 AM GMT
    Yep, seems like I should've recruited the help of my fellow Real Jockers earlier on in my training. haha