Strength training while marathon training?

  • healthseeker

    Posts: 161

    Aug 18, 2008 4:50 PM GMT
    I'm getting myself back on track physically after over a year away from regular exercise. As part of that I've decided to train for and run a marathon in January.
    I have been doing a full body weight circuit 3 days a week and plan to keep it up while I up my mileage.
    Any advice on how I should alter my weight workouts, especially legs? Should I go with low weights, high reps or just body weight exercises? Any advice is appreciated.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 18, 2008 5:24 PM GMT
    I've run in conjunction with strength training for the past 6 years. I would go for mid to high rep exercises. Marathons rely on slow twitch fiber strength and endurance. Push ups, and pull ups are good body weight exercises because your upper body needs to stay relaxed while running to conserve energy.

    You probably know this, but schedule your leg days a couple of days out from your long runs in either direction.

    Good luck!
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 753

    Aug 20, 2008 12:49 AM GMT
    I'm a 7 time marathoner and strength training is a great supplement to running. I used to think that I didn't need to work legs because of all the running, but post knee-surgery I have a very different perspective. Running uses the same leg muscles over and over; you need overall leg strength to balance your run workouts to make you stronger and more injury-resistant. I do strength workouts - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with heavy weights on multiple leg machines. I also make sure that I'm balancing exercises on both my quads and hamstrings.

    It also may seem counterintutive, but I currently have a coach for my Ironman training who recommends doing the leg workouts on the same days as runs. He has me doing leg strength workouts twice a week on days that I am working my legs with running and/or biking. So, I'm taxing my legs on the same day instead of alternating days. It seems to be working. My run times are the best they've been in years. Cross-training helps too.
  • healthseeker

    Posts: 161

    Aug 21, 2008 2:43 PM GMT
    Thanks for the feedback.
    It sounds exhausting but it does make sense to do your leg resistance and running workouts on the same day to give them proper rest....but I'll give my long runs their own day with time to recover after.
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    Aug 31, 2008 9:34 PM GMT
    You definitely want to keep up the weight training, especially leg training. The leg training helped me to keep going beyond the 20 mile mark. I'm running in my 4th marathon in October and I make sure that I hit legs hard once a week.