Can I be a STRONG Marathon Runner??

(5min Read + 3min optional training footage video)

One of the most debated things in fitness is the topic of

“Will CARDIO kill my Gainz?”

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Well because I love you I am taking the bullet and gonna find out for us both…

Here is what is am doing – I am training up to run a Marathon (42.2km) whilst training to maintain/ improve my strength and powerlifts.

On top of this I have made a deal with myself to not drop below 90kg for the run (currently haven’t lost any and I am still at 94-96kg).

Before starting running around 8 weeks ago my best lifts were tested at

 

Squat: 195kg

Deadlift: 200kg

Bench: 130kg

Strict Pull Up: 19 in 45seconds

 

These are the benchmarks I am gauging against because even though some have been higher in the past  I destroyed my shoulder in Novemeber last year and am still working to get back to full strength from that.

 

You: Ok sounds good BUT how can this work? Aren’t marathon runners normally skinny weaklings and very rarely can they even grow a beard let alone bench 3 plates?

Me: Correct, but I think it is possible.

 

What is “The Plan of Attack?”

So I had been doing mainly lifting for the past few years and couldn’t run even 2km when I started this running journey so first thing was first; find someone who was big, strong and can run.

12345859_1505237173116093_191744176_nEnter Alex Viada who wrote a book called the Hybrid Athlete (Great book) I read that but basically I made a few calls to friends and experts and ended up hiring one of the guys who works with Alex named Mike to do my programming and give me guidance.

Mike is a cardio machine so I knew he would get me to where I need and it is working great so far.

Basically what he is dealing with is a guy (me) who weighs too much to run more then 2-3 times per week, doesn’t want to stop grinding out heavy squats and on top of that has a bench press goal of hitting 150kg which doesnt help with whole the weight loss to make running easier thing..

Basically there is A LOT going on and we need to eliminate the useless crap first and only focus on the KEY things that will help me improve towards my goals (essentially we have minimised what won’t help and maximised what will in my training)

I am not trying to push running a marathon onto you but I do want to show you that it is possible to be fit whilst getting stronger and looking in decent shape too…

 

Here is what my week looks like:

Monday: Session 1 – Heavy Squats 1-5 reps for multiple sets in the 80-95% 1RM range and Deads usually 2-3 x 3 reps at around 80-90% 1RM followed up with single leg work of 3×8-10 reps each side to balance hips and build leg size.

Session 2 – Either a 45min run or spin cycle ride (depending on how my shins, knees and feet feel if it needs to be a recovery session I take it easy but still get the blood pumping)

Tuesday: Heavy Bench Press 2-6 x 1-6 reps followed up by 1 accessory lift (Dumbell Bench or Close Bench 3×5-12) followed by a heap of Rows 4 x 6-12, Core and Band Shoulder work for balance and rehab.

Wednesday: Hard interval based run.

This is usually the hardest or highest intensity run of the week could be anywhere from 8-12km of distance at this stage, I am sure it will go higher as the 42.2km run becomes closer.

An example is – Warm up easy for 15mins then do 8x800m hard runs with 90sec walk in between each, cool down slow for 10mins, stretch and done.

Thursday: Full Body Session based on what is needed.

It usually includes some different kettlebell exercises to get the hammies and hips pumping, overhead work, pull up work, carries etc.

This has been changing again dependent on what is needed but it is usually a fairly tough day covering most main movements.

Friday: Rest Day/ Mobility work

Saturday: Long Run – I am up to anywhere between 12 -22km at this stage running at a cruisy pace and again speed and distance will increase as marathon gets closer.

This generally is just getting the kms in the legs and done Saturday generally doesn’t beat me up too much to lift during the week.

Sunday: Rest or recovery day – hike, mobility etc.

 

As you can see the heaviest and highest intensity sessions are all at the start of the week and the cruisy endurance based work later in the week.

This allows for enough recovery to maintain/ progress as my running improves.

I eat like an adult, sleep as much as possible, meditate daily and mobilise or stretch everyday…

That is it.

That is what I am doing.

Here is a short clip with the ‘heavy’ work from this week (Raced 22.5km trail run Saturday, Benched 110 + 30kg chain Sunday, and Squat/ Dead Session Tuesday)

 

I hope that helps you in some way.

Lift heavy, Stay Healthy and Push Yourself BOTH Mentally and Physically.

-Matty

 

P.S. If you have any topics, questions or ideas you want to run by me feel free to hit me up and I will do my best to help you out, just let me know!!

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