Why Runners Should Not Run Away From Lifting

running misconceptions

There are a number of misconceptions surrounding runners and weight training. Many runners feel they shouldn’t lift weights because it will hinder their performance. However, the opposite it true. Let’s look at some of these running misconceptions and how weight lifting actually benefits runners.

Common Running Misconceptions

  1. Weights will make me bulky. Having more mass will make running more difficult.
  2. If I want to be a better runner, it only makes sense that I should just run.

These misconceptions apply more to hardcore runners, as a casual runner most often runs for the cardiovascular benefits and is more likely to have a well-rounded workout (although not always). In any case, no matter how serious you are about running, the following applies.

Running Misconception #1

In reality, this belief is not entirely incorrect. It is indeed more difficult trying to navigate your body around if your it has more mass. That is why some people train with weighted vests. It is a way to manipulate the environment and implement a greater stimulus. The issue with misconception #1 is the first statement.

Will lifting weights or any other forms of resistance training make you bulky? If specific circumstances occur, then yes. If your diet supports weight gain and you lift weights consistently, then increased weight, with some of it being muscle, is a very likely outcome. Will you gain a lot of muscle with a general resistance training program? Probably not a lot of muscle. Ask anyone who lifts weights. Gaining muscle is no easy task. So you can only imagine how difficult the process would be for someone who lifts AND runs regularly. There’s a saying that’s been floating around for a while that I feel is necessary to share.

“Driving a car does not turn you into a NASCAR driver. Lifting weights does not turn you into a bodybuilder.” – Unknown

Running Misconception #2

That said, runners who cross-train (engage in multiple avenues of exercise, such as resistance training) tend to be better runners than those who just run. Lifting has the potential for gains in strength and metabolic function. Having the strength to maintain proper biomechanics for prolonged periods of time is of obvious benefit. Being able to delay the onset of metabolic fatigue can also help one maintain work capacity. There is no doubt that the bulk of a runner’s training should be running. But to optimize the ability to run, supplementation with resistance training is 100% necessary.

If you want to learn more about how to implement resistance training into your running routine, all of Elite’s trainers can assist you! Do not hesitate to schedule a free fitness consultation!

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Alex Tran Certified Personal Trainer at Elite Sports Clubs

Written by Alex Tran, Certified Personal Trainer at Elite Sports Club-Brookfield.

Alex has a B.S. in Exercise Science from Carroll University and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He specializes in Powerlifting/Strength Training, Soccer-Specific Training, and Youth Sports Performance. Alex lives by the philosophy that those belonging to the field of Exercise Science have a responsibility to uphold with the certain persons in which they serve. Alex advocates a science-based approach and views it as his duty to educate those who seek help with their body, with the hopes of administering a positive, long-term impact on the rest of their lives one rep at a time.

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