It’s seven weeks to the Grand Traverse Trail Run, my first ultramarathon. (Also, seven weeks remain to raise $3000 for Running Out of Time, my effort on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Do you want to help save the outdoors? Can you donate? Please do!) I ran a little over 40 mi. last week, which is high mileage for me. I’ll run about 35 mi. this week. That’s included some hard intervals, hill climbs, and heat. I’m also fitting in a few bike rides. I am feeling all that hard work. Deeply. I fade early in the evening, sleep hard, and wake up tired. (But I LOVE the process!) This isn’t alarming. It’s 100% normal for this stage of training. Consequently, I have little left for weight training.
Typically I do well with twice-weekly weight workouts. With all the running though, I’m averaging a weight workout once per week, and sometimes those workouts are minimal with just one or two exercises. I only have so much time and energy to expend. I can’t put my all into everything. This is the reality of resource allocation when it comes to physical activity.
The timing of lifting sessions and running workouts is important. Lifting compromises running performance in the short-term due to soreness and a diminished ability to generate force through the legs. I need strong legs for speed workouts and long runs, so I need to be strategic in planning runs and lifting sessions. This article from Runner’s World discusses research pertaining to lifting and running. It suggests several ways to combine them:
- Run first before lifting if running and lifting on the same day.
- Separate runs from lifting sessions by at least six hours
- One example:
- Day 1: Hard run
- Day 2: AM easy run, PM weight workout OR
- AM hard run, PM weight session on the same day
Fortunately, strength training once per week is entirely adequate to preserve strength and some research indicates I can get stronger with training only once per week. Paul Ingram at PainScience.com has summarized research on lifting frequency.
The benefit to constrained lifting opportunities is that I’m forced to focus on those lifts that will benefit my running the most. I must drill down to the essentials. Constraints like this are benefits disguised as obstacles.